Author Topic: Need dog breeder advice  (Read 1749 times)

Offline RattiesSix

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Need dog breeder advice
« on: January 26, 2013, 04:58:48 PM »
Long story short, a friend of mine is looking for a puppy. She's been emailing breeders up and down for months now and is finally going to look at some puppies tomorrow. Her and her boyfriend want an english bullsog. Since all my animals have been rescues, I was wondering what questions we should be asking the breeder? What red flags we should be looking out for? Do the parents need health screening before breeding, should we ask if they had that, etc?

Offline Dragonfly

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 08:27:19 PM »
I have never gotten a dog or puppy from a breeder (just rescues seized from BYB) but from what I have read, look for both parents on the property, ask for health screens for the puppies, lineages, etc. Pretty much everything you would look for in a rat breeder.
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Offline Kati33

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 08:32:25 PM »
http://www.bulldogclubofamerica.org/store.aspx

There is lots of good info on that page. They need to research the breed and see what health problems exist that can be screened for. Simply asking if the parents were "health screened" doesn't mean much and can be answered with a yes/no. For my last breeder purchased dog, the breeder provided me with the actual test results for the OFA hip rads, the PRA testing, CERF test results, etc. Each breed is slightly different with what issues they have (and bulldogs have A LOT of them) and they need to find out info specific to the breed. I chose the breeder long before I chose the puppy and we communicated for months about her breeding program, what she does with her dogs (conformation, obedience, herding, agility, etc), her general housing and care, about how I care for and train my dogs, etc. Once we agreed we wanted to work together, she put me on the list for the dog I wanted  (a red male) and which of her planned breedings I was interested in. When my desired dog wasn't born in the litters I was interested in, she directed me to another breeder she worked closely with that just had a red male born in a litter with similar pedigree to the ones I was looking at (they share lines/studs/etc). I'd be insanely picky with a bulldog breeder as they are commonly bred for pet stores/quick sales and it is a breed with so many genetic issues that careful breeding is a must to get a dog that has the best chance of being healthy for awhile.
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Offline HowlsOfAngels

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 08:51:46 PM »
Meet the parents, ask about OFA , CERF, and that the jaw of both parents has been properly assessed, seems silly but the breed is know for having problems with extreme under bites and hip/elbow dysplasia. They are also known to have respiratory issues, simply due to the way their heads are built (brachycephalic). And skin issues around their wrinkles, also somewhat due to brachycephaly. Ask about general health checks, food, care, etc.

One thing that may concern some is that momma dog may have given birth via c-section, do not think that this is a red flag, this happens often for these dogs because of their large heads and small birth canals. Though I'd hope that breeders have been working on this as I'd only read up on that a 5 or 6 years back.

I hope your friend finds a big squishy baby to spoil, wish her/him a good luck for me.
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Offline Rats_Red

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 07:58:21 AM »
With english bulldogs, their hips/joints/back is very important to know...i have met some at 12 yrs old healthy and some at 5 months who cant walk from bad hips...
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Offline tsk_n_such

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 11:13:19 PM »
I would not be concerned with meeting both parents. Most times, a breeder does not own the male, which is fine. It also makes sense..since most breeders are doing so to improve the breed, they cannot do so if they're using the same pairing every time.

You'd want a breeder who health tests.. hips,patellas and knees at the least, and preferably heart as well.  Steer clear of lines with skin issues, if you can.   It's very simple to check for health testing on the ofa site once you have a breeder's kennel name or the name of a particular dog.

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Offline SSTFLFPS

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 11:25:24 PM »
You need to meet both parents especially with a breed that has as many health problems as the English Bulldog.  Unfortunately, there are too many unethical breeders out there that will pull a bait and switch.  I think my first question would be how many litters do you produce a year?  This a breed known for their health problems and breeding takes even more money and energy that your average breed.  If the breeder is pumping out litters left and right there's a problem.  I would also ask for a vet reference, and follow up.  There was just a horrible case down here involving a DIY c-section.

Offline mutewolf

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2013, 11:54:53 PM »
I personally agree with meeting both parents, or at least finding out where the male came from and contacting that breeder.
Also, I'd ask more questions than you'd think necessary. I find that the more questions that you ask, the happier a good breeder will be to answer them. If they're sketchy, they may shrug them off.

Offline AnnieB

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 01:23:04 AM »
My experience is more with persians (cat of course, not dog... but a lot of the same problems)...

I would also go by the RESPONSE from the breeder...

I always -welcomed- questions, it shows that the potential adopter has thought about and researched potential problems beforehand.

I would ask to see their adoption/purchase agreement, lines they're working with, contact info for their vet (and follow that info up... is the vet's office comfortable and/or enthusiastic about the breeder?), any show results from the parents' line...  I would also ask for a few references and follow them up... are former adopters happy about the dogs they bought from them?

If they're working with another breeder, can you talk to the other breeder?

If you get the feeling they just want to part you from your $$ and get you in and out as fast as possible, run far far away and don't look back...

Also look at the surroundings.  There -are- breeders who aren't, frankly, rich (few ARE.. with all the cash they/we spend on the breed)... but is everything clean?  Nice(ish) neighbourhood?

