It is a fair assumption that if you are reading this, then you have or are contemplating getting a pup. An ACD of course.
You would have looked at litters, spoken to and asked all the right questions of breeders, like:
- How old is the pup?
- Has it been vaccinated and when?
- When and with what was the pup wormed for intestinal worms?
- Does the breeder use a heartworm preventative?
- At what age was the pup weaned?
- What diet has the pup been on?
- Who is the breeders vet?
- Can you see the pups parents or other siblings?
- Are there any genetic problems in the line? (If you get an honest answer to this question, you have found a very honest breeder).
Any breeder should be able to answer any of the above questions. If they refuse or can't answer, then shop elsewhere !!.
You are now so full of recommendations and proffered wisdom,that you have probably only been able to remember some. I will try to put it here in text so that it might be a little easier for you.
When choosing a pup there are a few things you should check for yourself.
- Read as much information on the breed and know the standard as much as possible so that you can make a fairly sound choice, based on that information.
- Visit registered breeding kennels only, if you want a pure-bred, pedigreed pup. There are many "back yard" breeders who will and do advertise "pure bred".
Unless they can produce authenticated papers of both sire and dam and are prepared to sign a purchase contract, avoid them like the plague.
- Check the following carefully before making any choice.
- The nose should be clean and cold to the touch.
- The ears should be pink and clean inside without any unpleasant smell. Ask the breeder to do a hearing test on the pup away from the rest of the litter.
The reason for asking for this is because deaf pups will follow the actions of their litter mates. So, when a breeder calls a litter, a deaf pup will come as well by following his siblings.
- Hold the pup and flick through its coat. If you find a fine black dust, it is not cigarette ash or from rolling in coal dust. It is flea excreta and is a sure sign of a flea
- Ask to see other siblings including the one the breeder is keeping, also parents, grandparents if possible. If any other dogs in the kennel, especially the parents are
coughing or showing any other signs of a possible sickness or lethargy, look elsewhere.
- A condition of sale should be a medical check by a veterinarian of your choice. As a novice buyer, it is not a good idea to take home a puppy that is any way handicapped. Do not be overcome
with pity for a pup that looks undersize, lethargic or sick in any way. If the Vet advises against buying a particular pup, take his advice. If you have already paid a deposit, get your money back,
even under threat of civil action and exposure of the ethics of the breeder.
- The old saying,"It costs just as much to feed a good one as it does a bad one", is very true. In the dog world unfortunately, there are unethical breeders.
- If you can, purchase as close to your area as possible. Ethical breeders will supply back-up advice and help willingly.
- If you buy with the intention of showing or showing at a later date, ensure the breeder is aware of this and also ensure the breeder has your name and address recorded on a litter registration form.
Ask for the breeders prefix, name and address and Canine Control registration number. If the papers for your pup have not arrived within a reasonable time, contact your breeder and find out why.
- The pup you choose should be eight weeks of age or older. It should have had at least its first lot of vaccination injections. It should have also been wormed and hopefully had some form of puppy training.
This may be only in the form of having been used to a light-weight collar and a lead.
- It is essential that you socialise your pup as early as possible. If puppy training classes are available in your area, I strongly advise you to take advantage of one.
- Introduce your pup to all sorts of experiences. A well socialised dog is so much easier to train and should not suffer from fear of the unknown as much as one that has not been socialised.
This is far better for you and the pup. Introduce it to all different people and age groups. Do not place it in any situation where you can not reinforce it with assurance.
- Compare your pup to a twelve month old human infant and you will get some idea of what is reasonable to expect from your pup. Each dog is an individual, even from within its own breed and strain or line.
If you expect a pup to be able to do everything, then you would be better off to buy one of those battery-operated ones that do back flips. It just does not happen that way. They need to be motivated and there are two ways to get response from your pup.
Physical punishment for bad behaviour...or praise for good behaviour. Praise, whether it be in the form of food reward or verbal praise will have your pup do what it knows will get a good response from you. Praise means so much to puppies.
Punishment will only embed on a pups brain that if it does something it will get punished. It doesn't know why it gets punished because it has never been shown what is the right way.
I trust some of the above may have been helpful in assisting you to choose a pup.
Submitted by John Chandler