Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club
Of Greater St. Louis
Finding A Responsible Corgi Breeder
By Molly Forbes
The best place to get a healthy, well socialized puppy is from a reputable breeder. Breeders that show and title their dogs are the category of breeders to start your search with. The dogs that compete in conformation, agility, obedience and other performance events to gain titles are of good quality both physically and mentally. Reputable breeders are often hard to find so be prepared to get on a waiting list and be patient. A good place to start looking for a reputable Pembroke breeder is on the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America website (www.pembrokecorgi.org). From there, you will be able to find a list of breeders in your area and links to regional Pembroke Welsh Corgi Clubs. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a smart, lovable, happy breed. You want your pet Corgi to live a long, healthy life and to be cheerful, well adjusted and well behaved. Here are some questions to ask the breeder to help you make an informed decision. Expect a good breeder to ask you questions too.
1. Can you tell me some of the qualities of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi? Can you tell me some of the negative characteristics? A good breeder should be familiar enough with the breed to describe its traits and conscientious enough to help you decide if the breed is not right for you.
2. Are the parents tested for genetic defects? THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! All dogs can have inherited diseases. Many inheritable problems do not show up until later in life. To avoid costly and painful conditions later in life, at least BOTH parents (and hopefully more generations back) should be tested by qualified technicians. Insist that the parents be x-rayed and evaluated for hip dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundations For Animals (OFA). Don't accept the explanation that "We never have problems with our breeding stock". There are several eye problems that can affect the Pembroke, so each parent should be tested by the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF). Pembrokes can have a bleeding disorder similar to hemophilia in people called von Willebrand's Disease (vWD). The parents should be from clear lines or tested to make sure they are not passing this disease on to their offspring. A reputable breeder tests for these problems and will provide documentation of these clearances.
3. Do you guarantee against these diseases when the puppy reaches maturity? Reputable breeders who have carefully bred their dogs are not afraid to guarantee. Conditions for these guarantees should be clearly stated in a sales contract.
4. Have the puppies had vaccines and wormings? The puppies should be started on a vaccine series around 6 weeks of age. Each puppy should continue to receive a vaccine at specified times (usually every 3 weeks) until he goes to his new home. The puppies should also receive worming medications at appropriate intervals. A good breeder will provide a health record with each puppy.
5. Do you require your pet puppies to be spayed or neutered at maturity? A responsible breeder will only sell their pet puppies on spay/neuter contracts. A reputable breeder wants to be responsible for the lives he/she has produced. For whatever reason your puppy has been deemed pet quality, he should not be bred.
6. Do you belong to a regional Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club? Breeders who belong to these clubs adhere to a code of ethics requiring them to be conscientious and honest. They have more experience and information on the breed. They can refer you to other reputable breeders if they do not have puppies available. You can be assured that these are not puppy-mill operations or backyard breeders.
7. How have the puppies been raised? The puppies should be raised indoors in home setting to make sure they receive proper care and better socialization. Sometimes, they will even be started on housebreaking and crate training to help make the transition into their news homes easier.
8. Do you offer advice, help and literature for training my puppy? A responsible breeder will be there for the life of your dog and be willing to assist you in any situations that may arise. Good breeders will also take your dog back at any age if you are no longer able to keep him.
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