Mastiff Chat
Register  |   |   |  Calendar
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Teresa

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 4,804
Reply with quote  #1 
                  Tips on Buying Your Mastiff Puppy
                                                By: Teresa McMahan
NEVER BUY FROM A PET STORE!!!! PERIOD. These puppies are from puppy mills and are usually over-priced and NOT healthy!! You will pay as much for a pet store puppy as you will for an excellent, well-bred puppy from a reputable breeder, and you will get a lifetime of heartache in vet bills and possible temperament issues.

Well, as with anything that cost money, you have the good breeders and the bad breeders. Many people have had horrible experiences with trying to find a good breeder and it's no secret why. These are expensive dogs and are becoming increasingly more popular. It becomes imperative that you research the breeder you are interested in and ask the right questions of them. Also, try to find out if they have a good reputation or not. Therein lies one of the biggest challenges. Many people fear saying their opinion of breeders for fear of either being brought up on MCOA ethics charges or having that breeder decide to go out on  a smear campaign against anyone who says negative things about their kennel. Nonetheless, here are a few tips that might help. Other members, please feel free to add anything I might have left out.
1.) Once you have found a breeder, ask questions!! If the breeder gets defensive about the questions, find another breeder!!
     a.) What health testing have you done on your dogs?
         ( a very minimum should be hips/elbow and PRA free; ideally, it would also be nice to see patellas, cardiac, thyroid, CMR, Cystinuria (on males) and CERF.) Don't take anyone's word for it. Look up the parents of the litter's information on the OFA website (http://www.offa.org/search.html). Unfortunately, people will lie about health testing results if they are not reputable. However, just because it's not on the OFA website, ask the breeder if they have proof of testing. Sometimes OFA is slow about posting data. Also, PennHip is not listed on the OFA site and is an acceptable way of testing hips.
     b.) What kind of contract do you have?
If you are wanting to show, you should ask to see the show contract. Read it carefully and be sure you can live with the terms and that it's fair to both breeder and buyers. It should read "show potential" because no breeder can absolutely guarantee you that the puppy will absolutely grow up to be a show dog. So much can happen between 8 weeks and time to show. A "good faith attempt to show" clause is acceptable and will show you really do plan on trying to show the dog. If you are only searching for a pet, then a pet contract SHOULD be a limited registration with a spay/neuter clause. Also, reputable breeders WILL take back any puppy that is displaced for any reason usually at the buyers expense. If they won't, there is a problem. There should be a reasonable health guarantee as well. Remember, you can request changes in the contract if there is something you are not comfortable with. Don't sign it if your not comfortable. Personally, I caution against co-owner agreements unless you know the breeder is truly reputable. If you co-own your dog, you are bound to that breeder for the life of the dog. I've seen some pretty outrageous co-own contract, but I've also seen some very fair ones. The fair ones usually are to protect the puppy from a buyer whose only goal is to breed!
     c.) Do you show your dogs? This is only important because it shows that the breeder IS interested in breeding dogs that meet the AKC standard. However, there are some good breeders who do not show for various reasons, so don't necessarily rule anyone out on this alone.
     d.) What are the prices and deposits for show versus pet quality dogs? Puppies that are priced too low or ridiculously high are red flags. The average for a pet is approximately $2000 and the average for a show quality is approximately $3000 (give or take $500 either direction). Deposits can be refundable or non-refundable. Be sure and ASK about that. Personally, I do refundable deposits IF the buyer notifies me 3 weeks prior to the puppies 8 week birthday. Also, I do not take deposits until I am sure I have enough puppies in my litter to accommodate the buyer (so not until they are born and are a couple of weeks old). I don't breed often, so I do not want to tie up someone's money if I'm not going to have the puppy for them in a reasonable amount of time.
  e.) Ask what the temperament of the parents is like. Unfortunately, there are well known breeders who are breeding some bad temperaments. With dogs that get as big as Mastiffs do, this can be horrible. If you can go visit the parents, that's ideal, but that isn't always possible long distance. Then, you just have to ask around and hope someone will give you the information. Caution: there is a great deal of competition among breeders, so don't necessarily nix a breeder because another one said they were awful. Yes, I know it's hard to know who's telling you the truth and who is just sabotaging the competition.
  f.) Ask if the puppies are AKC registered. Many "breeders" are pawning off American Mastiff and other crosses as Mastiff and they are NOT true Mastiffs. They are mutts with an expensive price tag and often have severe temperament and health issues.
   g.) Ask the breeder if they have any questions of you. If they don't, THAT is a problem unless you know them personally or have been highly recommended by someone they do know. A good breeder will grill you as much as you grill them. If all they are interested in is your deposit and your cash for the puppy  and NOT the kind of home you can give your new puppy, find another breeder.

