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What to Look for In Your Bulldog Breeder

Picking out a breeder is a huge decision. You want your pup to come home healthy and have a high possibility to grow up healthy as well. For this reason it’s important to have a trustworthy breeder who makes the mental and physical health of his/her pups a priority over the money. There are plenty of breeder who do not follow this set of priorities, and there are specific things you can look for in your breeder to make sure they’re breeding the bulldog you want.

For a Family Dog Especially: You Want a Breeder Who’s Home Resembles Yours

The first 14 weeks of a puppy’s life are the most critical. During these weeks it develops most of its base characteristics that will be incredibility difficult to train out of them. If you want a puppy that’s going to grow into a patient dog for your children, then you want it to know children from the start. Many breeders breed for a specific type of dog owner. Find a breeder who breeds bulldogs for families, and has children and several people touching, playing with, and holding the pups from early on so your puppy comes home well socialized and ready for your children’s antics and playful hands.

Vaccines or No Vaccines?

The same debate going on in the human world about vaccines is also present with dog breeders and their puppies. Depending on the time the puppies go home, they should already have had rounds of deworming treatment and vaccinations, if that’s what you want. If it’s not what you want then you should check with the breeder for that purpose. Seldom do breeders lie about whether they vaccinate their pups or not, but you should know and double check with your local vet to make sure everything’s in line for a healthy pup.

Pups Shouldn’t Go Home Earlier Than Six Weeks

If you’re used to hearing the same about eight weeks, you’re partially well informed. The reason the pups stay with the mothers is for feeding purposes. Between 3 and 6 weeks the pups start to grow sharp little claws and start scratching the mother when they feed. The weaning isn’t up to the breeder, contrary to popular belief, but rather the mother. The mother may decide to have fully stopped feeding her pups as early as 6 weeks, and this will not affect your pup’s health in any bad way. Earlier, however, could possibly lead to nutritional defects. Consult your local veterinarian before adopting a pup who’s leaving the next earlier than 6 weeks to see what extra measures you may have to take to have a healthy bulldog.

Ask About Vet Visits and Medical History

Many breeders try to breed out the medical issues commonly found in their chosen breed, but this isn’t always successfully achieved. Ask about the medical history of the breeder’s dogs. You should also ask about a forum, website, or Facebook group that the breeder may have so you can consult other customers of the breeder to see if their pups ended up with any health issues. Bulldogs are known for dermatitis, hip dysplasia and heart problems.  Be sure to ask about these, specifically, in the dog’s line history.

You should also ask if the breeder takes the pups to the vet, or has a veterinarian that does house calls. Does the breeder have a veterinarian check for sensory issues such as deafness and blindness? How thorough is the physical otherwise? Many people unknowingly adopt deaf dogs, and end up having so much trouble raising them because they have no idea how. Be as knowledgeable as possible.

A Fair Return Policy

It may sound unfair to speak about a puppy being returned as if it’s just a product at a shopping mall, but it’s important for prospective owners to understand that there are breeders who send unhealthy puppies home who die weeks later, and are otherwise sick for life. Asking about a return policy is more of a way to check whether your breeder is willing to stand behind the health quality of his/her puppies. If a breeder says, “Yes! You have 7 days to get the puppy checked and please let me know if there’s any health issues. Bring him back immediately so we can get him re-homed into the special care of someone who’s experienced in handling special-needs dogs.” Then that’s a good sign and is likely a breeder who’s being honest about the amount of care they put into the puppies’ wellbeing.

Picking out a breeder should be something done with thought and care. Take your time, for if you don’t you could end up with an unhealthy, unhappy puppy not suited for your lifestyle. Being careful to pick you the right breeder helps you to avoid scams. It also helps you to make sure the puppy will spend the first 8 weeks of its life with someone you can trust. 

Photo credit: Mlbailey2/Wikimedia

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