You should be choosing your breeder before you think about choosing your puppy.
You’ve probably come across the Tibetan Mastiff breed sometimes along the line. You’ve seen one in a magazine or encountered one at the park and decided this is really the breed for you. You’ve opted to get serious about your research, have browsed the Internet, and are now ready to contact Tibetan Mastiff breeders regarding the next breeding season. Potential puppy buyers should feel required to interview every breeder they contact, just like many TM puppy breeders have a thorough screening process in place. Reputable breeders accept inquiries about the breed of dog, their dogs, their specific breeding programs, and upcoming litters via the Internet or over the phone.
Where do you start? Why it's NOT all about Geography!
While it may appear to be the logical place to begin, limiting your search for a breeder and puppy simply on the basis of geography is foolish. Please visit a local breeder to acquire a feel for the T Mastiff breed, but purchasing a puppy just because a breeder is geographically situated near you may not be in your best interests. Location doesn’t really ensure that you will form a productive relationship with the kennel or that your TM puppy will be the perfect match for you.
Frequently, potential puppy owners focus their attention on the perceived drawbacks of communicating with a far-away breeder. Prospective puppy owners may be hesitant to deal with breeders from a distance because they believe they are “buying a dog over the Internet.” However, acquiring a furry friend does not have to be like an eBay transaction if prospective puppy owners take the chance to teach themselves and properly interview their breeders of choice. Do not assume that the benefits of a professional and experienced breeder, or the quality of a pup you may find, will be hindered by distance.
How much is that doggie in the window?
When it comes to choosing a puppy, price is typically the most important factor. Potential puppy owners may believe that because a puppy is close by, it will cost less. Travel prices, for example, should be lower when visiting breeding facilities, and there will likely be no box or airline costs to consider.
While the cost of a TM puppy may appear outrageous to the average person, the cost of developing and maintaining a breeding program is huge. When it is claimed that dog breeding is a money-making endeavor, reputable breeders enjoy a chuckle. This is because it still involves providing regular maintenance, food, preservation of secure premises, and health care. From your standpoint, keep in mind that caring for a TM is a 10- to 14-year commitment. When you consider how much you’ll be paying over the next few years, the original purchase price is actually a minor outlay.
Some things to consider about that purchase price.
Although it is true that T Mastiff breeders set their own rates for their litters of pups, keep in mind that not all breeders and puppies are created equal. It’s important to keep in mind that not all breeders have the same standards. Certain breeders sell every puppy for a predetermined price based on a set “show” or “pet” quality standard, while others sell each puppy for a set price. Make sure you truly understand what’s included in the purchasing price. It’ll be up to you to determine what is ideal for you and to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of what your preferred breeder has to offer.
The following factors may contribute to a higher or lower buying price:
- a breeder’s pledge to be available to you as a resource over the coming years
- the breeder’s knowledge to guide you along the way as your Tibetan Mastiff matures and presents you with various behavioral and/or health challenges
- the breeder’s help with official documentation when it comes to registration
- direction and mentoring should you become a Tibetan Mastiff breeder
- no breeder support
- exhausting efforts to find a source of information so that you can learn about the Tibetan Mastiff breed when breeder support is not given
- unnecessary demands and future breeding obligations placed on you and your dog. There is a tremendous responsibility associated with breeding a litter of puppies and don’t be fooled into believing that it is a money making venture. If you have no initial intentions to become a breeder when you begin looking for a puppy, DO NOT enter into any arrangements that compel you to breed your Tibetan Mastiff.
- a breeder withholding registration papers unless you fulfill the his/her wishes
- strings attached
Use the internet and the telephone to your advantage
Rather, consider how technology has made it a lot easier to reach out across your country, and even throughout the world while researching multiple breeders at the same time. While the Internet enables quick access and information transmission, it also enables misrepresentation and disinformation exchange. However, if potential puppy owners are prepared to put in the time and effort, the Internet allows you to properly research and explore your alternatives.
We’ve put up a comprehensive list of questions to help prospective puppy owners overcome their fears about starting their search, as well as to assist you in performing a breeder interview and making knowledgeable decisions. The answers to these questions are the first steps in determining what is important to you, allowing you to concentrate on the freedom of selecting the right breeder and, eventually, the ideal Tibetan Mastiff for your family.
The Common Sense Questions
Red Flag: SINGLE VS. MULTIPLE BREEDS: Dogs may be addicting, and many Tibetan Mastiff owners also adore Tibetan Terriers or Tibetan Spaniels. Although some breeders do take such interests sincerely and breed or promote multiple breeds, prospective puppy buyers should be wary of breeders that have a large variety of different breeds and produce a large number of litters every year.
Is the breeder prepared to show you certified documentation?
Red Flag: Puppy millers and unethical breeders have no reservations about informing you that their canines are health-checked when, in fact, they aren’t. Stop your interview with any breeder who refuses or is unable to give you documentation of certification.
There really is no such thing as a perfect dog, and every lineage has its own set of strengths and flaws. Continue your discussion with any breeder that claims his or her dogs have no health issues and, as a result, does not screen for potential disorders like hip dysplasia or hypothyroidism.
