Buying your puppy
Buhunds are not a commercial breed. This means that, while it is rare to find a breeder who has financial gain as their first consideration, it can be difficult to find a puppy within a short time or within in a conveniently short distance of home.
Conversely, Buhunds are not always easy to sell as many people are not familiar with the breed and imagine that they are either very big, very expensive or both. In fact, Buhunds cost no more than the average price of most breeds and are a good deal cheaper than many.
If you have decided that a Buhund might be the breed for you, it is advisable to start planning quite a while in advance. Most litters are sold by word of mouth – you are unlikely to find puppies advertised in local papers or in the specialist dog publications. The Links page will give you a number of contacts to try.
Even if you are not planning to buy a puppy for 6 months or so, it is worth contacting breeders to find out when they are planning their next litter, breeders will be very willing to put you on a waiting list. Buhunds do not usually have very large litters – around 4 is the average size of a litter, so if you want a particular sex, you may have to be prepared to be disappointed if the bitch doesn’t produce what you want. For this reason some breeders will not take a deposit until after the litter is born. Others may insist on a deposit and in this event you should make sure that the deposit is refundable should a pup of the right sex not being available. Most breeders will be happy to let you know if there is a breeder expecting a litter nearer the time or nearer to you, but unfortunately not all will do this, so be prepared to make a lot of phone calls or send a lot of e-mails.
Once you find a possible litter make sure that both the sire and dam have been hip-scored and have a score around the breed average or lower (currently, about 15 – see the health pages for more information). Also ensure that the parents have CURRENT clear eye certificates. Before mating, all Buhunds should have been tested by a veterinary eye specialist and have been issued with a certificate stating that they are clear of Hereditary Cataract. These certificates are only valid for 12 months. Don’t just take the breeder’s word for this – they should be able to show you copies of these, together with the parents’ KC Registrations and a copy of the litter’s pedigree.
When you are satisfied that all the formalities are in order, the litter has been born and there is a puppy waiting for you, the pleasant part begins. If you have the opportunity to pick the puppy of your choice, think about what you will be looking for in the adult Buhund. You should always be able to see Mum with the litter, but it is quite unusual to be able to see Dad as well. He may well live 200 miles away as a good breeder will look for the best partner for his/her bitch in the hope of producing a high quality litter regardless of distance. Mum may be a bit apprehensive about letting strangers near her puppies, but she should not be nervous or aggressive. If she is, the chances are that her puppies will grow up nervous and aggressive too. Mum will probably be happy, friendly and anxious to have as much attentions as her puppies. If the puppies have been well socialised, they should also be happy, friendly and not at all shy about coming forward to meet strangers.
Good breeders will be happy to give you as long as it takes for you to make up your mind which puppy is the right one for you. After all, you will hopefully have your new friend for the next 15 or so years, so it’s an important decision.