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General Dog-Related Questions

We have compiled the most common questions we have been asked. Please take a moment to look through these... you may be able to find your answer immediately!

Do you still have a question or comment that is not addressed here? Please scroll to the bottom of the page for our contact form.

I have a health issue with my dog that may be an emergency... can you help?
IF YOU HAVE ANY HEALTH CONCERN THAT HAS EVEN THE SMALLEST CHANCE OF BEING AN EMERGENCY, CALL YOUR LOCAL VET OR VETERINARY HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY. Do not take any chances. Please do not risk your pet's health or life by waiting on answers from this or any other website...
In cases of potential poisoning, if you are having delays in reaching your local vet, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. They may be able to advise you on the best course of action while you are en route to the vet or waiting to reach a vet.
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I have a non-emergency question about my dog's health and/or behavior... can you help?
If you need an answer to a specific health question, we recommend consulting your vet... he or she is best equipped to answer such questions and also has the benefit of hands-on examination. If you want more information that your vet is providing, there are quite a few sites availble on the Internet where you can post questions that are answered by licensed vets... you can find these via Google. For some interesting discussions on general health, nutrition, and behavior, you can also visit the message board (click Message Board on the left red menu bar). Information presented there is not endorsed by and should not be taken as expert or veterinary advice, but it is a good resource for open discussions, opinions, and ideas.
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Can you recommend a breed for my familiy and me?
That's the question of the year! Choosing the best breed for your family, lifestyle, climate, home environment, etc. can be quite a challenge. There are some sites on the Internet that present you with a questionnaire then use your answers to match you with a breed; how helpful these are, or are are not, really depends on their breadth of breeds and related information for each. We are compiling what we hope will be a truly helpful "breed selector program," but we will be gathering a great deal of data before it is up and running (if you would like to take the breed survey and help us build the database, just click here).
For the time being, check out the Breed Profiles here on our site, where you can learn more about many breeds. Also, try posting on the Message Board... if you describe your lifestyle, home, family, etc., you can get opinions from many people on the board who will suggest a breed.
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What are all these health tests breeders mention?
A responsible breeder will want to do everything possible to make sure they produce healthy puppies that are as free from genetic defects as can be. Screening the potential parents prior to breeding is one of the best ways to avoid or reduce genetic and congenital problems. Some health screenings are true genetic tests (tests done on cells sent to a lab that can identify actual genes associated with disease), some are tests that involve subjective evaluation by a centralized organization (such as OFA's examination of submitted hip X-rays), and others are accomplished by vet exam or other testing procedure, often by a veterinary specialist. Genetic tests can truly rule out specific diseases, and even determine if a dog is unaffected but a "carrier" of a recessive disease. The non-genetic tests typically can't completely rule out the possibility of the particular issue in the offspring, but they can dramatically decrease the likelihood.
Each breed has its own group of health issues that can occur more frequently in the breed, and those especially should be testing for. Check national breed club websites for your breed to get recommended health screenings, and when you begin your search for a breeder, be sure to ask questions about relevant health tests. Don't be afraid to ask specifically if the breeding adults are tested, and to ask for verification of these tests. A responsible breeder will be happy you understand the value of health screenings and will not hesitate to comply.
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Why don't you list breeds like Cockapoos or Labradoodles?
It is the opinion of the creators of this site that these mixes, often referred to as "designer breeds," do not represent a true breed. Dog breeds that exist today are the product of many countless generations, often over hundreds and hundreds of years. They are "breeds" because they share common characteristics that can be reproduced generation after generation. So, in our opinion, simply crossing two existing breeds does not create a new breed. Much more controlled breeding over a great deal of time would be required for that. As a general rule, we agree with AKC's standards of breed recognition and will not likely recognize a cross as a "new breed" until AKC does.
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I have or am interested in a breed that you do not list here; can you add it?
We are starting with AKC recognized breeds and plan to carefully add other breeds that are recognized by reputable international multi-breed registries. If you would like to request our consideration of an additional breed, please scroll down and send us an email, including both the breed name and a website address or email address of a recognized authority on the breed. Please realize that adding this breed may take months, as there is already a fairly long list of requests and the process of adding one is very time-consuming.
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Still have a question? You might also want to check the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section by clicking FAQs on the left red menu bar. Otherwise, please use the form below to contact support.
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