WHAT DOES "REGISTERED" AND "PURE-BRED" REALLY MEAN?
No dog is a "pure-bred" if it does not have an Individual Dog Registration Certificate issued by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC); regardless of parentage! The "PAPERS" are provided at NO EXTRA COST to the buyer. The papers will not be available at time of purchase as the transfer of ownership must be mailed into the CKC. They are usually mailed back to the breeder so they can complete their breeding records; then are to be forwarded to the new owner within 6 months of purchase. The registration papers will now have your name as the owner on it.
The cost of the puppy or dog, is usually determined by the expense to the breeder. Factors to take into consideration are the genetic and health screening of the parents, cost of the stud service, cost of travel to and from the stud, veterinary bill (health checks, wormings, inoculations), food, shelter and proper upkeep of animals and facility. Another expense to the breeder is KNOWLEDGE. Knowledge of the dog's ancestry, genetic background, temperament, subscriptions to dog journals, memberships in various clubs, a library of books and countless hours interacting with the dogs and other breeders.
Deal with a breeder that is involved in many aspects of dog ownership; training, showing, obedience and working. These breeders are usually more informed and are continuously striving to improve their line. Most will offer a written guarantee against genetic health problems. When getting a registered dog, you know what the dog will look (size, build) and should act like (temperament & health). Get you money's worth - BUY FROM A BREEDER!
CHOOSING A REPUTABLE BREEDER
There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a reputable breeder. Most of the foot work can be done by phone, internet or e-mail; this prevents carrying diseases such as Parvo Virus, from one kennel to another. Distance and time should not be a factor in choosing a breeder but rather trust and reliablilty.
Inquire about the breeder's purchase agreement. They should provide you with copies of it. They should also give copies of the certificate from recognized organizations for genetic health screenings. You should be knowledgeable about what healthy problems exist in the breed and what tests can be preformed on dogs to be bred. Find out if the breeder will provide you with a medical record, pedigree, non-breeding agreement and a replacement, return and refund policy. Is the breeder a member of a breed club? This usually ensures that they follow a code of ethics in breeding as enforced by the club. Most will also provide you with information or a membership application for Stafford clubs. A responsible breeder will also interview you to ensure that the puppy is going to a proper home.
A home visit is usually next. this is you chance to check for cleanliness and the condition of the other dogs. Be sure to see at least one parent and check the temperament and general health. The breeder knows best the personality of the puppies in the litter and will select puppies for you to choose from based on the information you provide. A very aggressive, active puppy is more suited for show or a herding home and a milder manner puppy as a companion.
SELECTING YOUR PUPPY
The breeder will ask you if you are interested in show quality or pet/companion. Show or breeding quality usually comes with some kind of guarantee as the the puppy's potential to be shown in the conformation ring. The breeder will compare each puppy against the Breed Standard and thus make the distinction. The differences between show and pet qualtiy are just physical qualities and make no difference to the health and temperament of each puppy.
Most breeders will also perform a puppy temperament test on each puppy. This way the breeder can best select a puppy matched to your lifestyle. Trust the breeder to select the puppy best suited to your lifestyle.
With proper training there is no difference in temperament between the male and female. Neutering or spaying, also, does not change the dog's personality.
THE OLDER DOG
Occasionally some breeders have older dogs or older puppies available. These have become very popular with our modern lifestyles. Many are house-trained, used to getting their nails trimmed and some have more than basic obedience. These dogs will adjust to your loving home with a minimum of fuss.
CONSIDER A RESCUE DOG
Rescue dogs are usually older dogs that are given up for various reasons. They are mostly taken from animal shelters, either picked up as a stray or tuned in by the owner. Others are given up by the owner due to changes in the owners situation (moving, divorced). Most dogs are spayed or neutered with special emphasis placed on temperament and health before the dog is placed.
Most dogs do need extra time and love as many have been neglected and abused but you will reap the rewards of a loyal companion for years to come.
For more information about adopting a Staffordshire Bull Terrier check out the Rescue page.