Selective Breeding & The Resulting Health Problems – Part 4

Gemma | September 29th, 2008
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With so much bad breeding practices going on around the world today, how can families choose the right puppy for their home that has as limited health problems possible?

Educate Yourself Before Buying A Puppy

Potential dog owners should undertake a fairly extensive self-education program before committing themselves to the purchase of a pet.

Standard How To Pick A Puppy articles are an excellent place to begin, though too often they tend to rely on AKC registration as the major guide for purchase.

Note: Mongrel dogs (dogs that are the result of various inbreedings) are not recommended, in spite of the fact that they often make lovable pets, because the dog world, like the human world, suffers from a population explosion and every effort needs to be made to limit the number of unwanted dogs. Promoting purebred dogs as pets and encouraging limitations of the breeding of such pets seems to be one of the best approaches to the problem.

Your first decision must be the type of dog suited to your family, and the standard articles offer excellent ideas here on the advantages of large dogs, small dogs, noisy ones and less active breeds. But once you have decided on a breed, you need to learn much more about that breed type. Talk to other owners of the dogs and read about the breed first hand.

Breed Clubs

If possible, check with the secretary of the national breed association. There is, for example, a Collie Club of America. There are similar clubs for other breeds and by contacting them the staff will be happy to supply a list of recommended kennels and breeders in your area.

Memberships in these breed associations are generally by invitation only and the prospective members must demonstrate a strong interest in the breed before being invited to join. Thus, a breeder recommended by such an association is likely to be more dedicated to the improvement of the breed than the turning of a dollar.

When you locate a breeder in your area, talk with him or her frankly about your interests: Do you want a show or pet quality puppy? Do you intend to breed it? Ask about congenital problems in the breed and inquire what kind of health guarantee is offered. What vaccinations has the puppy had and what more does it need?

Finally, be sure that the breeder agrees to a 24-hour examination period during which you may have your own veterinarian check the puppy before the purchase is final.

It’s Well Worth The Trouble

All this, you may say, makes the addition of a puppy to your household a major project, far more complicated than simply reading the paper and finding an ad for a litter of purebreds on the weekend.

Yes, it does, but the experience that so many families go through with dogs that ended up with poor health problems with disease is worth the effort that may ultimately save you and your own family the heartbreak of losing a puppy too soon.

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