GUIDELINES FOR SALE OF PUPPIES AND ADULT DOGS
Throughout your Norwegian Elkhound’s life, its welfare must be your first consideration. Like all dogs, an Elkhound is an innocent, trusting creature. Moral responsibility and ethical behavior should be utmost in every decision concerning your Norwegian Elkhound. Buyers and breeders alike should examine their consciences before, during and after the acquisition of a Norwegian Elkhound.
1. Buy a Norwegian Elkhound for the right reason. Do NOT acquire a Norwegian Elkhound on the spur of the moment. Do your homework before you start to shop. Be it "show quality" or "pet quality"; a Norwegian Elkhound should be a companion and family member — not a new possession.
2. Evaluate your lifestyle realistically. Do you have the time for teaching, discipline and health care of a Norwegian Elkhound? Do you have adequate fencing? Will the dog be a financial burden?
3. Commit to a lifetime of care for your Norwegian Elkhound. Be sure your future plans and desired living arrangements won’t force you to part with your Norwegian Elkhound. However, if you cannot keep your Norwegian Elkhound, make every effort to return it to the breeder and/or work together to find a good replacement home.
4. If you are uncomfortable with the breeder from whom you are buying a Norwegian Elkhound, or about the puppy itself, do not buy the dog. AKC registration is NOT an indication of quality. Irresponsible breeders are unlikely to be willing to stand behind their puppies if anything goes wrong, and may be unable to help you with detailed information or advice on the Norwegian Elkhound.
5. Become a responsible pet owner. Do not allow your Norwegian Elkhound to roam freely through your neighborhood. Do not allow your dog to bark at night or for any extended period of time. Involve the entire family in training methods of acceptable behavior for your Norwegian Elkhound. Give your Norwegian Elkhound lots of time, attention and love — make him a permanent member of your family.
6. Spay or neuter your Norwegian Elkhound. With millions of unwanted and homeless dogs put to death each year, dog owners must make responsible decisions. Most dogs, even purebred, should not be bred. Many dogs, though wonderful pets, have defects of structure, personality or health that should not be perpetuated. If you choose not to breed your "show quality" Norwegian Elkhound, or as agreed upon in your contract of sale, spay or neuter your Norwegian Elkhound.
7. Deciding to undertake a breeding program means a commitment to improve the Norwegian Elkhound. It is extremely important to learn in advance the facts and possible consequences if you are contemplating breeding your Norwegian Elkhound. If done correctly, dog breeding is NOT a moneymaking proposition. Contact your breeder for direction and advice. Be sure your "show quality" puppy measures up to the Norwegian Elkhound Breed Standard as an adult. X-ray hips and register with the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) when the dog is at least two years old. Check eyes annually for anomalies and register with CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation). If you feel this is more obligations than you care to take on, choose the responsible alternative of having your Norwegian Elkhound neutered or spayed.
1. Breed only to improve the Norwegian Elkhound. A breed specialist is one who has made a lifetime commitment to the well being and improvement of the Norwegian Elkhound. A breed specialist does NOT have so many dogs that there is no time for individual attention, play and grooming, or so that he/she has to skimp on food quality, space, preventative medicine and health care.
2. Be honest about your breeding stock. Discuss health disorders known to exist in the Norwegian Elkhound. Disclose genetic and potential fault(s) of a puppy — there are no perfect dogs. Eliminate puppies with genetic or temperament flaws from your breeding program. Screen all breeding stock for genetic defects when appropriate. A breed specialist builds a good reputation slowly, based on dedication and consistent quality — not on volume, advertising or a self-glorifying attitude.
3. Screen prospective buyers carefully. Evaluate a buyer’s reasons for wanting a Norwegian Elkhound. Refuse a sale if it is not in the best interest of the dog. Ask questions about the buyer’s home, family and work schedule; veterinary or personal references; possibly consider a home visit.
4. Educate the buyer about the Norwegian Elkhound, the litter or a particular dog. Be honest with the buyer about selecting the right puppy, training, health care, and specific Norwegian Elkhound traits (shedding, barking, etc.).
5. Give each new Norwegian Elkhound owner a "puppy package" to include:
- Contract of sale, pedigree, and AKC registration papers
- Feeding and care instructions
- Immunization and worming records
- Articles pertaining to the Norwegian Elkhound
- Articles about puppy care and training
- List of specific Norwegian Elkhound books
- List of Norwegian Elkhound or dog related organizations to join NEAA, Regional Specialty Clubs, ADOA (American Dog Owners Association), Local Kennel Clubs (all-breed or obedience)
6. Make contracts with buyers fair and ethical. The welfare of the Norwegian Elkhound is most important. Require "pet quality" puppies to be altered and do your best to enforce this agreement. You may also register the "pet quality" puppies yourself with the AKC Limited Registration certificate.
7. Be available for consultation. Provide help with problems which arise throughout a Norwegian Elkhound’s life. Be gracious to the newcomer be he or she a visitor, club member, novice exhibitor or one who is "crazy about" his/her new Norwegian Elkhound. Keep yourself informed about a puppy’s development in a new home. The breeder who creates a life is responsible for that life — take back the unwanted dog.