Buying a Husky Puppy
If you decide a Siberian Husky is for you, and you want a puppy rather than a rescue, how do you go about getting one? There are hundreds of Siberian Husky breeders in the UK . Like most breeds the quality of dogs & breeders varies widely. A very small proportion of breeders in the UK are reputable and responsible but most, unfortunately, are not. To the inexperienced it is often difficult to tell the difference. Many breeders have websites. How can you tell from the website what kind of breeder they are? Check this article out – http://www.kaylenbergsiberians.com/BreedersOnline.htm
These are some of the indicators you can use to check breeders out:
Are the dogs being bred Kennel Club registered and are the pups KC registered. KC registration is not a 100% guarantee, but it is a strong indication that the pedigree of your dog is accurate and honest. If the mother, father or the pups are not KC registered, beat a hasty retreat at that point. Note: there are other dog registration organisations in the UK but their registrations are not worth the paper they are written on. If it ain’t KC, don’t buy it!
- Do the breeders work and/or show their dogs? If not, why are they breeding? Most good breeders breed litters to improve their teams either for the showring, the trail or both. If they are doing neither you have to assume that their main motivation is cash! – not the best reason for breeding dogs
- How easy do they make it to buy a puppy? If you don’t get the )friendly) third degree about your knowledge of the breed, the security of your house and garden etc, it is unlikely that they are a responsible breeder. Will they let you see the mum and dad and all their other dogs? You can learn a lot from the condition and temperament of the adult dogs in a breeder’s kennel. More often than not the breeder will have gone “outside” for a mating, so they won’t actually own the stud dog, but they should be able to show you pictures, pedigree and health certification for the dad as well as the mum.
- Have the appropriate health tests for the breed been carried out on the parents? Although as a breed, the Siberian Husky is very healthy, all responsible breeders will screen their dogs for hereditary defects. In particular they should be checked for hip and eye defects. Ask if the parents of the puppies are tested and ask to see the results.
- How old is the mother and how many litters has she had? No bitch should be bred before the age of 2 years or after the age of 7. There should be at least a year between successive matings and no bitch should have more than three litters in her lifetime. How many litters has the breeder had in the past few years? If a breeder has more than one litter a year on a regular basis – especially if it involves more than one breed – avoid them – they are in it for the money!
- Was the litter planned or was it “accidental”? If you are told that the litter can’t be registered because the mating was “accidental” and the bitch was too young/too old etc etc etc, walk away. Post mating contraceptive injections have been available from vets for years and there is no excuse for “accidental” matings. It is surprising how many bad breeders have “accidental” mating after “ accidental” mating.
- Will the breeder expect you to sign a contract of sale in which you undertake to return the dog direct to the breeder if for any reason you cannot keep it, and in which you acknowledge that the dog has breeding/export restrictions on its KC papers and cannot be bred from without agreement from the breeder? All responsible breeders will insist upon this for the protection of the dog.
If you cannot tick ALL these boxes with a breeder , walk away and look elsewhere. In our opinion every single one of these conditions is crucially important in finding a good breeder. So – that is what you look for when you find a breeder, but how do you find one?
One of the best ways is to visit large Championship Dog Shows and find the Siberian Husky benches. Here you will find a wide variety of Siberians, their owners and breeders. You will also be able to see loads of dogs and decide what ‘type’ of dog you would like. In the UK , Siberians range from the very slim sprint-racing dogs, through middle-of-the-road dogs who can succeed both in racing and showing (this is what we aspire to), to the US style shorter-legged Show dogs. You also need to decide whether you want a dog you can show and/or race as well as being a pet. At most big shows all types are represented. If you buy a catalogue you will have access to the addresses of all the owners at the show. Similarly in the winter you can visit some of the racing events which happen all over the country. Visit http://www.snopeak.com to find details of racing events near you.
You may have to wait to get the puppy you want as most reputable breeders only breed occasionally – If you are properly prepared, the wait will be worth it. The only problem then is you will want another, and another and another…………. They are frighteningly addictive!!! You need to be extremely careful when choosing a breeder. The biggest safeguard you can have is doing your homework thoroughly before even approaching a breeder. The fact that a breeder may be a member of the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain or the Scottish Siberian Husky Club is no guarantee that the breeder is ethical, nor is membership of the Kennel Club accredited breeder scheme. Your only guarantee is to use the checklist above!