2.) Be patient. The biggest mistakes in buying a puppy have occurred when the buyer thinks they MUST HAVE A PUPPY NOW. Trust me, there will be good litters all the time and to rush into buying is a mistake. Research the breed, research the breeder and WAIT for the puppy that fits what YOU want. It will come. Look near and far. I live in western Texas and have had puppies shipped to me from Ohio, Oregon, Indiana and Mississippi with absolutely NO problems. I have shipped a puppy to the San Francisco and New Yorks areas, again with no problem. I strongly prefer Continental's Petsafe program. Do not limit yourself to your immediate area. Newspaper ads are not usually a good idea either, but if you ask all the right question and get all the right answers, I guess it could be a way to find a puppy.

3.) Be honest with yourself and the breeder. If you do not like slobbering, shedding huge dogs, don't get a Mastiff. Do not get a Mastiff if you plan on sticking it out in the backyard and never having it as a part of your family. Mastiffs NEED their people and should be house dogs or, at the very least, kennels dogs that get a great deal of socialization (I personally prefer to sale to people with every intention of making their puppy a household pet). If you have anyone in your family with pet allergies, don't get a Mastiff. If you do not have a well fenced area, do not get a Mastiff (underground electric fences are horrible for Mastiffs and can cause them to be aggressive). Do not get a Mastiff to train as a guard dog. It is a bad idea and can cause an aggressive Mastiff. DO plan on taking your Mastiff puppy to puppy kindergarten. These dogs get really big and NEED to be obedient.

4.) Do not be afraid to ask the breeder for references. A good breeder will gladly oblige. On the flip side, EXPECT a good breeder to ask you for your references as well.

4.) RED FLAGS:
      a.) no health testing; I used to say unless the breeder has a long line of healthy dogs, but I no longer believe that. Health testing is essential PERIOD, including Cystinuria testing on stud dogs.
      b.) seller insist on you breeding your dog and giving them a puppy back regardless of the temperament of the dog or the health testing of the dog.
      c.) seller tries to rush you into a decision.
      d.) seller ask for deposit/payment on puppy without any information about you.
      e.) seller is defensive when you ask reasonable questions
      f.) seller does not have a contract or presents you with an unreasonable contract
      g.) seller advertises fully health tested dogs, but cannot produce proof of testing
       h.) price is too low OR too high (see above)
       i.) Breeder will allow the puppy to leave mother/siblings UNDER 8 weeks old

      

Finally, talk to the breeder on the phone or in person. Remember, you will be expected to deal with your breeder for the lifetime of the dog if they are a good breeder. If it is someone who acts "put out" by all your questions, think to yourself "how are they going to be if issues come up with my puppy". A good breeder will be there for you from the time you decide to buy one of their puppies until your dog departs the earth. There's nothing more valuable than a good breeder who is there for you and your puppy.



