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A GUIDE TO PURCHASING A PUPPY

 


Before you decide to purchase a puppy, ask yourself some questions and consider the following. 
 

  • Can you resist buying the first cute puppy you see on impulse?
     
  • Are you prepared to make a commitment to a dog for the next 10 - 15 years?
     
  • Full responsibility for a dog is not a job for children, it requires responsible adult supervision.
     
  • The commitment is not a small one, training a puppy to be a pleasant companion requires considerable time and patience.
     
  • They do not become well behaved and sociable all by themselves! They require substantial attention throughout their lives, they don't do well if stuck in the backyard and forgotten. Remember that the breed was intended to be a companion sized husky, not a lawn ornament.
     
  • Do you have an appropriate environment for a puppy and are you willing to live with puppy mistakes............digging & chewing?
     
  • Do you have secure, adequate fencing for the adult dog?
     
  • Are you willing to spend the money it takes to provide appropriate care, including quality food and supplies, annual vaccines, heartworm/intestinal worm prevention, emergency veterinary care and spaying or neutering?
     
  • Are you willing to wait for the right puppy from the responsible breeder of your choice? Remember, finding the best puppy for you is well worth the wait.

 



 

BUY A QUALITY PUPPY FROM A RESPONSIBLE BREEDER
 

  • Responsible breeders take care to produce healthy, Alaskan Klee Kai with good temperaments. Don't bargain hunt!! Avoid buying a puppy from a pet store or a puppy farm. Often these puppies come from poor breeding, may have been kept in poor conditions with inadequate socialization, and are sometimes more expensive than puppies purchased from an ethical, responsible breeder.
     
  • Responsible breeders do all they can to avoid producing serious problems, including aggressive or shy temperaments, hereditary health defects. Remember that "Papers" are not an indication of quality in the dog. They only mean that the dog's parents were Registered.

 



 

HOW DO I KNOW A BREEDER IS RESPONSIBLE? 

A responsible Alaskan Klee Kai breeder is one that breeds solely for the betterment of the breed and not for financial gain or to meet the increasing demand for puppies. The size of the kennel, the amount of advertising and the number of litters produced are in no way an indication of the quality of service and breeding stock. It is important to base your decision of a breeder's respectability on your own knowledge, questions and observations. 

Look for a breeder who:

  • Is knowledgeable about the breed. Many responsible breeders continually test the results of their breeding programs by participating as active members in Breed Clubs and/or All Breed Clubs and/or Agility Clubs and/or other Dog Activities.
     
  • Is knowledgeable about raising puppies. Even puppies with the best hereditary temperaments can exhibit behavioral problems if they are not socialized sufficiently or if they are removed from their dam and littermates before eight weeks of age. Socialization done by the breeder should include ensuring that each pup receives frequent human attention, is handled frequently, and is exposed to a wide variety of noises and experiences.
     
  • Take steps to keep the puppies as healthy as possible. Before puppies go to their new homes, they should have been wormed and should have received their first vaccinations.
     
  • Take steps to prevent occurrence of hereditary defects in the puppies. Be sure to ask about health clearances, responsible breeders will be happy to tell you about them and will honestly discuss problems that might occur in the parents' lines. Avoid breeders that tell you their dogs don't need health clearances because they've never had a problem, or those who tell you that their "vet said the dog was OK". Remember that clearances on the parents don't guarantee that the puppies will be free of problems, but your chances of buying a healthy puppy are greatly improved if the parents have been cleared.
     
  • Chooses breeding carefully. Ask why the particular sire was chosen. The answer should be thoughtful and knowledgeable. Answers such as "because he lives close to me" or "because he's such a cute dog" generally don't indicate a breeding that is being done to produce puppies that are better than their parents (the goal of every responsible breeder).
     
  • Lets you meet the parents of the puppies. Bitches may be sent long distances to stud dogs, but the breeder should be able to show you photographs of the sire and answer questions about him.
     
  • Evaluates puppy temperaments and helps you choose the puppy that is best suited to your lifestyle. A very active puppy won't do well in a sedate environment and a quiet puppy may be overwhelmed in an active household. Remember that most breedings are done so the breeder can choose a puppy to carry on his or her own lines, so you may have to wait until this choice is made when the pups are 7-8 weeks old. After that, the breeder can help you decide which pup would be most suitable for you. The breeder has spent extensive time with the litter and knows the puppies best, so their advice is important.
     
  • Will be willing to take the dog back at any time if you cannot keep it. Responsible breeders DO NOT want their puppies to end up in an animal shelter or in a LESS THAN IDEAL HOME. The perfect puppy in the perfect home is the goal that every responsible breeder aspires to.
     
  • Is someone you feel comfortable with. You may not be an expert on Alaskan Klee Kai, but use your intuition. The breeder should be available for the life of the dog to answer questions, so this could be a long-term relationship. If you don't trust a person, don't buy a dog from them.
     
