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Before Buying A Puppy

One should never decide to bring a puppy home on a whim. Don't let a puppy’s cuteness sway you into impulsively purchasing a dog. Instead, take a moment to consider if you're truly prepared to make the commitment that owning a puppy demands. 

A puppy is a commitment

Remember that puppies will mature into dogs and it is your responsibility to ensure their transition is healthy and appropriate. Training, veterinary care, food, socialization, regular exercise, good hygiene practices, and attention are all necessary maintenance for all puppies and dogs. If it is not feasible to keep up with this work, then a dog is not the right pet for you.


Remember that an Australian Cattle Dog is a commitment, so please be thorough when considering all aspects. Be honest with yourself: far too many puppies and dogs end up confined and alone in shelters, or even euthanized because their owners didn't prepare appropriately before getting them. Perhaps they didn't spend enough time researching the breed and chose the wrong one for their lifestyle. Perhaps they wanted a dog, but another member of their family did not.


Don't hurry into purchasing a dog

Please take this pledge seriously. This is a commitment to the entire lifespan of your dog. Will you be able to dedicate time to this puppy both now and in the future? Do not commit to a puppy today if you can't imagine making substantial changes to your life for the next 12-14 years.


Will you be able to pay all of the costs that owning a dog implies, and are you willing to do so?

Your puppy should enroll in Obedience Training. It will require adequate socialization. A crate and many other pet supplies will be required. He or she will need high-quality puppy food and plenty of treats for training. Regular veterinary visits for all of your puppy’s immunizations are critical, as are flea, tick, and other parasite prevention. Your puppy will also need to be dewormed on a regular basis. Once age appropriate, you may choose to spay or neuter your dog. While Tin Roof will microchip your puppy, keep in mind that your city/state may have additional registration requirements. Always do your homework! 


Is everyone in your family on board with the plan?

Is there anyone in the home who doesn't want a puppy? If you rent your home, will your landlord approve of you owning a dog? Is your significant other allergic to, or afraid of, dogs? Do you have children? Are they capable of responsibly interacting with a high-drive herding breed like the ACD? Unless everyone in your household is in agreement and are appropriate matches for a new ACD puppy, now may not be the time to get one.


Work with an Ethical Breeder, NOT a Pet Shop

Are you willing to spend time researching ethical, reputable, and responsible breeders before purchasing a puppy? Owners and employees of pet stores are NOT breeders. They have no professional training on dog breeds and are unable to provide you with factually reliable information. Pedigrees and health clearances for puppies are often falsified. Remember that no ethical breeder would ever sell to a pet store!


Are you willing to learn about dogs, their care, and their breeds by conducting research?

Read a few different books on Australian Cattle Dogs. Visit different websites. Learn more about different herding dog breeds. Become knowledgeable about puppy care and dog training. Do not place your whole understanding of a breed or the time it takes to train and care for a puppy on a single source of information. 

Click here for more information about the Australian Cattle Dog breed!


Consider your lifestyle before deciding on a breed

  • Do you live an active lifestyle or do you spend the most of your time at home? Do you want a dog to accompany you on a hike, or to cuddle on the couch with you?

  • Spending Time Together: Do you work long hours away from home? Are you a frequent traveler? Will your dog spend the most of his time alone?

  • Physical Space Requirements: What is the size of your living space? Do you prefer a tiny dog, a medium-sized dog, or one of the giant breeds? Will the space you have, including your outdoor space, be adequate for the size and breed of dog you choose as it develops into an adult?

  • Breed-Specific Characteristics: Do you have a good understanding of the breed and the commitments and considerations it will require? The majority of purebred dogs are bred for a specific reason. Please make sure you understand why each breed you're interested in was created. Make a list of their habits and proclivities.

  • What kind of disposition has the breed been bred for? Do you want a gentle dog or one that will guard you? Or are you looking for a friendly dog with a protective side?

  • How much physical activity does the breed require?

  • What is the amount and frequency of shedding in this breed?

  • What sort of grooming will the dog need, and how often will it be required? How much time should you expect to dedicate to grooming?

  • What health issues are common in the breed?