__________________
Align yourself with those with kind hearts, gentle spirits and honest intentions. Be a good friend and let good friends know how much they are valued! Live every day with the intention of doing what is right...
Teresa

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 4,804
Reply with quote  #2 

Hi Laura. I'll start a thread on the chat area so it doesn't get lost. Co-ownerships are quite a challenge, so it makes for a very good topic!! Teresa


__________________
Align yourself with those with kind hearts, gentle spirits and honest intentions. Be a good friend and let good friends know how much they are valued! Live every day with the intention of doing what is right...
rwatsonaz

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 263
Reply with quote  #3 

  Excellent guidelines Teresa and thank you for posting this, I believe that the hardest part of this is the waiting and just understanding what you “The Breeder” expect.  When you lose a dog as I did, there is such a deep hole that buyers want to fill, especially when in the household, you see the loneliness in the other dog.  You walk the dog, have good conversations, and try to play as best as you can, but there is only so much dog that human can speak.

  Buyer’s if they want to do the right thing, join boards such as this, post questions, research further and establish relationships with established breeders, in hopes that one day soon they will have a Mastiff puppy in their house, or they just run down to the local store and pick a puppy.    What I have found is that you (The Breeder), with positive attitudes, wanting to help educate the buyer, are willing to establish a long term relationship, actually are very few.  I say this as a buyer, not a breeder.  When Wonder woman and I lost Bentley, May 1st of this year, I became so focused on learning what to look for in reading a health certificate, I was ignorant of what to look for and what to ask.   Not any longer and I owe a huge debt to this Forum for providing those answers to my questions.  Thank you!

  I have sent over twenty six emails to various breeders in this country asking the questions that you, my friends on this Forum have taught me to ask.  Of those emails, I would consider possibly five, maybe eight at the most to be positive.   I have received the most negative, condescending, egotistical, non-commutative, responses from individuals that hide behind being a Breeder and that you have “Champion Lines”. Shame on you.  The attitude that has been presented to me, well, I will not “Breeder Bash”.  Let’s just say that in my humble opinion, you need to find a different way to make money.    I am not in anyway, trying to get anyone pissed; I am telling you my experience and except for the few, it has not been a good one.  I asked myself after the responses, “ Is this person about the dog, or the trophy?”  I don’t care about the trophy, I care about the dog.  Sorry if that hurts, but it’s the way I feel based on my experience.

  Buyers have responsibility; in my search I have found that there are two types of buyers (1) those who want a Mastiff, because they are cool and have no idea what they (Mastiff’s)  are all about and then abandon the dog, and (2), buyers like me that are willing to ask the hard questions ask for references ask for health certs. I understand more now, why people go to puppy mills, they don’t want to be treated in some respect as I have.  Possibly, it has been my approach, I am a direct individual.   Before Bentley was given to me, I did research on the breed, diet, play, exercise, health, life expectancy and I talked to my vet and trainers what I didn’t expect, was how the Mastiff dives into your soul.

  I will not give up my search because every day, I learn more and more, I know that while I am searching for my Mastiff puppy, that puppy is searching for me.  With the information that you members on this board have given me, I gain more and more respect not only for you but what you are working to accomplish towards this most excellent breed.  For that, I thank you.

 

Rick


__________________
You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, `My God, you’re RIGHT! I NEVER would’ve thought of that!’
Teresa

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 4,804
Reply with quote  #4 

Thank you so much for writing this Rick. I really think breeders need a wake up call every now and then. We all get caught up in "show" dogs and tend to forget that HOMES are what counts!! We need someone like you to nudge us into remembering this is about our babies having LOVING, ADORING homes and not feeding our own egos. We also need to keep in mind that, by turning away great homes because we want "show homes", we might be pushing buyers into the waiting arms of the puppy mill industry. There is NO SHAME in pet homes! Quite the opposite!! Pet homes are IMPORTANT. More than likely,  you'll never see my kennel name on tons of top  20 dogs. Why? Because I don't breed that much and most of my babies go to pet homes. I think when a breeder is more concerned about showing than real homes, you start getting into a really dangerous area...jmho though!