Considering the fact that you can easily spend thousands of $$ PER SHOW between travel and grooming and show fees and lodging, it's just not a 'normal' person's 'game'...  Three years in a row, I spent MORE cash just on show fees, travel, lodging, food, vet fees, grooming, etc than I made.  I don't mean more than I made in kitten adoption fees.. I mean.. MORE THAN MY TOTAL INCOME.    For 12 years I never broke even.. (but at least I didn't spend more than my total yearly income...) and then I pretty much ran out of money and decided to stop showing.  That didn't mean that I gave up my kitties... I supported them up until almost all of them had lived out their lifespans, and the last few lived out their lives with my dad and stepmum (who introduced me to showing)...  In that time I had over 20 grandchampions with my cattery name on them and 3 national GCs.

That reminds me of another thing... hopefully you'll see retired/non-breeding animals from their lines.  How are they cared for?  That can tell you a LOT.

Good luck.  I -adore- bulldogs.  They're probably my favourite group of dogs.  (I love border collies too, though...)

Offline Anjel

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 06:16:37 AM »
Personally I always go the extra mile to make sure my dogs come from working lines and not show lines if I go to a breeder. I've only ever purchased two purebred pups but our breeder seemed to be very decent. She only had a single litter every two years. She did have both males and female, our first pup she had both parents on the premises, the second pup she had gotten frozen semen from a working dog foundation line in the Basque old country. My breeder had all relevant health testing completed and available to me. I had been on her waiting list for three years before I got my puppies but it was well worth the wait, the dogs were wonderfully healthy and perfect examples of their breed in both appearance, temperament, and working ability.

All available health testing relevant to the breed should be done on the adults- and never take any kind of registration as proof of health. Just because it's AKC doesn't mean it's healthy- or even purebred. I have seen people breed a miniature poodle to a poodle/yorki mix and still register the pups as purebred mini poodles using a different registered poodle as the father of the litter. It happens a lot more than one may think.

English Bulldogs are one of the more unhealthy dogs as far as I am aware. I would just suggest to them to have a list prepared with all the questions they can find about the health of the parent dogs. Just be sure that your friends are also aware of what will be expected from them. EB's can get bacterial infections in their skinfolds and they need to be cleaned out almost daily to prevent that. They also have a harder time breathing due to skull formation (this has been touched on above I believe) and they are plagued with hip and eye problems. I also believe they have a high tendency to become obese unless carefully maintained on a diet.

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2013, 02:54:22 PM »
Wow, thank you guys for all the responses! She said that the breeder we're going to visit was actually recommended by the last breeder she talked to. We live in Ohio and she's been talking to breeders in Indiana and Michigan because there just aren't many breeders around here. This one is fairly close though and that makes me leary, just because we don't really have a great track record with breeders around here.

She isn't buying yet, I think she just wants to go meet some of the breeder's puppies and see what they're like and get put on a waiting list if she likes what she sees.

This is her first dog and she's seen me go through insane things with my dog (She's a mutt, a boston mix, but a good example of how bad breeding means spending thousands in vet bills in a very short time period), so she's trying to be careful and ask questions and make sure that they get a puppy with the best chances and best initial health with health screened parents.

Both of us went to school for Animal Care, so we've groomed a good number of english bulldog's and she knows about the extremely high maintance grooming. I think she's been researching health problems and I've explained to her also the health issues associated with the breed (Consequently, many of the problems my dog has are problems that are common to EB's. Luxating patella, skin problems, bad allergies, stomach issues, etc. So she's getting as prepared as possible.

Luckily, they're more than well equipped to handle the vet bills and any problems that arise. This is just her first pet besides hamsters, so she's being very cautious and asking for help in making sure she picks right.

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 07:11:54 PM »
They went ahead and put a deposit down on a puppy. I couldn't go because I've been laid up with a migraine. Parents were on premesis (I think... I think she may have meant the mom and grandmother were on the premesis) and she said they were lovely. The breeder had vet references and the parents were health screened. Dad is a show dog, but the mother is a pet only. Puppies are already microchipped and they get to pick him up in a couple weeks. He's suuuuper cute, a little brindle ball of wrinkles.

Offline tsk_n_such

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Re: Need dog breeder advice
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 06:20:02 PM »
I personally agree with meeting both parents, or at least finding out where the male came from and contacting that breeder.
Also, I'd ask more questions than you'd think necessary. I find that the more questions that you ask, the happier a good breeder will be to answer them. If they're sketchy, they may shrug them off.

I know very few people who have met both in person, particularly when dealing with show breeders.  Perhaps if their breeder uses local males it would be possible, but I know that my breeder uses males from other states quite often. I'm certainly not driving 1000 miles to meet my pup's sire. I did receive all the info and was free to contact that breeder. However, I was comfortable with my breeder's reputation (I returned to him a second time when I was seeking another pup) and know of the reputation of the male's breeder. I was comfortable with both. Neither are people who would chance their reputation being sullied in the dog world for something so silly as substituting a male.
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