RESOURCES & REFERENCES:
The most important first step to buying a dog is understanding the 'dog jargon', common terms and also acronyms typically used in dog breeding websites. We feel its important to empower you with the correct definitions regardless of whether you choose to buy from us or someone else so that you are making an informed decision.
In addition this, we have compiled some recommendations from the ANKC and the RSPCA on what to look for when selecting a breeder.
What is a 'purebred' dog?
A purebred dog is the offspring of two of the same (breed) registered or unregistered purebred dogs. When assessed, the lineage (or DNA) should see the same breed in the dogs history with no trace of another breed. Here's the catch: A purebred dog can be bred by anyone, and this is not regulated. A purebred might be for sale, but just because it is 'pure' it does not mean it is healthy and free from faults! Even if both the mother and father are registered, it is no guarantee of a good canine specimen - after all, breeding is not a matter of just sticking two dogs together. As an example, our first dog Auska was sold to us as a purebred, but this means nothing and has nothing to back it up. As we found out quickly, he was riddled with health problems.
What is a 'pedigree' dog?
A pedigree dog is what you should be aiming for - it is the result of two of the same (breed) registered pedigree dogs. Both mother and father will have been on the 'main register' with the ANKC, and any offspring will be registered with the ANKC. A Pedigree dog may be registered with the ANKC on a limited register or a mains register - the only difference being that a limited register dog is not to be bred from. In most cases, breeders will register puppies on the limited register and will request you do not breed from their dog unless there is a special arrangement in place.
A pedigree dog can only be supplied by a registered breeder of the ANKC. All pedigree dogs come with Pedigree registration certificate. A typed or written "Pedigree" is NOT a registration certificate.
The best location to search for breeders in Australia is: Dogzonline
How does a purebred dog get papers?
Once a litter is whelped, the breeder is responsible for completing a litter registration and lodging this with the ANKC for acceptance. The litter registration will contain the lineage of the mother and father and this will be lodged into the ANKC database to ensure compliance to the codes of practice. This is usually performed at around 5-6 weeks of age as prior to this time puppies have a higher risk of death.
Providing everything is in order, the litter will then be registered and the breeder will receive certificates for each of the puppies. It is mandatory for the breeder to supply the new owner with the certificate of registration, and to authorise the transfer of name where this is applicable.
All buyers are entitled to check the information given with the ANKC state representative. If the registration certificates are not available, check with the ANKC state representative to find out if the litter registration has been lodged.
What is a Puppy Farm?
Defined as: an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs’ behavioral, social and/or physiological needs. Puppy farms are usually large-scale commercial operations, but inadequate conditions may also exist in small volume breeding establishments which may or may not be run for profit.
Puppy farms may breed 'purebred' puppies or crossbred (designer) puppies. They do not conduct genetic testing for health conditions, and they are not bound by the same codes of practice which we (ANKC breeders) are bound by. They masquerade well to the unsuspecting person, and even now when reviewing their websites we are shocked at what they include which will easily fool the average person.
Do not be fooled! Looking at many of the designer dog breeder websites, they all mention that they are 'registered breeders'.
Its important to know who they are registered with - the term 'registered breeder' should only exist for ANKC registered breeders in our opinion, but until we can have a legislation brought in, these farmers and backyard breeders will continue to fool the public by saying they are registered when really this means with the Pet Indusrty Association of Australia (PIAA) or with a local council! Both of which do not regulate their breeding.
An ANKC registered breeder is bound to certain codes of practice - one of which crossbreeding is strictly forbidden. If you sight a breeder stating they are ANKC registered and are crossing breeds or supplying unregistered puppies, they need to be reported to the ANKC state representative! Please do your part to report these crooks, or let us know and we will follow it up ourselves.
A Designer Dog is many things including:
- A puppy resulting from the deliberate mating of two unrelated breed types.
- A puppy resulting from an accidental mating of two different breed types (note these dogs used to be called mongrels or cross breeds)
- A puppy resulting from the mating of two cross bred (or designer bred) dogs.
- A puppy resulting from the mating of one pedigree or pure bred parent and one cross bred or designer bred dog.
- A designer dog has not been bred by a registered breeder A designer dog is not pure bred or pedigree.
- Most importantly, although puppies get 50% of their DNA from mum and 50% from dad, you don't know which features they will get... so buying an 'oodle' (assuming its made from a 'purebred') only gives you a 50% chance of receiving the low shedding gene. If it is a second generation 'oodle', this likelyhood is reduced further.
ANKC Recommended Checklist for selecting a Breeder:
- View the puppies and their parent(s) before making a decision.
- Ask the questions:
- Is the vendor a current member of the ANKC state affiliate? (Dogs VIC, NSW, West, QLD, ACT, NT, SA, TAS)
- Are the parents of the pups ANKC registered? If so, are the puppies registered?
