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So you have decided it’s time to get a puppy, now what?

Always an exciting time, one I know all too well. As you could imagine I have had many pups over the years and I have bred a few litters myself. The experience of getting a puppy never lessens, even for someone like myself.

Always an exciting time, one I know all too well. As you could imagine I have had many pups over the years and I have bred a few litters myself. The experience of getting a puppy never lessens, even for someone like myself. I always give it a great amount of thought before I commit to a new pup and I’d like to give you some insight on what and why before going in to a 12-15 year commitment.

Being a self-employed professional dog trainer I have had the great privilege of guiding and helping many with their new bundles of joy. I have also seen the pitfalls of spontaneous decisions and or ill-informed purchases.

We live in time to where these so called designer breeds are now fashionable dogs and some that have to artificially inseminated and c-sectioned in order to give birth successfully. I consider myself purist, this means the dog can and should be able to do this as nature intended. If veterinary help is required because of something that is unseen, by all means it should happen. I am last person who wants to see a dog/ puppy suffer if it can be prevented. There are other varied circumstances for AI (artificial insemination) such as purchasing semen collections from interstate or overseas. In saying all that there are breeds that are now unable to mate naturally because of their genetic ‘selection’. But this is happening at what cost? What other issues does it bring with it and how much heartache and financial loss is the new owner about experience all because it was fashionable? Dogs that cannot breathe properly, dogs that cannot run properly and the list goes on and on. It makes my heart heavy with sadness and also makes me sick to my stomach.

I’ve seen a university professor get up at a university lecture and try to justify her cross breeding with no genetic testing and using mere propaganda to back her claims. Science has proven without a doubt that the pure bred dog WITH sufficient genetic testing is the best way to go. Btw I walked out on that lecture. It is in every way completely irresponsible to breed any animal without sufficient testing and examination. It is difficult enough to breed a healthy dog that is a pure-bred dog yet cross breeding brings about a whole host of other issues, issues that have not been proven or tested, I have personally seen cross-bred dogs born with major genetic defects and complications. I am not joking!

We are more than capable of breeding a healthy dog. When I see a well-bred dog I think to myself there are only a few creatures as magnificent as a well-bred healthy dog.

So there are the breeders that really only breed for looks or confirmation and not a huge consideration for temperament. By the way, poor temperament kills more dogs than anything else. Dogs that have little to no genetic confidence. Yes we can, do and should breed selected animals for genetic confidence.

For myself and countless others we look at every aspect of a dog and it’s bloodlines to be sure the dog demonstrates genetic superiority when we are about to commit to a breeding a healthy animal. As I have already pointed out health encompasses every part of the dog. We will know its parents and in most cases, its grandparents, great grandparents and other related dogs. I’m not one for wasting my time or money in an uninformed decision and I suggest neither should you. Dogs generally live 10 to 15 yrs. In saying that invest some time in your decision.

So what are some the other factors that you need to consider before deciding on which dog is best for you?

There are 100’s of pure bred breeds in the world and it can get a bit overwhelming. People tend to buy the breed they had as a child or a breed they have had in the past. I have lost count to how many times I have heard from clients this one is nothing like my last dog of the same breed. What are your intentions with the dog? For a lot of people additional home and personal security is the number one reason as there has been studies done on this very subject. Especially in this day and age with ever growing crime and drug use the very real need for a personal protection dog has grown dramatically. I have had a personal protection dogs for 20yrs, I will always have one, two or at the moment, I have three of them. Yet that mainly is because I love the breed so much. One is never enough! I’m not recommending you get more than one, remember this is my profession and I can and do spend a lot of time with my dogs. In a lot instances the presence of a dog is enough to deter most criminals but if you’re looking for something that will do more than bark at a fence and sound menacing you will need to do some more homework. You need to research where you can purchase a pup with the genetic capacity to behave in the desired way. Is the type of training you desires even offered in your area. Research all types of training available. As dogs with a higher level of genetic aggression certainly need training as with all dogs but with this type of dog it is imperative that you do, yet on the upside it’s a whole lot of fun and you’ll have a friend who will always have your back when things go sideways. As I have already pointed out that acquiring a dog for additional home and personal security is the number one reason for the decision hence I figured this needed to be covered almost immediately and I will doing another blog dedicated to this type of dog and training in the near future.

Ok so not everyone wants or needs a dog that will run through fire to save your life but what other factors does there need to be taken into consideration before finalising your decision?

A lot of people will make their decision on the appearance of the dog, the colour, head and body shape, markings and even eye colour. The list goes on and on to what I’ve heard from people of the years, yet as one trainer said to me a long time ago ‘function should dictate form not the reverse’ so the question is do you want a dog that requires a lot of grooming, do want a dog with a lot of energy or would you prefer a couch potato? Do you want small, medium or large breed? What exactly is your intentions for getting this dog?

One the most common catch cries that I have from mainly breeders is ‘this breed is great with kids’ well that is the most generalised statements I think I have ever heard and one to be completely honest it can be extremely misleading as to recently I saw a report of a German Wirehaired Pointer mauling a young child and to me guns dogs make fantastic family companions so when I saw the news report even I was somewhat surprised. Yet the question needs to be asked. How much time and training was put into this dog and where did it come from? For myself I am huge fan GWP’s and still am. Point being all dogs regardless of size and temperament need to be trained and socialized period. If you have no real intention on doing so, my suggestion is do not buy a dog. Dogs that are not trained will assume they are allowed to do as they please and if challenged they will react as they see fit regardless of breed, size or sex. Dogs are just like us they need to learn structure and boundaries!

Like with most purchases higher purchase price usually equals higher quality!

I am talking pure-bred dogs here and as I have seen with more clients and friends that I care to remember is the pup they purchased was significantly cheaper than some other options yet a year or two later that saving has come back to bite them as they did get what they paid for unfortunately. I know and have known breeders that have spent a small fortune in buying dogs and semen from OS to ensure their dogs have the best chance for a long and healthy life. Yet buying dogs and semen from overseas does not always ensure this as I have also seen. Yes I know confusing right? So the answer is do your homework ask the questions of breeders. Do they have all hip and elbow x-rays and scores. Have they been tested for the issues that breed is known for? There are websites like this one that give a list of common and uncommon genetic issues that breeds of dogs are known for.

For additional advice contact your vet, professional dog trainer hopefully for an unbiased opinion. As I cannot stand these breed biased opinions.

Hence knowledge is power so empower yourself and make the right decision for your next best friend.

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