|There are several options to look at when looking for a puppy, some much better than others. If you have already decided to go with a breeder Click Here to Evaluate Your Breeder. Otherwise read on!
Option one: A pet store. This is probably one of the worst options. Puppies from pet stores come from puppy mills. Many people think that by buying a puppy from a pet store they are saving this one puppy, but instead they are creating more demand and encouraging puppy mills to mass produce more puppies. In addition these puppies are more likely to have health problems. If you ask a pet store if their puppies came from a puppy mill, they will probably all deny it. NO RESPONSIBLE BREEDER WILL EVER SELL THEIR PUPPIES TO A PET STORE, BECAUSE THEN THEY COULD NOT CONTROL WHERE THE PUPPY ENDS UP!! Find our a bit more about Pet Stores and Puppy Mills HERE
Option two: A backyard breeder. This is also not a good option. This person is mainly having a litter to make money or to have a litter for the kids to enjoy. These are not good reasons to have a litter! When we breed we should constantly strive to improve the breed and reduce the incidence of problems within the breed. A backyard breeder is not likely a member of a weimaraner club and not likely involved in any kind of activities with their dogs.
Option Three: A Puppy Raiser. This option may work for some, but there is a lot of risk involved and may lead to a lot of heartache and financial expenses down the road. This is the breeder who sells puppies mainly to make money. They are in the dog business selling puppies to anyone willing to pay, though they may call it a hobby. It is sometimes hard to distinguish these breeders from responsible breeders because they may know how to talk the talk, yet they rely on the publics lack of knowledge about the breed to be deceptive. They may or may not have champions on the pedigree and they may or may not belong to a weimamraner club. This breeder will not likely have many if any champions or titled dogs they have produced from their breedings. Champions and titled dogs shows a degree of dedication, responsibility and quality on the part of the breeder. This type of breeder will almost always have puppies, and they are often a salseman, trying to get the puppy off their hands when the puppy hits 7-8 weeks to avoid additional work. They tend not to ask too many questions to determine suitability. They also do not tend to be a resource for you after the puppy has left their house. They may or may not have OFA certification despite club memberships/code of ethics. Ask to see certificates. These breeders can be very deceptive as they may look reputable on the outside. Ask several other breeders the area. Responsible breeders are more than willing to recommend and refer people to other responsible breeders. Finally follow your instincts.
Option Four: Weimaraner Rescue/Humane Society. If you don't have as much money as a breeder is asking for or if you want a slightly older weimaraner, this may be the best option. Make sure you get as much information on the dogs avilable so you can find the best match for you.
Option Five: A reputable breeder. This is one of the best options. A reputable breeder will feel a responsibility towards the breed, their dogs, and their dogs owners. They are an artist, constantly striving for perfection. They spend a lot of time, money and energy in order to do what is in the best interest of the breed. They will breed to improve the breed, not just produce puppies. Their dogs compete in show and/or other events. This not only helps to prove a dog's worthiness for breeding, but will help give you an idea of some of the traits that will be passed on to their offspring. Reputable breeders choose proven quality sires AND dams (just one does not qualify!) whose pedigree, phenotype and qualities match. This may even mean going a great distance to get a quality sire. Pedigrees of the dogs being bred should have at least 60% titled dogs and/or championships within the first 3 generations. This lets you know that the breeder is concerned with continuity of quality in their lines. Both parents should have OFA certification with a rating of good or better or have been Penn Hip Cleared, and be in the best of health. Both parents must be tempermentally sound. The breeder also should be a member in good standing with the Weimaraner Club of America and possibly a local kennel or obedience club. While memberships do not guarantee an ethical breeder, it does indicate a certain amount of commitment to the dog fancy and weimaraners. While many people may say "I only want a pet, not a champion," your best bet is to get a pet from a responsible breeder to help ensure you get a healthy, tempermentally sound beautiful new member of your family as well as access to the breeders help and knowledge if you need it.
Additional questions you should ask to determine if the breeder is reputable:
How many litters a year does the breeder have?
What kind of health problems run in their lines?
Does the breeder offer any health guarantees?
Can you see the parents? Take care to notice personalities as well as structure. You should be able to at least see the mother.
How many years have they been breeding and how many champions they have produced? While you may only be looking for a pet, the time, energy, money and dedication it takes for a breeder to produce champions, shows a degree of dedication to the improvement and future of the breed.
Are there any contracts regarding ownership and/or spaying/neutering? Responsible breeders use spay/neuter contracts.
Will the breeder be available for questions after you get the puppy home?
Is the health guaranteed with replacement puppy or are you just out of luck?
Will be the breeder give you some written information regarding feeding and health?
Ask about a schedule for vaccinations. (The Weimaraner Club of America has a specific schedule for recommended vaccinations.)
Does the breeder give a packet of information to the new puppy owner that includes basic training materials? (crate training?)
Ask to see the pedigrees - you may not be able to recognize any dogs, but you should at least be able to tell whether this is a brother/sister or father/daughter or otherwise close breeding. You should also be able to see how many champions are on the pedigrees. Typically a minimum of 60% of the pedigree of the sire AND dam should be titled and/or have their championship in first three generations to ensure the breeder is maintaining the standard and quality of the lines.
Make sure you get an AKC registration certificate when you get the puppy so you can register your puppy with AKC. Make sure it is properly signed by the rightful owner of the litter.
Impulse buying is one of the biggest problems most potential puppy owners face. Keep in mind, this puppy/dog will be a member of your family for a very long time!! It pays to be diligent and search for the right breeder which will have the right puppy for you. Sometimes this may mean getting on a waiting list and waiting for a puppy/dog for a while, but in the end it could prevent a lot of heartache and vet bills. If you are in the market for a puppy PLEASE also read over our FAQ page which also has information in helping you find a good breeder, and check out our Evaluate Your Breeder Form.
Phase II: Preparing for your puppy
Phase III: Training your puppy (or dog)
Phase IV: Handling Problem Behavior
Phase V: Grooming