- Sight the registration certificates of parents and pups
- Sight the puppies vaccination and microchip certificates
- You are entitled to check the information you are given with the ANKC state representative.
RSPCA Recommended Checklist for selecting a Breeder:
Finding a good breeder means asking these important questions...
- Did the breeder plan ahead for this litter? A responsible dog breeder plans each pregnancy and knows that there is enough demand for their puppies to ensure they will all go to good homes. Ask the breeder if this pregnancy was planned, how many litters the mother has already had (six should be the maximum over her whole life), and what they will do with any unsold puppies (a good breeder will hang on to them until the right home can be found).
- Is the breeder genuinely concerned about the welfare of their dogs? Good breeders want the best for all their animals, from new puppies to retired breeding dogs. They take steps to ensure this by providing detailed advice to new owners about how to care for their puppy, and don’t have old breeding dogs put down because they’re no longer productive.
- Ask the breeder what happens to their retired breeding animals – are they kept or re-homed?
- The breeder should provide advice on de-sexing (unless your puppy has been de-sexed already).
- You should be provided with information on diet, socialisation, registration and identification requirements, and any medications or vaccinations given or required in the future.
- Are you impressed with the standard of care and living conditions of the dogs? It’s really important that you visit the puppy in the place where it was born and meet its mum (and dad too, if he’s around).
- Check whether the place is clean and there is enough space for the puppies and adult dogs to move around and exercise and there are things for the pups to chew on and play with.
- Ask what the puppies are fed and how often. A good breeder will provide information on how to feed your puppy before you take it home.
- Ask about health checks, worming and vaccinations and what documents will come home with your puppy. A good breeder will make sure all puppies have a full veterinary health check and are micro-chipped, vaccinated and treated for worms and fleas before they are sold, and will provide you with records of these treatments.
- Watch how the puppies and the adult dogs in the home behave – are they friendly with people and other dogs? A good breeder will make sure the puppies and breeding dogs are friendly and well-socialised. If the breeder is reluctant for you to visit, or wants you to meet the puppy in another place, find another breeder. Puppy farms will often use a house as a ‘shop front’ so you don’t get to see the poor conditions they breed dogs in. Don’t buy a puppy from a pet shop or through an internet or newspaper advertisement without being able to visit its home, as you can’t check out the conditions in which the puppy was bred or know where it came from.
- Is the breeder open to questions and do they provide a complete history of the puppy? Good breeders want to make sure you are well-informed about your new puppy and will provide information on the background, size, breed and temperament of his parents. They are willing to answer questions and allow inspection of records and paperwork such as registration documents and veterinary records. A breeder who refuses to answer reasonable questions probably has something to hide.
- Does the breeder make sure you will suit the puppy and the puppy will suit you? A new puppy is a long-term commitment, so both you and the breeder need to be certain you are making the right decision. A good breeder will ask you questions to make sure this is the right puppy for you and that you’re able to care for it properly. For example, they might ask:
- if you have children or other animals in the household
- where your puppy will be sleeping, and
- how often it will be left on its own.
- They should also tell you what to expect from the breed, such as how suitable it is for families and how much space and exercise is needed. If you’re at all uncomfortable with what you are told, you might want to consider another breed.
- Is your puppy bred to be a pet and free from known inherited disorders? Different breeds are predisposed to different inherited disorders or diseases. Some of these aren't apparent until later in a dog’s life but can have devastating consequences. Some breeds also have exaggerated features that can cause problems, like a squashed-in face, which makes it hard to breathe, or very short legs, which can lead to spinal problems. A good breeder will be aware of, and screen for, any known disorders or anatomical problems specific to the breed and will exclude dogs with problems from breeding. They will be able to show you copies of veterinary reports and screening tests to confirm this. They should also breed to minimise any exaggerated physical traits specific to the breed that are known to have an adverse impact on the health and welfare of the dog.
- Find out what inherited diseases occur in your chosen breed (an internet search for inherited diseases and the breed name will help you) and ask the breeder what steps they have taken to prevent them.
- One proven way to minimise the risk of inherited problems is to avoid breeding closely related animals.
- Ask the breeder what they think are the most important characteristics in their puppies. A good breeder will put health, welfare and temperament above appearance. Some breeders put success in the show ring above all else, but breed prizes such as ‘best in show’ don’t mean that a dog’s puppies will be good family pets as show dogs are judged on their appearance, not their behavior.
- Does the breeder offer to provide ongoing support and information after purchase? A good breeder will provide full contact details and encourage you to get in touch if you need more information on the care of your new puppy.
- Does the breeder provide a guarantee? What if you take the puppy home and it has a health problem, or doesn't get on with your children or pet cat and you can’t cope? A good breeder will offer to take back unwanted animals within a specified time period after sale. They should also offer to accept animals returned as a result of problems arising from an inherited disorder at any time after sale.
References: "RSPCA Smart Puppy Buyers Guide", "Dogzonline", Dogs Victoria Breeders Reference Pack.