Highly Experienced In Show Animal Matters

5 things to consider when buying a 'show dog'

The process of choosing a breeder holds considerable challenges, especially if you don't know what to look out for. The first step, of course, is to find a reputable breeder; but how do you know your breeder is providing you with a quality pup? Furthermore, how do you know you're actually being sold an AKC dog you can show later on?

To answer these questions, here are five simple things to consider when looking for a breeder:

  1. Visit the breeder and assess the living conditions of the dogs. Reputable breeders take their hobby very seriously and are meticulous in their care of the mother and her pups. A reputable breeder is unlikely to turn you down if you request to see the property or the dogs in their care. A backyard breeder, on the other hand, is less likely to agree to a visit, which could indicate the dogs are not well cared for.
  2. Inquire about the health of the puppies and their parents. A breeder should be knowledgeable about any care the puppies and their parents have received, as well as any genetic diseases that not only affect the breed but are present in the puppies' parents. Reputable breeders will not hesitate to show proof of health screening whereas a backyard breeder might ask you to "trust them" or "take their word."
  3. See your puppy before buying and pay close attention to its temperament. Don't take the breeder's word on how your puppy is behaving. See for yourself. Are they calm or are they hyper and a poor listener? Not all dogs are cut out for show so don't get duped into buying a show dog that will never make it to the circuit.
  4. Don't leave without a copy of the dog's AKC registration. According to the AKC, "a purebred dog is eligible for AKC registration if its litter has been registered." In order to register your dog, you need to obtain an Individual Dog Registration Application from the breeder. The words "American Kennel Club" along with the AKC logo should be visible on the documents. If the documents do not have these trademarks, the documents may be fraudulent, meaning you may not be buying a purebred after all.
  5. Carefully review any contracts before signing them. A reputable breeder will likely have you sign a contract when purchasing a puppy. This contract can outline everything from the terms of sale to clauses that, if breached, can result in the forfeiture of the puppy to the breeder. Review the language of any contract carefully. If you have questions, speak to an attorney knowledgeable in show animal contract law.

The decision to show dogs is not for the faint of heart. In addition to choosing a breeder, there are many other things that need to be taken into consideration. If you take care to buy from a reputable breeder, however, you can minimize any legal headaches you could face later on.

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