“Either you go to a breeder or to a dog shelter, it is important to take into consideration some information before taking home a dog.

If you are not interested in the breed of the dog, we recommend you to adopt a community dog offered by a foundation or by a NGO which deals with placing stray animals. Both these foundations or NGO’s, as well as veterinary clinics have specialized persons who can offer you good advice related to caring for adopted dogs, they can tell you which is the vaccination plan of the dog, the drugs or vitamins it needs and so forth.

Selecting a breeder:

If you have already decided that you want a breed dog and you know exactly what breed suits you, contact the breeder and ask to see the parents of the puppy (including their health cards and pedigree), the conditions in which the puppies are brought up and visit the entire kennel. You will be analyzing them, as he analyses you. A serious breeder will want to make sure that you are a responsible person and that you will dedicate yourself to raising the dog and you will create conditions for the dog to become part of the family. On you turn, you will analyze the breeder in order to make sure that he has thorough knowledge about the breed and about breeding dogs in general. Trust your instinct, the first impression, both in what regards the breeder as a person, as well as the kennel. The house and/or the yard must be clean and without trace of excrements. There must be no strong smell of dogs. If you buy a dog as a pet, watch whether the puppies were raised in the house or in cages. Puppies need socializing since birth, and a good breeder will keep the puppies somewhere he can watch them all the time. Dogs that are kept in cages and receive little attention from humans will have an anti-social personality or will easily get scared by adult dos. Breeders who care for their dogs will seek to keep them clean and healthy. They spend a lot of time with the puppies and strive to raise them beautiful and happy. Precisely because of that the breeder will agree to go with you through the selection process for the right puppy. The breeder will want to keep in touch with you during the entire life of the dog, it is possible for him to wish to see pictures of the dog and to visit it or see it in the park.

If something seems wrong, look someplace else. In our country, now exist a lot of breeders and you will surely find one to please you.

Buy the dog from a responsible and respected breeder, something that can’t be too hard. A responsible breeder is interested in the progress of his kennel; they are preoccupied in raising dogs as healthy as possible and with features specific to the breed. Check if the respective breeder is affiliated with a canine association, as The Romanian Kennel Club (A.Ch.R) or even Fédération Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Organization , FCI). A.Ch.R and the territorial associations organize beauty contests and can give you information and details about the breeder. Yet, the associations cannot guarantee for the quality and honesty of the breeders, nor for the health of the puppies. The fact that these persons dedicate time and energy to participate in canine contests may still be a sign that they love their dogs and properly care for them.

Most breeders count on the publicity the happy clients will bring. Others advertise in specialized magazines or on websites. You can find a quality puppy in this manner, but be careful with announcements that seem to show up continuously on the internet or in the newspapers. A breeder who always has puppies for sale probably mates his dogs very often or sells puppies originating from those “puppy mills”, which hold as main objective the profit and not the health of the puppies. A serious breeder will not have puppies during the entire year; it is possible to wait for a puppy even one whole year.

After you chose a breeder, study him and ask him to show you at least one of the parents (female or male) of the puppy. Pay attention to how the puppies interact with the breeder, if they are friendly and sociable or are withdrawn.

The dog must absolutely have pedigree. The pedigree, besides the fact that it represents the only proof that the dog belongs to a certain pure breed, it is the document that certifies its genealogy and that offers, thus, to whom is interested valuable information about the genetic baggage of the dog. This document of origin is issued only by the Romanian Kennel Club (A.Ch.R) through the Romanian Origin Book (COR) and with the approval of the World Canine Organization (FCI).

For a breeder, without being a snobbery, obtaining an exceptional pedigree dog it is nothing else but proof that he wants a healthy dog, with no genetic diseases, a capable exemplar; on its turn, to produce puppies as close as possible to the imposed ideal standard. Thus, asking for a dog with no pedigree – to which a dog is entitled by birth and which the Romanian Origin Book issues anyway – will not lead to a lower price. The pedigree itself only costs the breeder a few tenths of lei, but the value that the pedigree can certify for whom knows how to appreciate it, is immeasurable.

A dog doesn’t have to hold a pedigree in order to be loved or cared for by its family, but a dog must have a pedigree, namely a genealogical tree, for it to be cataloged into a breed or another.

Testing the puppies:

The moment you have found the right breeder and you have seen the puppies, spend a little time and play with them. You can form an impression by only watching how they behave with people or with the other dogs. For example, the dominant puppy of the nest will come running to you, whereas the shiest puppy will hide. You will have to  look for a dog with a personality in between these two.

At the age of 6-7 weeks (the minimum admitted age for leaving the nest), puppies will immediately steal your heart. But be very careful! Choose responsibly and allocate sufficient time to making a decision. A single mistake may lead to an unhappy life both for you and for the puppy. Ask questions and pay attention to the answers.

Any responsible breeder will agree or will even suggest that you discuss in detail. He will present his guarantees, but will also underline your responsibilities. Again, serious breeders are interested in what will happen with their puppies and want to make sure they are placed in welcoming homes and with families who love animals. Healthy parent doesn’t always mean healthy puppies. Keep in mind that some genetic health problems can only be seen after a certain age, sometimes even at 2 years old.

Conformation and health:

Pay attention to the specifications for the standard of the breed, verify dentition and bite; in males, both testacies must be present and lowered into the scrotum; avoid puppies which seem ill (they are too weak or have excessively swollen belly, deformed legs, suppurations in the eyes, ears or nose, they have pale gums, they are apathetic, lethargic or they are missing hair); get informed about the diet of the puppy and of the mother.

NEVER BUY from pet-shops or from websites that have for sale more than 3-4 breeds and that can bring on order a puppy from the breed you want; dogs from there surely come from puppy mills.

How much does a puppy cost?

When you buy a dog, don’t think about the deal you will be making and keep in mind the advantages of having a pet. The purchase price of the dog is not the only thing you must take into consideration. You must be aware of the fact that the dog you will be bringing home will need proper care, namely annual vaccines, special food, food and water bowls, leash, bed, toys, etc. carefully asses your budget and think if you can truly afford a dog.

First, it is important where you purchase the dog from. In case you chose a kennel with notable results, you have a very good starting point. For each mount there is a privileged position, in regards to choosing the puppies for those who make pre-notations and that is the right to the first choice both for males and females. Depending on this aspect, the price of each dog can be discussed. In a serious kennel, remember that not all dogs will have the same price.

First choice shows that it is the most valuable puppy in the nest, if it is of course chosen by someone who understands, namely the breeder or by the buyer. A puppy chosen by the breeder as being the best, will not necessarily mean, that it will be just as valuable in the eyes of the one who buys it.

You must understand, though, that the first choice is also the most expensive, considering you are choosing the “cream” of the nest. First, the purpose for which the puppy is chosen must be clarified. In case you are looking for a show puppy, this one must approach the standard of the breed as much as possible. This meaning that certain limits and characteristics must be respected. If it is for guarding and protection, the most dominant puppy of the nest will be chosen. If you are only interested in a pet exemplar, than the other elements aforementioned will not be taken into account and the option will go towards a sociable dog, playful and less dominant. Usually the cheaper dogs in a nest are the ones suitable as pets.

Conclusions:

Either you go to a breeder, or to a dog shelter, is within your responsibility as buyer to research with attention and patience all possibilities until you find the person who dedicates to the healthy raising of puppies and to placing them in homes for a long term. Buying a dog is not a decision to make on the spot and which must be finalized in a few days. Do your homework, learn, ask many questions and have patience, in order to make the right decision. Is the only way you will be able to have a loyal friend for many year.”