ADOPTING A DOG

Written by: Cynthia Jones

Note:  I want to preface this article with the understanding that I am not a veterinarian, nor an expert in dog breeding nor a professional dog trainer. The views expressed in this article are my own personal opinions based on things I've learned and these views don't reflect any other kennel or breeder. We've been through some heart wrenching experiences since 2003 and have had our eyes opened wide in regards to adopting puppies from other breeders. I'm a dog lover who cares about the health and welfare of dogs - ours and yours! Whether you adopt a puppy from our kennel or somewhere else, above all else, I value education and want to pass it on.  

In light of the recent Puppy Mill bust in Langley, BC in 2016, please follow our "The 3 Musts" before adopting your puppy!!! Note, this Langley puppy mill met future adoptive families at other bogus homes to make it seem like the pups were born in nice homes. If you get any red flags in any part of the adoption process, or if you are not able to visit the kennel or meet the mom and dad of your pup - don't adopt from that kennel! PLEASE do not adopt your puppy from a puppy mill. Do your research!

 


THE "3" MUSTS!

As you'll soon discover, this article has a ton of information! If you're unable to spend the time reading the whole thing, I've summarized my top 3 musts in regards to adopting a puppy.  No matter where you get your puppy from, if the breeder will not provide you with at least these three things - run!

1.  Health guarantee/contract

This must be signed and dated and must clearly outline the breeder's policy on refunds & returns. It should include the breeder's responsibility as well as your responsibility to the puppy.

2. Receipt

This must be signed and dated.

3. Health records

This must include a record of your pup's veterinarian exam, vaccination(s), deworming, signed and dated by the veterinarian.

 


 

 

INTRODUCTION

Aside from marriage, adopting a dog may be your only chance in life to choose a member of your family. The decision to bring a dog or puppy into your home should be made only after careful thought and consideration about your lifestyle and ability to provide for the pet's needs for its lifetime, which for dogs can be between 8-14 years. If you choose the right best friend - and welcome him or her into your home with real love and care - you'll be repaid in affection, many times over.

Education is the first step everybody who is considering adopting a puppy should take!  In this article, I will discuss the whole process of adoption - from making sure you’re ready for adoption, to picking the right puppy and concluding with where to adopt your dog or puppy.  In this day and age of terrible puppy abuse, I will also address in depth the differences between a reputable breeder/kennel, a backyard breeder and a puppy mill.  

 

Step 1: ARE YOU READY?

Before adopting, consider if you have the time and money to provide your dog with healthy food, regular veterinary checkups and lots of love and attention!  It is a tragedy to adopt a cute little puppy but when that puppy grows into a big adult dog, find out that you cannot afford to feed it!  Just like us, sometimes your dog may get sick (even with the most reputable breeding standards) and you should carefully consider the potential financial costs of caring for your pet from puppy hood into their twilight years.  You may want to consider purchasing insurance for your dog - or if you’re disciplined, set aside a bit each month just in case.

In order for your puppy to become a good doggie citizen you will need to provide training and a quality life for your puppy all of which takes a great deal of time commitment - but well worth it in the end!  Dogs are social animals and most do not enjoy being alone for long periods of time.  Before getting a dog, evaluate your family’s schedule.  Do you have time for a dog?  If you do not have the basics (which includes two regular daily dog walks), please do not get a dog!  If your family regularly travels, where will your dog be when you are gone?  What sorts of activities or recreation is your family involved in?  Can you include your dog in these activities?  These are all good questions your family needs to discuss prior to adopting a dog.

Dogs are not disposable property - do not adopt a dog if you are not prepared for both the financial and time commitment for the life of the dog!

