There are so many questions to ask before you adopt a puppy. But you have two primary areas of focus when making your decision specifically about what breed is the best choice for you or your family.
Unprepared dog owners typically focus on factors that amount to superficial considerations when they are looking at options for dogs. These can include things like color of the animal, height and weight once full-grown, and the overall look. We all remember the famous pictures of Paris Hilton toting around her little pooch in a carry purse, and find it not too hard to believe that she made her pick based on something as shallow as how well they would look together.
But if you’re in it for the long haul, it’s great to educate yourself about some of the idiosyncrasies among breeds. For example, are you about to select breed with a predisposition to various health issues. Some have difficulties with hearing some with vision, some have very difficult to treat skin considerations. Breeds like German shepherds, for example, have a tendency to develop hip dysplasia and that can be incredibly expensive and detailed to treat.
The Role of a Reputable Breeder
One thing you don’t want to do is settle for a trip to the pet store at a typical mall. What you’re going to find is an outlet for puppies that are generally bred in high velocity numbers. They’re not typically checked over by their breeder, much less a veterinarian, for any issues common to their breed. You are essentially buying a “pig in a poke” when you shop at stores like this.
The solution then is to find a high quality breeder who respects the animals that they birth and sell. They won’t be in the business for a short-term dollar, because the reputation and the development of the animals they feel responsible for is what motivates them to spend so many hours taking care of your future pet.
There also in a great position to educate you about what to expect if you adopt one of their animals. For example, they will likely have already done a thorough physical examination of their puppies. What an honest breeder will stop and tell you what you might expect that they just simply can’t diagnose in a puppy. Our example of a tendency toward hip dysplasia above is a perfect one. You might not know that if you are casually deciding, but find a good CT breeder and their likely to volunteer the information before you even ask!
And don’t forget behavioral issues. Many of us don’t understand that certain behavior patterns within dogs are breed dependent, or at least size dependent. Haven’t you ever heard that small dogs tend to bark, or Yep, more often? A breeder cannot only point those things out, but has likely spent enough time around their litter to let you know if they see any outlier characteristics beginning to take shape.
Nothing is more miserable than adopting an animal and finding out that it’s a poor fit wants you’ve begun the process of bonding. For example, apartment dwellers can find out from angry landlords that they’re dealing with a dog who has separation anxiety, but their neighbors will know it if the animal begins to screech or bark not long after you leave your apartment.
These are things that a good breeder looks for. Is it more expensive to use a high quality breeder? Absolutely. You’ll always find that there’s a premium to deal with a professional, but it can save you untold amounts of anguish and money over the long haul. Don’t be shortsighted! Find someone who takes breeding seriously, learn all you can about the breeds with which they work, and spend some quality time with any potential adoptee before you put money on the table.