For Finding a
As any breed begins to gain in popularity it attracts all sorts of
fanciers. Many of these fanciers will have the true essence of the breed at heart and take
raising them very seriously with regards to quality, health, temperament etc
there will also be many breeders attracted to the breed for the sake of making
money and who will have little regard to the quality of puppy they are raising. Sadly this
is how the quality of a breed as a whole can begin to suffer.
This can also make it difficult for a family who is looking for a quality companion to
know where to begin. Even if you have no intentions of breeding or showing it is important
to get a puppy from a reputable breeder who has spent many years ensuring the quality,
health and temperament of their breed. Not only will your new puppy grow up to reflect the
true essence of the breed in appearance and personality, but also it will likely be
healthier and more adjusted for life in general.
When looking for that special puppy who will become your new family member for the next 15
years on average be prepared to pay a reasonable price for the quality you deserve. You
may think $1000-$1600 is a lot of money to spend on a companion, but look at it this
way...in the words of one of our puppy owners, "People ask me how I could spend so
much money on a dog and I tell them that if you divide the amount that you pay for a dog
over the number of years that you are blessed to have it, it really turns out to be just a
little over a hundred dollars a year. People blow way more than a hundred dollars a year
on entertainment & travel. The happiness that a dog brings is a wonderful
investment." Marla M.
The question is how do you determine which of the 1000s of ads have been listed by
breeders who are truly raising a quality representation of the breed???
In order to help people who are looking for a
quality representation of the Papillon breed as a companion pet we have compiled a basic
list of things to look for and things to ask during your search.
#1. Do your homework! Read information on Papillons and look at
numerous photos so you can get an idea of the color and "look" you are wanting.
Also, go to a few dog shows in your area if possible and view some quality Papillons in
person so you have a comparison in mind.
#2. Look at the background of the breeder you are looking to
purchase from. Check to see if the people you are purchasing from are actively involved in
showing their dogs, as this will give you an idea of the quality of Papillon they are
raising. Not every dog in their kennel or household will be shown, but an active winning
show schedule will let you know the over-all quality of the dogs they are breeding. Many
show breeders will also have a page on their website dedicated to show news or something
similar. If they do not have this information available you can do a web search of their
kennel name and breed (for us it would be Braylor's or Braylor's Papillons) and it should
come up with show results pages, which will list the results of various shows where dogs
of their breeding were exhibited. Some search engines will find these sites better than
others, but if you type in a specific dog's registered name you should be able to locate
its show results pages easily if it has been shown in the past year or so. Lets face it, a
show news bragging page on the website is much more preferable to pages with photo after
photo of puppies stuffed in teacups and listed for sale by number.
#3 View the parents or photos of the parents of your potential
new puppy. Even an untrained eye will recognize a nice representation of the breed and
this will also give you some idea of what your puppy might look like as an adult. Keep in
mind both parents are not always available for viewing in person for 2 or more common
reasons: #1 the mom will look very scraggly, gangly and bald after having a litter of pups
and to an untrained evaluating eye you will not be able to determine the quality of her if
viewing after a litter and she may also not appreciate you handling her pups as some are
very protective of them...this is why an earlier photo of mom may be best & #2 the
father should be a nice representation of the breed and can be viewed at any time since
they do not go through hormonal sheds the way females do, however, most show kennels share
their studs and therefore they are not always on the premises for viewing.
#4. View photos of the puppy you are interested in. Keep in mind,
as with most coated breeds, Papillons go through a horrible gangly stage, which we call
the teenage ugly stage. This occurs on average between 3-6 months. They will shed out
their puppy coat and look very sparse and gangly until about 6 months old when the adult
coat begins growing in. This can make it difficult for an untrained eye to evaluate a
teenaged puppy. Again, this is why photos of the parents are important. The parent's
quality will give you an idea about the pups and what they will look like in the future. A
Papillon is not considered fully mature in coat and fringes until 3-4 years of age, but of
course some will mature faster than others.
#5. Ask to see a pedigree on the puppy. This is basically a
family tree, which will list 2-5 generations of the puppys relatives. A reputable
breeder will be willing to provide a copy of the pedigree and likely even have it
available online for viewing. Look for multiple champions in the first few generations of
the pedigree. Many people will say "champion pedigree", but that can easily mean
there is 1 champion 4 generations back. When you see CH before a dog's name in a pedigree
it means that dog has gained its champion title, which is not an easy task. The dog must
be fully trained, kept in show condition and match closely enough to the breed standard
(in quality, type & structure) to be recognized by numerous judges. The terms SOM,
SOD, DOM etc...mean that dog has produced 5 or more champion offspring showing they are a
good producer of quality.
