I might be able to get a corgi of my very own early next year (YAY!)
So I have started looking for breeders in California, and most of the ones I've seen appear to be good. But as I understand it, it is incredibly difficult to distinguish a good breeder from a bad one. All the breeders I'm finding are on the PWCCA list, but I don't know if that guarantees anything. I'm still at the beginning stages of this sort of research so I don't have much of a checklist of what I should be looking for yet.
What were some research techniques you guys tried out that lead you to your corgi?
I want to go to corgi meet-ups around here in Los Angeles, and ask others about their corgis. But I don't know if people might find that creepy. I recognize how silly that might sound, but this is my first time getting a dog from a breeder rather than from a shelter, so I'm feeling a little nervous (and excited.)
Thank you for your help!
Here is the link for responsible breeders hopefully the website will help you out as much as it did me. Also look around throughout the website they have so much information!
Welcome Julie, check out this answer and many others in the FAQ.
Go and attend the meet-ups and talk to REAL people, ask as many questions as you can, most owners are very happy to share their stories with you :) Good luck!
Here's what I did, and it worked for us:
I started with the breeder who was closest to us from the list at PWCCA. I e-mailed her with a little about myself, my background with dogs, the type of home we could offer and what we planned to do with the dog, and why we specifically wanted a Corgi.
I then stated I was checking to see if she'd have a litter available in the spring or summer, and had some questions for her. What does she breed for (show, agility, etc). Can I meet the parents? What health clearances does she do? (Most good Corgi breeders test hips, but many are not happy with the testing at this stage and some experienced breeders make their own judgement there, so don't be surprised to get some grumbly answers about hips). Are there any health guarantees? And if you have no litters, are there any other breeders you would recommend?
This opened the dialogue. In our case, the breeder we contacted had no litters planned but invited us to come see her and her dogs. She watched us with the dogs, talked to us a lot about them and the different personalities across the breed, and decided we would be good Corgi owners (she also happens to have bred and shown last year's BOB winner at the National Specialty, so that was very exciting!) She then referred us to another breeder who breeds more often that she said was terrific.
I e-mailed that breeder, explained who referred me to her, and asked similar questions. This breeder asked me to call her, and we talked a good hour or hour and a half that first conversation. I told her a lot about what we were looking for, she told me lots of stories about her dogs and homes that pups had gone to.
I asked about the parents, where the pups are raised, what kind of health guarantee is offered, when they leave the home, and what sort of early socialization they have. You will find, probably, that most of the good breeders breed to show (a handful do performance themselves), but by asking what sorts of things the pups do when they leave can be informative. For example the breeder we ended up going with shows, but she also puts pups in agility homes.
The biggest difference, IMO, that you are likely to find is in the amount of socialization the breeders do. What impressed me about our breeder was that not only did she have people come into the home to visit the pups, but once they had their first set of shots she would take cratefuls of puppies out to parking lots of grocery stores and the like to have kids handle them.
Anyway, the good ones will talk to you for ages because they want to find out as much about you as you want to find out about them. They should be able to make arrangements to let you come see their dogs, though if there are young pups you may not be allowed near them til they are vaccinated for fear of bringing disease. The mother should be on site and should be outgoing and friendly. The sire may or may not be around. The dogs should clearly act as if they are in the house regularly. There may be outdoor runs too, if the breeder has a lot of dogs, but they should be clean and look like the dogs don't live in them full-time.
Ignore the condition of the home. :) Many of the bigger breeders have spotless dogs and spotless crates/runs/puppy rooms, but the house may get neglected.
You can also google the kennel name and find show results and stuff, but keep in mind that someone can breed dogs that win a lot but that does not guarantee personality.
the CA breeders that I used were on PWCCA list. We purchased a runt from one, apparently even though he had been seen by 2 vets he was born with hydrocepolus or water on the brain. He all of sudden was very lethargic. The breeder had said if any reason we could not keep him we were to return the dog to her. We called her after we were quoted 5 G from UCD a day. We could not afford that, The breeder had us meet her at her vets and confirmed what out vet had said. The breeder told us the right thing to do was put him down. The breeder paid for it, and offered me his sister or money back. The next morning she brought Chloe to us. A good breeder stands by her dog, I should mention that our breeder interviewed us for over an hour before she agreed to sell us a dog.
Look for breeders who are active in showing and successful. This isn't mere snob appeal, but it's an indication that the breeder is serious. Be sure to avoid puppy mills or 3rd-rate breeders trying to cash in on the growing popularity of this breed.
Look for a breeder who has the litter right inside the home, not out in a barn or kennel; I'd think that indicates a serious commitment to socialization.
If the breeder seems selective, makes you jump thru some hoops, interviews YOU to see if you're good enough for one of their dogs, and makes you sign a stringent contract requiring you to return the dog to no one but themself if it doesn't work out, that's a good litmus test.
