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A GUIDE TO PURCHASING A PUPPY
Before you decide to purchase a puppy, ask yourself some questions and consider
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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!
- Can you visit the breeder's home to see the environment in which puppies
are raised, and dogs reside? If not, Pass!
- 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.
- Are their AKK United Kennel Club (UKC) registered (whether inside the
USA or outside)? If not, Pass!
- 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!
- Have their breeding AKK undergone and passed and Adult Evaluation
Examination? Has this been turned over to THEIR breeder for approval? If
- 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!
- 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!
- 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
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Does the breeder require timely periodic reports on their puppies? If
breeder should be concerned for their puppies for the life of their puppies.
- Are the parents on the premises? If not, inquire as to why not.
- 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.
- Are there any rules of the AKKAOA or UAKKA that they do not abide by? If
yes, ask for more information.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- Is the breeder willing to discuss any concerns you may have?
- 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!
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.
- Are the puppies registered with an UKC?
- 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.
- Have the puppies been vaccinated and regularly wormed? Ask if you can
see their vaccination and worming records.
- Check to see that the puppies are clean and relatively free of fleas,
with no lice or other parasites.
- 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?
- Look not only at a puppy, but the litter as a whole. Purchasing a puppy
from a poor litter could be a risky proposition.
- 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.
- 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
- What is your general impression? Are the dogs well housed and fed, happy
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
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.