BUYING A SALUKI PUPPY (THE BASICS)
Before you visit a breeder, it’s a good idea to speak to them over the phone to ask some basic questions. It’s very difficult to resist a cute puppy, so we recommend asking the most important questions before you visit the breeder in person. A good breeder will be happy to answer all the questions. If you are fobbed off with poor replies, find another breeder.
QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU VISIT
- Did they breed the puppy themselves?
- How many puppies are there and how old are they?
- Can you see where they were bred?
- Can you see the mum (ideally she should be with the puppies)
- Was the birth natural or caesarean? If caesarean: has mum had one before?
- How many litters has mum had and at what ages? ( Should be no more than 3 litters between ages 4 and 7, and not more than 1 in a 10 month period).
- Can you see the father? (he may reasonably not be present)
- Have the puppies had any health problems?
- Have the parents been checked for inherited conditions? NCL (DNA test), Hypothyroidism (TgAA test),and sound heart (Echo cardiogram)
- What is the puppy’s inbreeding coefficient? (Ideally less than 12%)
- Can you have the registration details of the mum and dad?
- Will the puppies be vaccinated and wormed before you collect? Please give details.
- Does the breeder comply with the breed clubs’ code of ethics and are they a member of a recognised breed club (Saluki or Gazelle Hound or Northern Saluki clubs)?
- Research the parents’ health. The Kennel Club Saluki Breed Health Coordinator can help here. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
QUESTIONS DURING VISIT
- Can you meet all the puppies?
- Can you see the mum?
- What are mum and dad’s temperaments like?
- How have the puppies been socialised?
- What experiences does the breeder aim to provide before leaving?
- If you have children: Have the puppies been seen by other children?
- Will there be a contract of sale, and will I get papers from the Kennel Club?
- Can you see the pedigree (family tree)?
- Can you see any health certificates for mum and dad?
- Will you be given any written advice when you take the puppy home?
- What dog food would the breeder recommend?
- Are there any breeding restrictions in the contract of sale?
- Confirm that the puppy will be microchipped (legal requirement).
- At what age will the puppy be allowed home with you? (Should be more than 8 weeks).
BUYING A SALUKI PUPPY (MORE DETAIL)
IS A SALUKI THE RIGHT DOG FOR YOU?
Research the breed before you decide to buy a Saluki. This is an ancient breed, a sighthound, bred to hunt for thousands of years. Hunting is instinctive and some salukis have more prey drive than others – that means that they chase things that move eg squirrels, cats, rabbits, deer. If they catch the “prey” they will probably kill it. It is possible to own a cat with a Saluki but ideally they need to be brought up together. Salukis love to run free (off lead) but need a safe environment in which to do so. This means either a fully enclosed space with 6’ fence or somewhere well away from roads and stock animals. Salukis are very fast and when off the lead can cover a huge distance in a very short space of time. They are intelligent, independent thinking dogs and recall is not always reliable. If you want a dog that does as it’s told, when it is told DO NOT buy a saluki; A more obedient breed may be better suited to your needs. Salukis are a sensitive breed, very loyal to their family but wary of strangers. This means they should be loving and affectionate to the owner but aloof with people they don’t know well or at all. It takes time to win their trust and the reward is well worth waiting for. Salukis will view you, the owner, as staff, expect to sit on the chairs and beds and if they can get away with it sleep in your bed with you. They don’t like raised voices and should never be hit. As a breed they are very clean and don’t smell but do shed hair. They will thieve if they get the opportunity and can be destructive if left for long periods of time and become bored. Usually, if they have had a decent walk, they are content to laze around the house on said chair/bed or snuggled into their owner.
Apart from the initial purchase price there will be long term costs to consider:
- The weekly food bill
- Bedding and cleaning costs
- Insurance Cover
- Veterinary treatment and annual vaccinations
- Kennel fees when you go on holiday
- Training classes and/or puppy socialisation classes which are very important for you and your puppy.
What should I expect to pay for a puppy?