  • Will provide appropriate documentation with the puppy, including registration papers and a health record.
     
  • Is concerned about your future plans for the puppy, particularly whether you're thinking of breeding the dog. Many responsible breeders sell "pet quality" puppies with mandatory spay / neuter contracts and/or co-ownership. This is a good indication that the breeder cares enough about the breed to ensure that only the very best representatives of the breed are bred from. If the breeder thinks the dog is of good quality and temperament, they will only then sign off on the papers for breeding purposes. It is not uncommon for a breeder to sell Breeding / Showing Quality puppies with a puppy back or stud services back.
     
  • Is checking you out too? A responsible breeder will ask you questions about you and your home to ensure you are suitable for one of their puppies? They will take time with you and show a real interest in you and your questions? The breeder wants their puppy placed in loving, responsible home. They are careful about who buys their puppies, so as the new owner, prepare yourself for some questions from the breeder. Don't expect a responsible breeder to sell you a puppy over the internet just because you say you want one!

 


 

HOW DO I FIND A RESPONSIBLE BREEDER?

  • First, educate yourself. Research the breed. Attend dog shows and talk to the exhibitors. Be willing to spend some time on the phone, talking to breeders and looking for referrals. Most responsible breeders will have a list of puppy buyers before they do a breeding and usually don't have to advertise in the newspaper.
     
  • Please remember that the great majority of breeders are hobby breeders. They are not "in business", breeding is not their profession, and very few of them make money on their dogs. Never call them and ask them if they have puppies "In Stock" as this is an insult.
     
  • Responsible breeders are constantly searching for better bloodlines, researching health, nutrition and genetic issues. Every breeding is done with the goal of improving or contributing to the breed. They do not bred for scientific research or with dogs that are considered poor specimens of the breed, just because they know that the next generation would have to improve on the last.
     
  • Responsible Breeders provide advice to the puppy-owners, for the length of the dog's life. They are interested in the breed, and even if you do not buy a puppy from them, they will be there for you with answers and advice. They offer health guarantees. They love their dogs, and go to great lengths to make sure their pups go to homes where they will be loved and well-treated. As a puppy buyer, it is up to you to choose what kind of person to buy from.
     
  • Even if a breeder is a co-owner on a dog to be bred, they should make themselves informed about the other dog if the breeding is arranged by another. At no time should there be a breeding that they don't have the important answers to in reference to their dog and the health of the other dog involved in the breeding. It is their responsibility to be aware.
     
  • The breeder should be proud of his or her dogs. They should be willing to tell all about them and there will be no secrets to a responsible breeders breeding program. You should get a look at the parents of the puppies when you visit a breeder and ask loads of questions.

 

 

    The following is a list of questions you should consider asking while looking for the new addition to your family.

     
  1. How old is the mother? If NOT over a year old and at least the second heat, She is too young. (They're not physically or emotionally mature.) Pass!
     
  2. Can you visit the breeder's home to see the environment in which puppies are raised, and dogs reside? If not, Pass!
     
  3. Are there problems that may become apparent in the puppy?(all breeds have issues that the breeders watch for) If the breeder says none, Pass! A breeder who will tell you there are problems in their breed, and that they have run into at least 1 of them is being honest, if not, they might not be experienced or reputable.
     
  4. Are their AKK United Kennel Club (UKC) registered (whether inside the USA or outside)? If not, Pass!
     
  5. Are they a member in good standing of the the United Alaskan Klee Kai Association (UAKKA) or the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America (AKKAOA)? If not, are they actively involved in the betterment of the breed and in the Alaskan Klee Kai Community in another way? If not, Pass!
     
  6. Have their breeding AKK undergone and passed and Adult Evaluation Examination? Has this been turned over to THEIR breeder for approval? If not,Pass!
     
  7. Do they require that if you are unable to keep the puppy/dog, that they get the dog back or actively participate in placing the dog in a new home, should this ever become necessary? Will they put it in writing? Dogs purchased from responsible breeders come with health guarantees and return policies. If not,Pass!
     
  8. Do they have shot records? Are they documented? Are the pups checked by a vet? Pass on a breeder who can't provide health records or doesn't have the puppies vet checked prior to sale! Many breeders do the shots themselves, but all pups should have their first shots and still be vet checked. All puppies should be checked for hearts (possible murmur or pda), knees(luxating patella) and if males, testicles (can they be felt even if not in place if going as breeding probably) before being placed. If not, Pass!
     
  9. Are the puppies wormed? If so, how often? I worm my litters at 3, 5, 7 and 9 weeks of age. Others use different schedules, but they should all be dewormed. Are the parents in Heart worm areas on Heart worm preventative? If not, Pass!
     
  10. Do they provide a written health guarantee? If so, what type? It does not guarantee the the puppies will be problem free, but it does mean that the breeder has confidence in her dogs' good health. If not, Pass!
     
  11. Will they give you references of people who have acquired one of their AKK previously. Do they act like they must keep their breeding program a secret? If they have a web site are they open an honest about the dogs that they own and are in their breeding program. If not, Pass!
     
