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What you need to know when buying a pedigree dog

When buying a purebred dog, there are things you need to know to help you find your new best friend. There are many arguments for and against purebred versus crossbred dogs. But, whatever your choice here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your purebred puppy.

Why choose a purebred dog?

Many breeds of dogs have been developed over hundreds of years for their specific characteristics and instincts. All of them were originally bred for a purpose such as the Border collie for sheep herding or the golden retriever for duck hunting.

With many years of selective breeding purebred dogs are true to their breed type when producing offspring. You can predict, mostly, how they will look, behave, and their size and characteristics. Of course, there will be exceptions, there always is. This makes it easy for you to decide what it is you want from your dog and then research your options. And, choose the breed type that best suits you and your family’s needs.

Purebred dog health concerns – true or false?

Despite animal activists spruiking purebred dogs are bred for looks rather than form and function, this cannot be further from the truth. There are always two or three sides to everything. And, it is no different when it comes to dog breeding. As it is among any group of people, there are the rogue breeders that do the wrong thing. This is frustrating for those who breed dogs for the right reasons.

All dog breeds have some sort of predisposition to some sort of genetic or environmental condition. When you cross two breeds together there is a risk the puppies will inherit the genetic issues of both breeds. Responsible purebred dog breeders’ health test their dogs before planning a litter of puppies. For shepherd breeds, the health testing would always include hip and elbow scoring.

Always ask for copies of health test results. A responsible breeder will have them readily available. If they refuse or have a whole host of excuses, run for the hills. The last thing you want is to buy a puppy that has a lifetime of health issues. It is heartbreaking to live through and, of course, expensive.

With or without papers

A purebred dog always has registration papers with the national kennel club in your country. But, beware, there are people setting up registries so their members can sell dogs as registered, purebred puppies with papers.

Check the papers of the puppies’ parents. Ring the national purebred kennel club in your country for advice if you do not know what you are looking for. This type of unscrupulous trading confuses the public about what they are buying. It changes the public’s perception of purebred dogs.

These days it is also common for crossbred breeders to sell their puppies as registered with purebred papers. Where once you could assume only purebred dogs came with papers, today you need to scrutinise the paperwork so you know what you are buying. Often these crossbred breeders are simply registered with their local council and show you the paperwork to prove it.

True purebred dog breeders follow the rules of the organisations they belong to and have a strict code of ethics they promise to follow every year when they pay their membership fees. It is against the code of ethics of a purebred dog breeder to sell puppies without purebred papers.

Regardless of whether you choose to buy a purebred, rescue or crossbred dog, do your research. You want to make sure you get the best new best friend for you and your family.

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