For Buying a New Puppy
Re-printed with permission from the United Kennel Club's
website. A big thanks to htem for gheir generosity in letting
us modify this article to be relevant to dog owners in the USA.
- Never be in a hurry. There is a
responsible breeder out there with a puppy for you. Wait
until you find him or her.
- Contact the national breed association or the local club
for the breed in which you are interested. You may
contact the American Kennel Club for the A.K.C. Clubs or
the Vizsla Club of America
(http://clubs.akc.org/vizsla/index.htm) or the local
vizsla club (http://clubs.akc.org/vizsla/clubs.htm , or http://www.vizsladogs.com/home
and choose CLUBS from the menu). Get the names of
breeders near you from the national breed association or
local vizsla clubs.
- Call the breeder. Don't write. Most are very busy and
your letter may be overlooked. A good breeder will ask
you LOTS of questions: Do you have a fenced yard? Do you
have children? Have you had dogs before? What happened to
your last dog? Why do you want a dog of this particular
- Ask questions. A responsible breeder will be prepared to
tell you the bad as well as the good points about her
breed. Ask about health problems. A responsible breeder
will be informed about the genetic problems in her breed.
She will also guarantee that your puppy is free of these
defects. Ask if your breeder belongs to any dog clubs.
Most responsible breeders belong to their national breed
association or one or more regional clubs. Ask if your
breeder shows in conformation, obedience, agility, field
trials, etc. Responsible breeders seldom sit home
cranking out puppies. Nearly all of them are involved in
one or more activities with their dogs.
- Inspect the premises where the puppies have been raised.
That includes a look at the parents, if both are
available, or at least the dam. The area where the
puppies are raised should be clean, well lighted, and in
close proximity to people and interesting sights and
sounds. The breeder's dogs should display the temperament
appropriate for their breed (noisy for terrier's, guarded
for Schipperkes, etc.) but they should not be shy,
fearful, or menacing. The dogs should all be clean and
- Beware of a breeder who has many different breeds. A good
breeder normally concentrates on one or two breeds at the
- Be prepared to wait. A good breeder is unlikely to have
puppies available all the time. Be cautious about making
a deposit on unborn litters. Ask instead for a referral
to another responsible breeder who DOES have puppies.
- Be prepared to pay a fair price for the puppy. A
responsible breeder is lucky to break even. Most are
bleeding money by the time they have paid the costs of
breeding, raising, immunizing, and training their
puppies. Buying from a pet shop or backyard breeder
usually results in paying more and higher vet bills.
When you buy a puppy, you should receive an A.K.C.
registration certificate, a written health record, and written
instructions for the puppy's care and feeding. Many responsible
breeders will also require you to sign a written sales contract
with a spay/neuter agreement