Friday, August 30, 2013

Buying the Wrong Mastiff

Ok--you went on Craigslist and you bought a dog. Previously, I spent hours of my time trying to educate you on what to look for in buying a quality puppy and how to find a reputable breeder. After weeks of phone calls and e-mails, you convince me to place you on my waiting list for a puppy.   The litter is now 8 weeks old, and time for you to place a deposit and select your puppy. You gleefully inform me you bought a puppy 2 weeks ago--you spent 1/3 of what I was asking for a puppy--or better still you got 2 puppies for the price of one of mine.

You didn't get any "papers" with it--but now you want them because you "might breed" him. Can I help you get papers? Ah, no. Even better--you got two females and now you want to buy a male from me so you can "breed". Ain't going to happen my friend.

 Better still--you call me a few months later because your BYB puppymill dog is now having seizures, behavior problems, or can't walk, see, or pee. You can't find the breeder, you don't have a contract or health guarantee, you didn't buy health insurance, and your vet has told you is will take more money than you make in a month to treat your dog. You message/e-mail me asking "what can I do?"  My advice--buy a better dog the next time.

People--you get what you pay for. If you go out and buy a puppy from someone who doesn't health test the parents, can't tell you diddly squat about the lines or even the breed, the parents "kind of" look like the breed they are suppose to be, but you got a great deal ("it was the last one in the litter, so he charged me less")-- It's like Russian Roulette--you may get lucky--or you may get blown away. Chances are--you will eventually get blown away.

In giant breeds, once chronic health issue emerge (hip/elbow dysplasia, CMR/PRA, cystinuria &other kidney diseases, thyroid & other autoimmune problems, seizures, etc....--you are going to spend thousands of $$ on your dog's vet care. It's quality of life may be affected--it's longevity may be lessened. Your dog could be subject to a lifetime of pain and suffering. Is your dog a bargain now?

I tell people--you can pay upfront (spend a little more money on a quality dog) or you can pay later. It's your choice. As my father-in-law, Johnny Fisher use to say--"If you can't take listening, you got to take feeling." Well, my friend--it's feeling time.

There are reasons some of us do what we do when we breed. We carefully research bloodlines for patterns of disease & behavior  occurrences; we health test and clear our potential breeding dogs of known health issues; we show our dogs and complete AKC conformational titles to verify that these dogs are of quality and meet the breed standard; we begin educating you about our breed with your initial contact  and we provide you with information on feeding, exercising, training, and raising your puppy to be a good canine companion and citizen; we carefully select and match up owners with our puppies/dogs to make to best possible combination for success; and lastly, we make a lifetime commitment to your puppy, you, and your family to be a mentor.  Ultimately, a reputable breeder tries to breed the best dog possible. Did your Craigslist seller do all this?

Folks-- Please don't expect me or any other breeder to fix your problems. I will be happy to try and educate you and provide you with information to assist you in your decisions. I can't fix your dog--and it's not my responsibility. It's yours. Consider it as a life lesson and don't make the same mistake twice.

Catie C. Arney
KioKee Mastiffs
Hickory, NC