Starkehre Rottweilers
 

FINDING YOUR WAY THROUGH THE MAIZE OF BREEDERS


SO YOU WANT TO ADD A ROTTWEILER PUPPY TO YOUR FAMILY

 

   You have fallen in love with the Rottweiler breed. You’ve done some research; you understand the history behind the Rottweiler, and what its breed characteristics are. You’ve made an unbiased genuine assessment of your suitability to provide the breed with the lifestyle and leadership it deserves and requires.

What do you do next??

It can be a real dilemma and one that many people face.

Well, let’s look at your options shall we?

You can hunt around and find the cheapest puppy available on the day you make your decision to get the puppy. You only want a pet right? You don’t want a show dog, so you don’t need your puppy to be registered and you don’t even really know what that means. Having “papers” doesn’t matter to you. Means nothing, you just want a lovely family member.

WRONG

We are here to advise you of something that many people in your situation are unaware of. Here is the thing… all dog owners, pet or otherwise deserve to own a happy, healthy Pedigree dog if they wish to. Did you know that it is common for the majority of Pedigreed Rottweiler puppies to go into pet homes? Even puppies that are bred by highly successful show breeders often have a surplus of puppies that they look to place in pet homes. And if you are attracted to everything that the Rottweiler is and stands for, you deserve to be furnished with a puppy that is what you believe it is. The only way to know for sure that your puppy is pure bred is by its ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council) Certified Pedigree. If your puppy does not have this Certified Pedigree, then your puppy is not a Pedigree Rottweiler. And although it may not seem relevant or important to you, it should be. Those ancestors inked into that precious piece of paper actually tell you a lot about your puppy. You can research your puppy’s ancestors and find out a lot about its background in temperament and health and so on.

This Certified Pedigree (also known as registration papers, owners certificate, papers – though it is only one piece of paper) is also your proof of ownership of this dog once you or your breeder transfers the dog into your name.

Do not be fooled by back yard breeders who use such terms as papers, certificates and health checks. These breeders have been known to hide behind such terms and are often only supplying local council registration, PIAA registration, vaccination certificates and other documents that are in no way related to ANKC pedigree or registration papers and breed specific health testing.

Another reason to purchase your new puppy from an ANKC registered breeder is because breeder members must abide by certain rules governing the keeping of their dogs, their breeding practices and selling of puppies.

All ANKC registered breeders must provide a Certified Pedigree for the puppies they sell. If breeder mentions discounts for puppies without “papers” they are operating outside of the code of practice and should be reported.

Another of the regulations that ANKC breeders are bound by are the minimum breeding age of your potential puppy’s parents. Those parents (sire and dam) must be hip and elbow x rayed before breeding and the results must be sighted by the state kennel council and recorded.

You can visit the website of the state kennel council in your own state and review the Code of Practice for breeders.
The ANKC member bodies are -

Australian Capital Territory Canine Association Inc; (Dogs ACT)

The Royal New South Wales Canine Council Ltd; (Dogs NSW)

The North Australian Canine Association Inc; (Dogs NT)

The Canine Control Council (Queensland); (Dogs QLD)

The South Australian Canine Association Inc; (Dogs SA)

The Tasmanian Canine Association Inc; (Dogs TAS)

The Victorian Canine Association Inc; (Dogs VIC)

The Canine Association of Western Australia Inc; (Dogs WEST)

 

ANKC Certified Pedigrees

 

There are two options for breeders when registering their puppies with the ANKC. The puppies can go on “main” or “limited” Register. There are some thoughts as to the guidelines about this but essentially the register your puppy is put on is up to the discretion of the breeder and something they must discuss with you as the new owner.

The differences between the two registers are that puppies/dogs placed on Main Certified Pedigree/registration are entitled to be shown and bred by a registered breeder. The certificate/pedigree for the Main Register blue certified and at the top in bold lettering it will say Certified Pedigree.

 

Limited registration excludes the dog from being shown and bred with, however the dog may still enter trials. The Certificate/Pedigree for dogs on the Limited Register is usually pale orange, pink or yellow in color and along the top it says Certified Limited Pedigree. Across the centre of the page is a stamp reading Not for Breeding or Export.

 

In summary, we strongly recommend your purchase a puppy from an ANKC registered breeder because-

* You will be provided with a Certified Pedigree that proves by microchip number that the puppy is who you have been told you have purchased.

* You have proof that your puppy is a pure bred Pedigreed dog and therefore he should look like and behave like a Rottweiler should.

