Puppy Page

So, you want to buy a puppy...
Or you're thinking about breeding your dog...
Please read our puppy information first!

Disclaimer:  Wherever possible credit has been given for the education materials reproduced on this website.  If any material appears to have been used without due credit being given, such material was only used for the purpose of furthering the education of novice dog owners.  As such, Key City Kennel Club grants permission to reproduce any of these educational materials when the intent of such reproduction is to provide them free of charge as educational materials.

SHOULD I SPAY OR NEUTER MY DOG?

Many veterinarians and serious dog breeders receive calls from pet owners who wish to breed their pet animals. These owners may feel that their dog has a fine temperament, is a healthy specimen of its breed, and has AKC registration papers.

We at the Key City Kennel Club feel that breeding should be approached as both a science and an art.  We believe dogs should be bred for one reason and for one reason only: TO GET BETTER DOGS AS DEFINED BY THE BREED STANDARD.  Both the bitch and stud should come from lineage that has, to the greatest possible extent, been cleared of hereditary diseases (hip dysplasia, congenital cataract, progressive retinal atrophy, hemophilia or other blood disorders, etc.) present in that breed.  All breedings should be planned by those who can recognize the good points and faults of each member of the breeding pair.  This insures that breeding animals are chosen who compliment each other.

Dogs should not be bred because:

  • She's healthy and it's o.k. to breed her.
  • A litter will make her more mellow.
  • She should be bred once before being spayed.
  • It's good education for the kids.
  • We need the money.
  • We paid a lot for her and want to get some of our investment back.
  • Puppies will be so much fun!

Dog owners should realize that too many dogs are being bred and that some, or most, of their planned litter may have to be euthanized.  The neighbor or friend who wants a puppy with that same wonderful personality as their dog, often changes his/her mind, leaving the potential breeder with a houseful of unwanted puppies.  Thousands upon thousands of dogs are euthanized in Minnesota every year - a large percentage of them being purebred.  There are just not enough humans for every animal.

Dog owners should be discouraged from breeding mixed breeds (peek-a-poos, schnoodle, cock-a-poo, etc.) on the premise that mixed breeds are healthier animals.  The truth is that just as many, if not more, dogs with "high strung temperaments" and genetic disorders can come from cross breeding as from poorly mated purebreds.

Dog owners interested in breeding should be encouraged to study their breed.  By taking the effort to learn what constitutes a good specimen of their breed, they will, along the way, have joined the ranks of the responsible breeder.  They will then pass on the knowledge that the sole goal of breeding should be to produce better animals as defined by their breed standard.

Breeding, when done properly, is hard work and is certainly not the road to wealth.  Each potential litter must be well thought out, with a sincere desire on the part of the owner to breed better dogs.  Quality, not quantity, is the hallmark of the knowledgeable breeder.

YOUR DOG IS SPECIAL TO YOU AND BECAUSE IT IS A SPECIAL PET,
WE URGE YOU TO HAVE IT SPAYED OR NEUTERED.

A RESPONSIBLE, REPUTABLE BREEDER...

  1. Educates prospective buyers about the breed including the negative aspects as well as the positive ones.
  2. Chooses to cull any puppy that is not physically or mentally sound, never selling them at a cut rate.
  3. Divides a litter into "pet" and "show potential," and does not infer that every puppy, simply because it is eligible for AKC registration, is going to be a "champion."
  4. Does not charge more for females than for males because they can be breed to make money.
  5. Will always try to help you pick the puppy that will fit best in your household.  Simply having the money in hand does not mean that someone will get a puppy. (An overactive, dominant puppy should not be sold to someone who will not be able to have the time or energy to train and control the animal. The shy, submissive puppy should not be sold to the active, on-the-go family with young children.)
  6. Will spend maximum time with the litter, socializing each and every puppy getting to know each puppy as an individual, not looking at them as pieces of merchandise.
  7. Will be more concerned with getting a good and loving home for their puppies than with making a profit.
  8. Will be available for help and referral for the life of the dog or puppy they are selling.
  9. Will provide the buyer with the opportunity to see the puppy's parent(s) and relatives where possible.
  10. Will provide a pedigree, a written sales contract including guarantees, and a health record with vaccinations up-to-date for the age of the dog/puppy.
  11. Will be willing to take the dog/puppy back if it doesn't work out - for whatever reason.

SOCIALIZING YOUR PUPPY

PUPPIES CAN BE FUN:  Everyone loves a little puppy.  The trick is to have everyone love them when they are no longer puppies.  How do you do this?

HAVING A WELL SOCIALIZED PET is the beginning of a great relationship between you, your dog and your community.  If you bought your pet from a reputable breeder you are half way there.

