Video – Choosing a Dog Breeder

Eukanuba has a video up that gives a good overview of what to look for when selecting the breeder of your new puppy.

Like many other viewers, I do have one quibble – the outdated vaccination information. The video suggests that your puppy should have two sets of shots by eight weeks. Honestly, I don’t know of a single veterinarian who is still suggested this outdated vaccination protocol. Personally, we follow Dr. Jean Dodds’ minimal vaccination protocol, which I’ve outlined below the cut, as well as provided a link to. In essence, she suggests that the puppy receive its first shot at 9 – 10 weeks, and that this shot should consist only of Distemper and Parvovirus.

This brings us to the second question – when should is your puppy old enough to go to its new home? Joanna, on her Ruffly Speaking blog, has provided a wonderful argument for the choice to send puppies home at 8 weeks of age.

I have, over the last few years, been slowly keeping my puppies longer and longer. In part, this is because of my preference to not give their first shots until ten weeks. I then prefer to keep them here at home for a week after they’ve received this first shot, in case of any adverse reactions. I agree with Joanna, however – it’s very difficult to give an entire litter of puppies the kind of constant, varied socialization that they require if you plan to keep them this long. We’ve done our best, but it rapidly becomes a full time job. I take puppies in to work with me, as well to the Hardware store, the bank, the Co Op and any where else that pets are welcomed. Even so, this means that I’m going one to two pups out at a time, max.

Keeping puppies for this long also means that I tend to form very strong attachments to them. I’d like to think this is mutual, but in typical French Bulldog fashion most of them seem to barely spare me a backwards glance. For my part, letting two of the older pups from my last litter go left me absolutely devastated, and swearing that I’d never, ever go through that again.

I’ve decided that, with our upcoming litters, we’ll do our first shots at seven and a half weeks, with the goal of having them leave by eight and a half. This means that the puppies I am keeping will get their fair share of socialization, and that the puppies that are leaving get to their new homes in time for that crucial socialization period.

I will not, however, be sending them home with two sets of shots – and neither should any other breeder who isn’t still living in the 1950’s.

Full Jean Dodds’ Minimal Vaccination protocol, below the cut.

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