Dog breeding and welfare of dogs have been on the table in Finland, after a book about the dog industry, Kaikenkarvainen kansa – Miten koirista tuli miljoonabisnes (WSOY), was published. A puppy buyer can influence the well-being of dogs and responsible dog trade by carefully considering from where he or she buys a puppy.
– One should not get a puppy on the spur of the moment, says Harri Lehkonen, chair of the Finnish Kennel Club. A person who is thinking about getting a dog should first seek information on different breeds via breed clubs and breeders. The Finnish Kennel Club has a website where a dog buyer can find information on different breeds and information on how to buy a dog, hankikoira.fi.
– A happy pedigree dog is healthy, socially acceptable, carefully brought up, loved by its owner and treated with respect, says Vesa Lehtonen, chair of the Finnish Dog Breeder Club FDBC.
– Finnish dog breeding is of a high quality and internationally appreciated, Harri Lehkonen emphasises. Most of all dogs bred in Finland are born in so called home kennels. The goal for responsible breeding is not to make money. A responsible breeder uses only healthy dogs with a good mentality for breeding. The breeder knows his or her dogs and their backgrounds. The work of the breeder is supported by a wide use of information, both on dog health from different sources and the breeder's own experiences with the breed and the dogs he or she has bred. The breeder is open about the background and the health of the dogs. Breeders who have been active for a long time often know their dogs several generations back.
A responsible breeder wants to find the best possible home for the puppies. One does not get a puppy from a good breeder without meeting the breeder and his or her dogs first. A responsible breeder always draws up a written contract when selling a puppy. The registration certificate is included in the trade price, provided that the dog is registered by the Finnish Kennel Club. Without a registration certificate, the buyer cannot be sure about the background of the puppy or its parents.
A responsible breeder offers the puppies and the dam a safe environment where the growing puppies also have enough stimuli. He or she makes sure that the puppies are fed with high-quality food, that the puppies are de-wormed appropriately, and that the puppies are identification marked before leaving for new homes. The puppies are familiar with being handled by people and are socialised before heading for new homes. The breeder gives the puppy buyer written care instructions. A responsible breeder informs the puppy byers about responsibilities and obligations that come with dog ownership. He or she also helps and advises the owners while the puppy grows to an adult dog.
– There are some 3 200 breeders in Finland who have bred at least three litters in the last three years. The problems that are now under discussion are very marginal in this group, Harri Lehkonen reminds.
For more information:
Chair of the Finnish Kennel Club
tel. +35850 329 2188
Chair of the Finnish Dog Breeder Club FDBC
tel. +35840 554 1509