This is one of the most pervasive sentiments that puppy buyers, especially families, express when they're looking for a dog. What they really mean, of
course, is that they don't want a show BREEDER – don't want to pay the high price they think show breeders charge, don't want to go through the often-invasive interview process, and think that they're getting a better deal or a real bargain because they can get a dog for $300 or $500.
We want you to change your mind. We want you to not only realize the benefits of buying a show-bred dog, we want you to INSIST on a show-bred dog. And we want you to realize that the cheap dog is really the one that's the rip-off. And then we want you to go be obnoxious and, when your workmate says she's getting a puppy because her neighbor, who raises them, will give her one for free, or when your brother-in-law announces that they're buying a goldendoodle for the kids, we want you to launch yourself into their solar plexus and steal their wallets and their car keys.
If we ask you why you want a German Shepherd, Iceland Sheepdog or Glen of Imaal Terrier, we would bet you're not going to talk about how much you like their color. You're going to tell us things about personality, ability (to perform a specific task), relationships with other animals or humans, size, coat, temperament, and so on. You'll describe playing ball, or how affectionate you've heard that they are, or how well they get along with kids.
The things you will be looking for aren't the things that describe just "dog"; they'll be the things that make this particular breed unique and unlike other breeds.
That's where people have made the right initial decision – they've taken the time and made the effort to understand that there are differences between breeds and that they should get one that at least comes close to matching their picture of what they want a dog to be.
Their next step, tragically, is that they go out and find a dog of that breed for as little money and with as much ease as possible.
You need to realize that when you do this, you're going to the used car dealership, WATCHING them pry the "Audi" plate off a new car, observing them as they use Bondo to stick it on a '98 Corolla, and then writing them a check and feeling smug that you got an Audi for so little.
It is no bargain.
Those things that distinguish the breed you want from the generic world of "dog" are only there because somebody worked really hard to get them there. And as soon as that work ceases, the dog, no matter how purebred, begins to revert to the generic. That doesn't mean you won't get a good dog – the magic and the blessing of dogs is that they are so hard to mess up, in their good souls and minds, that even the most hideously bred one can still be a great dog – but it will not be a good Shepherd, or good Icie, or a good Glen. You will not get the specialized abilities, tendencies, or talents of the breed.
If you don't NEED those special abilities or the predictability of a particular breed, you should not be buying a dog at all. You should go rescue one. That way you're saving a life and not putting money in pockets where it does not belong.
If you want a purebred and you know that a rescue is not going to fit the bill, the absolute WORST thing you can do is assume that a name equals anything. They really are nothing more than name plates on cars. What matters is whether the engineering and design and service department back up the name plate, so you have some expectation that you're walking away with more than a label.
Keeping a group of dogs looking and acting like their breed is hard, HARD work. If you do not get the impression that the breeder you're considering is working that hard, is that dedicated to the breed, is struggling to produce dogs that are more than a breed name, you are getting no bargain; you are only getting ripped off.
As we continue the clicker training, this week is when we start the trick training. Through basic clicker shaping we start teaching sit, down, spin, target along with other tricks. Each pup will start getting alone time in a crate every day, supplied with a stuffed kong.
The puppies are starting to look like little dogs! With their eyes and ears opening, this is when the fun begins. We introduce new and different surfaces to lay and walk on throughout the house and introduce some small and appropriate puppy toys which are rotated daily. We begin daily rides in the van with mom now!
How do we take these litter photos? Here's a behind the scenes look... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-MH_ggtsYY
The puppies continue to learn something new every day. They are meeting new people and seeing new places at a lightning fast pace. We introduce them to balance equipment among other things to help with body awareness and coordination.
This is when we complete the temperament testing of the litter. Although at this point we have an idea of the puppies' personality, this helps us identify what lifestyle would be best for each individual.
This is the week of the structural evaluations. We enjoy getting an outside, unbiased opinion on each of the puppies so that we can further our breeding program. At this time, also, if the puppies haven't gone to their new homes at 9 weeks, they hit the road with us to the dogs shows and trials that we are attending!
The clicker is introduced! We continue the daily rides in the car. Potty training begins, regardless of weather they are outside many times each day. At this time we also introduce them to other dogs in the same family.
The work to make your new puppy the best he/she can be starts at day 1 for Caradoc Kennel pups! Here is a glimpse of what goes into raising rockstars!
This week we begin to visit other homes and businesses with the puppies. We have different field trips 3-4 days per week. Pups are taken individually to different places in our home and outside. They continue meeting new people (20-30 per week) and they start eating meals/snacks in a crate.
Welcome to the world! From day one, we start early neurological stimulation. Research shows that these specific exercises give puppies what the need to be superior and to give them a head start. (See Breeding Better Dogs - Dr Carmen Battaglia for more information). The puppies are held and loved on by different family members throughout the day.