Buying A Puppy – Understanding the Breeder’s Point of View
There are lots of checklists telling you what to look for when choosing a puppy, questions to ask the breeder and things to expect, but it seems to me that most of them tend to miss the main point. Which is, that a good breeder will absolutely not be trying to sell you a puppy, they will be working out if you are the right person to have one of their precious puppies.
If they seem to be encouraging you to buy without having first had quite a long chat with you, finding out how much you know about the breed, what your family circumstances are, how long you are out of the house during an average day and your general level of knowledge about dogs – amongst other things – they are probably not the right person to be buying from.
You may even be slightly affronted by the questions you are being asked if you regard this as just a purchase. Look at it from the breeder’s point of view and it becomes obvious why you are being quizzed.
It helps to understand how a good breeder plans a litter. Generally they are looking for a puppy for themselves, either for the showring or to continue a breeding line. The litter will have been planned for some time and could be the only litter that will be bred from the dam. Many breeders don’t proceed with breeding until they know they have homes for some of the puppies, and may very well have a waiting list.
Possibly one of her own dogs will be the father, but more likely it will be a stud dog belonging to someone else who the breeder believes to have all the qualities that will match with the mother to get the best possible puppies. So don’t be surprised if the father isn’t on the premises, though the mother and litter mates should definitely be present.
Small breeds tend to have smaller litters. Once the cost of the stud fee, veterninary intervention if needed, and raising the puppies is taken into account the best the breeder can hope for is a “free” puppy for herself. Add in the price of first vaccinations, registration, micro-chipping and the cost of the puppy is frequently remarkably low. So, the caring breeder isn’t making a lot of money from the sale of a puppy and definitely isn’t looking to sell to the first enquiry.
What you will get in return is a lifetime of support, advice whenever you need it and, very likely a new friend and a puppy who has had the very best start in life. Surprisingly, a puppy from a top breeder probably will cost much the same as an indifferent puppy from a backyard breeder. He will be health screened for any known problems in the breed, bred for temperament as well as looks and a great addition to the family.
Understanding how the breeder approaches selling her puppies and what is expected of you will really help you find the right person from whom to buy your puppy. Good luck in your search.