Buying a dog is not a small descision. A dog is not only a pet, but a part of the family. Before buying a dog, no matter the gender, breed or age you need to think carefully about what you can offer a dog. Does a dog fit into your life? Do you have the time, knowledge and economy to have a dog, not only for a few years but its entire life?
These are some of the things you need to consider before buying a dog.
In order to make your experience with your purchase as succesfull as possible I have made some general guidelines in buying a dog. These can be used no matter the breed and are not specific for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These tips are my personal opinion and what I would look for when buying a dog.
No matter if you buy a pedigree dog or not you are most likely interested in having a healthy dog. Make sure to look up what diseases your specific breed is prone to. If you buy a crossbreed, the pup can potentially get diseases from all breeds in the mix. It is always a good idea to ask the breeder if the parents have been tested for breed related diseases and what the results is. It is important, not only to know if the parents are tested, but also what the results were. That the parents have good health results is, however, not a guarantee that the puppies will.
I can only recommend buying a puppy from a kennel that is part of the FCI, for Denmark that means only The Danish Kennel Club – DKK.
There are currently no rules what health tests the Staffordshire Bull Terrier needs to get before breeding. That means that breeders DO NO have to check the health of their dogs before breeding. I would strongly advise buyers only to buy a puppy from a breeder that test all their own animals. Sometimes a breeder only test certain of their animals, this is in my opinion shady behavior.
When you contact a breeder he or she should be able to mention the diseases the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is prone to, and mention what it is important to test before breeding. I test hips (pennhip or xray), elbows, eyes, knees (patella lux) and make sure to know if my dogs are free of L2hga and HC.
However, it is quite common that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is not HD and AD tested in other parts of the world than Denmark and Sweden. This makes breeders is sometimes forced to use untested males. This should preferable be done on bitches that are tested free and/or have a line that is generally free.
For the danish buyer Hundeweb is a great tool to use when deciding what breeder your future puppy should come from. To be able to use Hundeweb you need to be a member of the Danish Kennel Club. Hundeweb is a database where you can search on the kennel name, see what breeds the kennel breeds, how many litters they generally make on a bitch and how often the bitches are mated. That can give you an idea of the breeders ethics.
On Hundeweb you can also check the health results that the kennel has produced and what results the individual breeding dogs has. Be aware that results from foreign dogs may not be in the danish database, even though the dogs are tested.
You might find a puppy from a mating where both the mom and dad are free on hips and elbows, but when you look on Hundweb you might find all grandparents are not free. I strongly recommend looking up the kennel on Hundeweb.
Seing the bitch
When you are going to a breeder i recommend always to visit before there is puppies. This way you can see how the bitch is when there is not puppies in the house. Some bitches might change when they have puppies, and you of course want to see how the mother of your future puppy is when its free from puppy-hormones.
If you experience a breeder who do not let you see the bitch with her puppies run away. Always see the mom and all the babies together. Some breeders will sit you somewhere in the house and bring you a puppy to cuddle with. This is standard practise for puppy mills. Run away!
Looking at different kennels
It might seem odd that a breeder wants you to see different kennels. It is not at all a necessity to ensure you a purchase you will be happy with.
But some breeds vary quite alot in both exterior, drive and mentality and the Staffordshire Bull terrier is for sure one of them. You can go to diffrent breeders and experinece totally different looking and behaving animals.
In order to figure out what type of Staffordshire Bull Terrier you want it is a good idea to visit different breeders. Ask the breeder what their goal for breeding is, how they keep the puppies and what they want to achieve in their breeding.
When you decide where to buy your new family member i strongly recommend to go with what feels right. Personal chemistry with your breeder is a must for me, both when i buy a new dog and when i sell one.