• Akita association of Ireland first championship show 20 June 2015

    A lovely day  was had by all at the  Akita Association Of Ireland’s first championship show. Congratulations  to all the winners.  We are delighted that our first championship show was such a success and thank you to all who supported the show and special thanks to  Dave Killilea of Redwitch Akitas for judging.

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  • Akita Association of Ireland Club Show 2014

    The Akita Association of Ireland Breed Club Show was held on Sunday 19 October 2014  Thank you  Mr Ross Delmar our Judge and thanks to our sponsor Petsolutions UK Eire and of course to all the people who help on the day and all that came along to  make the day a great success.   […]

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  • 2015 Calendar

    The Akita Association of Ireland  are now taking orders for  adverts for their 2015 calender. Any member wishing to take out an advert can do so by emailing a photograph of their dog or dogs to  bob.modelvill@gmail.com. The cost is €50 per advert and the photograph must be over 1200 pixels.

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  • Dog Friendly B&B

    Please take your membership card along with you when staying at any of the following as you may be asked for it. The Akita Association of Ireland have negotiated a 20% discount for all members at the dog friendly Rockville House B&B in Cashell, Co Tipperrary. This applies to all bookings made direct with Rockville House.  Akita Association members […]

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  • St Patrick’s Day Pet Expo 2014

    The association were pleased to be at the IKC St Patrick’d Day pet expo 2014 Thanks are due to all who gave up their weekend…human and dogs to promote the breeds and make it another  great success for the Association.  Huge thank you to all the visitors to the stand who came to see and learn a little […]

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The Akita Association of Ireland

Puppy Buyers Guide

Please note that the Akita Association of Ireland do not recommend/condone, or support the purchase of puppies of any breed via commercial internet sites selling live animals. Whilst there may be sites which are a pointer to reputable breeders, these sites should only be accessed to point you to a good reputable breeder.

Buying a puppy is a long term commitment. An Akita can be with you for up to 14 years. So it is important to take your time to research the breed thoroughly before making a decision which will affect your life for many years to come.

This puppy buyer’s guide will highlight the important aspects to be aware of when you are considering the new addition to your family. If you have any further questions not covered by this guide then contact any member of the club committee who will be more than happy to answer any questions.

Research the Breed

Research the various reputable breeders and choose one or two who produce dogs which initially appeal to you. Make yourself aware of the health conditions which affect the breed. The Club committee and members have a wealth of experience and information which they would be only too happy to pass on to prospective buyers. The club website contains valuable information for new fanciers. It is a good idea to attend breed related events such as seminars and shows.  Even if you don’t intend to show yourself it is a great way to learn about and watch the breed as well as find breeders who are involved in the breed community. Finally READ ALL ABOUT THE BREED

Health Testing

Reputable breeders aim to improve the overall health of the breed by only breeding from healthy good examples of the breed. The Sire and Dam of the litter may be tested before the mating takes place and are only used if the results are acceptable. Health testing is expensive, however by performing breed recommended tests, and then only  selecting top quality dogs for mating, reputable breeders can eliminate genetic conditions and minimise the likelihood of non-genetic conditions occurring. It is very important to note that “Vet checked” does NOT mean Health Tested.

Hip scoring is recommended for most breeds although the validity of Hip scoring in our breed is yet to be established as a necessary test. The BVA Eye Scheme can detect many hereditary eye conditions however to maintain the “EYES CLEAR” test, the eyes must be done annually. Once again this test should be a case of if necessary rather than mandatory. Genetic tests are available for many other known conditions and new tests are continually being developed. For further information regarding the appropriate health tests you can contact the Irish Kennel Club or the club Health Information Member.

Health testing does not guarantee quality, nor that the puppy will not develop problems later in life. So many influences in the outside world can determine how your puppy will turn out. However you want to stack the cards in your favour and you can do this by buying from reputable breeders who only use quality evaluated stock.  The major advantage for health screening (if felt necessary) is that at least the breeder knows the stock they are breeding from is fit for the purpose.

Irish Kennel Club Registration

Be aware that the Irish Kennel Club registration is not a guarantee of quality nor that the breeder is reputable. Although all reputable breeders register their litters with the Irish Kennel Club, the IKC will unfortunately still accept registrations from puppy farmers and commercial dog breeders.

However if a pure bred litter is not IKC registered it immediately raises a ‘red flag’. There is no good reason why a litter should not be registered with the Irish Kennel Club. If a litter is not registered it is likely the dam of the litter may be too young, too old, had too many litters, or be endorsed for health reasons.

Be extremely wary of any advertisement which uses a phrase such as “pedigree dog with papers” as it is likely that any such litter will NOT be Irish Kennel Club registered. If in doubt ask for confirmation that the litter will be Irish Kennel Club registered and not with any other unofficial registration system.