 

Step 2: DOG PERSONALITY PROFILE

Ok … you have the time and the financial resources for a dog so what’s next?  There's certainly such a thing as love at first sight when choosing a new dog, but making a quick list of desired attributes won't detract from the romance of the experience. Do you want a dog that can keep up to jogging or would you prefer a dog that enjoys couch time with you. While breed type can predict certain traits - many dogs can have individual characteristics that do not fit into predictable breed profiles. Here at Wild Rose Kennels, we do basic temperament tests on all of our puppies when they are five weeks old - prior to adoption.  We model these tests from a great book, "The Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete. This helps in matching the client's preferences to a puppy's personality profile. 

 

Step 3: SIZE, GENDER, AGE, SHEDDING, ETC.

Don't just adopt a puppy because you think it is cute!  There are all sorts of other factors to consider.  Big or small?  Boy or girl?  Young or old?  Curly or straight?  Shedding or not?  Before adopting a puppy, there are many things you need to think about in regards to your future dog.  There are pros and cons to both and its good to think about it before the dog is in your home.

 

Step 4: WHERE TO ADOPT?

There are many places where you can adopt a dog.  The right dog could be waiting for you just about anywhere, but there are benefits and disadvantages - both personal and otherwise - to choosing one kind of adoption facility over another, particularly if you're concerned about the welfare of dogs in general.  It is my hope that all prospective puppy owners educate themselves about the difference between a reputable breeder/kennel, a backyard breeder and a puppy mill.

 A. Shelters/Rescues

There are many wonderful shelters/rescues desperate for loving homes for all sorts of puppies and older dogs.  Unfortunately, even some lovely Labradoodles are now showing up in shelters.  Sad for the dog, but good for new adoptive families looking for a mature doodle.  Be aware that not all shelters have the same standards and what you see in their office may not be what you see in the kennel area.  So please visit the shelter and ask for a guided tour of the whole facility.  Ask for veterinarian proof that the puppy/dog you are considering is in good health. Ask if they provide some sort of a health guarantee.  Ask if they provide a spay/neuter discount.  Ask if they have tested the dog in regards to social/temperament issues.  Ask if you can “try” the dog out to see if it is a good fit for your family.  Ask about their pricing ... some shelters charge different prices for different dogs.  

SIDEBAR:  Our first dog was an SPCA rescue.  Cisco's mom had been surrended to the SPCA - pregnant.  The pups were born at the facility and were so cute but very lacking in social skills and didn't even know how to clean themselves.  When Cisco first came home, he was obviously sick with vomitting and the runs.  Being first-time dog owners, we immediately took him to the vet and with medication and time he recovered but it was so scary!!!  Cisco had not been socialized as a puppy so we had to do some hard work to figure out how to help him.  Ours was a happy ending, and Cisco has been one of our very best dogs - so I highly recommend dog rescues!  

B. Reputable Breeder/Kennel

Definition of reputable:  of good reputation, highly regarded, trustworthy, sound, upright, honest, decent.

In your search for a reputable breeder/kennel, remember that there are no perfect people and consequently, no perfect kennels.  We all make mistakes and genetics being what they are, even with the most meticulous health testing, there are truly no guarantees for perfect health (for us or for our pets).  Like people, reputable breeders/kennels come in varying degrees - from excellent to fair (but still doing a passable job).  I have included 12 points that I think you should expect from a reputable breeder:

1. A reputable breeder should take responsible care of all of their dogs (breeding stock and puppies), and provides companionship, affection, interaction & attention.  They regularly groom their dogs, cut their nails, exercise their dogs and take effort to ensure their dogs are socialized (both adults and puppies).  They feed their dogs high quality nutritious dog food, not the cheapest kibble in the grocery store.  They provide fresh clean water daily and safe, secure, well-maintained shelters and kennels.  Their dogs are not isolated from one another but enjoy the power and freedom of the pack!  A reputable breeder understands that a happy dog is also a healthy dog.   

2. A reputable breeder will ensure that all of their dogs and puppies have current immunizations, regular vet care and parasite prevention/treatment and any other medical treatment that they need.  They understand the worth of each puppy and to assist in returning a lost pet, they may even go the extra step and provide microchipping for their puppies.

