This article will focus on the guidelines to assist you in finding a responsible and reputable breeder. Take your time selecting a breeder. You may ask for recommendations from vets, friends who own a Rottweiler, local breeding clubs, if available, or you may contact the American Kennel Club. If you see advertisements in newspapers for "puppies for sale", do not inquire. People who breed their dogs with their friend's dogs are called backyard breeders and you do not want a puppy from these people. A backyard breeder will have no idea if the parents of the puppies are healthy or if they have some medical defect that could be inherited by the puppies.
A breeder will screen their dogs for genetic problems and will be able to give prospective owners documentation showing their puppies are from a litter whose parents are free of any genetic problems. A reputable breeder will show their dogs or at least participate in some dog related events. These events may include obedience, agility, herding or numerous other dog events. A responsible breeder only breeds to improve the dog breed. Through participation in dog events they are able to compare their dogs with other breeder's dogs.
If you find a breeder who does not compete in dog events and does not participate in some type of dog club (i.e. obedience, schutzhund, herding, all-breed, etc) you probably don't want to choose a puppy from this person. A good breeder knows their breed and knows what medical problems (congenital defects) are present in the breed. Two medical problems that seem to occur frequently in Rottweilers are hip dyplasia and entropion (eyelid defect).
A breeder will inform you of any problems in the breed and what kind of testing has been done with her dogs to make sure she/he isn't breeding animals with defective genes. An ethical breeder will guarantee that the puppy you take home is in good health and will take the puppy/dog back if a genetic problem is found that debilitates the life of the dog. This will be covered in the contract that you must read and sign before you become the owner/guardian of the puppy. Some good questions to ask the breeder are: ? How long have you been breeding Rottweilers? (Look for experience) ? Are the puppies parents on site and may I see them? The mother should be on site and probably not the father. Remember a good breeder breeds to advance the dogs breed.
It is not likely that a person has exceptional male and female dogs to mate and advance the breed. If both parents are on site be cautious. ? How many litters do you have in a year? If they have more then two litters be very cautious. They may be breeding more for profit then advancement of the breed. ? Are the puppies house raised? Raising puppies in a house and around people is a great start on their socialization.
If the puppies are raised in a kennel, that could be fine as long as they are around people and are introduced to the home so they may become accustomed to sounds, sights and smells. You want the puppy use to a home environment as they will be living inside when you take them home. ? What kind of guarantee do you offer? The breeder should offer a health and genetic disease guarantee along with a guarantee to take back the puppy or dog, no matter the age, if you are unable to keep it. This is not to say that they will return your money; they will take back their dog to keep it safe and keep it out of the animal shelter. A good breeder will screen you as a prospective buyer.
They want to make sure you will be a good fit for their puppy and are informed about the breed. Many of the questions may seem intrusive or nosey but a breeder wants to insure her puppy is going to a person who plans to take care of their pet for the next eight to twelve years. You are committing yourself to being responsible for this animal for their lifetime. Before you decide on the breed of puppy you want to adopt, read all you can and go to dog shows. Being around the different breeds will give you a chance to see the dog in action.
Maybe a Rottweiler isn't for you but another breed is. Get to know the dog before making the commitment.
Jim McKiel lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife Doris and their pet family members Buddy and Buster. They have devoted their lives to the betterment of pet ownership. For more information, visit Large Breed Family Dogs