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I don't want to start any heated discussion, so I'm going to try to explain this without naming the breeder. But I'm concerned that I may have gotten myself in a bit of a pickle... A month ago, I knew NOTHING about how to pick out a breeder or what to ask or what to look for. I don't show dogs or compete, or breed (although learning so much lately has made me REALLY consider getting more involved). To make a LONG story short, I have paid a $300 deposit down. The breeder said they are health-tested:

"All my dogs have had their hips tested and certified with either OFA or Pennhip (for Hip Dysplasia). Also, their eyes have been CERF (screened and certified normal for common eye diseases and problems.)"

The balance due this Friday, puppies are 7 weeks old now. (1200 total) After learning SO much from this forum, I dug deeper into pedigree, heath test searches, and here's the biggie... The Dam was born in April 2008. She was bred shortly after her first birthday. Initially, I did not really do the math, or it didn't register... Once I saw on here that it should be 2 years at the earliest, I'm wondering what the possible problems could arise out of the PUPPIES with such a young mom. I sent her a long email a few days ago asking a handful of questions. Here are some of my questions, followed by her responses:

Me:
~ I keep meaning to ask you if you can provide copies of the parents' Health Testing records. I'm sure that you can appreciate the comfort that comes along with knowing that the puppies come from healthy parents. I so appreciate that.
Her:
I can send copies of health cert with the vaccination and worming schedule of the puppy. They will be taped on the crate with Vet health Cert in a Vanilla envelope.
Me:
In my question from a few days ago, you answered that you would send copies of the puppy's health certificate when he comes. But I was wondering if you make the test results of {the parents'} available for customers... results of their tests. Or is there a database that shows the results? Using info from your website, I have been able to locate a few things, but I just wanted to ask.
Her:
Yes, I did understand about {parents} tests and I do put copies in with the puppies health cert. and you will have them. It will include PennHip on both parents, CERF certificate on {SIRE} and a clinic CERF results on {Dam} as her's is sent in and I will have the Cert. and she will also be on CERF's results page when that is finalized on their end (I am late sending clinical paper in, but have the 12 months to do it...she was done in June 09 and of course passed) And vDW cert. was done on {SIRE} and {Dam's} grandsire...only one parent really needs done for the litter to have no vWD as it is a recessive genetic problem. So {Dam} is clear by parentage because of her sire. I had 4 litters out of {Dam's} mom and never had a genetic health issue on a single puppy that was ever reported back to me and many customers have kept in touch with these puppies. So that is good too.

Me:
I was also wondering what kind of food you recommend for him when he gets here. What type of diet are your older dogs on? I know there's a lot of info out about the quality of ingredients in different brands of food ... I just wanted to get your take on this.
Her:
There are many good foods. I do not recommend many of the new "all organic" foods. They are a premium cost but are all new companies with no field trials of testing and many are just ma and pa outfits who make their food in combination factories and then put their labels on the food...what are we really paying for? I like the tested and true foods. I feed Bil-Jac Select and am more than happy with it. they have made dog food since 1947 and have one plant where they make all their own food in Ohio and use locally produced ingrediants. Mine is delivered, but you can buy it at any Petco or Petsmart. I also like Iams and used it in the past. But my dogs like Bil-Jac better and do well on it. I do not have allergies or ear infections or loose bowls feeding it. It is a more condensed and high protien food...so you do not have to over feed to get the needed nutrition.

No need to explain the dog food reality... I've studied dog foods for months and so you can imagine how this made me cringe...Please help, as I'm freaking out a bit and If I'm making a big deal out of nothing, I need to hear that too. Thank you SOOOOOOO much.
 

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Have you done the research on OFA? Like look for a kennel name etcetera to see all that are registered on it? Can she send copies of the certificates. I'm sure if she doesn't have a scanner she has a camera she can photgraph them and send to you. Year old is young but even the best meaning breeders can have accidents. the best is to look at all the health tests possible.
 

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Don't panic MoJoMama! First, congrats on the puppy. :)

Breeding at 1 year old is not ideal, but people get puppies every day from less than ideal circumstances. Reassure yourself of any doubts you're having (maybe ask for the health proof ahead of time, ask for a couple of references from other puppy owners), but if I were you, unless there was a huge red flag outside of what you already mentioned, I would be getting excited about bringing my new family member home. :)

Oh and as for the food, don't worry about it! It sounds like you have been doing the research, so just put your pup on the food you're comfortable with.

