Sources for Brussels Griffon









The most reliable source for any pure-bred puppy is a responsible breeder.
Responsible Breeders are knowledgeable about their breed, screen for genetic
diseases, should offer a written guarantee, information and assistance. They
usually belong to a local or national breed club where they can network with
other knowledgeable breeders. They breed for temperament, good health and
soundness.

Close to every good breeder's heart is a sincere, honest and untiring effort to
improve the breed. The male and female selected as parents of the litter
represent years of knowledge and study. Usually not all the puppies in each
breeding will meet the rigid show requirements. These puppies possess all the
same essential inherited qualities of the puppy who is to be shown. This, then,
represents a sound genetic resource for a pet puppy. Your pet will have had the
best in a well-balanced diet, proper medical attention, exercise and
immunizations. Like his littermates and all your breeder's dogs, your puppy will
have had proper veterinary care. This should include an eye examination by a
veterinary opthamologist as there are a few inherited eye conditions present in
the breed.

Most breeder's puppies are part of the family. They are raised in homes where
socialization is part of each day's normal routine. Adjustment to a family and to a
home is essential at an early age for the puppy to develop into a well adjusted
adult dog. Early socialization will enhance house-breaking as well as general
acclimation to a new home.

A word about "older" Brussels Griffons: usually the most promising puppy is kept
by a breeder, hoping that the promising puppy will become a treasured "show
dog". At a young age, it is impossible to accurately forecast the show potential
since puppies change so much as they grow. But at 5, 6, 7 months, even a year old a
breeder may decide that this particular pup is not for the show ring. This is the
dog that you can see exactly what he is. No guessing or maybe's. His size,
conformation, disposition are all there, the finished product. Also, a breeder
might have an older dog looking for a "retirement" home after its show and/or
breeding career is over. This way the dog can get the love and attention it deserves
and not be just "one of the crowd". Many times an older dog is the best choice if
you don't have the time or inclination to deal with housebreaking and such.

When you contact a breeder about the potential purchase of a puppy, he may ask
you many questions about you and your family, the type of home you live in,
previous dogs you have owned, etc. He will probably want to meet the whole
family and see how you interact with the puppy. He might even want to visit your
home. Please, don't take offense at these seemingly personal questions.
Reputable breeders want to be sure that the care and diligence they have invested
in their animals is not wasted upon inconsiderate owners. As a result, you should
expect an adoption process to assure that you and your pet are well suited for each
other in age, temperament, and the environment you must share. You are also
justified in asking him questions. He will not be offended in the least. He expects
it. This helps to prove your commitment to being a responsible owner.

A responsible breeder will be available to you to answer any questions you might
have concerning housebreaking, training, or general care of dogs and our breed
specifically. He will be a good reference to recommend a training class, a
veterinarian, or a groomer in your area. He is very concerned that the dogs from
his breeding are well cared for and feels a responsibility to them throughout their
whole life. He will also be interested in any possible health problems that come
up during the life of the dog. A responsible breeder does his best to screen for any
problems, but would also like to know of any that surface he might not be aware.

In this day and age of pet overpopulation, a responsible breeder feels that only
the dogs that conform closest to the breed standard should be bred. He should
require you to agree to spay or neuter your new pet before the AKC registration
papers are passed on to you. An alternative is a "limited registration". A dog with a
"limited registration" can not be shown in conformation competition and his or
her offspring can not be registered with the AKC. The dog is eligible to compete in
obedience competition and other performance events, and makes a wonderful
pet, but is not considered to be show/breeding quality.

RISKY SOURCES:

The Backyard Breeder - These breeders often are not knowledgeable about the
breed standard and they do not mate to improve the breed. Often, they are totally
unaware of genetic or health risks involved. The results of these casual matings of
pet-quality dogs with no knowledge of genetic considerations inherent to the
breed pose a risk to the gene pool and the general health of the puppy. Lacking
anyone to recommend his puppies for sale, the backyard breeder often advertises
his pups in the newspaper. Since a pure-bred dog is an investment in your heart as
well as your money, the probability of success is far greater with animals bred by
concerned, knowledgeable and dedicated people.

Pet Shops - Pet stores buy their pups by the lot from puppy mills, often as young as
five weeks of age. For proper animal socialization, puppies should be with their
littermates through seven weeks. Some states have laws prohibiting the sale of
puppies younger than eight weeks of age. Do not be misled by assurances that
these pups come from "private breeders". The term "breeder" refers to the owner
of the dam at the time of whelping. Besides, reputable breeders would not allow
their pups to be sold by and to strangers, as part of being a responsible breeder is
matching the puppy to the proper family. Remember, AKC registration or USDA
licensing is not an endorsement of the quality of the breeding stock or puppies.

Puppy Mills - These are commercial operations where the dogs are raised in
quantity, not quality. Many have multiple breeds and keep the dogs in poor
conditions. These puppies do not receive the proper early socialization so
necessary for proper temperament. Puppy mills generally do not consider
temperament or health when breeding.

A well-bred Brussels Griffon will be a beloved family member and companion for
many years. Choose wisely.