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Why You Should Let the AKC Help You Find Your Next Family Dog

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of the American Kennel Club for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. Why You Should Let the AKC Help You Find Your Next Family Dog

My husband said no, absolutely not, no way, no how-to a puppy for years. But after watching our girls bond with the cat that had started as a stray and become a member of the family, we began to talk about the benefits of an indoor pet — like a puppy, due to cat allergies — once again.

For Sean, there was only one possibility he’d even consider: a purebred Siberian Husky.

He’d grown up with a Husky named Aspen who, amazingly, just passed away last year at 17 years old, and he’s always loved Huskies.

That’s the thing about purebred puppies — while there certainly are variations in personality, you pretty much know what you’re getting with each of the breeds.

And Huskies means a playful, good-natured, energetic, loving, intelligent, talkative dog.

Boy, does that describe our Bella. She has an incredible amount of energy, and we wouldn’t be able to manage her if Sean wasn’t home to take her outside to play and for long walks (imagine what the past 5 weeks have been like since his injury!). And she’s so, so smart, understanding a variety of commands and conversational language.

But what’s really amazing is that because we understood the Husky’s natural tendency to be a runner, we were able to combat that by keeping her with us 24/7 in the early weeks, on the advice of our breeder. She’s so well bonded to our family that not only does she consider Sean hers (and hers alone), but we can take her outside at our house, and she will respect the borders of our yard and not run away, which is pretty much unheard of for a Husky.

A purebred dog can be a wonderful addition to your family because they’re predictable and purpose-bred, so you can choose one with a personality that fits your family and lifestyle.

Choosing breeders who are American Kennel Club members gives you additional confidence that your breeder is responsible, passionate and an expert about your breed.

That said, not every breeder is equal. To help you find the best, the AKC provides a list of  questions that you should consider asking before purchasing a puppy from an AKC breeder:

  • Can you see the puppy’s parents? What are their personalities like?
  • Is the house/kennel clean? Odor-free? Do all of the dogs look healthy?
  • Does the breeder appear to genuinely care for the puppies and their adult dogs? How do the dogs respond to the breeder — with affection or with fear?
  • Is the breeder willing to share the pros and cons of the breed? Can they provide records for vet care and health screenings?
  • Are the responses to your questions? Do they seem genuinely helpful and concerned that the puppy is a good fit for your family, or just interested in making the sale?
  • Do they have official AKC papers for you to register your puppy?

If you prefer to adopt from a shelter, be sure to ask these questions:

  • Why is this dog in a shelter? Was he surrendered by the previous owner? Is it a stray or a rescue? Why did the owner surrender him? If he was a stray, where was he found, and in what condition? Is the dog from the local area? Is the dog here because of an animal cruelty charge against its previous owner?
  • What was the health condition of the dog when he was brought to the shelter?
  • Has this dog been adopted out before? How long has the dog been in the shelter?
  • What veterinary care has the dog received since arriving at the shelter, and can they provide copies of the records?
  • Is the dog housebroken?
  • Does the dog get along well with kids or other pets, and how does he act around strangers?
  • Does the dog have suitable good manners that you could take away his food bowl while eating or remove his toy while playing? What training and socialization has the dog received since entering the shelter?
  • Can he walk calmly on a leash in public, or does he need more training?
  • Does this dog require any special medical care, ongoing treatment, dietary restrictions, or additional socialization?
  • Will the shelter take this dog back if it doesn’t work out for your family?

The AKC also offers the AKC Rescue Network for families looking to adopt an adult rescue rather than a puppy.

Although there are times that having a Siberian Husky makes me wonder what we were thinking — oh, the hair — I love that our kids will grow up with such a fun, loving companion, and I love to watch them play and cuddle with her!