BUYING A PUPPY

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Guidelines for Buying a Bouvier Puppy

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  1. Make sure you see both parents if possible but at least see the dam if the sire is based at a distant location (seeing a photo of them is a poor second best as you cannot check the temperament). Check to see that they are of typical Bouvier type, and particularly check the height, weight, coat quality and teeth formation of both parents. Check their temperament – they should be calm, not gratuitously aggressive with strangers but cautiously friendly. Remember, you will normally have to live with this dog as part of your family for at least a decade so temperament and health are important.
  2. Ask to see the hip dysplasia gradings of both parents.  These will be in the form of certificates. Hip dysplasia is a very painful condition, often genetically transmitted.  Breeding of the puppies should have been done with this in mind. The breeder should be able to explain to you how and why the hip dysplasia gradings of both parents have been taken into account in the mating. (The “old” way of working with this was to say that the sum of the gradings of the parents should not exceed 3.0. which was based on a South African grading system which has now been superseded by FCI grading.  However, often other factors have to be taken into account.) A dog with bad hip dysplasia will have a shorter active life and be expensive to treat for pain control. 
  3. Some breeders also check the parents’ eyes before breeding and if this has been done a SAVA eye certificate would be available. You may wish to ask for puppies’ eyes to be tested if this is not offered routinely – not all breeders do this. (See also under Health)
  4. Follow normal procedures for the selection of your puppy – see this link to information issued by the American Bouvier Club. 
  5. Be aware of the conditions that the breeder imposes on your puppy.  Some breeders will restrict breeding rights on your puppy – this is endorsed on your registration certificate and you will not be permitted by KUSA to register puppies from this parent. Breeding restrictions could be imposed because reputable breeders feel strongly about inappropriate breeding and wish to protect their stock. Sometimes they have also paid considerable sums of money to import their own excellent breeding stock and are understandably reluctant to pass the bloodlines on to others with no demonstrable commitment to sound breeding practices. Some breeders will even not give you a registration certificate in an effort to stop you breeding with that dog. If there is a breeding restriction applied, you could consider spaying or neutering your puppy before they become sexually mature – at about 6 – 9 months unless you are confident that you have the puppy under control (such as in kennels) until about 18 months old. Currently there are schools of thought that prefer later neutering/spaying in the light of recent information on the importance of hormones in allowing sound structural development. Whichever option you select, please remember that accidental matings are irresponsible and it is much more difficult to correctly home puppies for whom there are no planned homes prior to mating, whether or not they are registered, passed off as pure bred but unregistered or cross bred. Full kennels run by charitable organisations attest to this. 
  6. Always socialise your puppy once you have brought it home, See information under the section on Training.
  7. MAKE SURE YOUR PUPPY IS MICROCHIPPED – the breeder should do this before letting you have the puppy and it cannot be KUSA registered without this being done. If the puppy is unregistered and not micro-chipped, please do it as soon as possible.  This is the surest way to safeguard your dog throughout its life. The Club is contacted regularly regarding “stray” Bouviers and we cannot tell who their owners are if not microchipped. 
  8. Ask the breeder when the mother last had a litter.  It is irresponsible of a breeder to allow a bitch to be bred more often than once a year.

 

The following two breeders regularly have litters available – contact them directly:

  • Frik Bezuidenhoudt (Frik@bouvierclub.co.za)
  • Liz Hodgson (Liz@bouvierclub.co.za)

 

 

 

 

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