Finding a Dog Breeder

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Jan 242017


Dog Breeders, Who Can You Trust?


So you have decided on the kind of breed you feel is best suited for you and your family.  Now what?  Where do you find the good breeders and not the backyard breeders or puppy mill breeders?

This past summer, my town faced a situation regarding a German Shepherd Dog  breeder and their desire to expand their number of breeding dogs.

By looking on the breeder’s website, the dogs appeared to be high quality.  Their pictures were stunning.  Absolutely gorgeous dogs.  Too bad the pictures on the website weren’t the breeder’s actual dogs.

As the months wore on, so did the town meetings. With each meeting came more information about compliance regulations, etc.  But along with all the red tape also came stories of animal abuse toward the resident breeding dogs.  More and more witnesses came forward to give their account of the welfare of the dogs and how badly they were being treated.

If the accounts of abuse weren’t bad enough, it came to light that a great majority of the dogs the breeder was selling as their own stock were actually being imported from puppy mills in Pennsylvania.

So how do you avoid being a victim of fraud when you are just simply trying to find a nice dog?  Here are some tips:

  1. Speak to law enforcement in the town or humane societies in the area
  2. Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints filed
  3. Ask for referrals from your veterinarian or friends
  4. Contact local breed clubs or visit professional dog shows

Don’t forget a good breeder will make you jump through hoops convincing them why you should have one of their dogs or puppies.

Make sure the breeder isn’t the only one asking questions.  Find out how long they have been breeding. Ask to speak to previous adopters.  Visit the facility.  Meet the parents or at least the mother to give you an idea of temperament.  If they say no or have excuses why you can’t, walk away.  That is an immediate red flag.

Take your time and never buy a dog from a pet shop.  Remember a reputable breeder would never ship their dogs off without doing their due diligence.  If they don’t want to meet you, you do not want to do business with them.

Dawn Corby
Canine Etiquette, LLC

 Posted by on 01/24/2017

The Importance of Canine Socialization

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Jun 222016


The Importance of Canine Socialization



Let’s talk about socialization or the lack there of.

As a dog trainer, the most common issue I see are dogs that lack socialization with other dogs and people, which is very sad when you know how unnatural it is for them to be anti-social.

Dogs are pack animals with a strong need for social structure, which is an innate quality inherited from their ancestry to wolves. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “you can’t fight the genes.” This statement couldn’t be truer when talking about dogs and their need to engage with people and other dogs.

The “Socialization Period” for dogs starts between 8-16 weeks of age.  It is a once in a lifetime natural window when social relationships develop as well as being sensitive to psychological trauma.  This period is also known as the “Cutting Age”, cutting teeth and cutting strings, which means they are growing up and their natural instinct to explore new stimuli starts to develop.   In short, it’s not about you anymore.  Yes, you are still the center of their universe but there is also a whole new world out there waiting to be discovered and they’re ready.

Once your puppy is fully vaccinated and you have a clean bill of health from your vet, start introducing your puppy to as much as possible and as carefully as possible.  Remember that dogs are very impressionable at this age, so avoiding negative experiences is just as important as having positive experiences.  It is a time when things can be overwhelming for your pup.  For instance, taking them to a fireworks display is a no-no or anything your dog will perceive as intimidating or frightening.  A traumatic experience can haunt them for the rest of their life.  Use common sense and be responsible.

If you are starting from the beginning with your dog, it is important to introduce them to other dogs and people during this time period.  If you have other dog(s) in your home, they don’t count because they are family.  Your dog needs to meet and play with other dogs too, particularly other puppies.  By doing so you are ensuring your dog will grow up to be dog friendly.   The same is true with people.  They should be introduced to lots of people including all ages of children.

If you happen to have gotten your dog as an adolescent or adult and are noticing social issues, it isn’t too late to help them.  There are no quick fixes for dogs that have poor socialization skills but with training and patience life can be a lot happier.

So get out there and enjoy life and have fun together.  Besides, it’s always nice to meet new friends, four legged and two.

Dawn L. Archibald-Corby
Canine Etiquette, LLC


 Posted by on 06/22/2016

Have Preparations Been Made?

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Jan 132016

What Preparations Have You Made for Your Dog?


It is the same old story of procrastination. But have you really thought what would happen if the right preparations haven’t been made, if something happens to you?  Don’t just assume a member of the family is going to take your dog, or any other pet you might have, just because you are family.  They might want to but just can’t for whatever reason.  Now what?

Everyone is different, but if you are a loving pet owner, your animals are just as important to you as any member of the family, because after all they are family too.

You have to have the conversation, speak to an attorney, and have to put things in writing.  Not only to make things easier for the person who will handle your affairs but to make sure everyone will be taken care of in your absence.

Not long ago I received a call from a friend.  She lives in a mobile home park for seniors.  One day, one of her neighbors was taken by ambulance to the hospital.  Her other neighbor took her dog.

A couple of days went by.  When she called to inquire about her friend, the only information she was given is that she was transported to another facility.  No further details because of privacy laws.

Now what?  One week became two and so on.  Even the police couldn’t or wouldn’t help.  Then I got the call.

The neighbor couldn’t keep the dog any longer.  He wasn’t a dog person, knew nothing about dogs, the dog was peeing, not vet records, and he was out of ideas.

So I found someone to help me with foster and we took the dog and the dog was eventually adopted into a loving home.

It was only by luck or Devine intervention that it worked out so well. Most cases don’t.  If not for the cooperation of 4 people, the dog would have been left in a house whose furnace had broken, so the place was frozen and the dog would have frozen too.

So make a plan and be the responsible owner you are and are expected to be.  You can’t take chances with loved ones.


Dawn L. Archibald-Corby
Canine Etiquette, LLC



 Posted by on 01/13/2016
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