Choosing your Breeder

One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the breeder of your dog.

Never buy a dog from a pet shop. No reputable breeder will ever sell their pups to a pet shop. Pet shops are supplied by puppy farmers and commercial puppy dealers.

Reputable breeders care about their breed, their dogs and those litters that they bring into the world. These breeders health test their dogs when necessary prior to breeding.

A reputable breeder will also :

  • Be contactable for any problems or moral support and reassurance for the entire life of the dog.
  • Take back a puppy or do all they can to aid in the responsible re-homing of a pup that cannot be kept by the original purchaser, again at ANY point in its life.
  • Stay at home with the pups from birth to pups going to new homes, and have someone with them 24 hours a days in the first days and weeks.
  • Begin the basics of socialisation to household life, people, other animals and also the beginnings of training.

Contact as many breeders and ask as many questions as you can and be prepared to wait for a puppy from the right breeder.

 

Visiting your Breeder

Always travel to see your prospective puppy in its home environment. Never ever meet ‘halfway’ at a motorway service station or in a pub car park.

It is important to view as many litters as you can before you make your selection. This will give you a clearer picture of what is normal and what is not. If you are not happy about any aspect when you visit a breeder then walk away.

Always see the mother with her puppies as this will allow you to assess the temperament of the mother.  Observe the way the dogs respond to the owner and any other human family members.

Be prepared to ask plenty of questions and answer questions about yourself and your life style. Be wary of any breeder who does not confirm your family, accommodation, and work situation. Reputable breeders treat their dogs as members of their family and want to find the best possible homes for them.

What questions should I ask

We recommend that you request to see all written documentation of health checks. Documentation will be presented for inspection by any breeder who has felt it necessary to carry out the checks. Breeders should be happy to explain anything that you do not understand about the test and/or the results. If they are reluctant to show you or can not locate the certificates, then it would be wise to double check with the Irish Kennel Club that the stock has actually been assessed and results noted.  (this facility is not currently available with the IKC but is available with dogs registered with the UK KC. It is hoped that the an IKC system will be in place in the near future)

Most importantly never buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it and want to get it out of an awful situation. Doing this just fuels the trade in poorly bred puppies, so no matter how hard it feels just walk away. That puppy will most likely cause you years of heartbreak not to mention the cost of the vets bills.

Collecting your Puppy

If the Irish Kennel Club registration documents are not available when you collect your new puppy it is important to get written confirmation they will be forwarded as soon as they arrive with the breeder.

The breeder should also provide a written diet sheet and worming schedule and a guide to dealing with your new puppy in its first weeks in the new environment.

Check if there are any Endorsements indicated on the Registration Documents and if so have them fully explained by the breeder. If you are not happy do not buy.

Conclusion

Every dog breed has health problems associated with it. Responsible breeders do everything in their power to avoid these problems in their litters. More and more breeders are finding some way to back up their expertise and breeding program by providing some form of guarantee on their puppies. The details of this guarantee will inevitably change depending on the breed and the types of problems known in the particular breed. It is in the buyers best interest to ascertain in writing what guarantees the breeder of the pup will make Many people offer a replacement puppy upon receipt of proof of the particular problem.

One example is with hip dysplasia: many breeds have a problem with this, and it is common practice to evaluate the parents’ hips. However, even with these measures, there is no way to ensure that the puppies won’t be affected by rough play with other dogs or accidents in the new home. If the puppies end up having problems, some breeders will offer a replacement puppy to the owners for sometime in the future. Some breeders insist that the affected puppies are returned. Some breeders will insist that the affected puppy be spayed or neutered before honouring their guarantees. Whatever you do, as a buyer, you need to be very clear with your breeder about his/her policies to avoid problems in the future. The reputable breeder will stand by any promises/guarantees made at the time of sale, however it is important that this should be documented and a copy retained by both breeder and buyer.

Remember you are making an investment which will hopefully live with you for 12 or more years. So take time to do your research, be prepared to wait a little longer and pay a little more for a healthy well bred and well socialised puppy. A lot of time, effort and experience not to mention love and attention is put in to the breeding of good healthy sociable puppies by the reputable breeders. This is reflected to some extent in the price you should expect to pay for a good quality healthy puppy. You don’t get a quality puppy for a few hundred Euros the same as you wouldn’t get a Rolls Royce car for a few hundred Euros.

Recommended Reading

  1. Our Akita One Dog – Two Faces – Gabriela S Richard(available from the club)
  2. The Dog Vinci Code – John Rogerson
  3. The Other End of the Leash – Patricia B. McConnel
  4. 21 Days to train your Dog – Colin Tennant