#6 Expect to sign a spay/neuter contract and receive a health
guarantee of some sort.
#7 Ask what records you will receive with your new puppy. All
reputable breeders should provide you with at least a vaccination record, but some will
also provide you with a copy of the pedigree, some sort of guarantee, feeding and care
instructions, breed specific info you might need to know, photos of parents and maybe even
photos of your puppy as it was growing up. Others may even provide a little of the current
food the puppy is eating to give you time to buy some as well as a favorite toy or at
least a list of such. The list can go on, but at least be sure you are getting the basic
information that you and your vet will need to continue the vaccines etc
have already been started on your puppy.
#8 Ask if they are a member of any Breed Clubs as most of these
are difficult to become a member of and have guidelines and standards that must be
followed to remain a member. The National Papillon club is called the Papillon Club of
America or PCA. This proves dedication to the breed as well as ethics and standards as
most clubs have guidelines that must be followed in breeding practices as well as puppy
#9 Look for AKC registration. This is the kennel club that most
show people will have their dogs registered with. Do expect the registration to be deemed
limited with regards to breeding rights and also know it is not uncommon for
the registration form to be held until proof of spay/neuter is presented.
#10 Expect quality even though you are purchasing a companion
pet. Many show breeders will even place a puppy of show quality into a home as a companion
on a spay/neuter contract just to be sure it does not fall into the wrong breeding hands.
This allows a potential companion owner to obtain a higher quality puppy at a companion
price. Even when purchasing a puppy that has been deemed companion quality it should still
have come from quality parents. Keep in mind there are many reasons a dog will not be
shown: a few examples are structural faults, marking faults & too soft tempered
meaning they can not stand up under the pressures and chaos of show life and instead
prefer being a treasured lap companion. Even one tooth being out of place will prevent a
puppy from being shown and thus causing it to be placed in a companion home. Most of these
do not affect a puppy for companion status, but being sure your puppy comes from quality
parents does affect the puppy's future. Some faults are considered worse than others and
while some are acceptable some are not and a reputable breeder will make this decision
based on the future of the breed and not on money. When dealing with a puppy mill or
breeder for profit you are risking potential health issues, temperament
problems, simply not looking like the breed should, etc....
Things to be
#1 Be leery if buying from a breeder that quotes 2 different
prices on the same dog: 1 price for a pet on a spay/neuter contract and another (higher)
price for breeding rights. The AKC frowns on breeders that offer breeding rights for more
money. A reputable breeder will place all their puppies on spay/neuter contracts unless
being sold as a show prospect. Show prospects naturally bring more money as they will be
the future champions and producers of quality Papillons for future generations to come.
The show prospect should be free of disqualifying faults according to the breed standard
and should be free of as many other faults as possible. There is never a 100% perfect dog
in accordance with the standard, but it should be as close as possible for showing and
breeding. If not, it should not ever be used for breeding. Breeding the lesser quality
dogs will lower the quality of the breed as a whole and this is why many reputable
breeders will be very protective of their dogs and whose hands they fall into.
#2 Be leery of breeders who request deposits on puppies that
are not even born yet. None of us are fortunetellers and obviously cannot predict the
future, let alone the personality of the puppy being born. A breeder cant begin to
be able to tell you if that puppy will be a good match for your family. Even if it is the
right sex and color, personality is still an important factor in matching the right dog
with the right family. For instance, if you are looking for an agility prospect markings
are not important, but size, personality and structure are all very important. A deposit
on a slightly older pup is acceptable as this tells the breeder you are serious and they
are not wasting their time in holding a puppy for you until it is old enough to be placed
in a new home.
#3 Be leery of breeders who raise more than 1 or 2 breeds. When
breeding and raising is done properly it is not a money making business as there are show
fees, handling fees, vet care fees, daily care and upkeep, etc...that eat up the money
quite fast. It is typically a hobby for the love of the breed. People who raise too many
breeds can likely not afford proper care on that many dogs and also can not possibly
devote enough time to that many breeds in keeping them trained for showing and in proper
condition. There are always exceptions to this rule, but even an untrained eye can
recognize a well cared for quality puppy.
#4 Be leery of any breeder who is not willing to provide all
the information above or who is unwilling to answer basic breed questions to help you in
your decision. This breed may not be right for everyone and if you are unsure about
something your breeder should be willing to provide you with the information needed to
help you make a decision that is best for your family.
These are some of the basics that might help you in your search.