If you want any of the more experienced people on here to take a look at the pedigrees behind your dogs, I'm sure you could PM them and see if they have any knowledge of the breeder or the pedigrees behind their dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh yes, I've searched the OFA. Nothing by the Kennel Name, or even part of it.... but they were all PennHip Tested and I DO have those certificate numbers. But I cannot look that up, can I? Is it common not to show copies of these tests until the puppy has gone home? I just felt like I was on the verge of pushing her buttons by asking her that. And now it's 2 times that I've requested (she said she understood what I was asking the 1st time) copies and she's saying that they will be taped to the crate when we go get him.

Thank you for saying that about "even the best breeders have accidents." That is SUCH a good point.... I've seen pictures of them together (mom & puppies) and they all look great! So I'm not concerned that they are neglected in any way. Thank you both for your encouraging words!! I'll stop being such a worry-wart & relax. :) You are right, I need to be more excited about it. After all, this little guy has CONSUMED me for over a month now. I'm already attached <3
 

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Pennhip can explain the numbers but they can also be posted on the OFA site. IT is customary to show the certificates when requested. I add copies of health testing in the puppy pack too besides making them available. Just come out and ask for proof of health tests completed. You have the right to know what you are getting yourself into. Ask for the pedigree too if you haven't already got it. Long time breeder know pedigrees and the history of them. Definitely ask for previous puppy references so you can ask them about any health issues they may have experienced. Can you say what the kennel name is? You don't have to post it but rather PM me if you desire.
 

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Well, hmm the breeder breeding the bitch that young is not good. I mean she can't be hip tested at that age. Did she do the other tests or just OFA and CERF? She sounds like she might just be skirting by on the tests but I don't like the fact that she bred the bitch so young. That gives me a bad taste in my mouth.
 

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I also would worry : (. BUT, I am that kind of a person. I want everything out and on the table before I make any decision. If it was an accident, good breeder would disclose it- good breeder never hides anything , especially if he/she gives warranty on the puppy - it is in the breeders interest that buyer was informed and made an informed decision and can not sue for damages later .

Did you see a contract yet ??? I also do not like breeders who "have buttons pushed " - I mean, if I can not communicate NOW before I even cashed out 1,200 $$$, what can I expect than later if problems DO arise ???

I would ask for copies of the tests sent by mail - period. You have to be aware that even with all tests done, there is always a possibility that something would go wrong anyway, BUT, this way you lower the chances TREMENDOUSLY!

I also would pay attention on dog's food - top breeders do use premium food !!!!! They do not cut corners on food, testing , socialization or anything else...

Just my opinion...

I wish you the best of luck and try to stay calm but persistent. Make a phone call - that way you will hear in her voice if she is wiggling thins out or is just sooooo busy with all of the work involved with raising pups and preparing all things for shipping and all.
 

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I also would worry : (. BUT, I am that kind of a person. I want everything out and on the table before I make any decision. If it was an accident, good breeder would disclose it- good breeder never hides anything , especially if he/she gives warranty on the puppy - it is in the breeders interest that buyer was informed and made an informed decision and can not sue for damages later .

Did you see a contract yet ??? I also do not like breeders who "have buttons pushed " - I mean, if I can not communicate NOW before I even cashed out 1,200 $$$, what can I expect than later if problems DO arise ???

I would ask for copies of the tests sent by mail - period. You have to be aware that even with all tests done, there is always a possibility that something would go wrong anyway, BUT, this way you lower the chances TREMENDOUSLY!

I also would pay attention on dog's food - top breeders do use premium food !!!!! They do not cut corners on food, testing , socialization or anything else...

Just my opinion...

I wish you the best of luck and try to stay calm but persistent. Make a phone call - that way you will hear in her voice if she is wiggling thins out or is just sooooo busy with all of the work involved with raising pups and preparing all things for shipping and all.
I agree with all of this. To be honest, MojoMama, I figured out who your breeder was through some of what you posted. And if you had posted before you had committed to a pup, I would have said look elsewhere due to a few red flags (including some you already posted). But I realize at this point you are both financially and emotionally committed - plus the red flags are not anything hugely serious, otherwise I would have PMed you already. People get pups every day from less than ideal circumstances - there's no guarantees even if you got your pup from the perfect breeder. I'm not even sure if the perfect breeder exists.

However, I did notice a few things as I was looking around that you might want to question - let me know if you would like me to PM you with what I spotted. :)
 

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You have every right to see hard copy evidence of testing BEFORE you buy your puppy. Call the breeder and ask that copies be sent in the next few days. If you don't receive them in a week or if the test results are questionable (prelims are not an official certification) then tell her you want your deposit returned because testing did not meet your expectations. If she won't return the deposit, tell her that you feel that you have been defrauded and that you will file a police report (that usually gets them).
 
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