Happy Dog's Bedtime Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep,
The queen-size bed is soft and deep.
I sleep right in the center groove
My human being can hardly move!
I've trapped her legs, she's tucked in tight,
And here is where I pass the night.
No one disturbs me or dares intrude
Till morning comes and I want food!
I sneak up slowly and it begins
My nibbles on my human's chin.
She wakes up slowly and smiles and shouts,
"You darling beast! Just cut it out!"
But morning's here and it's time to play
I always seem to get my way.
So thank you, Lord, for giving me
This human person that I see
The one who hugs and holds me tight
and shares her bed with me at night!
- Author unknown
Why should I buy a purebred
The best reason to buy a
purebred is predictability. Purebreds are bred to meet a breed standard
that lays out size, appearance, and temperament. You will know up front
how big the mature adult will be, what type of coat he'll have and its
grooming requirements, how much space he'll need and how much exercise.
You'll know what kind of personality traits he's likely to have based on
what the breed was bred to do.
Why should I buy from a
breeders have spent considerable time, energy, and money on showing
their dogs, competing in obedience, agility, tracking, hunting, field
trials, and other specialized events including search and rescue and
therapy. They have done these things to produce the most well-rounded
dogs with the soundest temperaments and the best training possible. They
have spent literally years in researching their breeds to produce the
best possible examples of their breed and to enhance their dogs'
temperament and physical structure. They work, together with other
breeders with the ultimate goal of eliminating hereditary diseases from
their breed. In addition, they have a reputation to protect and are
accountable to the Canadian Kennel Club for questionable breeding
practices. Buying from a pet store encourages the inhumane practices of
those operating puppy mills.
How will I know if he's really
It is illegal in Canada to
sell a dog as a purebred without supplying registration papers free. The
seller must register and transfer the ownership of the dog to the buyer
at no cost. This is protected by the ANIMAL PEDIGREE ACT. If a breeder
is willing to sell you a purebred without papers for a lower cost,
run...do not walk away! This is not reputable behaviour and it is
illegal. What else might the breeder be concealing from you?
How will I know what breed is
best for me?
When choosing a breed, keep in
mind that each breed of dog developed certain instinctive
characteristics to enable them to do the job they were bred to do. Also
keep in mind such factors as: how big will the adult dog get, the
barking factor, digging, shedding and grooming, allergies, exercise
requirements, common health problems, and the fit with your family (is
it good with children, can it spend time alone). The better you honestly
assess your lifestyle and needs, the better a potential pet will fit
into your family and the happier people and dog will be!
How do I find a good
have decided on the breed of dog you wish to have, you need to find
several different breeders. Look up the national and/or provincial
clubs for the breed you're interested in. They generally list breeders
by area. Check this site for breeders near you. Go to local dog shows.
Ask at the vet. Ask anyone you see who has the particular breed you
want. By this time, you should have done a lot of homework about your
breed choice. Now you will do even more! Remember, if anything about
the breeder, the facility, or the dogs makes you uncomfortable or
uneasy, WALK AWAY.
Call the breeder. Are they a member of
the Canadian Kennel Club? Are they members of their national and/or
provincial breed organizations? How long have they been breeding? How
many litters do they typically breed per year? Can they give you names
of people who have purchased puppies from them? You should also have a
list of questions to ask about their dogs. You can expect the breeder
to ask you lots of questions about your family, your home, your
lifestyle, and why you have chosen this particular breed of dog. A
good breeder wants to ensure their dog is a good fit with your family,
and that you will provide the best possible home for their puppy.
Visit the kennel and observe their dogs.
What is the condition of the kennel? Does it appear to be clean? How
do the dogs look? Clean? Well-cared for? Happy? You should meet the
prospective parents of the puppies but if that is not possible, you
should at least see the mother. If the father is from another kennel,
he may only be brought in briefly for mating. A good breeder will only
breed registered dogs, and will be able to tell you the pedigree of
the puppies. They should have full information about the puppies'
parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Spend time with
the mother and other dogs in the kennel. Beware of animals that seem
aggressive or overly nervous or shy. Temperament problems are the
number one reason people give up their dogs. If there are puppies
already on the ground, ask to see where they are being raised. A good
breeder will be proud and happy to show you their facilities.
Ask about the dogs' socialization. The
first 8 to 12 weeks of your new puppy's life will be spent with the
breeder. Find out how the breeder plans to socialize the new puppy and
what early training is planned. After the puppies are born you should
visit a couple more times to see their development. A good breeder
will be able to tell you the personality traits of the individual dogs
from their observations of them, even at this early stage.
Ask about the health issues for the breed you
have chosen. Every breed of dog has certain health problems. A
good breeder will be familiar with the breed standard and the health
problems that may be present in your chosen breed. They should be
willing to discuss health issues openly, and tell you what they have
done to minimize hereditary problems in their line. Many genetic
health defects can be tested for and a good breeder will be able to
show you test results proving that the parents of their puppies have
been tested clear of these defects. Ask what vaccinations the puppy
will receive before you pick it up and make sure you have a copy of
them. Within 24-48 hours of picking up your puppy, you should see your
veterinarian and have the animal thoroughly examined.