This isn't an absolute litmus test, but for me, if a breeder is testing for DM, that would be a plus indicating a serious concern for the breed. They don't necessarily have to be breeding two DM clear parents -- breeding only DM clear corgis limits the gene pool to a very small pool, and as long as only one parent is DM clear, no pups will be affected. There are many other considerations besides DM.
You may have an image in your mind of the ideal dog for you, but don't let this blind you to the great dog that's out there but doesn't match your image. I see fine dogs all the time that came from the pound.
Read through this website, there are several threads about this stuff.
I know very little about dog breeders, but I think a big red flag would be any consideration about making a profit; if it's not a labor of love and they're just trying to meet expenses, you want somebody else.
You're looking for someone you'll have a long-term relationship with.
2. The Buyer agrees to have this dog spayed/neutered as soon as age permits...
3. The above described dog may, for any reason, be returned to the Seller within 30 days... the Seller will refund the full purchase price...
4. If anytime during the lifetime... the Buyer no longer desires it, he/she shall be obligated to return the dog to the Seller. The Buyer agrees NEVER to relinquish the dog to a pet shop or shelter.
8. The Buyer agrees to promptly notify the Seller of any address change...
These are all great advices, thank you very much :)
I have been staying up for the last few nights reading the information offered on this website, and I have already learned so much. I'm looking forward to the corgi meet-ups, next time I'm definitely attending.
I can say that all sugguestions are good ones, but please humor me on this one.
I myself work for the Humane Society as a voulnteer, daily I see wonderful dogs that can make beyond wonderful pets. I know in this area alone there are 3 Corgi specific adoption programs that are in desporate need of families. So, I ask you this?
Why do you want a puppy?
Do you have the time to dedicate ( yes, this will require time off work..shots, spay/neutering training, ect)?
Do you plan to breed this dog?
Ok, here is the truth about breeders, to them dogs are nothing more then a paycheck. I've found some " Ok" breeders but none to rave about, when its all said and done you go home and its food on the table for the breeder. Don't get me wrong as I've mentioned some are Ok and yes, some may even go above and beyond, those that do will actually not have large litters each year of puppies ( maybe 1 or 2 if your lucky) and usually have a waiting list already started. They will flat out try to get you to adopt first before getting a puppy.
Secondly, Puppies take time, a lot of time...a lot of money as well. The typical first year of a puppy after all said and done ( Training, toys, vet bills, food and spay/neuter) will come up to around 1,000 in this area, and that's on the budget side. You will need to spend time socializing the puppy, training and house breaking ( get ready for a lot of walks a day). This can require time off work, social life, friends....ect. And contrary to belief puppies personalities are not fully developed, that dosen't happen until about a year old.
So, what you get with an adopted dog...
A Personality that is already developed, this helps in picking out your dog.
Already house broken, or at least on the road to a good start.
All shots usually taken care of, and since the dog has been in a shelter already descently socalized.
A good vet check up, which is vital to dealing with any possible issues or at least knowing about them.
Possibly already starting to learn or knows basic commands/training
Spayed/Neutered and usually Microchipped.
So, if your set on getting a puppy, then yes all the sugguestions are good ones. I'd recommend that you set forth though and look in to saving a life if at all possible first.
Just my two cents worth, you can take it or leave it.
Thanks Don for your suggestions and advice.
I personally believe if everyone gave a lot of thought and research into what kind of pet they want, and are best suited for (if they find they are the kind of person that could have one) then there would be less abandoned animals in shelters.
I do know what it takes to raise a puppy, I had a 13 yr old girl until about an year ago. And I do know about shelters/ rescues, all of my previous and current pets are from there. Maybe you believed I had no experience because you misunderstood my first corgi as my first dog/ pet. But that isn't the case. I'm putting in a lot of thought to this, and have a lot of time for it until I'm ready to make my decision. But whether I want to go to a reputable breeder or to an animal shelter/ rescue is my personal choice.
As I said, just my 2 cents is all, hopefully no offence taken by it.
As you've prob. guessed I'm a bit hard on the puppy choice, I'll let you in why. Yes I work for the Humane society, now please understand this has no bearing on my stance on anything at'll.
I'd have to say that my life changed when I did volunteer for an animal hospital up the street to help my girlfriend out with kennel duties, it was used by the city to euthanize dogs and cats. They called them hopeless, none looked that way to me. I walked in on the process, watching a life fade was not anything shy of horrible. I did help move the dog to the " Cooler" after the process.
Yah, it wasn't my dog, typically I shouldn't have cared really. Maybe you can tell me why I did, I still can't go back to that hospital or in the back to this day. I've never gone back or do I stop there.
With this being said please forgive my ignorance if I've offended you in any way, you are correct, the decision is you're decision and one I should have no bearing on.
Please accept my apologies, I am sorry that I may have come across in a way that wasn't intended.