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  • Author or Editor: Juraj Korbelik x
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Objective—To compare early socialization practices between litters of breeders registered with the Canine Control Council (CCC) and litters of nonregistered breeders advertising puppies for sale in a local newspaper.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—80 litters of purebred and mixed-breed dogs from registered (n = 40) and non-registered (40) breeders.

Procedures—Registered breeders were randomly selected from the CCC website, and nonregistered breeders were randomly selected from a weekly advertising newspaper. The litter sold most recently by each breeder was then enrolled in the study. Information pertaining to socialization practices for each litter was obtained through a questionnaire administered over the telephone.

Results—Registered breeders generally had more breeding bitches and had more litters than did nonregistered breeders. Litters of registered breeders were more likely to have been socialized with adult dogs, people of different appearances, and various environmental stimuli, compared with litters of nonregistered breeders. Litters from registered breeders were also much less likely to have been the result of an unplanned pregnancy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Among those breeders represented, litters of registered breeders received more socialization experience, compared with litters of nonregistered breeders. People purchasing puppies from nonregistered breeders should focus on socializing their puppies between the time of purchase and 14 weeks of age. Additional research is required to determine whether puppies from nonregistered breeders are at increased risk of behavioral problems and are therefore more likely to be relinquished to animal shelters or euthanized, relative to puppies from registered breeders.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association