I want to share a chapter of the book I am writing. It is one itty bitty part of my whole project. It is still in it's rough draft, but it might help prospective puppy buyers and people considering breeding their pet dogs. And most important of all, my hope is that it will help DOGS! WHERE DO I GET MY DOG? There are several niches to find a dog and I’ll discuss the main sources to assist you as you embark on your adventure to join the ranks of happy dog owners. Purebred dogs-(reputable hobby breeders versus “back yard” breeders) There is a huge over population of dogs in this world and there are various sources from where to choose a dog. Some people prefer purebred dogs because they have a good idea of what they’re getting in size, shape, coat color and length, ear placement and even a close estimate of their temperament or working ability. All registered, purebred dogs must have a record of breeding going back several generations. These dogs must produce relatively uniform offspring. Breed Clubs and national clubs, such as the American or Canadian Kennel Clubs, have written standards for each recognized breed, which includes features such as size, shape, ear placement, angles within the skeletal system, coat texture and color, temperament, just to mention a very few of the concisely, detailed descriptions within a standard. Reputable breeders strive for conforming to the written standard as closely as possible for their breed. Not every purebred dog of a specific breed will conform very closely to the standard. When these substandard dogs are bred, there is a deterioration of uniformity in the breed. Showing dogs in conformation classes is one way to determine, based on expert judges’ evaluations of the dogs and whether they are worthy to be bred. If a dog’s structure or temperament, for example, does not adhere to the written standard, he should not be bred as the homogeneity of the breed will be further lost with subsequent offspring. Sadly, in the dog show world, there are some controversial judgments made of some dogs, cases where the appearance of a dog is being sought without regard to his working ability, for instance. A balance of the “whole” dog must be maintained or the integrity of the breed will be compromised. Purebred dogs from a good hobby breeder have their merit and appeal for many people because for one, they can be relatively sure of some continuity with what traits they’ll have in their particular breed and they don‘t want any surprises. From a hobby breeder, they are usually puppies with a clean slate and no psychologically damaging past experiences. There is no guessing about who the parents are. For instance, one may want a Border Collie, specifically for herding sheep on their farm. Purebred dogs were all bred to perform some sort of job to benefit man and certain breeds are specifically better at some types of jobs or activities than others. There is a viable place for the many wonderful purebred dogs in this world. But only the best of the best should be bred by reputable breeders or we could lose the uniformity, and in essence or principle, the individual breeds. There is a double edged sword, however, which comes with maintaining homogeny in our breeds, in that the less diversity in the family tree, the more likely are the genetic defects. But that is for another chapter or maybe another book. We’ll see if I get to that. There are a lot of unscrupulous “breeders” in this and other countries who are more interested in making money than improving the breed. They do not perform genetic health testing, which is costly and base their breeding program on whether they think their dogs are close enough to the breed standard. Most purebred dogs have a set of inherent, genetically passed health issues to which they are prone and which reputable breeders test and select against, ever striving to eradicate the unfortunate maladies from their breed. When a dog, for instance shows hip dysplasia, genetically caused blindness or many other defects, they exclude that dog from their breeding program. They study the pedigree of their dogs and look for healthy ancestors with good longevity. They show or work their dogs in whatever venue the dog was bred for. If the dog can do it’s job well, for instance a herding, protection or sheep guardian dog, it may be a valuable asset to their breeding program. Reputable, hobby breeders are not in it for the money. This is not their occupation. They breed dogs because they are compelled to improve upon the last generation of their breed. They are passionate about being a part of the commitment to improving and advancing their breed. They make little, if any profit because, for one, showing is very costly. Genetic health testing and stud fees are expensive. Puppy vaccinations, worming, proper nutrition of the ****, raising the pups, and veterinary costs take up most, if not all of their profit. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of a thousand dollars for a fine, purebred companion dog. This can vary somewhat, depending on a lot of things like geographical area, popularity of the breed and more. Show prospects will cost more. Many times, breeders will negotiate a little bit because you might have just the perfect home for their pup and may impress them more than Mr. Jones, another prospective buyer. They want their pups to go to good homes. Most all of the good breeders will have a sales contract. The contents may vary but one fairly universal requirement will be that you spay or neuter your pet dog. If this pup is not determined by the breeder to be a show prospect, you will need to supply proof that your puppy has been spayed or neutered. Reputable breeders do not promote the breeding of their puppies that have been determined to not be quite worthy of reproducing offspring. Be glad because there is no earthly reason to breed any dog that will not improve upon the last generation or contribute to the breed as a whole. There are far too many dogs as it is. Reputable hobby breeders will always, for the life of the puppy be responsible for the puppies they produce. If, for some reason, it doesn’t work out for you, the breeder will take back the pup because she doesn’t want her puppies to wind up in some dank, lonely shelter. She will usually guarantee a replacement puppy, should any genetic malady manifest itself in your puppy. She will be there to answer questions and help you in any way she can. She will give you, usually two or three days or more to have your puppy examined by a veterinarian and will guarantee the pup of any communicable type diseases for that time frame. When you buy from a disreputable breeder, usually, once the puppy is out of her hands, you’re on your own. She will not take back the pup and cares little about where it ends up, should you need to re-home the pup at anytime in the future. Disreputable breeders have nothing to base their breeding intentions on besides their own, oft uniformed opinion of the dog’s conformation or working ability. Their criteria often does not go beyond the cuteness of their dog or the nice dog, Fluffy, two doors down who happens to be of the same breed, sometimes questionably so. They can certainly say that they have papers or are registered. That means pathetically little. There are plenty of dogs who are AKC registered and are poor breed specimens. As explained, anyone can breed their dogs and they can be registered as long as there is a record of generations past. While “back yard” bred puppies may sometimes, on the face of it appear to be markedly less expensive than an honorable, reputable breeder‘s, veterinary or professional training costs to attempt to overcome poor health or temperament down the road may far exceed the original cost of a well bred puppy. These “back yard” type breeders are to be avoided at all costs. And often, surprisingly, unscrupulous breeders of poor specimens actually charge about the same or sometimes much more than do hobby breeders. When people support these uninformed, uncaring “breeders,” they contribute to the ruination of the particular breed as a whole. It is most irresponsible to buy from these newspaper or Internet advertising people, whose main interest is money or letting the children of the family experience the miracle of birth, and little do they care to what home their puppies go. I realize that many people are simply unaware of the consequences or the big picture of what they’re doing when they buy a puppy from any but the most reputable breeders. My unwavering hope is that, as dogs seem to be gaining even more popularity, that people will educate themselves before making the decision to get a dog. If you are desirous of a purebred dog, it is in your best interest, as well as the well being of the breed of your choice, to do your research. Reputable breeders will scrutinize you too. They will not sell a puppy to just anyone who comes along. They will ask you questions and in many cases, do a home check. They may ask for references from neighbors or your vet. Reputable breeders do not advertise in newspapers or on the Internet. They don’t stand in front of the grocery store or drop off their beloved puppies at pet or feed stores to be sold like an accessory or piece of equipment. They value their puppies as vital, family members, cherish them highly and are very careful who gets their puppies. There are some beautiful websites that breeders put on the Internet. They can be very deceiving. Anyone can make a website and if you utilize this tool for your search, follow through with proof of their claims and get solid references. There are also some fine breeders who have websites. Written by Carrie Copy written material Copying or re-printing for profit prohibited by copyright laws.