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Susan Bedingfield, firstname.lastname@example.org
Provided by the CSPCA, Inc. Public Education Committee, Copyright CSPCA, Inc. www.cspca.com
Good dog breeders are always concerned about the homes to which their puppies will be going. A reputable breeder will be responsible for any puppy he/she breds for the puppy's entire life.
While it is easy to say that you will do certain things for a puppy, buyers need to realize that when they buy a puppy it will mean being a responsible dog owner for the entire life of the dog. All puppies will grow older, and older dogs have problems with which need to be dealt. If you can't make that commitment for 10 years or more, you might need to think about getting something other than a dog.
1. Check out the breeder and health history of both parents before you buy a puppy. Not all breeders are alike. It is up to the buyer to check out the breeder's reputation before you buy a dog from them. You should also ask the breeder about any health issues and certifications on both parents of any puppy you are interested in buying. It's the quality of the individual animal, not its color or size, that should reflect purchase cost.
2. Keeping the breeder from whom you buy your puppy updated is very important because not only are you getting a puppy from them, but it should also give you access to the many years of the breeder's expertise. Good breeders can often pin point a possible problem and give you a quick solution. This is also very important if you do run into a problem. Make sure that the breeder is willing to keep the lines of communication open. This will help you with any problems that may occur. Breeders should be familiar with their lines and typical problems that may arise. This could be anything from a puppy getting car sick to a certain type of food that might be a problem. Good breeders also need information to improve their breeding program as well.
3. The breeder should recommend a vaccination schedule for your puppy. You should take into consideration the lifestyle and risk of exposure to disease. The puppy should have an initial complete physical examination by your veterinarian within 3 days of obtaining the dog, including a fecal parasite examination. Some contracts may require that you do this sooner. Your veterinarian can help advise you on preventive health and dental care and parasite control.
4. Provide a fenced safe yard to play in. It is cruel to chain a dog outside to a post. Dogs need a fenced yard with a good working latch on the gate to play safely. All dogs need time to run and play loose in the yard. Fencing must be well maintained, so the dog stays safe and can't get out, where it can be run over by a car or mangled by another dog. When a fenced yard is not possible, walk your dog several times daily. One good long walk will provide its exercise needs. If you can't provide a fenced yard for safe play or commit to walk the dog on a leash daily, then don't get a dog.
5. Provide a good quality food. Not all dog foods are alike. Breeders should recommend a good quality dog food that will provide the proper nutrition, so your dog can live a good healthy life. Good dog owners do not buy the cheapest dog food just to save money.
6. Good owners make sure that their dogs are well trained. This can be accomplished in many ways. Classes such as puppy kindergarten, obedience classes, or agility classes are excellent avenues to train your puppy. Every puppy needs to be socialized, and these training classes give the puppy an opportunity to be socialized and learn something new as well.
7. Socializes their dog from puppy age. To be a well-adjusted adults, puppies need different experiences when they are young . They need to go to different kinds of places and meet different kinds of people, so that they won't be frightened of new things when they are older. They need to be taken to pet friendly stores, for walks, and out to the parks etc, so they can have a variety of experiences from early on. They need to meet children, so they are comfortable being around children.
8. They also need to experience lots of different kinds of noises. Exposing a puppy to a variety of noises and sounds while they are young will usually mean that they won't be startled by new things as they get older. If a dog is taken on short car rides when they are young, they will love riding in the car when they get older. They will love to get in the car to go to dog classes, the vet etc. Warning: Caution should always be used in the summer months. Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle. Even with the windows opened, a parked car, truck, or van can quickly become a furnace. On a 90 degree day, the temperature in a car can top 160 degrees faster than you can walk around the block. Moreover, fresh, cold water should always be provided for your pet. Caution should be used in extremely cold temperatures as well.
9. Spay or neuter if sold on a spay/neuter contract. Reputable Chinese Shar-Pei breeders often choose to sell some puppies in each litter with the stipulation that the animal be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age. Spaying or neutering your pet provides many practical benefits as well as preventing animal overpopulation; your pet will be more content and far less likely to roam, bite, fight, or mark territory, and spayed females will not have heat cycles.
10. Provide for the welfare of the dog for its entire life. Although good breeders will take their dogs back should you become unable to keep it, you need to be aware that this is very traumatic for the dog. Shar-Pei are very loyal to their owners. They trust their owners implicitly.
If you can't live up to your dog's expectations for 10 years or more, you really don't need a dog at all. This means that the dog will go with you if you move or have children. When the children are no longer around, the dog will still be depending on your care. It is very easy to say you will do these things today, but you really need to think about whether you can make that commitment for the entire life of the dog. If you do make that commitment, I think that you will have a loving companion that you can enjoy for many years. Anything less than this is really not fair to the dog.
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