Would you like your next canine companion to live a longer ACTIVE life with fewer expensive visits to the vet?
The best chance for you to have that long lived, fantastic hiking, backpacking or competition dog begins with asking the breeder the right questions.
I've been breeding Aussies for 18 years and I am still amazed by how few people actually ask what I consider to be the most important questions every breeder should be asked.
How does the breeder intend to insure you receive the very healthiest pup possible???
1. Does the breeder only breed mature, healthy dogs 4 years old or older to screen out the genetic diseases that normally show up before a dog turns 4 years old?
Many breeders say they have healthy dogs and puppies, but do they provide you with actual copies of health clearances or do they just claim their dogs come from healthy lines and have no evidence to back up those claims? Can they speak intelligently about the many serious health issues facing Aussies that do not have any DNA tests available and how they are personally breeding away from those issues? Hip and eye issues are only two of the serious problems facing these lovely dogs.
2. A healthy pup starts with a healthy, well fed mother, free of poisons and radiation.
Does the pregnant mama receive plenty of daily exercise? Is she fed a top quality food, preferably raw, to nourish the growing babies and produce rich milk so pups will thrive from birth on? Do the pups also receive additional nutrition through the feeding of a raw meat based diet? Does the breeder avoid using all chemicals on the pregnant bitch and refuse to use x-rays to determine number of puppies present?
3. Is the pup from generations of strong, healthy individuals that are living well into their teens???
4. Does the breeder understand the relationship of correct structure to a dog having healthy joints into old age???
One of the most common and painful health issues our dogs face is joint and back pain. Almost totally preventable by breeding dogs with correct structure AND keeping the dog at the correct weight throughout life. Many many breeders don't even have a clue about what correct structure is so you should educate yourself from one of the many books available.
One more thing to consider - there is absolutely NO WAY a breeder can avoid producing a health issue once in awhile, no matter how careful the breeder is to research pedigrees, feed a quality food, etc. Stuff happens. If you ask a breeder what health issues they have produced and they say NOTHING, you should strongly consider a different breeder because they are either lying or have not been breeding long enough or have not kept in touch with their puppy buyers so don't have a clue. I have very seldom been asked what defects I've produced, yet to me, it should be one of the first questions asked followed by what has the breeder done to reduce the incidence of that disease in their dogs.
The breeder should talk about breeding two dogs together that complement each other. One dog's fault should be the other dog's strength so that's another really good question to ask - what are the dogs' strengths and weaknesses?
You should always feel free to ask a breeder any question you personally feel is important. You are, after all, the one who will be responsible for that dog for the next 13-15 years and will spend during that time, hundreds if not thousands of dollars on that dog. Shouldn't you feel confident that the breeder you have chosen is doing everything possible to ensure you get the very best, healthiest pup possible?