Here at Roytan Gundogs we breed both Hungarian Vizslas and Labrador Retrievers but the following advice would apply to most people with whatever breed they choose. The most important thing to realise is that your new puppy is going to be with you and your family for a very long time, possibly 15 years, and so the decision to have a dog in the family MUST be agreed by both “Mr” and “Mrs” in any partnership.
A young pup is going to need constant company , especially the first few days in its new home, getting used to its new human “pack” and the routine that will become the confidence in its life. It is really important to think about your lifestyle and your leisure activities before you decide on a particular breed, and try and find out the characteristics and tendencies of that breed. The Kennel Club is a good source of information, especially “Discover Dogs”. Asking at your vets about recommending a responsible breeder is a good idea.
Nowadays there are many health checks of which breeders can take advantage. In Labradors we have KC/BVA Scheme Eye checks which should be current annually for breeding stock , KC/BVA Hip Dysplasia Scheme (both mother and father) and DNA tests available for PRA and CNM. In Hungarian Vizslas we have KC/BVA Hip Dysplasia scheme and no eye listing (a very small incidence of glaucoma) but not sufficient to include on the BVA scheme. In Vizslas there is also a very worrying disease called Vizsla Polymyositis for which there is no DNA test yet, but it is thought to be hereditary. In all breeds of dog there is an incidence of epilepsy, which can in most cases be controlled, but it is impossible to say which dogs may succumb and all one can do is not breed from any suspect stock. The one thing we cannot give a certificate for is temperament and of course this is all important, especially within a family environment. Most breeders will know their dogs and will strive to maintain the good temperament to ensure as far as possible that the ensuing pups will inherit the same traits.
I am pleased to say that all my dogs are tested for the above health checks and in my opinion their temperaments are second to none. I encourage potential owners to come and visit and spend time with me and my dogs. If this is not possible then they are encouraged to come and see the puppies when they are 4 weeks old with no obligation, and this is when I go through all the hundreds of other points that need mentioning.
I offer life time support for those who purchase my pups, and am thankful to say that in over 30 years I have only had to find new homes for 8 pups, through no fault of their own. Advice and help are always available on the forum pages.