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We all know that getting the right dog may sometimes mean that we have to go through various classified ads listed by people selling canines and offering great deals. But the question: is the dog really in good condition and will the deal that you will make really pay off? Here are some guidelines on the do’s and don’t of dog classifieds:
The following kinds of statements indicate the sellers can be trusted:
Interested parties only – this means that the advertisers only entertain people who are serious in making a deal.
AKC champion parents – this means that the breeders are serious about making healthy puppies.
Puppies home-raised – as compared to kennel-raised puppies, home-raised ones are usually better socialized, and less prone to behavioral problems, making it easier for the new owners to train them.
Parents eye-tested and OFA registered – this is also a good standard basis for producing healthy pups.
Health guaranteed – this means they are serious about the puppies being healthy, and will likely offer you some replacements in case the one you got had a genetic disease.
However, be wary of trusting the following statements, because they can have several meanings:
Full-blooded – this can either mean that the parents are of the same breed, but can also mean that the breed might actually be a mixed breed, so watch for this wording. Two such dogs, despite being the same breed, will still have a mixed breed offspring because they themselves are mixed breeds.
Furry stocking stuffers – cute language may indicate they are just be bred just for Christmas or Easter, and do not necessarily make good pets afterwards. You may just be wasting your money.
AKC champion background – sure they may be from a whole clan of champion dogs, but that does not necessarily mean that they are completely healthy or do not suffer from any genetic disease. Or have good temperament. Notice the difference above, where reliable dealers advertise AKC champion parents! Think twice when you see “background” on an advertisement. They just may be trying to make the dog sound like it’s a champion dog itself, when in actuality it’s not.
AKC registered – yes, the dog might have been registered with the American Kennel Club, but it also does not guarantee good temperament or health history.
Rare colors – do not be tempted by these words; sometimes, these ‘rare colors’ might actually be different from breeding or show standards for the breed. Although there are some colors that can be acceptable for breeds (e.g. blue for Dobermans and brown/ gray for collies), other colors are not considered acceptable if you’re wanting to show the dog.
Pay more attention to health than appearance. Why the health? Because it can mean a healthier dog in the long run and lessen medical expenses for your buddy.
And if you are intending to buy an older dog, here are some additional phrases and words that you should be wary of:
Protective – can actually mean overprotective or has a problematic case of separation anxiety. The right term should be ‘good watchdog’ which is what you should get.
Needs room to run – only consider this if you have secure fences and have enough time for obedience training, otherwise,
there could be trouble ahead.
Friendly – the word is too vague; it can mean something else, like undisciplined or destructive.
Free to a good home – this could mean that the dog is costing too much or driving the owner nuts!
Caution is the word when buying dogs from the classifieds. We have been very successful doing this ourselves, but we “treaded carefully” as we made our selection.