Well it took a little longer than expected but Truman, our Boatyard dog champ, has finally found a home. As the winner of this years contest he was featured in the winter issue of "Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. (A fabulous article with some photos on stands now.) That got him seen by a boating family in Connecticut and they came and picked him up for a trial slumber party. Of course they fell in love and decided to make it official. Yay for Truman!
I have been on the hunt for a reputable breeder of bulldogs for my sister. Things are moving slowly on that front. Fortunately she isn't in a hurry. It is about finding the best match than finding something right now. One of the e-mails I got back asked me the question, and I quote, "Why would we test healthy dogs?" in response to asking about any health testing they do prior to breeding. ~sigh~ yeah I know.
For the record, no matter how great the pedigree is, every breed has health issues they can be prone to carry in their lines. There are no guarantees. And if you never look for problems, how can you know they exist? Their website spoke about a female with IBS. I wonder if she is out of their own breeding? It wasn't a breeder I would have contacted except my sisters BF found them online so I did a quick e-mail check of them. As you can imagine they failed the test. (For those with contacts in bulldogs she doesn't care about sex, color or age. Health and temperment are numero uno this time around.)
Since someone requested it in my comment area I'm going to address not choosing your own puppy. It can be very common for reputable breeders not to let you pick the puppy you want out of their litter. There are a few reasons for this. One of which is that since they have watched and evaluated the puppies from day one until time to go into a new home they know the puppies individual personalities best. Reputable breeders screen their puppy buyers to find the most appropriate homes for them. Matching the puppy to the best home starts by knowing the puppy well. We humans are suckers for falling in love with a look or action a puppy might do when we visit them. But the one you think is the cutest might not be the best fit activity wise or personality wise for your situation. You need to rely on the breeders knowledge here. This of course means we need to trust them. This is one reason finding a breeder we get along with can be important for the long term relationship.
Another reason is that a reputable breeder is breeding for a purpose. One that doesn't include making money. Dogs are not a cash crop to them like puppymills or even many back yard breeders. It is to breed a next generation dog for the show ring to prove they meet the standard for the breed, as sport competition dogs, or for working purposes. Pet quality puppies in a litter are actually the excess of a breeding program. This means THEY, the breeder, get pick puppy from the litter.
In many cases you can expect to get on a waiting list for a puppy as well. Reputable breeders aren't going to always have a litter of puppies on the ground waiting to be sold. Any breeder that does isn't reputable in my book. I think this may be one reason pet store puppies get bought so frequently. People just aren't patient. They want a puppy and they want a puppy NOW! Never mind the health and temperment mine field they may be entering.
If you don't care about potential health issues consider a shelter or rescue dog. At least then you aren't part of the supply and demand of a market that is so unbelievably damaging to dogs. (look up puppymills on YouTube for heartbreaking video if you don't believe me) Sure you might "save" that one puppy buying it from a petstore but being part of the supply and demand of that industry means you are partly responsible for the ongoing abuse of the parents of the dog that created yours. There are only two sides here, part of the problem or part of the solution.
Think about it folks, if you know the breeders and they can be held accountable for what they produce, they are more likely to produce a good product. (tho I hate to label puppies that way) A faceless breeder and a storefront seller can pawn off anything, with any health/temperment issue and expect no fallout. Because they may say they provide a health guarantee, but who is going to give BACK the puppy they bought when something crops up to get their money back or another possibly defective puppy from the same source? Damn few, if any. So that is money in the bank for them.
I hope that makes it more clear about the reasons you might not be allowed to chose a puppy from a litter. And why you should consider a reputable breeder or rescue if you are looking to add a puppy to your family. I'd rather not chose my puppy and find that quality breeder than be allowed to pick the puppy and have things go horribly wrong down the road. Even if you pick a puppy out at a shelter most good ones will provide feedback on which puppy might be the better match for you. It shouldn't be about getting A puppy, it should be about getting the BEST puppy for you.