Chapter 5
How To Know The Best Source For Your Dog
Do You Receive Full or Limited Registration? Ask the breeder whether you get the puppy with a full registration or a limited registration. A full registration means that the puppy can be registered with the AKC, and any offspring the puppy might have are also eligible for AKC registry. Limited Registration means that you can register the dog itself with the AKC, but any offspring are not eligible for AKC registration. Unless you intend to breed the dog, the difference between full registration and limited registration is not important. But if you intend to breed, this difference becomes significant. What Does the Breeder Feed His Dogs? A knowledgeable breeder feeds his dogs high-quality foods, such as a raw or BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet or a specially-engineered, biologically-appropriate diet. Most kibble diets contain processed food, and can be unhealthy for dogs over a long period of time. 'Supermarket' foods may be marketed as 'premium' dog food, but they frequently don't provide the nutrients that are biologically appropriate for dogs' digestive systems and physiology. Most processed dog foods contain fillers and chemicals that can be harmful over time. Diet plays an important role in dogs' overall health, especially when being bred. If a breeder feeds his dogs low-quality foods, he may not be knowledgeable about other aspects of breeding and raising healthy, high-quality dogs. What Vaccinations Does the Breeder Give His Dogs? Vaccinations are the subject of much debate in the dog world. A few years ago, annual vaccinations were recommended for most dogs. Today, the American Veterinary Medical Association no longer supports a heavy vaccination schedule. Current recommendations are that when vaccinations, when administered, they should be given on a staggered schedule to avoid overloading the dog's immune system. Most vaccinations don't need to be administered annually. Knowledgeable veterinarians will perform a titer test to determine what level of immunity a dog has before administering a vaccination. Beware of breeders that over-vaccinate, as these breeders can actually be harming their dogs' immune system and overall health. Does the Breeder Belong to any Dog-Related Organizations? Breeders who belong to breed clubs, competition groups and other dog-related organizations are more likely to be actively interested in their dogs' livelihood than breeders who aren't involved in these groups.