If you're looking for a new furry family member, you'll likely want to purchase a pedigree hound. But that means dealing with a reputable dog breeder, knowing the right questions to ask and the red flags to spot to ensure your new hound is healthy and well-cared for. In today's Mountain Hound blog post, we'll go over 10 essential questions prospective hound parents should ask long before they start counting out the dollar bills.
What is a Pedigree Dog?
A pedigree dog is one who’s lineage can be traced back along their family tree from parents to grandparents and great parents as purebred. Purebred dogs are officially registered with the American Kennel Club but only if both the puppy’s parents are included on the ‘breed pedigree’ can the puppy receive a pedigree certificate.
Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Pedigree Hound
Can I see the mother and father of the litter?
It's important to see both parents of the litter to get a sense of their temperament and behavior, as these can be inherited by their offspring. A professional breeder should be able to show you both dogs or and answer any questions you may have about their health and personality. Its also a good opportunity to check if the parents are interbred (closely related) as excessive inbreeding of dogs can lead to major health issues.
How many litters has the mother had?
Ideally, a female dog should only have one or two litters per year to ensure that she and her puppies are healthy. If the breeder has been breeding the mother excessively and should be a red flag as it overbreeding can lead to health issues. Allowing time between consecutive heats allows the mother to recuperate and produce healthy offspring.
Can I see the puppy's veterinary records?
The breeder should be able to provide you with documentation of the puppy's vaccinations and any other medical treatment they have received. This will give you an idea of their health and help you make an informed decision. Pedigree breeders should be able to supply the following supporting documentation for your puppy:
- Veterinary health check
- First of their two-stage vaccinations
- Flea and worming treatment.
Have the puppies been socialized?
Socialization is key for a young puppy's development; the breeder should be actively socializing the litter. Ask the breeder how they are socializing the puppies and what experiences they are exposing them to.
Can I visit the puppies before taking one home?
It's always a good idea to visit the puppies and see them interact with their littermates before deciding. This will also allow you to see the breeder's facilities and how the puppies are cared for.
Do you offer any guarantees or warranties for the puppy's health?
A reputable breeder should offer some form of guarantee or warranty for the puppy's health and be willing to take the puppy back if there are any health issues.
Have the puppies been dewormed and treated for parasites?
Puppies are susceptible to parasites (fleas and worms) and should be treated accordingly by the breeder. Ask the breeder what precautions they are taking to prevent parasites in the litter.
What is the temperament of the puppies like?
The breeder should be able to give you a general idea of the temperament of the litter, as well as any potential behavioral issues that may arise.
Can I speak to any previous buyers?
A good breeder will have happy previous buyers who can attest to the quality of their puppies and their business practices. Ask the breeder for references and follow these up before making your decision.
Do you have any questions for me?
A responsible breeder will also want to know that their puppies are going to a good home. They may ask you questions about your living situation, family, and lifestyle to ensure the puppy will be a good fit. Usually breeders are able to provide advice on the best dog food, dog accessories and house training a puppy which can go a long way to alleviating any concerns new hound parents may have.
Purchasing a pedigree dog from a reputable breeder is an excellent way to bring a new furry family member into your home. However, it's important to research and ask the right questions to ensure the puppy is healthy, well-cared for, and has a good temperament. Use the 10 questions listed above to guide you and help you make an informed and confident decision.