If you are worried about dodgy breeders? puppy farming and health checks, or just unsure whatquestions to ask? the read on for Ian's guest post...
We seem to live in a “must have it now” society, but the old saying“marry in haste, repent at leisure” also applies when you're thinking of buyinga puppy, re-phrased as “buy in haste, repent at leisure”. You must do your research carefully. If you're doing your research on-line, searchfor “Dachshund Breed Council” rather than “Dachshund Puppies”. We like to think our Dachshund BreedCouncil's website (www.dachshundbreedcouncil.org.uk) makes iteasy for a potential owner to find out about our breed. We have presentations and advice for buyers which youcan view on-line or download.
There is so much advice for puppy buyers, from so many differentsources, it's difficult to know who to rely on for good advice. When you've done your research, if you'reconvinced you want a Dachshund puppy, make contact with one of the Breed Club Secretaries, by'phone or e-mail to ask for recommendations of responsible breeders in yourarea. For in-depth, up-to-date, adviceon Dachshunds, it's hard to beat talking to a Breed Club Secretary.
By doing careful research before deciding to buy a puppy you willincrease your chances of finding out the right questions to ask when,eventually, you do speak with breeders. You can then confidently ask them about their knowledge and experienceof the health issues in the breed. Ifyou discover you know more about the breed's health issues than the breederdoes, that should really ring alarm bells and you should walk away.
Finding the right breeder
Most puppy buyers use the internet to look for puppies. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long asyou realise that bad breeders are not sticking to the Exchange and Mart or adsin the Newsagent’s window any more. Theyknow where their buyers are and they know how to pull them in. It’s up to you as a buyer to do yourresearch, but it can be very confusing because bad breeders will claim all thesame things that good ones do.
Never buy from a pet shop or “pet supermarket”, however “up-market”they appear to be. Their puppies willalmost certainly have come from puppy farms or “back-yard breeders”, where dogsare bred and reared in poor conditions, purely for profit and with little or noregard for health and welfare.
A reputable breeder will, as a minimum, comply with the good practicerequirements of the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder Scheme and willalways be happy to answer any queries you may have at any stage of your dog’slife and will like to hear how your dog is progressing. Reputable breeders will want you to beassured that your puppy has been well reared and is a fit, healthy and typicalspecimen of the breed.
You can find lists of KC Assured Breeders with puppies available at: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/puppiesforsale.
Many Breed Club members list their puppies at www.dachshundshowcase.co.uk which Irun and you'll also find lists of breeders there. Breeders who are members of a Dachshund BreedClub will comply with our Code of Ethics whichcovers matters such as health testing, the age at which a bitch should be bredfrom and the maximum number of litters a bitch should have. Breed Club members will be aware of therelevant health tests which are recommended for Dachshunds and should be ableto talk knowledgeably about the relevance of these. If you have any doubts about the healthadvice you are given, please contact a member of our Health Sub-committee.
You'll find a checklist of questions to ask thebreeder here and how to recognise a responsible breederhere.
Remember, most good breeders do not have to advertise their puppies,so Free Ads (internet or newspaper) are usually not a good place to look for apuppy.
Current health tests
All Miniature Dachshund breeders should be DNA testing their dogs andbitches for cord1 PRA, a form of eye disease.
Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund breeders should be participating inthe Wirehaired Dachshund Club's screening programme for Lafora Disease (a formof epilepsy).
Do not buy from a breeder who is unaware of these tests, or who saysthey are not important.
Because Dachshunds are a dwarf breed there is an increased risk ofback problems. Always ask about anyhistory of back problems when buying a puppy.
Always consult a Vet if you have any concerns about a puppy youintend to purchase, or health problems with an older dog.
Buying your puppy
Except in exceptional circumstances you should always be ableto see the mother of the puppy. Visit where the puppy was born, regardless ofhow far you have to travel. Aresponsible breeder will let you see all the puppies in the litter, with theirmother, and you should be able to handle them.
Do not be talked into buying a “rare coloured” Dachshund. Generally, anyone telling you a puppy has arare colour either doesn’t know what they are talking about, or they are acommercial breeder.
If something doesn’t feel right when you visit, walk away. Unscrupulous breeders rely on people “fallingin love with a puppy” or “feeling sorry” for puppies, and feeling obliged tobuy one. Don't make this mistake.
My top tips for Dachshund buyers
· Do your homework – research the breed andbreeders
· Get on a waiting list for the right puppy, fromthe right breeder
· Ask current Dachshund owners for theirrecommendations – Dachshunds in London is a great place to start!
For more queries on the subject you can contact Ian Seath Chairman of Dachshund Breed Council at firstname.lastname@example.org