When buying a puppy what questions do you ask?
It important that we get enlightened here on the important questions to ask a Puppy seller before you can commit to buy the puppy. For those who have successfully bought puppies before what questions did you ask the breeder that guided you to buying the best pups. You can also share your ideas on what you look for when you are buying a Puppy.
Ask what certifications they have. Then research those certifications. It has recently come to light that some breeder certifications are virtually meaningless. For dog breeds prone to hip dysplasia, ask if the parents of the pups have been certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Research the breed you want to buy to see what other certifications or tests are recommended then make sure the breeder has done those tests.
Be sure to visit the breeder's site and look at the place where the dogs stay. Are they in a home or facility? Is the location nice and clean? Do the dogs get regular interaction with people? If a breeder doesn't want you to meet that their facility, this is a VERY BAD sign and most likely because the animals are raised in what society calls a puppy mill.
Also try to meet both the mother and the father of the pups. Are they generally friendly? Do they appear happy and healthy? Check their eyes, nose, ears, and body. Look for parasites. Ask if they've been treated for worms. Most puppies will naturally have worms so don't be concerned if they do have them. Just make sure the breeder is handling it properly.
Two important things you should know: 1) The easier it is to buy the puppy, the more likely the breeder is a puppy mill breeder or a backyard breeder. A backyard breeder is an ordinary person who breeds their dog to make money but either doesn't know how to properly perform the proper genetic breeding practices to reduce the chances of inherited breed disorders, or doesn't care. A reputable breeder will ask you a lot of questions to make sure you will be a suitable owner for their dogs and will want to educate you about the breed to make sure you are prepared. They will also gladly answer any questions you have and not be evasive about the answers. 2) The cheaper the puppy is, the more likely the breeder is a puppy mill or backyard breeder. A reputable breeder charges more because they have done more research in breeding quality dogs and because they run more health tests and maintain more certifications.
If you want a good healthy dog and don't want to support those terrible puppy mills, do your research and buy from quality breeders only (or adopt from an animal shelter or breed rescue group).
I ask if they utilize some type of Super Puppy Program. They may not recognize the specific term, but they should know the difference between socializing and desensitizing.
True socializing occurs approximately during the first 3 months of life. Everything after is pretty much desensitizing.
Don't fall for, "My dogs aren't raised in kennels; they are a part of the family." While this is a very good thing, the pups still may have limited exposure to varying stimuli. Unless the breeder can provide many, many specific examples of mild stressors, then the pups are missing out.
Examples: Cool washcloth on feet for 3 seconds at a time twice a day. Experience smell and sound of used nail clippers once a day. Gently turn upside down once a day. Step on a new surface at least once a day (gravel, snow, mud, plywood, expanded metal, etc.) Put fingers in ears once a day. And so on.
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