Ask about the sales contract. Everything
should be in writing. The contract should have listed the breed of
dog, confirmation that it is purebred, confirmation that it is
eligible for registration by the Canadian Kennel Club (remember,
registration is the job of the seller), and the tattoo number of the
dog. The refund/return policy should be clearly laid out. Under what
conditions would you be eligible for a refund? There should be a
health guarantee against genetic health problems. A good breeder will
not hesitate to provide such a guarantee. The contract should be a
non-breeding agreement and indicate a date by which you must spay or
neuter the dog (if it is not intended for showing). Should the dog
develop into an animal suitable for breeding, this condition can
always be lifted but only with the agreement of the original breeder.
The Canadian Kennel Club by-laws state that the seller shall provide
the buyer with the registration certificate or papers no later than
six months after the full purchase price has been paid. So be aware
that you may have to wait a while for the papers to come in.
Repeat all of the above. You should
always visit several kennels before making a choice. This should not
be an impulse buy or a whim. This animal expects to be part of your
family for the duration of its life - usually more than 10 years. You
owe it to this little soul to do all your homework to ensure that you
have made the right choice in a thoughtful, clear-headed manner. You
would not choose to adopt a child lightly. You should not choose to
adopt a dog lightly either.
What are the characteristics
of an ethical breeder?
An ethical breeder:
...breeds only registered dogs and only allows his dogs to be bred to
...is concerned with hereditary diseases within the breed and is
towards elimination of these diseases.
...tests all breeding stock to ensure the individual dogs are healthy.
...provides a written health guarantee against hereditary defects.
...takes all his puppies to his veterinarian for examination and
prior to their sale.
...sells all pet quality dogs on spay/neuter contracts so that only the
specimens are kept for breeding.
...never sells puppies less than 7 weeks old.
...never knowingly sells a sick puppy.
...never sells to pet stores, animal wholesalers, brokers, or other
in quantity to sell or breed.
...screens prospective purchasers
...happily answers any and all questions you have about his breed and
...will always try to take back any unwanted dog he bred at any time in
...stays with you for the life of your dog, providing guidance and
How do I know I'm not buying
from a puppy farm or puppy mill?
This can be difficult. Some legitimate breeders are understandably
concerned about letting members of the public tromp all over their
facilities especially when puppies are brand new. Until they have had
all their shots, they are still vulnerable to bacteria and diseases
easily brought in by visitors. In addition, some of these puppy farms
are very sleek. Here is some general advice:
Puppy farms always offer variety.
There are often multiple unrelated breeds, all kinds of colour choices
or coat types, or many different sizes (standard, miniature, toy,
teacup, etc.) especially in dog breeds that don't have these sizes. For
example, offering miniature Labrador Retrievers or teacup Chinese
Shar-peis should put up a red flag. A puppy mill wants to cover all
Puppy farms don't do health testing.
They never waste money on genetic screening, DNA testing, etc.
Remember, they're not in it to better the breed. They just want to
make a sale. Usually they don't know what testing is (however they are
becoming wiser in this regard and ready, willing, and able to lie) or
they'll tell you they just sell to "pet homes" and it's not
necessary. Red flag! These people will not be paying your veterinarian
bills nor will they care that you've had to put down a beloved family
pet, except that it makes you a potential repeat customer.
Puppy farms never, never go to dog shows.
Their dogs have had no show careers. They have no titles of any kind -
conformation, obedience, field, etc. Even if this is not important to
you, remember that in conformation shows dogs are judged against
others of their breed and a breed standard. The winners are the best
possible examples of their breed and are therefore the most logical
choice for breeding.
these characteristics describe the kennel you are considering for a
puppy - Beware! Another general rule of thumb - if ANYTHING makes you
uncomfortable about dealing with the breeder, DON'T.
What should I have on hand for
my new puppy?
minimum, you need to have a crate, dog blankets, dish for food, dish for
water, collar, leash, dog beds for each room where you will be spending
time with your dog (unless you want him up on the furniture and on your
bed with you!). You need to track down a veterinarian as that will be
almost your first stop when you finally get your puppy. You need chewing
toys - puppies teethe like babies. While it might be sweet to let him
chew on your finger when he's a pup, you're teaching him very bad
habits! After all, those teeth are going to get a lot bigger! You will
need grooming supplies: shampoo, brushes, combs, mat splitters,
scissors, nail clippers, and yes, a toothbrush. You may want to install
a dog door so your dog will not need to wake you in the middle of the
night once he's housetrained. You may also want to keep certain areas of
the house dog-free - baby gates can be useful depending on the size of
your dog. Your backyard should be fenced so it provides a safe
environment for romping and playing. Once you have decided on a breeder,
you should also have on hand the same food that the breeder feeds the
Why does my new puppy have a
Canadian Kennel Club regulations, all new puppies must have a unique
identifier in the form of either a microchip or a tattoo. A microchip is
placed just under the skin of the dog between its shoulder blades. The
tattoo is a series of letters and numbers which identify the year of
birth of the dog and the litter it belonged to. The tattoo may be
located on the dog's belly, either flank, or on the underside of the
ear. The codes from the microchip and tattoos are kept in the CKC's
database and are used for identifying dogs should they become lost or
require assistance. Tattooing and microchipping are the responsibility
of the breeder and must be done prior to you taking ownership of your