3. A reputable breeder should strive to eliminate genetic problems by breeding only sound dogs (shown to be free of any serious physical conditions and / or temperament problems).  They should be able to tell you the history of the genetic lines of their breeding dogs.  Before breeding, they should ensure that their adult dogs are sound in both health and temperament.  They should provide a written Health Guarantee for all of their puppies describing clearly your role and their role in adoption.

SIDEBAR:  Is there a guarantee that your dog will never get sick?  Is there a guarantee for us?  No.  Unfortunately the world we live in affects not just our health but our dogs also and like us, dogs are developing all sorts of cancers and other diseases their parents or grandparents never had - and some at a young age.  With dog breeding, we may not be able to eliminate genetic faults but we can at least try to lesson these potential faults by health testing the moms and dads.  Having said that, genetics are a tricky thing ... and sometimes genetic faults will skip generations.  So even with extensive testing on moms and dads, a puppy or a whole litter may carry a disease. A reputable breeder will do their best to screen their moms and dads, but genetics being what they are - a written Health Guarantee for your puppy is a must!  

4.  A reputable breeder is very knowledgeable about their breed. They should be well organized and professional.  They should provide their clients with clear and informative documentation as well as lots of pictures of the puppies so clients can enjoy watching their pup grow and bond to their puppy even before adoption.  They should offer their client guidance, information and support and is prepared to be there for their clients for the puppy's entire lifetime.

5. A reputable breeder screens potential owners thoroughly and wants to know as much as possible about you, your household, your schedule and your ability to properly care for a puppy.  This should include a formal adoption application.  If the breeder does not ask questions about you … they may not care where their puppies end up.  This attitude may reflect how they take care of their pupies while at their kennel - something to think about.  They should refuse adoption to unsuitable clients and have the pup's best interest at heart.

6. A reputable breeder does not want to add to the overpopulation of dogs, nor indiscriminate breeding, and should include a spay/neuter, NON-BREEDING clause in their contract.  Some breeders spay/neuter their pups prior to the pups going to their new homes.  This is a controversial topic among breeders and veterinarians.  I personally don't agree with the practice of early spay/neuter on young puppies - but that's just me.

7. A reputable breeder is involved in the pup’s life while at the kennel and once it leaves the kennel. Reputable breeders are willing to be available to you after the pup leaves and in essence becomes a part of the pup’s and your extended family. Being there to answer questions, field your concerns and help with the process constitutes a good breeding facility.

8. A reputable breeder should provide some sort of Puppy Pack that goes home with your puppy.  A Puppy Pack should include things like food, leash, collar, and info. It should also include information about how to help the puppy adjust to your new home while providing you with answers to your questions.  A reputable breeder has done their research and probably has faced every question you could ask - they should be able to respond to your questions verbally or in print.  Here at Wild Rose Kennels, we have worked very hard to compile an informative website (called Puppy Resources) exclusively for our clients that addresses many questions and answers to all sorts of topics.

9. A reputable breeder will provide written receipts for any monies received.  If they are a registered kennel they may even have an hst/gst #.  Although I dislike taxes (who doesn't), I understand that as long as I live in Canada and enjoy the freedoms I have here, I do my part and part of that is taxes.  If a breeder is being honest to the government about taxes, they are probably going to be honest to their clients.   

10. A reputable breeder NEVER EVER sells puppies to puppy brokers, pet shops or puppy outlets of any kind!  Many pet stores or puppy outlets tell prospective buyers that their puppies come from reputable breeders, even though the large majority of these places actually get their puppies from puppy mills, brokers or second-rate commercial breeding facilities.  DO NOT BUY A PUPPY FROM A PET STORE where many puppy mill puppies get dumped!

11. A reputable breeder never breeds out of greed, does not over-breed and has a retirement plan in place for their retiring moms and dads.