You should pay what you think is right, agree a price with the breeder which is acceptable to you both, ensuring that you are going to receive all the relevant paper work such as Kennel Club registration form, correct pedigree, vaccination certificate (where appropriate) and diet sheet at no extra cost. Breeders will probably issue an insurance certificate which will cover the puppy for its first 6 weeks with you. There will be an option to extend this for a further 12 months, and it is wise to do this, as puppies can be accident-prone. Once the terms are agreed, you should adhere to them.
The Kennel Club registration form should be completed and returned to the Kennel Club as soon as possible to have the puppy’s ownership transferred to you. The Kennel Club permit breeders to put certain restrictions on the registration such as “Progeny not eligible for registration” or “Not eligible for issue of an export pedigree”, or “not to bred from” ;be sure that you are aware of these at the time you are agreeing to buy the puppy, it may save problems later on. Only the breeder can lift these endorsements. It is usual to purchase a puppy outright.
Arrangements such as breeding terms and partnerships should be fully investigated before being entered into and drawn up in writing and signed by both parties.
Research the parents’ health
All dogs are at risk of inheriting diseases, whether they’re pedigree or not. Breeders can reduce the risk of producing puppies with inherited diseases in several ways:
- DNA tests and health screening schemes can help breeders eliminate or reduce the risk of specific known health conditions
- Avoiding mating closely related dogs can reduce the chances of unknown genetic disorders that are hidden within the genes (The lower the inbreeding coefficient the better).
Health should be a priority
Once you’ve found your breeder, it’s important that you find out about the health of your potential pup’s parents. Having healthy parents is the best start to life a puppy can have. You should always find out what steps a breeder has taken to produce healthy puppies and how this compares to the steps that we recommend.
A responsible breeder will want to improve the health of the breed by breeding from only the best and healthiest dogs. Both the mother (dam) and father (sire) should have been tested or screened before mating and the results should have been carefully considered.
The average lifespan of a saluki is about 13 years, during which time your dog will need a lot of your time and attention. A well brought up puppy is a joy to own in adulthood. Can you devote time to training it to be such a dog, especially during the first few formative weeks of ownership?
Are your circumstances liable to change in the future and if so, will owning a dog become a problem then?
Are you going to be away from home for a long time during the day? If so, it might be wiser to wait until you have more time for your puppy.
Do you go away from home a lot. Can you take your Saluki with you? A Saluki that is left for long periods of time, in kennels or with different people many easily develop behaviour problems. Will you make time during you puppy’s early life to take him or her to training classes?
Will you be able to take him or her for at least one good walk a day? Not just a quick trot around the block!
The following will help you make up your mind:
Be prepared to wait for the right puppy. Consider putting your name on your chosen breeder’s list.
Be prepared to say NO if you don’t like anything you see or hear.
What is a well-socialized puppy and why do I need one?
There is an increasing awareness of how to avoid behavioural problems that lead to the thousands of troublesome, fearful, dangerous and unwanted dogs that are abandoned or put to sleep each year. It involves the most fundamental aspect of a puppy’s upbringing, which is normally overlooked. You need, at the right age, to make sure puppies can relate to people and other dogs, animals and strange environments. Scientific research has shown that the important time in a puppy’s life for socialization is in the period up to 12 to 14 weeks. Puppies are often kept away from stimulation far too long. A puppy obtained from a chaotic, noisy family home is far less likely to be fearful of situations, events and different people than one reared in a barn or kennel. Watch the puppies when you go to visit and collect yours, especially watch them in the company of adult dogs. A puppy that has grown up with a nervous or aggressive dog will learn from its example. Look for a litter where your chosen puppy is confident and contented. See how well they respond to strangers like you, and see how well they react to everyday sounds or objects. You should expect to see mild response and a quick recovery: fearfulness and no reaction at all is not desirable.
The maxim, be ruled by your head and not your heart is very important! Your heart has to cope with years and years of dog ownership, which should be a pleasure and not a constant worry. Do not accept excuses about not seeing the bitch with her puppies, or about how they were involved in an “accident” which has left a lasting behavioural problem for instance – puppies should be able to get over these things. Do not expect to take your puppy away from the nest before it is 8 weeks old at the very earliest. It is learning its manners from its litter mates.