The following are a few guidelines to follow when buying a gun dog and selecting a suitable breeder:
- Do not buy on impulse. Do your homework and find a reputable breeder.
- Reputable breeders should ensure all dogs within his/her foundation breeding stock are of sound temperament and free of any genetic disorders before making breeding decisions. Organizations such at the Orthopedic Foundation Association (O.F.A.) and Canine Eye Registration Foundation (C.E.R.F.) are established to assist breeders in identifying inherited disorders in breeding stock.
- Ask for references. If the breeder is doing a repeat breeding between two dogs, ask to talk with a client who has a dog from the previous litter. If this is a first time breeding (between two dogs), obtain references of individuals who are utilizing their dog for the same purpose you would like to (ie. AKC Field Trails, AKC Hunting Tests, gun dog, and/or pet). If at all possible, meet both the parents of the dog.
- Prior to taking possession of a puppy obtain a written health and temperament guarantee from the breeder that clearly states their kennel’s policy regarding puppy replacement. A health and temperament guarantee should include, but not be limited to, hip dysplasia, genetic eye disorders, blood disorders, cardiac disorders and respiratory disorders.
- Finally, make sure you feel comfortable with the breeder!
- Do the owners of the kennel freely share information that will make the process of raising and caring for your new puppy easier?
- Will the kennel stand behind the health and temperament guarantee of the dog, if you do have problems with the puppy?
- Is the kennel breeding for characteristics you place a high value on?