12. Sometimes a dog will need to be rehomed due to various reasons (break up of the family, health concerns, not a good match, etc).  A reputable breeder will provide rehoming assistance or will even take a puppy/dog back.  Because we are a breeding kennel and have strict health guidelines to protect our puppies, once a puppy/dog has left our property we cannot take the chance of bringing it back to our kennel.  Because it has been in an environment where we had no control, it could potentially bring outside disease or other problems to our existing pack.  If a rehoming situation arises, we are more than happy to work with our clients in the rehoming process.  Most clients value our imput in rehoming and want to be involved in where their dog ends up rather than simply returning it to the kennel and forget about it like they'd return a broken blender to Costco (I'm just saying).

C. Backyard Breeder

A backyard breeder is somebody who has a female dog and a male dog and lets them have pups (either on purpose or by accident).  They might own both dogs or just one ... or many.  They don't have a formal kennel and pretty much everything happens in their backyard (thus the name).  There are responsible backyard breeders but there are also irresponsible or uneducated (in the sense that they are not educated with the complexities of breeding dogs).  Whether they breed their dogs for fun or to make money, their prices are always much lower than a kennel and for many folks, that is what makes the backyard breeder a financially good choice - but is it really?  

I'm going to talk a bit about the irresponsible backyard breeder.  Unfortunately, many backyard breeders have not done health tests on the parent dogs nor do they know the genetic history/lines of their dogs' parents.  They may not know if their dog's history/lines are purebred or carry any genetic or temperament health concerns that could potentially affect your puppy.  They usually provide no written health guarantee or contract for their pups.  They may or may not take their litter to the vet for a health check, deworming or vaccination and very rarely provide microchipping.  They will sell their pups to pretty much anybody and likely will not do any sort of formal client screening. They probably will not care (or even ask) if you intend to breed your own puppy down the road and will not require spaying or neutering of your puppy.  Many backyard breeders will not provide receipts for their puppies so there is no paper trail (for them or you) nor do they understand the lifelong support that they should be prepared to provide for their clients once the pups go home.  While you could get a totally fine and healthy Labradoodle from a backyard breeder at a fraction of the cost (and we all want a good deal these days) you are taking the chance that you may not get the quality you thought you were getting in both the puppy or the breeder.  In addition, if something should happen to your puppy's health, you might find yourself on your own in regards to refunds or vet expenses.  

SIDEBAR:  When we first started out in 2003, we bought a "purebed" Labrador Retriever puppy over the Internet from a nice lady from Vancouver.  We never visited the kennel but the lady sent us two pictures of two dogs - saying they were the mom and dad of our puppy and that they were CKC registered Labrador Retrievers.  She assured us her litter were purebred labs.  The puppy was really cheap and even though she didn't provide any documentation nor receipts she seemed really nice on the phone and even delivered the puppy to where we lived for free.  We thought we'd got a great deal - especially since money was tight just starting out.  She even was very happy if somebody wanted to breed any of her puppies down the road.  We assumed she was being honest with us.  To our surprise and shock, as the dog grew up it ended up looking absolutely nothing like a Labrador Retriever - and obviously wasn't!!  The pictures of the "mom" and "dad" could have been anybody's pictures but certainly weren't our pup's parents.  We couldn't get in touch with the lady - her phone number was no longer in service.  Because it was obvious that the dog was not a purebred lab, we could not use her for breeding and had to find a free home for her as a pet dog.  Lesson learned.

For the most part, backyard breeders are usually just regular folks who thought it would be fun (or profitable)  to have a litter of pups but who are generally not invested in the long term for their puppies or the puppy’s new family.  Having said all this, you could get a puppy from a responsible backyard breeder and be totally happy with them and your pup and your pup could live a healthy, long life.  On the otherhand, you could spend thousands on an "Australian" Labradoodle (this is simply a Labradoodle that was imported from Australia that should have pure Labradoodle lines) from a reputable kennel/breeder and find out down the road that neither the breeder nor the pup was what you expected and the pup could develop some sort of a dibilitating disease as an adult. Such is the journey of adopting a living pet.

