buying a puppy

As with any expensive purchase, buying a pure-bred puppy requires a great deal of forethought. You must consider the care, attention and exercise required, also the costs of feeding and medical care. Remember, like most things in life, purchasing a pet has both an up side and a down side. Playing ball with your dog in the park is fun, picking up after it is not.

Getting a pet is not a decision to be taken lightly. Ask yourself the following questions (and be honest with yourself!) before you do anything else:

  • Who will feed and walk Puppy everyday?
  • Do you have the time and desire to train a dog?
  • Can you afford the cost of food and vet bills?
  • What happens to Puppy when you go on holiday?
  • Can your home accommodate a pet?
  • Are you prepared for an 8-10 year commitment?
  • What are your needs and is the Dobermann the right breed?
  • Have you had a Dobermann before (a Dobermann is like a busy child for the rest of its life!)?
  • Do you have another dog or pets?
  • Do you have the commitment required to dedicate to your new puppy or dog?
  • Have you done a thorough study of the breed? Health, temperament and conformation etc.

Dogs have feelings too. A visit to your local SPCA will soon remind you what happens to man's best friend when they are acquired without enough thought.

CHOOSE THE PET THAT BEST SUITS YOUR LIFESTYLE AND YOUR HOME (even if it's NOT a Dobermann!)

Consider the following before deciding:

SIZE: A large Dobermann is not a good idea if you live in a small town house or flat filled with knick-knacks. One bounce and Grandma's porcelain will be history.

COAT: Perhaps you are allergic to dog hair? There are some breeds who do not loose their hair at all and are clipped instead on a regular basis.

WHY PURE-BRED: The advantage of a pure-bred is that they are bred to meet certain standards of size and temperament. Be sure that you choose a reputable breeder.

WHAT BREED IS BEST: By familiarising yourself with your breed, you will avoid any surprises. Be sure to research your particular breed in advance. Different breeds have their own characteristics and temperament.

SHOP AROUND: Shop around at different kennels before deciding on a puppy and try to resist the first pair of appealing brown eyes. The condition of the dogs in the kennel and the kennel itself will be an indication of the quality of the breeder. Buying a puppy is a very risky business these days. Phone as may breeders as possible, make use of the internet, magazines, your local Veterinarian and KUSA breeders information department. Under no circumstances should you EVER buy from a pet shop. Not even because you feel sorry for the animals.

How to choose a (good) Dobermann Breeder

Once you have decided that the Dobermann is the right breed for you, you’ll have to contact breeders. Many people have been burnt in the past because they didn’t research the breeder they bought their dogs from thoroughly. It’s alright to speak to more than one breeder, in fact it’s recommended. Don’t take too much notice of a breeder that slanders others, it’s a competitive business. If you hear a warning from more than one breeder about another you would do well to take note.

The choice of breeder will influence your entire relationship with your Dobermann. A puppy from a good breeder will be a pleasure to live with, a puppy from a backyard breeder or pet shop can bring untold heartache and endless problems. 

Before you make any calls, take a few minutes to note some questions to ask, when you’re in a conversation it’s easy to forget what you wanted to ask.

Ask about the health testing the breeder does on his breeding stock. Please have a look at our page of health considerations to find out more about what is “normal” to test for and how important the tests are.

Don’t go out and see the puppies of the first breeder you speak to. Once you see the puppies, it is hard to make a rational decision. Speak to as many breeders as you can beforehand and get answers to all your questions, then you can eliminate those that don’t sound good to you. Not every breeder you speak to will have puppies available, you may have to go onto their waiting list for the next litter. Don’t go with a breeder just because they have puppies if they don’t meet all the criteria you are looking for and DON”T let a breeder talk you into getting a puppy now if you would rather wait. A good breeder usually only breeds if he wants to keep something for him self or has many pre-screened people interested in his puppies so that most of the puppies are sold even before they are born. It’s better to get on to the waiting list of the breeder of your choice even if it means waiting for some time.

Ask the breeder how they socialise their puppies. A good breeder should expose her puppies to a variety of different experiences from the day they are born. Be sure that the breeder you are considering does this. Poor socialisation can result in temperament problems. Ask about the parents' temperaments and if it will be possible to see them when you visit. When visiting a litter you may find the dam aggressive and protective of her brood and should respect that for what it is. Enquire about how many litters are bred each year and rather stay away from breeders who appear to have too many.

Ask about contracts and agreements and any conditions of purchase. Ask if you can have a copy of the contract to look through before you visit/buy the puppy. If you aren’t happy with or don’t understand something in the contract, ask the breeder to explain it to your satisfaction before signing.

You should ask the breeder for references from previous puppy buyers as well as a reference from their vet. A good breeder is concerned about the welfare of each and every dog he has produced and will ask you to contact them before you consider re-homing the dog for whatever reason.

Be prepared to answer questions from the breeder when you call. A good breeder will want to know about your situation, previous experience, and reasons for getting a dog. They will want to know that their puppy is going to a good home and will be treated as a member of the family. Answer all questions honestly, as the breeder may decide to come and have a look at your situation before they let a puppy go to it’s new home.

Count on a long relationship with your breeder, they will be the biggest source of information and help you will ever have.