  12. At what age will they let their AKK puppies go? If less than 8 weeks, Pass!Puppies have definite needs that are met at different stages. Search for a breeder who has the puppies best interests as their main priority. If you are considering having a puppy shipped to you, Federal Law states the puppy must be at least 8 weeks of age and fully weaned.
     
  13. Are the pups hand-raised in their home? If not, Pass! A good breeder will ensure that pups learn to interact with humans in different age brackets, especially children.
     
  14. Does the breeder require timely periodic reports on their puppies? If not, Pass!A breeder should be concerned for their puppies for the life of their puppies.
     
  15. Are the parents on the premises? If not, inquire as to why not.
     
  16. How many other breeds do they have? It would be great if they only breed Alaskan Klee Kai. If they breed more than 2 breeds, it should be more closely investigated, as it may be a puppy mill situation.
     
  17. Are there any rules of the AKKAOA or UAKKA that they do not abide by? If yes, ask for more information.
     
  18. What kind of contract, conditions or guarantees are involved in the sale of a puppy? Ask to review any documents prior to committing. Never be afraid to ask to modify or change something that you are uncomfortable with.
     
  19. Do they require a deposit to be added to their waiting list? If yes, ask to review the Deposit Contract. Is the deposit refundable? If yes, is any portion retained in the event of a cancellation?
     
  20. Will the breeder ship puppies? There are some breeders who will not ship young pups; are you willing to travel to pick up your puppy in person?
     
  21. Is the breeder willing to discuss any concerns you may have?
     
  22. LAST and most importantly, if you purchase a puppy from someone, you should expect to have a relationship with that person for a long time. How do they get along with the breeder of their dogs, and the people that they have placed puppies with in the past? If you do not feel like this person can become a member of your extended family...Pass!

 

NEVER skip the three day health check that most breeders require. Even reputable breeders will occasionally have a health issue. 


 

CHOOSING A PUPPY

    Show records of parents and other relatives and of previous progeny can be used to help form opinions, but you must also know what you are looking at. You must decide if you want a household pet, a dog for breeding or and showing. Would you prefer a Male or Female, Puppy or Adult? All puppies are irresistible, the more litters and breeders you inspect, the better idea you will form of what is good and of what you want.

     
  1. Are the puppies registered with an UKC?
     
  2. Can you meet the dam of the puppies? (and ideally the sire). How do they behave? Are they in control and sensible and of the nature you would like? It is most suspicious if the dam is unable to be seen. Don't be too critical of the dam's appearance at this stage she will usually be out of coat and not at her best. If so ask to see photos.
     
  3. Have the puppies been vaccinated and regularly wormed? Ask if you can see their vaccination and worming records.
     
  4. Check to see that the puppies are clean and relatively free of fleas, with no lice or other parasites.
     
  5. Their ears should be clean with no discharge. Eyes should be clean with no pussy discharge. Look for lumps around the belly area. This could mean a hernia. Some hernias disappear as the pup grows although others may require surgery. Overall, do the puppies look bright and healthy?
     
  6. Look not only at a puppy, but the litter as a whole. Purchasing a puppy from a poor litter could be a risky proposition.
     
  7. Are there signs that the owner has interacted with the puppies during the early days, not just left alone with the dam in some secluded spot.
     
  8. When evaluating an 8 week old AKK puppy, look first at its overall appearance, bearing in mind that a growing puppy is likely to appear awkward and out of balance due to different skeletal areas growing at different rates. It should appear vigorous and plump (not bloated, indicating worm infestation). It should move effortlessly and be quite active. A slight variation in size among litter mates and between the sexes is normal, and the largest puppy should not be deemed most desirable simply on this account.
     
  9. What is your general impression? Are the dogs well housed and fed, happy and confident?
     

It is easy to place emphasis on minor technicalities and overlook the animal as a whole. Is the puppy pleasing to the eye? Type, balance, soundness, movement and temperament should be the fundamental considerations in choosing your puppy. 

It is common for puppies, from the same litter, to be sold at two different prices. Conscientious breeders strive to maintain those desirable qualities in the breed. At the same time they are always working to improve on what they have already achieved, and they do this by, referring to The Breed Standard. The standard describes the ideal Alaskan Klee Kai, and those animals that come close to the ideal are generally selected as show stock. Those that do not are sold as pets. Pet quality purebred dogs are in no way less healthy or attractive than the show quality puppies. Naturally the more perfect animal, in the terms of the breed standard, will cost more, even though he might seem identical to his pet quality littermate.



 

IS A PUPPY REALLY RIGHT FOR ME?

If you don't have the time or facilities for socializing, housetraining, and obedience training a puppy, it's possible that an older dog would be a better choice. You can find a responsible breeder who may have an older dog to place in a new home.


We do transport puppies but not by postal service. 
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This site was last updated 07/29/12

 

 
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