In summary, if you're on a limited budget and the pup is cheap, and the history or health of the pup or parents is not a huge concern, and you're not interested in the guarantee of help down the road or financial protection, then go with a backyard breeder.  I'm not the "backyard breeder police" - it's a free world for folks to do what they want, but I think you usually get what you pay for - and if it's too good to be true, it sometimes is - but that's just me. 

D. Puppy Mill

A Puppy Mill is also known as a puppy farm and is a commercial dog breeding facility that is operated with an emphasis upon profits above animal welfare and is often in substandard conditions regarding the well-being of dogs in their care. Similar types of operations exist for other animals most commonly kept as pets or used as feed for other animals. There are an estimated 4,000 puppy mills in the U.S. that produce more than half a million puppies a year. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. Puppy mill dogs do not receive treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming. To minimize waste cleanup, dogs are often kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs. It is not unusual for cages to be stacked up in columns. Breeder dogs at mills might spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements, or kept indoors inside cages all their lives. Often after the breeder dog has hit the age of 4 years old, it is no longer needed and killed. Once adopted, it can take up to or over a year for the dog to relax and allow human touch. In a 2005 investigation conducted on pet shops and puppy mills in California, 44% of the locations visited had sick and neglected animals, 32% of the animals were confined in unhealthy, cramped, or crowded conditions and 25% of the animals didn’t even have adequate food or water. Most Puppy Mills obviously do not let prospective clients visit  their facility and use a “middle man” or broker to sell their pups.  He often will have a long list of all sorts of breeds and ages up for adoption.  His job is to deceive you into believing your new puppy came from a reputable breeder.  These creeps get so good at their job that even the most discerning folks can be taken in - so get educated and beware the puppy mill‼!  If you suspect a puppy mill - call your local SPCA immediately.   OK, enough about puppy mills - grrr - it makes me mad just talking about it! 

2012 US Puppy Mill Statistics

Consider the following:

    • Currently more than 4,000 commercial breeding facilities are licensed to operate in the United States.
    • It may be assumed that many more commercial breeding facilities operate without a license.
    • Commercial breeders depend on retail pet stores and internet sales for support.
    • Retail pet stores sell more than 500,000 puppies a year.
    • The “purebred dog” business is valued as a multibillion dollar industry in the United States (figures include breeding, showing and registering of pedigree dogs).
    • The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) of 1966 provides some legal governance of commercial breeding facilities.
    • The United States Department of Agriculture administrates the AWA statutes.
    • Only 26 states have laws regulating commercial kennels.
    • Missouri’s  commercial dog breeding revenue is in excess of $40 million a year.
    • Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has the most local commercial dog breeding facilities, earning the title “Puppy Mill Capital of the East.”

2012 Canadian Puppy Mill Investigations

Animal Advocates Society has been contacted about and has investigated many puppymills in BC. AAS learns of these puppymills when it is contacted by purchasers of sick or genetically malformed pups; by potential puppy purchasers who have been horrified by what they have seen; and by neighbours of the puppymills.

In almost every case the complainant has first asked the BC SPCA to "do something" and has been told by the SPCA that there is nothing the SPCA can do.

The existence of some of these puppymills and the glaringly inhumane conditions have been known to the SPCA for many years, sometimes for many decades.

We believe that there are a hundred or more puppymills in BC and we believe that the BC SPCA has been told of most, if not all of them.

The BC SPCA did take action against one notorious puppymiller, Marcie Ryan of Agassiz BC, but not until she had been in business for many years and not until Global TV did a story on her. So it seems that the BC SPCA can do something if there is enough publicity.

AAS has seen puppymill dogs kept in muddy outdoor pens, in barns, garages, sheds, and trailers, in tiny, rusty cages.

We have seen puppies with stomachs bloated with parasites, weeping eyes, and feces-matted fur, living in filth, with nowhere to exercise properly, and with no water.

