What To Expect From A Responsible Breeder
Read the following carefully. Does the Breeder you are talking to meet most of these criteria? If the answer is Yes, then s/he is probably a Responsible Breeder.
Does the Breeder:
The Breeder, Before Agreeing to Sell you a Dog, should:
Does the Breeder:
- Encourage you to visit with their salukis, to get to know their temperaments and personalities?
- Own salukis that are reasonably social, with stable dispositions? Typical salukis personalities vary from reserved or a little shy to openly friendly. They can be a little wary of strangers but should not be hostile, aggressive, or panic striken.
- Invite you to see their home and their facilities? Are both the home and the saluki quarters reasonably clean? Do they provide the space to allow the salukis to get good exercise on a daily basis?
- Provide a list of names and phone numbers of people with whom they have placed puppies? They should be willing to offer references, just as you will need to reassure them that you can provide a good home for a puppy.
- Require a contract with the new owners? Such a contract should include a provision for (A) the return of the dog to the breeder if the buyer is for any reason unable or unwilling to keep it, or (B) for the breeder to have the option of either taking back the dog or approving it's placement in a new home.
- Show you the sire and dam of the puppies? Beware if they do not have either the hounds themselves or at least photos of them, on hand.
- Give you a complete three generation pedigree and answering your questions about the pedigree before you make a commitment?
- Inform you of any health concerns that have been demonstrated in the dog's lineage? The occasional problem can crop up in any line.
- Tell you how often they breed from each female in their breeding practice? The average for this breed is probably once or twice. Many saluki bitches are never bred from, and some are bred several times, but few produce more than four litters.
- Stay in touch with the homes they sell dogs to? Does the breeder feel this is important?
- Give assurance they are willing to assist you by answering questions throughout the dog's life?
- Responsible breeders are lifelong students of their breed and operate from a solid base of knowledge and experience.
- No Contract
- Breeders who do not require contracts with their buyers. A breeder should at least provide a Bill of Sale stating that they will take bck the dog at any time, and that you agree to contact them if the need arises. The contract should also include a clause that if the puppy dies from a hereditary defect within it's first year of life that you will receive a refund on the dog. Hereditary or congenital defects must be accompanied by a conclusive veterinary diagnosis.
- Breeding Lots of Breeds
- Breeders who raise and breed several breeds, 3 or more, may be stretching themselves too thin. It is time consuming to be a responsible breeder of even one breed. Also, be careful of large, multi breeding facilities as those can be puppy mills.
- Puppies and More Puppies
- Beware of breeders who usually have puppies available or on the way. A responsible breeder dedicates time, research, screens homes, etc. before breeding each litter.
- Cheap Puppies
- They might be cheap because the breeder cut corners, but there could be a legitimate reason. Check with other breeders to confirm that this person is considered a reputable, respected breeder amongst their colleagues.
- You Must Be A Breeder Too?
- Breeders who sell with the requirement that you must breed your dog.
- Multiple Sales
- Breeders who try to talk you into two puppies from the same litter.
- Don't Visit Me
- Breeders who want you to see the puppies at places other than their homes, or who prevent you from visiting their premises.
- Breed Standard
- Breeders who don't speak well of the AKC Saluki Standard or who don't know the standard.
- Lack of Education
- Breeders who belong to no breed organizations and/or have little for your to see in the way of educational materials, including:
- Saluki books and magazines
- Saluki organization publications
- Dog genetics, structure, and movement research - books and publications
- Saluki and Dog Health related materials
The Breeder, Before Agreeing to Sell you a Dog, should:
- Discuss the pros and cons of owning a saluki. They should explain why the saluki is an uncommon breed and has remained so for generations (they are NOT a dog for everyone), and the range of personality in the breed. They should make sure you are well informed about the breed before you make your final decision. They should share their own knowledge about the breed and direct you to other information sources.
- Ask questions about you, your family, and your pets. They will want to know where and how your salukis would live. They might wish to see your home, home someone they know see your home, or have photos shared. They may question you about your care of dogs you have owned in the past, and about the plans you have for your new dog. They may ask for references.
- Encourage responsible dog ownership in general.
- Provide you all contract information up front, including pricing and Bill of Sale details.
- Welcome you to their home to see the litter once it is of a certain age.
- Make available to you the health records of the dam, the sire, and the litter. The breeder should offer a health certificate with each puppy upon delivery.
- Discuss the age at which you will receive your puppy. Puppies are rarely placed before eight weeks of age, often later. There may be a good reason for a breeder to place a younger puppy, but it should not be to avoid the additional expense of vaccinations and the upkeep of a litter of pups. A puppy learns many crucial lessons in life during it's first weeks with it's littermates and dam; it is an extremely important socialization time. To shortcut this, there needs to be a very good reason for placement prior to eight weeks, and occasionally there is. The breeder will be able to tell you why.
- Provide you with the pup's vaccination records and a future vaccination schedule.
- Provide you with a written guarantee and a Bill of Sale, listing all other terms of the contract. If you purchased a puppy which developed hereditary defects or health problems, and you were able to supply the medical evidence of this, does this guaranteee offer all the options you want to consider? Options you may want in this guarantee are (A) the Breeder is willing to replace the dog with another, and/or (B) the Breeder is willing to refund your purchase price and let you keep your puppy as you are now too attached to it to return it, now matter how extensive the health costs will be.
- Inform you immediately if for some reason you will not be getting a puppy from the litter for which they took your reservation. Sometimes the breeding does not happen, or the litter is too small, but the result is you do not have a saluki. If this occurs, the Breeder should be willing to give you names and phone numbers of other breeders if you want to look further. The Saluki Community is well connected, and you should expect a reference and introduction to other breeders who may have puppies available.
- Give you lots of suggestions on care and feeding, puppy training books, and activities to enjoy with your grown hound.
- Registration restrictions. Pet puppies are often sold on "Limited" AKC Registration papers unles they are neutered or spayed. If you purchase internationally, it is the responsibility of the Breeder to provide you within six months with registration papers for your puppy from the country in which it was born. Be sure you understand any kind of limitation that country's registration process includes. It is then your responsibility to register the puppy with the American Kennel Club if you wish to show or participate in AKC activities.
- Information on all the types of events and activities their dogs have participated in - conformation shows, open field coursing, lure coursing, obedience, agility, rally, good citizen testing - and how you can participate if your are interested.
- Socialization techniques to produce not only a well adjusted pet, but also optimum performance in various dog sports.
- Newest vaccination protocols. Ideas are changing about vaccination intervals and what vaccines to use.
- Feeding and health programs, including alternatives with which you might not be familiar, such as natural feeding programs and holistic/homeopathic health care.
- A good breeder is usually recommended by other breeders.
- Championship titles in front of a dog's name are meaningless when it comes to predicting whether that dog's offspring will make good pets.
- YOU need to ask questions. Does the breeder welcome your questions? Do they readily give answers?
- A responsible breeder has put considerable time, study, work, and money into the little lives they have helped create. They know the puppy will depend on you for the quality of it's health and happiness for it's entire life. The responsible breeder carries on the work of centuries of careful breeding to preserve this most esteemed of creatures. When you purchase your puppy, you are paying for this expertise. Listen carefully to your breeder, heed what they tell you, and your life and your dog's life will be much more enjoyable!