Is the breeder familiar with the history and pedigree of his or her dogs? Can you get images of the sire and dam, grandparents, and great-grandparents from him?
Has this breeder spent an adequate amount of time speaking or writing to you about the breed's numerous characteristics? Do you believe you have a comprehensive and balanced understanding of the breed?
Red Flag: The Tibetan Mastiff is a great breed to own, but it is also a difficult one to care for. Has this breeder gone through telling you all about the breed’s favorable traits while ignoring the challenges you’ll face? Do you feel pressured or forced into buying a puppy, despite the fact that you are obviously excited?
Red Flag: Of course, buying a Tibetan Mastiff is a financial transaction, but puppies aren’t like the items that line the shelves of Wal-Mart and are available to anyone with cash. Do you believe you have given this breeder enough information for him or her to feel comfortable placing a puppy with you, or do you believe this breeder is more interested with a monetary exchange?
Is it necessary for you to sign a contract with this breeder? Request a copy and go over the terms one by one.
Red Flag: It’s absolutely OK for breeders to have different warranties and return policies, but make sure you’re happy with their practices. It’s best to know ahead of time if you’re seeking a money-back guarantee on particular health conditions and this breeder doesn’t provide one.
When you tell this breeder you want to view the sire, dam, and puppies, does he or she appear relaxed? Does this breeder provide you with a decent feel of his or her set-up if you will be unable to visit the breeder's facilities?
Red Flag: Any breeder who refuses to let you visit his or her facilities and pets should be questioned. If a breeder insists on meeting you somewhere else to deliver a puppy or arrives with a car filled with puppies for you to choose from, be skeptical. Avoid breeders that offer their puppies through pet shops or on a demand basis.
Is there a specific worming or vaccination protocol followed by this breeder? What type of medical attention do the puppies get?
Does this breeder use a tattoo or a microchip to identify his or her puppies?
Inquire with this breeder about your level of involvement in the puppy selection process. Some breeders enable you to have complete control over your puppy decision, while others reserve the right to choose the puppy they believe is ideal for you. Neither method is inherently wrong; it is simply an issue of personal opinion and style.
Is this breeder familiar with transporting a puppy to an airport and with the documentation and procedures associated with air travel? Is this breeder concerned about the wellbeing of the puppy and only books flights that bring the puppy the least amount of stress?
When will you be able to welcome your new family member into your home?
Red Flag: By the time they reach the age of 8 to 12 weeks, Tibetan Mastiff puppies are usually ready to go to their new homes. Breeders who want to bring your dog home before then should be avoided.
Is this breeder ready to accept a Tibetan Mastiff puppy back if you can no longer care for your dog?
Red Flag: Tibetan Mastiffs should never be dumped in shelters, humane organizations, or with the naive person who responds to the “Tibetan Mastiff to Give-Away” ad you put in the weekend paper. Make sure your Tibetan Mastiff has a wonderful home! If you are unable to give one, ensure that your chosen breeder provides a solid support system for the duration of your dog’s life.
Questions that will speak to your instincts
Red Flag: Breeding methods differ from one breeder to the next, however, there are certain common rules to follow. Reputable breeders encourage all dogs in a breeding program to have their health checked, and they avoid utilizing immature females that are less than two years old or are not in their second heat cycle. (It’s important to note that Tibetan Mastiff females only go into heat once per year, thus this distinction is necessary. Responsible breeders do not, overall, urge their females to get more than three or four litters throughout their lifespan.) If you have any worries after hearing an explanation of a breeder’s practices, look for voluntary codes of ethics on breeder websites and educate yourself on basic breeding practices.
Is it common for this breeder to criticize other breeders, their breeding plans, and their dogs?
Red Flag: The first conversation you have with a breeder should focus on his or her breeding program, your interest in his or her dogs, and the anticipated puppies during the breeding season. You don’t have to listen to any breeder criticizing another breeder’s dog. Reputable and passionate breeders are well aware of the time and effort required to raise puppies and be fully committed to the welfare of their own dogs. Responsible breeders also recognize the importance of devoting time and resources to mentoring newcomers to the breed and educating prospective puppy owners. Be aware of breeders that appear to be motivated to cast unfavorable judgments on others and regard other Tibetan Mastiff breeders as “competition.” Always be wary of breeders that feel compelled to persuade you that only their dogs are the best.
Is this breeder connected to other breeders? Is he/she willing to provide you with references or recommendations for other reputable breeders if you decide to seek elsewhere?
Is this breeder highly interested in helping to ensure the breed’s future by working with groups or mentoring newcomers?
Is this breeder actively promoting and protecting the breed by making difficult but proper decisions about puppy placement? Is this breeder willing to say “NO” to your puppy request if he or she does not believe the placement will be successful?
Whether you’re a first-time Tibetan Mastiff owner or a seasoned TM carer, finding a reputable breeder and the perfect puppy shouldn’t be a difficult task. Being prepared and asking the correct questions can help you learn more about the Tibetan Mastiff breed and love the Tibetan Mastiff friend you finally bring into your house.