And the stench cannot be described.

Animal Advocates Society has systematically investigated some of the puppymills in the North Okanagan. All these mills have been reported to the SPCA, some for decades.

The pups from these puppymills are mostly sold to private puppy resellers who run their businesses out of their homes (unlicensed in any way), and pet stores in the Lower Mainland. The puppy resellers that AAS is aware of have also been reported to the SPCA.

After fifty years of complaints about puppymills, the BC SPCA still has no policy regarding them, nor to our knowledge has it ever asked for regulatory legislation. And yet they are the only authority that the province and municipal governments acknowledge. They have the power to make the changes.

Keep in mind as you're reading the report on the first puppymill that the SPCA admits that it knows this puppymill has existed since 1956.

http://www.animaladvocates.com/dog-breeding/puppymills/

 

 

Step 5:  FINDING A REPUTABLE BREEDER/KENNEL

Remember, there are no perfect people, and therefore no perfect kennels.  But some are definitely better than others.  As you search for a reputable breeder/kennel, you will discover that not only are there vast differences in their facilities and breeding ethics but also in their pricing.    

How do you find a good one and how do you know the difference?  Start by putting out all sorts of feelers and get the word out there to your co-oworkers, friends and family that you are looking for a puppy.  Word of mouth is a great resource.  Visit a dog park, talk to different people, and ask for recommended breeders. If you meet someone with a dog you like the look of, ask where they got their dog.  Ask a vet or a groomer for recommendations.  Search the Internet for kennels in your area or close enough that if you need to go to the kennel you can drive there. If the kennel has a website - take time reading and looking at pictures and pay attention to what you see in the background of the pictures.  If you find a kennel on the Internet, google their name and see if anything negative comes up. 

When you are searching for a puppy (especially over the Internet), how can you tell if the person on the other end of your phone or your keyboard is a responsible breeder?  Nobody knowingly would support a puppy mill, so in order to stay in business, puppy mills have learned many tricks of deception and what they say or even what you see on their website is not true!  The reality is if you do not meet the breeder in real life, see their facility and look at their dogs, you may not know for sure. 

A. Visit the Kennel

If you can, visit the kennel.  Being there in person will give you a good "feel" of the kennel and the breeder and you'll be able to see with your own eyes and evaluate if that kennel is a place you'd like your puppy to come from.

1. Meet both the parents of the puppies. If the parents of the pups do not live at the kennel - ask why!  If possible, ask to arrange a meeting so you can meet the parents.  Spend some time with both parents and observe the temperament and the appearance of the parents (often what the parents are like, is how your pup will turn out). Look at the claw length, are they longer than they should be, or are they properly trimmed? Is there any discharge from the eyes or nose? What is their coat like - clean?  What is their weight like - skinny or obese?  If you can, with the breeder’s permission toss a toy for the dog to fetch. Look for limping, or favouring of the leg. If the adult dog shows any signs of aggression, get out of the kennel as soon as you can and continue your search.  What is the overall health of the dog - do they appear happy and healthy?

2. Ask for a guided tour of the kennel, as well as the house. Ask if they have a health and safety policy for visitors.  A reputable breeder should provide protective footwear and hand washing to help prevent the transfer of parvo or other disease to their dogs and puppies.  Pay attention to the grounds around the kennel. Do you see piles of garbage or dog waste lying around? Are the kennels clean, safe and well maintained (broken fences, sharp wire, loose gates, etc). Fresh water buckets?  Are the kennels a good size? Are the dogs kept in kennels all the time or are there larger exercise areas?  Do the dogs go on walks or other exercise? Ask to see where the pups are born and where they are kept as they are growing.  Ask how the puppy area is cleaned for each litter.  Ask about potty training of the puppies (a dirty puppy that is forced to sleep in their feces will probably be a dirty adult dog).  Ask about nutrition (if they feed cheap low-quality commercial kibble, they might not really care about your puppy’s nutritional needs, which could reflect other negative things).  Don’t just focus on the cute puppies - keep your eyes and ears open!

