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How to Choose a Healthy Pure-Bred Puppy

WebMD veterinary expert answers commonly asked questions about how to choose a healthy, friendly pure-bred puppy as your new family pet.
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Q: How do I choose the puppy with the best personality?

A: The responsible breeder will more than likely select the best puppy for you from the litter. They’ve spent 8 to 12 weeks with the puppies and they know the personalities of each puppy. They know which ones are bold and outgoing and which are the shy ones. And the breeder knows the bold, outgoing puppy will do much better with that active family with three kids versus the shy puppy, which needs to go with the single owner who can spend more time with it so that puppy won’t feel overwhelmed.

 

Q: Will most breeders give me a health guarantee and agree to take the dog back if I can’t keep it?

A: Absolutely. What sets the responsible breeder apart from everyone else is they will agree to take the dog back for the life of the dog, no matter the age of the dog, no matter the circumstance the owner has found themselves in. The breeder has created the puppy and the breeder is responsible for the dog for the life of the dog.

With health guarantees, each breeder has his own health guarantee, whether it’s to replace the puppy or buy the puppy back or cover vet expenses for certain conditions. All that should be spelled out in the sales contract, which is between you and the breeder. All those expectations and responsibilities will be stated in writing and signed by both parties ahead of time. Some states also have so-called "lemon laws" that give buyers some protection, so check with state officials before buying your puppy to see if your state has laws governing the sale of puppies.

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Reviewed on July 05, 2009
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