ALLOW YOUR PET TO BECOME ACQUAINTED with his new family, home and environment by setting aside certain times of the day to play with him, feed him and work on a housebreaking schedule.  After he has settled into his new surroundings, be certain he has all of the required vaccinations.  Then start taking him for leisurely walks to introduce him to the sights, smells and sounds of the neighborhood, BUT always on a leash so you are in control.  Talk to your puppy reassuring him with the sound of your voice.

IF THERE ARE NO CHILDREN IN YOUR FAMILY, invite a neighborhood child in to play with the puppy, under supervision, so that the puppy becomes familiar with children in his home.  When you have company keep the puppy in his crate until your guests get inside the house and are settled.  Then allow the puppy out of his crate to greet and visit the guests a short time before returning him to his crate to be quiet and away from the activity.

TAKE YOUR PUPPY FOR SHORT RIDES IN THE CAR whenever you can.  Be sure that he is in a crate or safely secured for his protection.  A trip to the local shopping mall parking lot can be a wonderful time.  Weather permitting place a leash on your puppy and walk him around the lot asking people, children primarily, to pet your puppy.  Your puppy will not only become relaxed with strangers but will become comfortable with the sounds and activity around him.  Do not permit your puppy to jump or lunge at people.  Be a responsible pet owner and pick up any droppings your puppy may leave.

EVERY PUPPY DESERVES TO BE TAUGHT HOW TO BE A CANINE GOOD CITIZEN.  The easiest way for you to teach your puppy good manners is to enroll in a puppy training class and follow that with at least one basic obedience class.  People who own an obedience trained dog know the joys of living with a well-behaved companion, whether it be for show, hunting, or most importantly, as your companion.  For information on training classes run by Key City Kennel Club please contact Lynn Davey at 507-344-1159 or ldavey@myclearwave.net.

THE AKC'S POSITION ON. . .

RESPONSIBLE BREEDING
The AKC understands the need for responsible breeding programs, and encourages breeding when it is a valid, justifiable improvement of the breed and when the produce of the breeding can be assured a proper home and care.

The AKC discourages breeding for misguided or fallacious reasons, such as to improve the temperament of the bitch through motherhood, to expose children to the reproductive process, or for monetary gain.  Prospective breeders are reminded of their responsibility to provide complete pre- and post-natal care to the bitch and puppies, and should remember that the expenses of proper care from the time of breeding until the puppies are placed far exceeds any proceeds the sale may bring.

SPAYING AND /NEUTERING
To help reduce the number of dogs destroyed each year, the AKC encourages spaying or neutering as a responsible way to prevent accidental breedings and unwanted litters.  The AKC informs dog owners that both surgical procedures are safe and do not have an adverse effect on the health or temperament of the dog.

REGISTRATION
An AKC individual registration form/certificate must accompany each puppy/dog from a registered litter each time ownership is transferred.  The initial registration of a dog must be made within one year of the date listed on that registration.  It is common for breeders to withhold registration papers for a period of time and for a specific reason, both of which should be listed in the written sales contract.  The registration papers must be delivered to the new owner promptly when the terms of the contract have been met by the new owner (30 day trial period has passed, spaying or neutering has been accomplished).

LIMITED REGISTRATION OPTION
In 1990, the AKC instituted the Limited Registration option.  If the breeder decides that a certain dog should not be used for breeding, the breeder can apply to the AKC for a Limited Registration form for that dog.  The Limited Registration form clearly states:  Offspring Of This Dog Not Eligible For Registration.  The dog will continue to carry the Limited Registration regardless of the number of times the ownership of the dog is transferred.  Only the breeder of the dog can request that a Limited Registration be changed.  As with spayed or neutered dogs, Limited Registration dogs will be ineligible to compete in conformation shows but will be allowed to participate in performance events such as obedience, agility, herding, field trials, etc.

WHEN YOU BUY - ASK THE FOLLOWING

1.  Can you see one or both of the puppies parents?  Yes No

2.  Will you be given a pedigree (minimum 3 generations)?  Yes No

3.  Is there a return policy if the puppy does not work out?  Yes No

4.  Are you able to see all the puppies in the litter?  Yes No

5. If the puppy dies within a couple of weeks, not due to anything you did or didn't do, (veterinarian certificate required), will they replace the pup?  Yes No

6.  Does the breeder acknowledge that there are hereditary diseases within the breed?  Yes No

7.  Does the breeder guarantee against hereditary diseases?  Yes No

8.  Does the breeder provide a written contract stating what the guarantee includes and whether the puppy is show or pet quality. Yes No

9.  Are the puppies raised in a home environment? Yes No

10.  Are the surroundings clean? Yes No

11.  Does the breeder provide you with a record of inoculations, worming, etc. Yes No

12.  Are you satisfied with the temperament of the puppy, the other puppies in the litter and the parents?  Yes No

13.  If you are purchasing a pure-bred puppy, is the breeder charging you extra for the registration papers? Yes No

14.  Are you able to talk to the breeder and obtain all the information that you need?  Yes No

There should be only one NO answer, #13! If you have more than four NO answers then your next step should be not to purchase a puppy from this person.  Seek out another breeder.
NOTE:  Read everything you can find about the breed before you buy!  Find out their height, weight, and faults.  You deserve a good representative of the breed.  The difference between a show and pet puppy will usually be something very minor, not even noticeable to the average person.  Your pet puppy should grow up to be a dog that anyone would be proud to own.  He/she may never grow up to be a champion, but in the eyes of the public he should look like one.

