So you’ve started your search for a new addition to your family and it can be daunting there’s lots of advertisements with a variety of ‘terms’ used. They sound impressive but what dose it all mean, what are you really paying for and does price always reflect quality?
The best advice is find a breeder with dogs who you like the look of the chances are if you after a stockier big headed dog it is not going to come from a longer legged finer terrier type mum. So search the internet, I’d start with www.dogzonline.com.au its not an exhaustive list but is a good place to start with lots of breeders listed in each breed. Look at people’s Websites / Facebook pages and approach those you like the look of.
Make sure that the breeder is registered with their State’s registered controlling Dog Body and no that’s not just a BIN Number (Breeder Identification Number) as BIN number can be obtained free of charge from DAFF with no checks just some details supplied. You’re looking for a breeder registered with an ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council) body for example in my case Dogs NSW. ANKC member bodies are the only organisation internationally recognised (See pic below). Your also looking for a breeder who is actively involved in an ANKC activity – Conformation Showing, Agility, Obedience, Lure Coursing, Tracking, Nosework, Flyball – anything that indicates that they give back to their chosen breed is a good indication that they are not just breeding for profit and have a good interest in the Breed. Please note that MDBA (Master Dog Breeders Association) are NOT a recognised registry for purebred dogs.
Please note for health testing in Staffords I read many ads that say free of all genetic diseases – this is impossible – the truth is we can only genetically test for 3 conditions L2 HGA (a form of Epilepsy), HC (Hereditary Cataracts) & DM (Degenerative Myelopathy) with the results of Clear, Carrier and Affected – Clear to Clear will only give you Clear, Clear to Carrier will give you Clears and Carriers (a carrier will carry the gene for the issue but will never be affected by that issue), Affecteds should not be bred from. Other tests we can do are Eye Tests (with a proper Vet Ophthalmologist not just your normal Vet) & Xrays to help lessen the chances of Eye Problems, Hip and Elbow Displaysia but these cannot be eliminated this way, just the chances of issues arising is being reduced if you breed from Clear eye parents and average or below average Hips and Elbows for the breed.
Do not be surprised if breeders decline allowing visitors until after puppy vaccinations at 6 weeks as lots of visitors can be daunting for mum as well as putting puppies at the risk of viruses such as parvovirus which is deadly for baby puppies – I ask that all visitors remove shoes and are sprayed with a virocide on arrival. We are not trying to scam you or make you feel unwelcome, we are just doing our best to protect our precious bubs. I always offer video and photos to buyers of the litter before this stage.
Please do not be conned – Blue Staffords are not rare they make up over 60% of our registrations in Australia and it is only a colour – it is the temperament of your puppy that should count the most. Please research your breeder carefully when it comes to purchasing a puppy as there are many who breed for profit and not for the Breed’s welfare this is where my comments in relation to being active in an ANKC sanctioned event become relevant. I also strongly recommend doing some research on Colour Dilution Alopecia before purchasing a puppy if you are thinking about getting a blue Stafford.
Price does not reflect quality in all cases, please consider all of the above before handing over your hard earned cash. The average price for a puppy in Australia at the moment is around $1800 – $2500. Do not pay more! No colour is rare! Dogs or Bitches are not worth more than each other! Direct from Import parents may charge top dollar but that is the exception as there normally has been a lot of cost involved to produce that litter.
The price should include Pedigree Papers (Main or Limited Registered), vaccination, micro chip, worming and as a bare minimum the puppies current dietary information (mine get a hell of a lot more lol). You should also sight (I would ask for copies) any claimed health testing or DNA parentage verification of the parents.
Ask lots of questions! Any breeder should be happy to answer them and provide any relevant documents to back up their statements. I hope this leads you to a happy choice of a friend for life.