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State officials say you should do your homework before buying a dog


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- State officials want you to be sure you're getting what you're looking for when you find a dog for you and your family.

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Spokesperson Raechelle Cline says you should consider your life situation before buying a dog, especially from an active or vocal breed. "Someone who lives in an area where the dog can't get adequate exercise unless you take them out to run, and you don't have time for that, that can be a problem. That could cause behavioural problems and you don't need that." This also goes true for living in an apartment with a noisy dog, or with a dog that likes to run around a lot.

Before you pick a breeder, you should be doing your homework. "You want to make sure that the breeder you're buying your puppy from is reputable and they have gone through the proper licensing if it applies to them." Cline says any breeder that's required to have a license will have to make sure that license is properly displayed in any advertisement for their dogs as well. If you don't see the license, ask for it.

You should also be on the lookout for breeders that may not be on the up and up. "If the breeder refuses to let you see where the puppies are kept or offers to meet you in a parking lot or an alternate location, you should be suspicious of that. They may not want you to see the conditions of the facility where the dogs were kept or raised." If you do see puppies in a bad situation or bad conditions, don't try to buy them to rescue them away. Cline says that will only encourage and enable the breeders to do that to other dogs. Instead report that to the authorities.

Cline says you should also consider getting an adult dog. "There are plenty of adult dogs available in shelters that are licensed shelters and rescues, that are available for purchase, so make sure you take a look at them as well."

You can learn more about dog breeders and find a list of reputable facilities online at DATCP's website.