CRATE YOUR PET FOR SAFETY AND ENJOYMENT

Every dog should be "crate trained" and should learn at an early age that the crate will be his home.  Hopefully, the puppy you purchased has already been introduced to being housed singly in a crate.  However, if it hasn't, the time to begin crate training is the day the puppy comes to live with you!

Chose a crate that is large enough so when full grown, your pet can stand up, turn around and lie down.  Place a blanket in the bottom of the crate for comfort.

Start when you bring your puppy home.  Put him in a crate with a blanket when he indicates he is ready to sleep.  When he awakens, take him directly outside to relieve himself.  Stay with him and make certain he does relieve himself.  Bring the puppy back inside to play for a  short time and then put him back in the crate for another nap.  You may feed your puppy in the crate so that he really feels this is HIS home.  It would be preferable that the water dish be outside the crate.  This method will be very helpful in housebreaking your puppy as he will not want to soil his living quarters.

To crate train an older puppy or adult dog, start by putting the dog in the crate with some bedding for 5 10 minutes at a time.  At first, stay with the dog and reassure him.  After the first few times, gradually move away when the dog is quiet.  Feeding the dog in the crate will keep him busy for awhile and also prove to him that this is his territory.  Gradually increase the time the dog spends in the crate.  Remove the dog only when it has become quiet and accepting of being in the crate.  Never take the dog out of the crate if he is crying and protesting.  When your dog calmly accepts being in his crate, you may leave him in the crate when you are away from home.

Using a crate will protect your pet when you are away so that he cannot hang himself on drapery cords, electrocute himself chewing on wires, or be poisoned by chewing on your houseplants.  It  also will protect your furniture and other expensive items.  It will keep the garbage safely in the wastebasket!

Using a crate in the car will protect your dog from being thrown around in the car should a sudden stop occur.  It will prevent your dog from escaping from the car when it is stopped and the door opens such as at a busy gas station or a rest stop along the highway.

When your pet comes in the house after a damp or muddy romp, put him in his crate to dry and protect your clean home.

Your guests will appreciate it if your dog is crated while they are visiting in your home.

There may be a time when it is necessary to board your pet in a kennel or at your vet.  There crating is a must.  How much easier it will be for both of you if your dog has no fear of being in a crate.  Your pet will appreciate it if you have loved him enough to have given him "crate training" as part of his everyday living.

A MESSAGE FROM THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB AND THE KEY CITY KENNEL CLUB

  • Clean up after your dog whether in your yard or in a public place.  People take pride in a clean community.
  • Train your dog to avoid excessive barking.  Barking dogs can become a nuisance to the neighborhood.
  • Keep your dog on a leash when walking in a public area.  People appreciate well-mannered dogs that are under control.
  • Make sure your dog does not run loose in the neighborhood.  It's dangerous for the dog and the community.
  • Teach your dog to accept friendly strangers such as neighbors and delivery people.  No one likes to be greeted by a noisy, snarling dog.
  • Keep your dog clean and well groomed.  People appreciate dogs without fleas.
  • Take the necessary precautions to ensure your dog does no harm to your neighbors' gardens or property.  This will make for a better friendship and save you money.
  • Prevent unwanted litters by spaying and neutering or confining your dogs.

FIND THE RIGHT DOG FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE


Purina Dog Breed Selector
Fill out Purina's survey and they will recommend the best dog breeds for you!

AND MORE...
Stone City Kennel Club's Links page offers numerous resources for puppy development , health and diet for dogs, breeding information and ethics, rescue and adoption, and more.

Minnesota Purebred Dog Breeders Association
Buy from a breeder!  The MPDBA is dedicated to:

  • Fostering the advancement of and the adherence to high ethical standards among the breeders of purebred dogs.
  • Developing a good communication network between breeders and the buying public.
  • Initiating and supporting the enactment of legislation for the protection of dogs, their breeders and their owners.
  • Ensuring the humane treatment and care of all dogs.
  • Providing an alternative to purchasing dogs from puppy mills or pet shops by offering referrals to MPDBA members.
  • Selling a puppy or an adult with a written sales contract which includes a health guarantee for designated period.