IMPORTANT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT BUYING A PUPPY
How long have you been raising dogs?
We have been breeding, training and showing dogs since 1968 under the kennel name MARDOT. Dalmatians were our first love, and then, in the past fifteen years, Westies have joined the family.
Why do you show dogs?
Besides the fun of traveling and meeting wonderful people, taking the best of what we breed to a show for evaluation by others helps us keep the "ideal Westie" in mind. It also gives us another's educated opinion of the quality of our breeding.
I'm not interested in a "show" dog. I just want a family pet.
This is what most people ask us when looking for a companion. We might have one puppy out of a litter that could be promising as a show winner ... but certainly, you would not be able to tell the difference between him and the littermates, and certainly, no one can say which is a show dog at 8 weeks of age. The advantage to buying from someone who shows their dogs is that all the puppies get the advantage of special care in the hope that one might be that BEST IN SHOW winner of tomorrow.
The showing breeder will also have a long range plan and will be more careful about who is bred. She is motivated by having a wonderful dog and not by making a quick monetary profit. Our high ethical standards have kept many of our customers for years. Right now, we only breed and show West Highland White Terriers, board and groom Westies as well as some other small dogs for clients residing in several states.
I've heard that "show dogs" are bad tempered, unhealthy, and don't make good pets.
Actually the opposite is true. If dogs are not of sound body and temperament, they could not stand the rigors and stress of traveling, conditioning, and performing that is necessary to win in the show ring. However, when picking breeding stock, it is important to balance appearance with brains and a good attitude so our dogs just don't have a pretty face. That is why we show our dogs in obedience and terrier working trials.
There are cheaper puppies advertised in the newspaper. Why should we pay more for just a pet from your kennel?
If all goes well, you will be owned by your Westie for 10-15 years. You probably would like a companion that is healthy and won't cost a fortune in vet fees. To raise healthy animals costs more than not doing so. Our puppies have a money back guarantee for life against inherited diseases; they are healthy and socialized properly; they have dew claws removed ("thumbs" on the front legs that can cause problems in later life); they have had the appropriate inoculations and parasite control; and have a microchip implant for identification purposes. When health issues are not considered carefully and thoughtfully, it can often cost you later ... much more than the few dollars invested now.
can also guarantee the parentage of each litter since we attend every
mating. Some people, acting as breeders,
selling dogs out of their home, actually buy puppies from big breeding farms in
will see AKC papers immediately, and receive yours once you decide to keep the
puppy. We also provide lots of
What are some of the things we should watch for in Westies? Inherited diseases?
Showing a dog can confirm the quality of the "outsides" of a dog, but we take great care about the "insides" of our breeding stock. Both of these things are important when you are looking for a loving companion.
We regularly monitor things that can affect the quality of offspring. Our dogs are checked for Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD), which is a blood disease affecting many purebred dogs and can lead to sick or bleeding puppies. Thyroid disease is common in our terrier, so checking for normal function is important. Some other inherited diseases common in Westies are Cranial Mandibular Osteoporosis (miss-formed and over calcified jaw) and Copper Toxicosis, a liver disease. Skin allergies and other types of dermatitis are the number one health concern of Westies breeders. Breeding from clear parents is important. These illnesses can be monitored through careful pedigree research or simple blood tests and x-rays.
Tell me some more about your credentials.
Member: West Highland
White Terrier Club of
West Highland White Terrier Club of Greater Atlanta, Inc. (founder, president 1985-99)
Dalmatian Club of America (past magazine editor)
Atlanta Kennel Club (past board member)
Working Terrier Association of America (apprentice judge)
Licensed Judge for the American Kennel Club
Finished over 40 AKC Champions, Obedience and AWTA working titles.
Can we talk to someone about your kennel and its reputation?
The following people would be happy to speak to you about our ethics and the quality of our dogs:
Westie breeder, national Club Board
Doc & Jean Murphy
Cheryl Braswell, DVM
4773 Covington Highway
Decatur, GA 30035
2850 Spalding Drive
Atlanta, GA 30350
Please feel free to ask some question of your own. If you should decide to adopt a wee pup or an older dog, we might have one for you, too. Marleen