Puppy buying advice - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Puppy buying advice

I am assisting my brother in buying a puppy for his girlfriend for Christmas. Don't worry - this isn't a typical "Christmas puppy" situation. They have been talking about it for quite awhile so the puppy will be a welcome and somewhat expected surprise.

He asked for my help since I live in the city. They want a small breed, and do not care about papers or purebreeds. They just want a companion.

I have been researching Jackrats (Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix). There are several litters available now, and I plan to go and visit them.

Can you guys offer some questions for me to ask? I will most likely be selecting a puppy for them. I know I want to see the parents and the puppies in their home environment, how the breeder handles them, how they interact with each other and one-on-one, appearance, vet records, etc.

What can you offer for advice?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 11:51 AM
 
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IMO, to begin with, someone who mixes two purebreeds isn't a good breeder to begin with. Now that's said. Research the two different breeds independently. All breeds have their abnormalties. Has she testes for those(like in Cavaliers, it's heart and patella problems.) Depending on the personality of the person you're buying the dog for, looks for the most outgoing if you want a dog that's kind of a handfull and, well, outgoing. I would go against the shy one, they might grow up scared their whole life and sometimes the scared turns into antisocial and fear biting, my personal preference is somewhere in between, hoping the dog grows to be somewhat independent but listens well, you know? See if the breeder named them, their names usually go with their distinct personalities. Ask the breeder which one she suggests. Ask her when the last time they were wormed and if they've had their first shots. Look up when this perticular breed is ready age wise to go home and make sure she doesn't try and sell them to you early. Ask if this is her first litter and if she has had any puppies returned to her before for any reason. Make sure you take the puppy in as soon as possible to be checked by a vet, and make sure you tell her you're going to be doing that and you will let her know if any problems come up that she needs to be responsible for. That's all I can think of right now... good luck dog hunting. If my favorite breed, the Cavalier King Charles, weren't so expensive, I'd tell you to look into them. They are well rounded and total sweet hearts, not to mention the cutest things ever. I highly suggest not getting a mixed breed from a breeder, you never know what you'll end up with.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 12:19 PM
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Those two breeds tend to be quite high-maintenence, if I'm not mistaken. Terriers, in general, are little bitty spazzes. My roommate has a JRT mix and a Fox Terrier, both of whom need LOTS of playtime and, when they're out of their kennels, they need near-constant supervision. Lovely dogs, but incredibly high-energy and very intelligent.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aphrodeia
Those two breeds tend to be quite high-maintenence, if I'm not mistaken. Terriers, in general, are little bitty spazzes. My roommate has a JRT mix and a Fox Terrier, both of whom need LOTS of playtime and, when they're out of their kennels, they need near-constant supervision. Lovely dogs, but incredibly high-energy and very intelligent.
Surprisingly enough, I think this is what they are going for.

I have done a lot of research on these individual breeds. One litter is just over 12 weeks old which should be just perfect age-wise. The others I have to confirm ages. The ads say when they will be ready, but that term is relative depending upon who is using it. The litters we are looking at aren't from "breeders." I know I used the term above, but I meant that loosely.

BamMcg - I appreciate the advice on looking for the "middle-ground" personality. I hadn't thought about the quiet one being overly shy and perhaps even a biter later on.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 02:57 PM
 
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Is going to a reputable breeder out of the question? Personally I would either go to a recognized breeder or maybe search for a rescue. Unless the person who is selling had an "oops" litter and they are now going to spay/neuter their dog. I would stay away from patronizing people who may be backyard breeders or puppy mills. If I was buying a puppy especially if we are talking hundreds of $, I would want some kind of assurances on its health and the support of a breeder in case my puppy had problems. That's just my opinion. Good luck with your search!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, a reputable breeder is out of the question. They are not looking for a purebreed nor will they spend hundreds of dollars.

I do plan to ask for a health guarantee, though. That way if they take the puppy for its first vet visit right away and find out something is seriously wrong, they will have options.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 04:15 PM
 
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I would say, make an apointment to have a vet check the puppy out for the same day you pick the dog up, like straight from thei house to a vet, that way you guys can't get too attached. I made the mistake once of buying, yes a mistake, a lab/English Springer mix puppy and taking him in the next day. The dog had a horrible heart murmer(the Dr couldn't figure out how he'd lived as long as he did), a hurnia that needed surgery, coccidiosis(he had horrible bloody diareah), worms, and everything you can imagine in between. I brought the dog back, with the vet's notes. I cryed and it didn't make me feel any better that the lady said that the prognosis for the dog was no reason to want to bring him back and it wasn't as bad as I made it out to be. She said she'd keep the pup herself, she was ticked off, and shoved the money back in my hand. I saw the pup go back in the paper, same price($300), a few days later! Watch out. Caveat Emptor or what have you. I felt so bad for that puppy knowing nothing was going to be done for him but there's no way I'm paying $300 for a dog I'd later, like in the next few days, spend thousands on. Just be very careful. I really should've reported her to the Humaine Society or something. Just wanted to share with you what "can" happen.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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That's exactly the reason I am going to request a health guarantee in writing. Puppies are very expensive in the beginning, anyway, and I don't want to break their hearts by finding them a sick puppy.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 05:30 PM
 
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Yes, but I'd also make a same day appointmnet for the puppy as well just in case. These type breeders do not health check their dogs, heck, they probably aren't even up to date on their shots. Why would someone even think of mixing two breeds anyway??? Even if it was an accident. I don't believe in accidents. You either have a nice breeding quality of dog you keep real close when in heat and wait for a real nice same breed companion or have the dog spayed or neutered! What's so hard about that. Now I'm getting off the subject. My point was that anyone who breeds mix pups aren't good breeders. And, yes, even if you're breeding mixes, you are still a breeder, a bad one but a breeder all the same. They aren't in in for the dogs or you so be extremely careful. Even a written statement isn't worth all that much. Be safe and do a once over yourself before you leave, sign the paper, and head on straight for the nearest vet, do not stop and collect $200(monopoly lol). It's a huge risk but you can make the risk smaller by being responsible yourself, you know?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 08:23 PM
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we just got a JRT.. she is great.. but alot of work.. alot of engrey!

have you thought about going to a sheltr and finding a puppy? instead of a breeder?

Good luck....
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