  • Before committing to a specific breed, be sure to ask the breeders specific questions about the breed. Hint: write these down before talking to the breeder!


Which breed(s) is/are the greatest fit for you?

Reduce your breed selection to 1-2 breeds that best suit your lifestyle.


Once you've decided on a few breeds, meet them!

You can reach out to the National Breed Club through the AKC (American Kennel Club). The National Breed Club's website and the Club Secretary provide a comprehensive overview on the breed you're interested in learning more about.


Check the calendars of the National Breed Club and the American Kennel Club, and make plans to visit local dog shows and/or performance events where the breed competes. You should view the breed in person to have a better idea of what your puppy will look like as an adult and how large it will grow.

Pay a visit to a kennel or two. Reach out to breeders and inquire about meeting their dogs. Prepare a list of questions before speaking with them to ensure that you ask all you want to know about the breed and how it could, or might not, be a good fit for you and your family. Tell the truth about your knowledge of the breed. A reputable breeder will gladly teach and collaborate with you.


Everything should be reconsidered

The breeder may be expecting a litter or have puppies for sale. Don't get too worked up. To avoid Buyer's Remorse, make sure you've done your research on the breed. This occurs when individuals act on impulse, as when they find a puppy appealing and immediately want to take it home. If you think you'd be a good fit for the breed and the puppy, ask the breeder to keep the dog for 24 hours and then think about it away from the impact of that adorable, tempting puppy. Consider all you've learned about the breed as well as the time and financial commitments you'll have to make for the rest of the dog's life.


You could find that a puppy demands more time and care than you have or want to devote. It's similar to having a new baby in the house when it comes to housebreaking a dog. For a while, your sleep pattern will be disrupted, and instead of changing diapers, you'll be cleaning up puppy messes. Perhaps consider an older puppy, one that has developed beyond the initial puppy stage. That could be a better option for you. Inquire with your breeder about it. Many breeders are associated with their Breed Rescue Group and either have or know someone who has dogs in need of Forever Homes. Otherwise, you may contact the National Breed Club through their website, which provides information about Rescue Dogs as well as applications.

The fees and costs you are responsible for:

Please be careful of spam ads for puppies. The media is stolen from reputable breeders and used to sell puppies online. There is no puppy to sell though, so they will be vague and not be very educated. Consider the price of the puppy, if it is very inexpensive, you are probably dealing with a backyard breeder. Does the price of the puppy speak for the quality? Health tested parents, microchip & registration, AKC registration, the breeders investment in their own program. Do you see the investment being returned to the program via the activities being done, showing, traveling, equipment, additional breeding dogs to add benefits to their program? Let us not forget about the benefits of how the puppies are whelped and raised. Does the cost of the puppy speak for the breeders education, and process of raising the puppies based on scientific information? (one last one)

Is the price representing health testing, vaccination, exams, and careful pairing of pedigrees that the breeder's program requires in an attempt to save you thousands of dollars in the future for medical issues that could have been avoided?

Keep the breeder up to date

You should keep your breeder updated about your personal status, just as he or she will keep you informed about the breeding, birth, and growth of a litter. Let the breeder know when you're ready to acquire a puppy, which entails filling out an application and putting down a deposit if you haven't already. Remember to communicate: let the breeder know if you're still thinking about it, have changed your mind, or just aren't ready for a puppy yet.

Make a firm commitment

If you're ready to add a puppy to your family, don't ask to be added to the Active Buyer List or expect preferential treatment unless you're willing to put down a reservation.

What you put into your dog is what you will receive out of it

It all boils down to a combination of willingness, ability, and accessibility. You must be ready, able, and accessible to devote your entire life to a puppy, which includes educating yourself on what to expect before getting a puppy and what will be expected of you afterward. And it all starts with choosing the correct puppy breed.


Take some time to think about everything above, and then think about it again. Make sure you're certain. Are you willing, competent, and capable of devoting time and effort training  your puppy in order for him or her to mature into a wonderful dog?

If that's the case, then you've done your part (for now)! When you're ready for a puppy to join your family, you'll be prepared to fulfill the expectations that a dog depends on you for. You'll also be in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, since the relationship you create with your dog will be very fulfilling and unlike anything else.

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