FINDING THE RIGHT DOG
FOR YOUR FAMILY
The Huntsville Kennel
Club offers, at no charge to the community a Breeder
Referral Service. We encourage you to take advantage
of this, and buy your puppy from a reputable breeder.
Please call (256) 532-0515 for breeder referral and
information. The AKC also offers a national breeder
referral service. Call 900-407-PUPS ($1 per minute).
The Huntsville Kennel Club wants you to find the right
breed AND the right breeder! Before you make a
decision to purchase a puppy, we recommend the
Suggestions on how to choose a breed
- Choose a Breed
- Find a Reputable Breeder
- Questions to ask
- Things to Avoid
- Visit several dogs
shows locally and meet the dogs and their owners. Ask
questions! Most people are willing to talk for hours
about their precious pooches, after they've finished
in the ring. You can find out what's involved in
keeping a Bearded Collie in show coat (hours and
hours), whether you can keep a Samoyed white in our
red mud, or whether a Silky Terrier would be a good
dog with toddlers.
- After deciding on a
breed or breeds that you are interested in, visit and
talk to as many breeders as you can. Investigate
health and temperament problems in the breed of
choice. The library will also have information.
- Consider adopting an
older dog through The ARK, Inc. (256) 882-6609 or
another rescue program. Almost every AKC recognized
breed club sponsors a rescue program. Generally the
dogs available through rescue programs are
housebroken, neutered or spayed adults, vet and
temperament checked. Contacts or individual breed
rescue programs are available though HKC Breeder
Referral or the American Kennel Club Customer Service
Finding the right Breeder
Once you have decided
which breed is for you, now comes the hard
part--finding the right breeder and the right puppy!
Chances are, the Golden Retriever puppies offered in
the local newspaper bear no resemblance to the Golden
Retriever you fell in love with when watching the
Westminster Kennel Club show on television. The
Huntsville Kennel Club offers the following advice:
- Talk to and visit as
many breeders as possible.
- Are the premises
- Are the puppies clean
and well cared for?
- Ask to see the
parents. They should be well groomed, friendly and
should resemble the dog you saw on television at
Westminster or at the dog show.
- Offer health and
temperament guarantees on every puppy they sell.
- Carefully plan each
litter to improve the breed.
- Test and screen all
breeding stock for genetic problems.
- Require pet quality
puppies to be spayed or neutered.
- Will be available to
answer questions and help with problems throughout the
- Will give you the
"third degree". A concerned, responsible breeder has
put in a lot of time, effort and money to produce good
quality dogs and wants to ensure the puppies well
- Compete with their
dogs in conformation and/or performance events.
- Are members of their
nationally regional breed club.
Questions to ask
Although the list is
endless, here are some questions you can ask the
- Are you a member of
the XYZ Breed Club of America? If not, why not?
- Why did you breed this
- Why did you choose to
breed this particular sire to this particular dam?
- Have the sire and dam
been tested for all genetic problems in this breed?
- Can you explain the
pedigree to me? What do all these letters mean?
- What are the terms of
your sales contract?
- What health and
temperament guarantees are in your contract?
- Are you keeping a
puppy from this litter? If not, why not?
- May I have names and
numbers of persons who have purchased puppies from you
in the past?
Things to Avoid
Indications that the
breeder is someone you may NOT want to buy a puppy
- "This breed/line
doesn't have any genetic problems."
- "We bred this litter
so the kids could see the miracle of birth."
- "Showing dogs is too
- "The sire and dam are
both very protective and we can't let you visit them."
- "Those genetic tests
are a rip off."'
- "If you buy a bitch,
you could breed her, sell the puppies and recoup your
- "Only snobs are
members of XYZ Breed Club of America."
- "Sure, you can show
him, he doesn't have any disqualifying faults."