* The breeder of your dog is governed and bound by the Code of Practice imposed on them by the ANKC and their state kennel council. Such rules surround such things as (but are not restricted to) housing of their dogs, the raising of their puppies, assistance and support they must provide to their puppy owners.

 

National Rottweiler Council of Australia NRC(A)

 

OK, so this is a terrific start right?? Yes, it is. But what if I told you that you could one step further? What if I told you that there are Rottweiler specific clubs around Australia that require even more of their breeders? Sounds good right… let me tell you more…

 

There are 7 state Rottweiler clubs in Australia. They are Rottweiler Club of Victoria, Rottweiler Club of NSW, Northern Districts Rottweiler Club of NSW, Rottweiler Club of SA,  Rottweiler Club of QLD, West Coast Rottweiler Club of WA, Rottweiler Club of Tas. All these clubs are operating under the banner of the National Rottweiler Council of Australia (NRCA) and are also affiliated with the ANKC. RCT is still undergoing approval for NRC(A) affiliation.

All members of these clubs must already be a member of their state kennel club, so they are already providing ANKC Certified Pedigrees with their puppies.

The way the rules currently stand, the ANKC only wish to sight and record hip and elbow x-rays and scores, but they are not governing what scores are deemed to be unhealthy or not suitable for breeding. Therefore at this time breeders registered with only the ANKC can breed dogs with very high hip scores if they choose to.

 

The rules for breeders who are a member of at least one of the state Rottweiler clubs are those that are written into the NRCA code of ethics. The health testing scheme for NRCA breeders requires 5 health tests are performed and results are to be documented on NRCA paperwork (AVA paperwork is not admissible). Hips and elbows must be x rayed and scored. Eyes must be deemed to be similar as each other and clear of entropion and ectropion. Mouths must have 42 teeth and have a scissor bite. JLPP status of the dog must be genetically tested for by way of blood or buccal swab extraction. 

Dogs being bred with by an NRCA breeder must have a total combined hip score of no more than 20 between the proposed sire and dam. For those breeders using frozen semen from overseas, the sire of the semen must have relevant certification stating that his hips are within country of origin acceptable breeding standards.
With regard to JLPP, only Clear x Clear, Clear x Carrier, Carrier x Clear are permitted for breeding.

ANKC do not require the above in red breeding restrictions in their Breeding Practices.

 

There are many Rottweilers breeders in this country who wish to embrace the opportunity to breed under a stricter Code of Practice and health testing to that of the ANKC. They are proud to do this because they feel it is for the betterment of the breed, its health, well being and future. They may also feel that it sets them apart from breeders who choose not to be a member of a state Rottweiler club wish to stand out from some less than ethical breeders and backyard breeders whom manage to gain ANKC registration.

So by now you may be thinking that this is a lot of information to take in. How do you go about purchasing a puppy from an NRCA breeder and how can you be sure they are following the rules they are bound by?

 

Talking To Breeders

 

Here is a list of some of the things to look for and questions you should ask a breeder

Ask the breeder the following…

What is their ANKC kennel/breeding prefix

Which of the state kennel club/s are they a member and what are they obliged to provide their puppy owners with

Ask them to verify this membership and breeders prefix

Which of the state Rottweiler club/s are they a member and what are they obliged to provide their puppy owners with

Ask them to verify this membership

Ask them to show you a copy of all 3 health certificates of the sire and dam of your puppy (or relevant health certificates of overseas sire)

What you are wanting to see is hip and elbow scores to be as low to zero as possible. However it is up to you to do some research into better understanding these scores. Scores above zero do not necessarily indicate the sire and dam is not healthy.

Ask them to show you a copy of the sire and dam’s Certified Registration Certificates.

Ask the breeder to explain what health guarantees they provide. Some of the state breed clubs have a mandatory sales agreement providing health guarantees which are designed to protect the puppy, the owner and the breeder.

Be prepared for the breeder to ask you a lot of questions and be glad that they do. This shows you that they care about where their puppies go and how well they will be looked after.

Some breeders will have stipulations that come with purchasing one of their puppies. There is no hard and fast rule regarding this and each individual contract is between the breeder and puppy buyer.

When in discussions with a breeder, if there is anything you are unsure of or do not understand, ask. No question is dumb. If you are not comfortable with anything you hear or see, question it. If you have not been satisfied with the response, walk away.

If the breeder does not ask you a lot of questions and seems in a hurry to secure a deposit from you, walk away.

 

** Article written by Meg Lewis of Starkehre Rottweilers, not be used without permission