Getting what you pay for is important and doing your homework is a part of that in order
to be sure the price being quoted is equivalent to the quality of the puppy being sold.
The old saying you get what you pay for is true in most aspects of life and
purchasing a puppy is no exception to that saying. However, some pups will be over-priced
and following these guidelines will teach you how to know that.
Here is a quick and shortened summation of the
detailed list above:
#1 Do your homework.
#2 Research the breeder.
#3 View the parents of your potential puppy or at least view
photos of the parents.
#4 View photos of the puppy before you buy.
#5 Ask to see a pedigree.
#6 Expect to sign a basic spay/neuter contract and ask about a
#7 Ask what records you will receive with your new puppy.
#8 Ask if they are members of any breed clubs.
#9 Look for AKC registration even though it may be limited and
held until proof of neutering is provided.
#10 Expect quality even though purchasing a companion puppy.
Things to be leery of:
#1 Be leery of a breeder that quotes 2 different prices on
the same puppy.
#2 Be leery of breeders accepting deposits on unborn or newborn
#3 Be leery of Breeders that raise too many breeds.
#4 Be leery of any breeder not willing to provide all the info
above or who is unwilling to answer basic breed questions to help you in your decision.
It is the responsibility of any ethical caring breeders to ensure the
future quality of their breed. This involves taking precautions in puppy placement as well
as requiring neutering on any puppies they would not show or breed themselves. If a
breeder/exhibitor has evaluated a puppy and determined it should not be used for breeding
it is important that puppy does not end up in the hands of a less than ethical breeder who
is only looking to make a buck on the popularity of that breed.
In order to not only protect our name as Papillon exhibitors and breeders, but to also
protect our babies from falling into the wrong hands you will be asked to sign a
spay/neuter contract, which will also contain our guarantee.
We will not only provide you with all the information you need to help make your new
butterfly a happy healthy member of your family, but we will also provide you
with just about every possible record you can think of.
We will be asking you some basic information about yourself, family and home as well as
what you are looking for in a companion pet with regards to personality preference, age,
color, sex, size, companion/show, etc
This information is not requested because we are nosey, but because we feel it is
important to match each prospective family with the puppy or dog that we feel is best
suited to meet their needs. This not only makes the family happy, but also helps to ensure
our baby will have a permanent home with their new loving family.
And finally, understand that shipping a puppy is typically very safe if set up properly.
We are willing to ship a puppy because this gives many more families the opportunity to
have one of our babies. However, we do have specific rules we follow in doing this. #1 Not
all puppies mature at the same rate. Instead of evaluating a puppy by age we evaluate by
that individual puppys maturity level. We WILL NOT ship a puppy until we feel it is
capable of handling the flight and transition to its new environment. #2 When offering
shipping it is also important to properly socialize a puppy so it is fully ready to handle
moving to a new home.
While all puppies have slightly different personalities it would be normal for one who has
just been on an all day journey to a new home to be scared, but most of our puppies bounce
out of their kennel giving kisses when they arrive at their destination. The ones who are
a little concerned and nervous at first are typically following their new owners around
very shortly thereafter. While something can always go wrong in shipping something can
just as easily go wrong during a long car ride to their new home. In fact, sometimes
shipping can be less stressful on a puppy if the alternative is a really long car ride.
Shipping is over in a few hours and in between that time they are mostly sleeping in an
air-conditioned or heated office while a car trip back home can last 6 or 8 hours or
longer if you traveled quite a distance to get your new puppy. Some young puppies have a
little motion sickness until their bodies adjust to the motion of the car and for a young
puppy this can cause low blood sugar and excess stress. All these things should be
considered when deciding if you should have your new puppy shipped or if you should drive
to pick it up.
We also allow people to pick up their new puppy at our home or we are willing to meet you
at our airport with your new puppy so you can fly him or her back with you in the cabin of
the plane if this makes you feel more comfortable. Sometimes this may be necessary during
extreme weather conditions. If we feel a puppy is too small to safely ship we also have a
friend who is able to hand-carry many of our pups airport to airport to hand it over to
it's new family. This keeps our babies in the hands of someone we trust during the entire
Feel free to check out our Testimonial page to
learn what others have said about our butterflies. Also notice each
puppys location and know that most all of the ones living outside of Texas were
safely shipped to their new home.
Visit our colors page to get an idea of how to
ask for the color you are looking for.
Visit our Information page to see the changes a
Papillon puppy can go through with regards to color and looks while maturing. Also by
visiting our pedigree pages (linked from the Sire and Dam pages) you can see a photo
representation of most of our dogs from puppy to adulthood.
Note: Some pages can only be reached from the