Friday, April 04, 2014
This is Sharda again for another West Highland Terrier Breeder newsletter.
Being a dog breeder is not like being a doctor, lawyer or teacher; there are no set training or educational requirements to the job.
Rather the health, temperament and adherence to breed standards or their animals are the measure by which a breeder is judged.
Most West Highland Terrier Breeders have a genuine love for their animals, and breed them responsibly and in the best interests of the individual animals – as well as the breed as a whole.
After all, breeders’ reputations are based on the ability of the puppies they sell to develop into champions of the Westie breed.
Unfortunately, as with most things, there are those who consider themselves breeders who are more interested in making money than raising dogs.
In order to get the puppy that you want and to be satisfied with the dog both now and in the future it is important to do some research on the breeder that you are considering.
WHY GET A PUPPY FROM A WESTIE BREEDER?
Purchasing your puppy from a Westie breeder provides you with:
- Peace of mind as to the medical background of the puppy’s parents in current and past generations.
- Quality assurance that the puppy that you purchase will meet breed standards and specifications.
- Support in understanding and working with the breed of your choice – the Westie.
- Advice as to vaccination regimes, medical concerns associated with the breed, local trainers and handlers, and other questions you may have.
The breeder’s role is to continue to choose dogs to breed that will enhance the most desirable characteristics of the breed, and minimize any undesirable characteristics. A Westie breeder will usually be active in showing animals, and will be very aware of the current trends in the breed, so they will be actively pursuing the breed standards.
In addition to being aware of current and future trends, a good breeder will also be aware of the history and lineage of each individual dog that they have, and will be aware of any potential problems in breeding into another line.
WHAT SHOULD YOU ASK A WESTIE BREEDER?
Breeders that are concerned about advancing the breed, and who care for each of the puppies they have will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. They will, in fact, probably want to ask you several of their own before deciding if you are right for their puppy.
As the buyer you should consider getting the following information from the Westie breeder:
- Does the breeder have a contract to purchase that clearly outlines the guarantee of health and a return or refund policy?
- Does the breeder know or has he/she worked with both the parents of the puppy?
- Can the breeder provide a lineage chart for the puppy tracing back several generations?
- Will the breeder let you see the other animals in the kennel and is the kennel clean, well maintained and animal friendly?
- Are you allowed to see other adult dogs and puppies that the breeder owns socialize together?
- Does the breeder limit the amount that you handle the pups?
- Does the local, state or national breed organization or club recognize the breeder?
- How often does the breeder allow the female and male to breed and reproduce?
A good Westie breeder will be concerned with the safety and health of the puppies, and will only allow serious buyers to handle the puppies. If you are just enquiring about the breed you may be able to see them from a distance and may be able to interact with the adult dogs.
A breeder may also limit how long you are in the kennel with the puppies at any given time, even if you are a serious buyer.
WHAT SHOULD A WESTIE BREEDER ASK YOU?
Many people who are buying a puppy from a breeder for the first time feel a bit overwhelmed by the information that the breeder requests. It can seem rather gruelling! This is done to ensure that the puppy will be properly cared for and treated once it is sold.
Answering the breeder’s questions and making any recommended changes in your arrangements will increase your chances of obtaining a puppy.
The Westie breeder may typically ask the following:
- What is your home and yard like? The breeder may ask to home and visit your home, just as you are visiting the kennel or the breeder’s home.
- What are your intentions for the dog? The breeder may require that you spay or neuter the dog, or only breed to animals that they approve.
- They may ask for a history of your pets, and may require you to sign an agreement regarding how you will train, use or show the dog.
- They may ask the situation and schedule of your family, and may want to know how many people will interact with the dog, and how old any children are in the family.
- The breeder may require that you train the puppy at a particular trainer, or using a particular method.
- The breeder may require that you return the dog to them before selling or giving the dog to someone else, in the event that it does not work out for you to keep the dog.
The more information that you know about the breeder and the breed, and the more information the breeder knows about you, the better the match will be.
Discuss your concerns or issues with the breeder, and take the time to do some research before making the first visit. Attending some dog shows or events may help you to determine which breeder you would like to work with.
Hope you learned a lot from today’s West Highland Terrier newsletter.