Puppy Buyer's Guide
So you have decided to buy a puppy.
Due to the immensity of the U.S.A. and the relative rarity of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, many people can only purchase a dog by long distance. If you are in this position and need to have some knowledge about the puppy that you are going to buy and the breeder of the puppy there are many questions that you can ask to further your knowledge of the breeder and the puppy. I would suggest that you ask a breeder if he is willing to put in writing any of the points that you will discuss and what he guarantees. By doing this you can save yourself a lot of hassle and hard feelings later if there is a misunderstanding between you and the breeder. You also have legal recourse if your puppy is not what was advertised or guaranteed. Many reputable breeders will require that you sign a contract that sets forth his expectations of you as an owner and elaborates on his policies regarding health guarantee, refund/return, breeding contracts etc.
1. Will offer help with any questions that you have regarding your puppy and should be in a position to take the puppy or adult back in the future if circumstances force you to give up the animal. (Notice I did not say "buy back".)
2. May want to screen you as a prospective owner so he can ensure that the puppy is in a suitable home.
3. Will be very knowledgeable about the breed, genetic diseases, care and true temperament.
4. Will have clean, healthy surroundings and allow you to visit and see his stock.
5. Will follow up and be willing to answer any questions that come up about your dog.
6. Offer puppies that are wormed, have scheduled immunizations, heart worm prevention and are generally in very good health, with a lively personality.
Questions for you to ask a breeder and request that he put any guarantees in writing:
1. What are your credentials in the breed and how long have you been breeding.
2. What are your puppies like. (color, style, pet, show, temperament, etc.)
3. Can you send me pictures of puppies. (I will reimburse your cost.)
4. How much do your puppies cost and are they A.K.C. registered.
5. Did the dam free whelp the litter.
6. Do you offer a health guarantee, what is it, will you put it in writing.
7. Do you offer a guarantee against genetic anomalies, what is it, will you put it in writing.
8. Do you offer a temperament guarantee, what is it, will you put it in writing.
9. If I can no longer keep the dog, will you take it back.
10. Do you offer a puppy health record regarding shots, wormings, feeding instructions etc.
11. What does the puppy eat and where can I purchase it.
Things to watch out for:
1. Say they will put their guarantees in writing and send them to you later. (Get your written guarantees before you buy your puppy.)
2. Try to sell you a puppy by "bad mouthing" other breeders you may have talked to.
3. Who will not let you come visit (for kennel security, some breeders may prefer to meet you at a neutral point and then take you to the premises.)
4. Will not guarantee the health or temperament of their puppies (remember dog aggression is part of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier's temperament, but people aggression should only be tolerated in defense of owner and family. There are no excuses.)
5. Do not send A.K.C. (American Kennel Club) papers or a bill of sale with the pup or adult dog. According to the A.K.C. the following information must be on the bill of sale: Registered Dog - Breed, Registered Name, Registration #, Date sold or delivered. Dog not individually registered - Breed, Sex, Color, Markings, Date of birth, Litter # (if available), Name and numbers of Sire and Dam, Name of Breeder, Date sold or delivered.
Some breeders will withhold A.K.C. papers for various reasons:
1. Until you see if the pup is suitable in your home.
2. Until it is neutered.
3. Until you finish paying or fulfilling other contract agreements.
The breeder or seller still must send you a photo copy of A.K.C. papers or bill of sale with the above mentioned information.
DOGS USA - Puppy buyers guide (available at bookstores).
The American Kennel Club, Inc - 5580 Centerview Dr., Ste 200 Raleigh, NC 27606-3390
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