3. Prior to purchasing your puppy, spend time with the entire litter. If the majority of the puppies are fearful or aggressive, you will want to continue looking for a better-socialized animal.

B. What if you can’t visit the kennel - what can you do to ensure your puppy is coming from a reputable breeder?

What if the kennel you choose is not close to where you live?  It may not be possible for you to visit the kennel but there are steps you can take to try to make sure you’re not adopting a puppy from a puppy mill or irresponsible breeder.  Whether you visit the kennel or not, there are some definite signs to look and listen for both at the time of the first introduction, and during the entire process of the adoption procedure that can help you weed out the puppy mills or irresponsible breeders.  

1. Ask for contact numbers of at least two or three previous clients (all with older dogs) from the breeder. This is the best way to find out how the process of adoption (and after) went with the breeder and if the puppies are free from obvious genetic or temperament problems.

2. Ask all sorts of questions about the puppies and the kennel.  If a breeder advertises their 1st Generation Labradoodles as non-shedding you might want to question them if they guarantee this.  Our 1st Generations are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and  Poodle and because you get a variety of coat types in each litter of 1st Gens, you also might get shedding.  

3. Ask for pictures - from birth to present.  Pictures can tell you alot about the breeder.  Are the pictures professional looking?  Do they feature each individual pup or just a group shot.  Zoom in on the photo and look at the pup's eyes, nose, coat.  Pay attention to the background of the pictures.  I can go on the internet right now and find a picture advertising "quality" Labradoodle pups.  When I zoom in on the background, the area the pups are in looks terrible and has all sorts of chipped paint.  I would not want my puppy living in conditions like that.  So, when looking at puppy pictures, don't just focus on the cute puppy ... pay attention to the whole picture.

4. Ask about the kennel's health guarantee – oftentimes illnesses and problems don’t show up immediately. A reputable breeder will provide a written health guarantee - not just verbal!  Get a hard copy so you have something to refer to down the road if you need to.  Ask the breeder for a copy before you adopt a puppy. A reputable breeder will also insist that you spay or neuter your pet! 

5. Ask for a written receipt.  A reputable breeder keeps records of all adoptions and should provide you with not only written receipts but a transfer of ownership document as well.  Most reputable kennels pay their taxes and should have an hst #.

6. Ask for the name and phone number of the breeder’s vet. Some breeders want to avoid the cost of a vet visit and do their own vaccinations but do not provide a proper health check by a veterinarian.  If the breeder will not provide vet information - run!  Also, request your puppy’s vet record (most vets provide individual puppy health vaccination records).

7. SLEEP ON IT! Do not rush and do not be pressured by anybody to get a puppy.  After you have done your research and your homework, give another 24 hours before making the final decision. If you really like the puppy, put down a deposit (find out if the deposit is refundable) then go home and sleep on it. Impulse decisions sometimes turn out to be the wrong ones. You want a loving, healthy companion to share your life.  The right puppy is worth the wait!

 

SUMMARY

Because I've personally gone through the process of puppy adoption with other breeders, I know that adopting a puppy can be really stressful and for most people it's a big deal - both emotionally and financially.  Because I know what it's like to be disappointed and frustrated with a breeder who won't hardly send me photos of my future pup let alone weekly weight records or receipts I don't want that to be the experience for my clients.  I want my client's adoption process to be a pleasant, fun experience filled with tons of information to help them prepare for their little one and lots of weekly updates so they feel as if they already know their puppy and are bonded to it even before it goes home. I strive to provide our clients with an excellent, professional and well-organized standard of client care that I would expect and try to provide all the things associated with adoption that I think are important.  Bottom line ... I treat my clients how I expect to be treated when I am adopting a puppy.  I hope this article has helped you in the process of adopting your dog.