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Wild Child Kennel
Why you should be careful when selecting a breeder:
Everyone wants a healthy puppy and later on, dog that comes from the best available parents and the most knowledgeable breeder. That goes without saying. Here's what you aren't being told by lot of the breeders that are out there. I'm using the term breeder loosely because a real breeder cares about the health and welfare of the dogs.
A real breeder selects carefully from the available females and males to make a pair that is most like to produce the best possible offspring. This means knowing what strengths and weaknesses appear in both the male's family line and the female's family line so that they counterbalance either to produce a superior healthy happy dog, not an inferior sickly animal.
Real breeders snub the "puppy mills" and rightly so. Puppy mills are all about churning out puppies as quickly as possible for the cash. They care little to nothing about the condition of the dogs. They tend to produce sickly, genetically defective puppies that are sold to unsuspecting buyers.
Many of these breeders practice not only unhealthy but down right inhumane techniques in order to produce as many puppies as possible in as short a time as possible.
Many so-called breeders now have web sites that all proclaim that they have the "best" dogs from the "best" bloodlines, even though many of them are just producing their first litter of pups and have yet to attend a dog show.
It seems strange that anyone new to a breed would proclaim that they have the "best" dogs. It's even more unsettling when that person appears out of nowhere in a matter of days making claims like this. It's not any different than someone standing up on a stage and declaring that they're the best human on the planet. It should be enough to make your roll your eyes or at least wonder if they've missed their meds. Many of these people make such bold and outlandish claims about their dogs because it's the only way that they can sell them.
What do they mean by "the best bloodline"? Who has declared this bloodline to be superior to any other? Do their dogs have more prizes and ribbons? Have they been to more shows? What does bloodline mean? Who is considered to be the first in the bloodline? What did the parents of their dogs look like? Where did they have to go to see them?
questions you should ask any breeder who is making these kinds of statements. If they are as "committed", "dedicated" and "knowledgeable" as they're claiming to be, they should be able to answer these questions easily. Most breeders of this type will not respond to your questions at all. If they do, you may well find yourself laughing at their answers.
Do not buy they have seen a few 1- minute internet videos and have a few CDs on their shelves, I can tell you right now the dog on video or on picture can be different from reality as black and white! To know and learn you need at least to go to big-level shows, see and compare them in the ring. Even knowing a dog in person and seeing the same dog in the ring in comparison to anothers makes a HUGE difference of understanding!
Puppy mills practice something called "line breeding" where mothers are bred to sons, fathers are bred to daughters, even brothers and sisters are bred to each other, over several generations.
Your puppy may
well have a family tree that looks like my hair braid. All of this inbreeding results in all sorts of genetic abnormalities occurring in the offspring. When this is done over a long period of time, the recessive traits become "fixed" in the bloodline v meaning that all of the offspring have them.
What this means to you is that you get an inferior puppy with health problems - hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, heart problems, etc. - that will end up, at best, costing you a lot of money to deal with these issues or, at worst, end up causing the death of your new pet. These "best" bloodlines often produce dogs that have an average life span of 2 to 3 years. Even the best dog that they've bred died at 3 to 4 years of age. Healthy dogs should live to be about 10-12 years of age - not 4 - unless they're in a tragic accident.
In order to avoid this expensive and tragic loss, we've put together a list of things for you to look for when you approach a breeder. First and foremost, avoid anyone who proclaims their dogs too loudly. You should be able to ask the questions below and get back reasonable sensible answers. If the person answering questions evades you, changes the subject, or never actually comes right out and answers the question, do yourself a favor and find another breeder.
Tips for Purchasing a Mastino:
First and foremost, ask to see the parents. Observe how they're kept. Is the kennel, dog run, or other dog area neat and clean? Do the dogs appear to be happy and healthy? Do they look skinny, tired, or frightened? Do they seem sick? Are their coats healthy and shiny or do they seem to have skin problems?
Unless the parents are at the vet being treated for some reason, they should be present if the puppies are there. At a minimum, the mother should be there. Keep in mind that there have been a lot of thefts of purebred puppies lately. Buying a puppy from some one who doesn't have the parents present may well be putting money in a thief's pocket.
Make sure that the parents are both registered and that they can prove at least 3 generations of pedigree. Unless the animal is to be purely a pet and companion, you'll need to be sure that the breeder can document your puppy's pedigree. If your breeder says that they don't believe in registering their dogs or that they don't use the AKC registry, you should be immediately suspicious. Why would you go to the trouble of breeding registered dogs and then not bother to send in the paperwork to register the puppies? It takes five minutes to fill out and a stamp to send in. Why would you even breed if all of your reproduction is just pets for expending quantity?
The overseas registry for Neapolitan Mastiffs is called FCI and they will not register a litter of pups born before the mother is at least 18 months old for this very reason.
If this is a pet, imagine how heart broken your family will be if it dies suddenly in a couple of years. If its a show dog, do you really want to invest all that time training it just to have it die on you so soon?
If the breeder tells that this litter of puppies is for the health of the dam or the puppies themselves, RUN AWAY. It simply isn't true. Don't take my word for it. Call your own vet and ask him if he would ever advise anyone to breed a physically immature or elderly female for "health reasons". Ask him if he thinks it will have an impact on the puppy's health. It's very much like saying that your 12 year old daughter or 60 year old grandmother needs to have a child "for health reasons."
We all know that children and elderly humans shouldn't be having children because of the sheer physical strain of pregnancy. Take that strain and multiply it by a litter v that's what a mother dog deals with. It doesn't make any more sense for dogs than it does for humans. If they claim that it's being done to improve the breed because "Dog X" is such a wonderful specimen, ask to see the show ribbons, written critiques from the judges, and champion papers of this "paragon" of the breed. If the breeder is unable to produce them, RUN AWAY.
Even if they are able to produce them, you should still be cautious.
You also need to ask how many litters the dam has produced. The mother needs an appropriate period between litters in order to recover physically in order to produce good healthy pups. The normal period of pregnancy for a dog is 9 weeks. Another 7 weeks are required for nursing and weaning the litter.
to be continued
Conditions in these kennels are often unsanitary and/or unsafe and as a result you have puppies that have worms, skin diseases, parasites, etc in addition to genetic problems. Keep in mind that some of these are things are things that your family members can catch from your new pet. Many times the puppies are malnourished and in some cases even the adults are as well.
That's why breeders look down on puppy mills. It's not snobbery. We simply care passionately about our dogs and the breed that we work with. It's not all about the money for us.
The Neapolitian Mastiff is a big dog. It takes two years for them to grow up. Before you purchase your puppy, be sure to ask how old the dam of the litter is. If she isn't at least 18 months old OR has had more than 4 litters or it is the 3d litter in a row without a rest, don't buy the puppy. You have encountered a puppy mill. You wouldn't want your 12 year old daughter giving birth and you don't want a puppy having puppies either.
The mother's body isn't mature enough to provide the proper sustenance to the developing puppies if the dam is too young.