__________________
Align yourself with those with kind hearts, gentle spirits and honest intentions. Be a good friend and let good friends know how much they are valued! Live every day with the intention of doing what is right...
OsoBodacious

Registered:
Posts: 265
Reply with quote  #5 
Teresa, I SO agree with you.  I only breed when I want MY next puppy and don't care if any of the pups ever end up in the show ring.

What I care about is that they end up in homes where they are cared for the way I would care for them if they lived with me.  Even my own dogs are first my babies, and family members and only secondly are they show dogs.

I even go so far as to insist on that kind of standard from a stud dog owner I might be looking to use.  If they're not all about the best home for the pups, I'll look for a different stud to use.


__________________
Terri Perkins
Oso Bodacious Mastiffs
http://www.osobodaciousmastiffs.com
DWhite

Registered:
Posts: 57
Reply with quote  #6 
I prefer to place my pups in pet homes over show homes. Always have.
Rick, keep looking you will find the breeder  and pup for you and your family!
rwatsonaz

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 263
Reply with quote  #7 

Thanks DWhite... trust me I am looking, I thought I heard him bark earlier...turned out to be a cat with a fur ball..


__________________
You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, `My God, you’re RIGHT! I NEVER would’ve thought of that!’
MammothMastiffs

Registered:
Posts: 1,037
Reply with quote  #8 

LOL, Rick, I wish you the best in finding your new best friend...


__________________
To whom it may concern:
There has never been a dog bred by, or sold by, Mill Creek Mastiffs or Mammoth Mastiffs, that tested positive for cystinuria to my knowledge. If anyone knows of one contact me asap...

No graphics, pictures, or content on any of the posts that I make contained with in this site may be copied, modified, distributed, reproduced, published, or posted without the express written consent of, Mammoth Mastiffs.
Teresa

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 4,804
Reply with quote  #9 

One more thing, if a breeder is a good breeder and you are a good home, even thought that particular breeder may not have a litter due right away, you have two choices. You can either wait for them to have a litter OR you can ask them to help you find litters from reputable breeders. Most truly devoted breeders will help you find another breeder rather than leave you out in the wind to get taken by the first breeder that comes along (and may be a nightmare). I personally STRONGLY prefer referring people to reputable breeders rather than leave them as prey for crummy breeders!


__________________
Align yourself with those with kind hearts, gentle spirits and honest intentions. Be a good friend and let good friends know how much they are valued! Live every day with the intention of doing what is right...
PLRsMomma

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 649
Reply with quote  #10 

Teresa, when are you going to write a book about all that you have learned so far, I truly believe with your talent for words and your undying love for your family (kids included) it would en lighted the world as to the things we all can do to help out the breed and each other. I have been so blessed the very day I met you in Chicago 2008. You are a true friend to the breed and me. You are woman of your word and I have so much respect for you cause of this. I also think post like Rick's should be included in this book. So people can see that just because you might run into a breeder who wants to make you feel like you just committed a crime because you ask question that they think they are above answering or because you hit a nerve because they are hiding something and they think you know it too. 

 

Thank you for having this site, and taking out the time to share what you have learned through everything you have heard, read, and experience. Keep up the good work there are people learning from this site.



__________________
Jeni, Kirt, Dozer, & Mimi.
WinterRose Mastiffs
Teresa

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 4,804
Reply with quote  #11 

Thanks Jeni! I kinda needed that after being attacked by "SATAN'S MINION" again today! But, at least I'm not the only one the devil is after today. Sometimes I really think certain people like attacking to distract from their own misdeads. Fortunately, most people can see through that ploy. When all a person can do is be mean and negative, people usually "get" what they are about (no one on this board is being referred to).


__________________
Align yourself with those with kind hearts, gentle spirits and honest intentions. Be a good friend and let good friends know how much they are valued! Live every day with the intention of doing what is right...
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.