Choosing a Dalmatian puppy to add to your family can be very difficult. When staring at those adorable spotted faces you may wish that you could take all of them home! Since that's not realistic for most of us there are some things that you should be aware of when adopting your new puppy.
Where to Adopt
Some people know for certain that they want to buy from a respected breeder while others may consider rescuing a shelter dog. Almost all breeds have rescue organizations devoted specifically to them and it usually costs less to purchase this way.
Keep in mind that while these organizations do all they can to provide you with background information on the dog you choose, you are taking a greater risk in behavioral and health issues.
If you choose to purchase your Dalmatian from a breeder you will need to do your research. Anyone whose dog gives birth to a litter can call themselves a breeder and the puppies that result are often of very bad quality. A responsible breeder will discuss all aspects of the puppy's lineage and will be eager to answer your questions. Reputable breeders will also question you about the needs of the dog and your ability to care for the dog properly. Good breeders truly love the dogs and it will show in the care that they take with both you and the animals.
Questions to Ask
Adopting a puppy is like adding another member to your family. It's perfectly acceptable for you to ask as many questions as you need to in order to make your decision. The breeder should be more than willing to answer your questions because they want to place their puppies in homes that will be appropriate for them. Here are some questions that you might consider asking.
1. What are the potential genetic defects of the breed? It should serve as a red flag if the breeder tries to gloss over your concerns because there are some fairly common genetic defects found in Dalmatians. A good breeder will be straightforward and honest about any potential problems.
2. Can I meet the sire and dame? By meeting the parents of your potential pup you will be able to get an idea of the temperament that your new dog may have. Sometimes the sire is not available because stud services are used, but the dame almost always is. Expect the dogs to be a little nervous around strangers, especially the dame as she will be protective of her litter.
3. Have the puppies been socialized to humans? It's important that the puppies be used to the presence and handling of humans so that the transition to your home will be a smooth one.
4. Will there be a contract providing guarantees? A contract should protect you against common genetic defects and offer a refund or replacement dog if these defects occur. The contract may also require things of you such as regular vaccinations and an agreement to return the dog if you can no longer care for it.
Choosing your new puppy is a decision that requires careful consideration, but the result will be years of companionship and you can't put a price tag on that!