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Visiting Dog Kennels

  After deciding on the breed, take your time in choosing your bitch. Do not rush off to the nearest breeder or pet shop and buy any one recommended to you. You are starting a kennel now, and the foundation you lay is what will determine the quality of the stock you will produce for a long time to come.

  I would advise any beginner to make a list of those within a reasonable radius of his home who raise the breed he desires, and to visit them before he lays one dollar on the line. See what each has to offer. Tell them what you propose to do, and ask their advice. Listen to all they can tell you; get their ideas of what constitutes a good bitch, but do not bother to give yours. When you have visited them all, take the words of wisdom which you have collected and make a composite picture of the ideal bitch.

  While doing this, do not neglect to visit all the championship shows in your area. Carefully examine the dogs benched. Talk to the breeders and watch all that goes on in the ring while your breed is being judged.

  By the time you have visited several shows and have talked with as many breeders as possible, perhaps you will conclude that you know all there is to be known about your particular breed. Do not be misled. You have only covered the first page of the book of experience. The farther you go in that book, the less you will think you know. So go warily if you consider yourself ready to take your place among breeders with years of experience behind them. However, by this time you should be ready to go back to the kennel whose stock impressed you most on your first visit, with the intention of spending some money.

  Now the question arises, what should a bitch cost? Well, you get what you pay for. You cannot buy an expensive twelve-cylinder car for the price of a six; neither can you buy a top-flight bitch for the price of a house pet. The price you pay will have to be governed by the size of the check you can write. But I repeat, you will get what you pay for—and good bitches cost good money.
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