The Best English Bulldogs
Are you in search of a purebred puppy? Picking the right breeder is the first and most important step. Remember, a healthy puppy is a beautiful puppy.
You really want a puppy. In fact, owning a puppy is something you’ve been dreaming of ever since your evil stepmother cruelly denied you one at the age of 10. So after years of therapy, you’ve suddenly realized the cure: get yourself a puppy. Perhaps that isn’t the reason (although it does make for good dinner party conversation), but you do really want a puppy.
Choosing an ethical, reputable breeder is important. Your first task should be making a list of breeders who deal with your desired breed. Do a little research to see what their reputations are. Dog societies, friends with dogs, and vets are good sources of information. Then it's as easy as crossing off breeders with bad reviews off your list.
If there are reviews, do they come with pictures and stories of the dogs as adults? Sites that aren’t geared towards breeders (but geared towards offering a pet owner an unbiased and broad spectrum of information about animals) are another wealth of knowledge. People will often post about both good and bad experiences through such sites.
When you chat with a breeder, have questions lined up. Are they registered? Do they offer a guarantee against genetic defects? How do they keep defects to a minimum in their breeding? What documentation do they have to prove pedigree? Whatever your questions might be, do your research first and ask the things that are important to you.
How to find a responsible breeder: Responsible breeders don't sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand. Too often, unsuspecting people buy puppies from puppy mills, or sometimes neighbors who breed their dog to make a little money or simply because they have a dog "with papers." Too often, the result is puppies in poor health or with temperament problems that may not be discovered right away. A dog who has genetic health problems due to poor breeding practices or who develops significant behavior problems due to a lack of early socialization can cost thousands of dollars to treat—and result in grief and heartache as well.
ASK QUESTIONS: You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions of your breeder. Where do the puppies live? The answer should be “in the house with the family.” A puppy who’s born into family life has a better shot at growing up relaxed and friendly. A pup isolated from humans in a backyard, garage, or basement is more likely to wind up shy or aggressive.
Can I meet the parents? Meeting the father may not be possible because a lot of breeders share stud dogs; however, you should be able to meet all the other relatives of your new puppy. A puppy’s parents give you better insight into her future personality than does her breed. A friendly, well-behaved Mamma or Papa dog is a good sign, both that you’ve found a good litter and a good breeder.
Get a referral: You can find responsible breeders by asking for referrals from your veterinarian or trusted friends, by contacting local breed clubs, or visiting professional dog shows. Remember, a responsible breeder will never sell her dogs through a pet store or in any other way that does not allow her to meet with and thoroughly interview you to ensure that the puppy is a good match for your family and that you will provide a responsible, lifelong home.
Signs of a reputable breeder:
Keep your eyes open when you’re visiting breeders. Here’s a check list of what to look for in a good breeder.
The dogs live inside. Puppies who are going to be family dogs should be raised inside with the family, not in a backyard, basement, or garage.
The dogs and puppies are relaxed around people. If the parent dogs and puppies seem comfortable with humans, that’s a good sign that they’ve been properly cared for and socialized.
The place is clean. Don’t worry about the dirty dishes in the sink–just make sure the dogs’ living area is safe, sanitary, and that they’re supplied with fresh water, beds, and toys. Is there a toilet area in the puppy’s living quarters, or is it all one big toilet? If it’s the former, the puppies have a head start on housetraining.
The breeder asks you to sign a spay/neuter contract. If you’re buying a dog who’s not going to be bred, the breeder should ask you to sign a contract promising to spay or neuter your pup, to avoid contributing to pet overpopulation.
The breeder is up-front about the breed’s drawbacks, whether that means a tendency to develop certain health problems or a temperament that’s not for every owner. A good breeder wants you to love and care for your new dog for his entire lifetime, and she knows that’s more likely if you’re well prepared.
The breeder asks you lots of questions. This shows she wants to know exactly what kind of home her puppies are going to. She may ask who’s going to be home during the day, what your dog-owning history is, and why you’re interested in the breed. Don’t be defensive; she’s just doing her job, which is taking care of the pups she brings into the world.
The breeder will take the dog back, at any stage of the dog’s life, if you’re unable to care for her. A good breeder will insist on this. Again, she wants to make sure the puppies she brought into the world will always be taken care of.
We're always here to answer questions for you . . . even if you DON'T purchase your puppy from us! We look forward to helping you find the perfect fur-friend to add to your family.