Beware of breeders that tend to have puppies available specifically for holiday sales! What happens when that cute little fluff ball is no longer cute, or little anymore? That furry little stocking stuffer you got at 8 weeks, could turn into a 65+ pound unmanageable nightmare at 6 months. Especially if the breed doesn't fit your family's lifestyle. Are you prepared for the caring and development of an exuberant puppy that needs consistent training, socialization, and lots of exercise?
A responsible breeder generally will not have 'Holiday Puppies', of course we can't always schedule our females to avoid holiday availabilities it should not be a primary goal behind the breeding. A responsible breeder will, also, encourage you to do your homework and should be willing to explain not just the positives but also the potential negatives to the breed. They don't want their puppies to go to just any home, they want their puppies to go to their FOREVER home!
"Full Blooded No Papers"
Also know that "Full-Blooded" only 'probably' means the parents are of the same breed. However, it could be an attempt to characterize puppies of mixed parentage. An example for instance, two cocker-po0s do not produce a purebred litter. A cocker-poo is the result of breeding a cocker spaniel to a poodle. In layman's terms, a mixed breed. The only thing that is 'full-blooded' about this dog is that it's a dog. Even though the parents may be referred to as a 'breed' they are not. It takes generations of careful, purposeful breeding to produce a new breed.
If you are tempted to call the folks who placed this ad, be sure to ask them why they produced a purebred litter that could not be registered. Find out about prices before going to see the puppies -- don't assume that the lack of papers means the price quoted is less than the price for a comparable registerable puppy of the same breed.
If the ad reads "papers available," find out if the papers include both a pedigree and a registration form. Don't pay extra for the pedigree, and only pay the registration fee to reimburse the breeder for registering your puppy if the breeder asks. Breeders who register the puppy for the buyer usually do so as part of the cost of the puppy. A registration form is given to the breeder by the AKC when the litter is registered; don't be suckered into paying extra for it.
AKC - registered refers to the American Kennel Club, a registry that depends on breeders to keep accurate records of the sire and dam of each litter and to forward that information to its North Carolina office whenever a litter is born. Thus AKC registration means that the dog is likely to be purebred, but it makes no guarantees as to the health, quality, or temperament of the dog.
"Pups OFA registered" or "Good hips."
Be wary of the 'breeder' who claim to health test but will only provide proof to 'serious buyers only'. These health certifications are easy enough to verify through www.offa.org and any reputable breeder will be proud to produce these records for your viewing.
This photo shows one such forgery (top) that was found on an irresponsible breeder's page- verified false by the vet who's logo was also falsely used. The vet who was misrepresented here by the breeder was not an ACVO veterinarian, the only type of veterinarian who can perform and submit the official exam to CERF/OFA. If you have any doubt the paperwork you can easily search the OFA database using the dog's registered name, or the kennel name. As you can see from this forgery, the fakes can be quite convincing if you aren't sure what you are looking at!
Below the forgery is what an official certification of eye exam from OFA will look like. The paperwork should include the registered name of the dog that was evaluated, the registration number of the dog, sex of the dog, the date of birth, age in months at the time of evaluation, and the official OFA certification number in the box. The certificate will have an official watermark as well, this is very difficult to duplicate.
**We wish to note there are working line Siberian kennels that are trail proving their hips vs OFA clearing. We support kennels who are legitimately putting adequate mileage on the trails with their dogs to prove the structural soundness of the dog. Often these kennels will only have CERF/SHOR eye exams on record. We do not support the 'hobby' or 'photo op' kennel that puts the recreational couple of miles on their dogs once in a while use 'trail proven' over actual OFA evaluations.
"Both parents on premises."
"AKC champion background" or "CH Bloodlines"
We're A "Working" Kennel!
What About Prices?
On the flip side, Back Yard Breeders may be selling their puppies for equal or far less than reputable breeder prices. As discussed earlier in this topic, back yard breeders may not have the most experience or knowledge behind their breeding. Purchasing a severely discounted puppy may save you up front, but could cost you in vet visits in the long run.
RARE Colors or Patterns
Officially Siberians can come in any color from pure white to pure black and everything in between, the only absolutely unaccpetable color/pattern is MERLE. The Siberian Husky does not carry the Merle gene, therefore cannot be purebred and merle. The irresponsible breeders that are breeding these dogs are registering them falsely as piebald. This so-called rare color/patterns is a disqualifications in the breed because of a genetic association with health problems, particularly deafness and eye problems.
Dogs of so-called rare colors and patterns should not be bred. If color or pattern is important, a buyer should choose a breed in which merle is acceptable. If color is not that important or is outweighed by the dog's other characteristics, a dog with a disqualifying color should not be purchased with the idea of eventually producing more dogs of disqualifying colors or patterns. All such dogs should be sterilized in order to maintain the integrity of the breeds.
The latest of these seen in the Siberian Husky community is the "Agouti Preservationist". The Agouti gene is in no way, shape, or form in danger of being lost in the Siberian Husky breed. Another is the "Woolie Preservationist", which as we know is not a desired trait in the Siberian Husky. Do your research before you buy! Where one red flag lies, there are surly others.
General Common Phrases for older dogs
"Needs room to run." Don't even consider this one unless you have a securely fenced yard and intend to do some obedience training.
"Friendly." Could also be overbearing, untrained, undisciplined, obnoxious, destructive.
"Protective." Read "overprotective." Otherwise the appropriate words would be "good watchdog."
"Free to a good home." Could mean "get him out of here before he drives me crazy."
Buying a puppy is not as simple as it seems. The chances that you will get the right dog for your family increase with the amount of work you put into the selection of a breed, a breeder, and a particular puppy. So, study the classifieds if that is your choice of a source. Don't simply call the ad with the cheapest price or the closest telephone number. Or call a veterinarian, a training club, a kennel club, a groomer, or a boarding kennel for the name of a responsible breeder in your area.
Good Things To Look For!
"Parents OFA, eye-tested." These breeders are serious about producing healthy puppies from healthy adults.
"Puppies home raised." These puppies have lived in the house, not in a kennel, and have had human contact from the time they were born. Kennel-raised, unsocialized puppies are often shy or fearful and have difficulty relating to people, and, often, to other dogs.
"AKC champion parents." These breeders are generally serious about producing healthy puppies. However, if OFA and eye-certification are not available, the puppies are not raised in the house, the mother has a lousy temperament, etc., championship means nothing.
"Health guaranteed". These breeders stand behind their puppies. They do not guarantee that the puppy will never get sick, but they do offer replacement puppies if the one you buy is a victim of a genetic disorder. **This guarantee is not voided if you do not feed the same food your breeder does or if you don't buy their supplement plan, and does not expire at a select age.