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Buying and owning a purebred dog


So you want to buy a purebred dog. There are many things you should do before you buy a purebred or as some call it, a thoroughbred dog.

Let me first mention that in the dog world the legal term for a pedigreed dog is purebred.
The word thoroughbred is used to define a particular breed of horses.

To claim that a dog is purebred it must be properly registered with one of the national kennel clubs. In Canada the national club is the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), whose head office is in the Toronto area. This club operates under the Agricultural Act of Canada. In the United States the main body is the American Kennel Club.

Many dog breeders have formed national clubs for their own breed, such as the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada. These clubs are affiliated with, and have to follow the rules of the Canadian Kennel Club. The CKC publishes a monthly magazine telling stories of various breeds and reporting on the activities at dog shows. They also publish an annual Breeders' Directory, a useful source of information for the potential buyer. But, before you buy you should try to learn as much about the breed as you can. There are books in the library and of course there are many websites that provide information about different breeds.

Go to dog shows and meet the breeders and try to learn about the breed in which you are interested.

When you have selected the breed you would like to own, you should make a list of breeders and determine who has the quality of pet that you would like to own.

My late wife and I bred Newfoundland Dogs for nearly 40 years, and when someone called for a puppy, we asked many questions to determine whether the potential owner was a suitable candidate for one of our puppies.

When the potential owner first came to the house to see and buy a dog, we made sure they saw the parents first. A puppy is cute and you will loose your heart to it very quickly without considering the other factors such as full growth size.

Many of you readers have owned a Newfoundland Dog before and I expect you have forgotten what it was like to bring up a puppy. For those who do not remember, a Newfoundland Puppy at birth weighs about 19 ounces. At full growth it will probable weigh 150 pounds. I have seen both larger and smaller dogs, but 150 pounds is a good average weight for a full grown dog. A dog that size must be properly trained to walk on a leash, and you must be properly trained to look after your pet. The cost of buying a puppy will vary depending on the size and popularity of the breed, and if you cannot afford the price of the puppy, you probably cannot afford to own it.

Some breeders will offer you a puppy for a price without registration papers and, at a higher price if they supply papers with the animal. This is a federal offence. To sell a dog as a purebred, the breeder or owner must have registration papers for the sire and dam and provide registration papers for the puppy at no cost to the purchaser. The Canadian Kennel Club and the courts take a very dim view of anyone breeching this law.

I do not wish to sound sexist, but I will refer to the pet as him rather than writing him or her every time.

When you take the pet home you should have proper identification for the dog. Today that is usually in the form of a microchip placed under the skin of the animal, or it may be a tattoo on some inconspicuous part of the body. There are of course papers that identify the dog and the chip or tattoo. Registration papers take some time to process, so you should receive them a month or so later. At home you should have a kennel large enough for him to turn around and be comfortable in. A pet carrier makes an excellent kennel for the pet. When you are not watching him, particularly just after you bring him home, you should put him in the kennel and fasten the door shut. After a while he will become accustomed to the place and will retreat there when he wants to be alone or rest away from people. Always have a bowl of water available for him to drink. For your sake put it on a suitable mat to catch any spilt water. He can be 'paper trained' quite easily if you have some patience. He will want to relieve himself very shortly after waking up and about 20 minutes after eating. Take him outside on a leash, or in a fenced area and praise him when he performs, And, for goodness sake do not punish him for mistakes. You may speak harshly, but his memory for such things is very short and he will wonder why you are being cruel to him. When walking him on city streets, be sure to pick up after he does 'his job'. A bread bag makes a suitable container.

There are dog clubs in many cities and towns. Members of these clubs are usually ready and willing to help you with advice on the care and upbringing of your new pet. Do not be afraid to ask for help if you are unsure of what to do. Breeders are very glad to help.

John Waller is a member of The Compass editorial board, who resides in Brigus. Proper care of purebred dogs is another of his pet peeves.

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