Before getting a lagotto romagnolo I tried to determine where to get a healthy, psychologically stable and good looking dog. You might have found bits and pieces of helpful information online and I hope this text will help you select a good kennel or avoid the bad (irresponsible) ones.
- Select a breeder who is responsive and curious
I can spend hours on the phone with my breeders talking about dog treats, tick prevention or travelling with dogs. If you feel the breeder is always busy and not responsive– they will most likely not pick up the phone when you run into trouble and need acute advice. You might not wish to stay in touch at all times but it is good to have someone who is ready to answer difficult questions.
Dogs learn a great deal during the first 8 weeks of their lives. If the breeder neglects socialisation then you will have make up for it later.
Puppies should be: with their mother, playing constantly with littermates, having lots of positive interactions with people (including new people), playing with different toys, experiencing new objects and situations in a safe environment.
If they are taken away from their mother too early or kept in seclusion they will most likely be frightened of people, things and situations.
You have a right to find out about your puppy socialisation – it is so important and will dictate the rest of your life with your dog. If the breeder does not want to show you what’s going on – that’s a huge red flag.
- Select a loving home not show titles
Show titles can be impressive but they do not automatically mean that everything else is perfect. Are the breeders doing anything extra with the dogs? Did they attend socialisation classes? Are the dogs exercised? What kind of attention are they receiving? Use common sense to find out about your puppies parents and their well-being.
You should be able to review/discuss the purchase contract before you pay. A good breeder will be interested in ensuring his puppies have great future homes – and it might be reflected in the contract.
Lagotto Romagnolo is generally a healthy breed, but just like any other, it needs to be bred responsibly. That is why parents need to be tested for hip dysplasia (HD). The status of Juvenile Epilepsy (JE) genes and lagotto storage disease (LSD) genes also needs to be known to ensure that offspring will never be ill. The likelihood of these diseases might be small but a simple test ensures that any risk is avoided.
My breeders even provided me with genetic test results for Ernest.
And you have a right to know. The only logical reason not to test seems to be $$$, which brings me down to my last point.
- Watch out for money-makers
This is another one where you should use common sense but it can help to research how often a bitch has puppies, how the breeders are following up on the lives of their canine offspring. If they have no idea about any of the puppies they bred… that’s a red flag.
Other red flags include:
– When you ask if there are some troublesome traits in the breed you hear the answer – no, it’s problem free. Every breed has some sort of characteristic which might or might not be troublesome.
– The breeder will lower the price just to “get rid” of the puppy (it is different if you both negotiate).
– The breeder will steer you away from visiting their home to see the puppies.
Please follow us on Facebook for more lagotto related posts.