Why do I want to buy this puppy??  Gee! It sure is cute and no one else I know has one!
I just have to have that one!!  Sound familiar?  I’m sure it does.  We have all been guilty of this to some
degree.  So, how should we approach the purchase of a new family member?  Research, ask questions, try
and find an owner in your area so you can “meet the breed”, join a bulletin board that has information.  
Why is this important?   Great question!  Let me try and answer this without generating too many new
questions.

Yes, ISD puppies are cute, as are most puppies.  So disregard the cute factor as a primary selection point.  
I want to be the first one on my block to own one.  Another factor to disregard, there are millions of
buyers who have never seen an Icie.  OK, what should I be looking for?  Now we are on the right track.  

There are a number of factors we need to put into a priority list.  This will help you find and purchase a
quality pet that will meet your needs and expectations:

1:  Health risks:  What are the health risks I can expect with this puppy?  Best answer to this question is to
look at the health of the parents.  Have they had their hips and elbows evaluated by OFA or PennHIP
xrays?  What were the results?  Have the eyes of the parents been CERF evaluated yearly during their
breeding years?  Are there any eye health issues I need to know about?  Are there any other known health
issues with the parents, grandparents etc. of this puppy?  The breeder is the person who should be able to
answer these and other health questions for you.  If they won’t, or have not had any health checks done
then there is only one logical thing to do: WALK AWAY, find another litter to locate a puppy.  Don’t
depend on a breeder to “get the health checks done”.

2: Family Environment:  How active is my family life?  Do I want to look for an active member of this
breed or the more laid back couch potato?  How big and secure is my yard?  Even the couch potato will
need a place to burn off energy.  Will we be active in any of the performance events, will we use the dog
as a working animal or just a companion?   Remember this puppy will be with you for 14 or 15 years.  
How will this puppy fit into our family situation?  Are there other animals to be considered, what about the
current and future children situation?  Now you are getting the idea!  This is a member of the herding
breeds; they want order in their lives.  They want to know everything about everyone and what they are
doing all the time.  They get along with most breeds of dogs; will learn to accept the house cat, and will
tolerate the wear and tear from children.  They don’t like to be left alone, so take your times away from
home into consideration when considering this or any other breed.

3: Maintenance:  Do you know how much these dogs shed?  Do you know how much they bark?  Do you
know what they need to remain healthy for their life?  Do you know how much human contact they need?  
What size will these dogs get to? All good question to ask a breeder.  There are two different hair lengths
found in this breed.  Both versions shed this coat in large quantity twice a year and in smaller amounts all
year round.  Bark, oh yes, and at everything!  They can be taught to bark less but will never be completely
broken of the habit.  Some bark more then others; this factor is a trait of each puppy and it’s environment.  
All dogs, like people, need health check ups, a good quality diet and someone to watch what and how
much they eat.  They need flea, tick and heartworm protection year round in most parts of the country.  
This alone can run several hundred dollars a year.  This is a people breed; they want to be with you 24/7.  
They want to please and they want to be loved in return.  The weight of this breed will run from 20 to 50
pounds.  If you just want a dog for a decoration then the Icie is not the breed you want.  This is not a dog
to be recommended to a first time dog owner.

4:  What to look for:  Now you have made it through the questions above and all those they generated,
what are you really looking for?  Do you want a male or a female; a pet or a future breeder, long or short
haired version?  The male of this breed is more laid back than the females.  So if you have a less active life
style the male may be the best choice.  Not all males fit this laid back mold, some are very active.  So how
do you know?  Again, ask the breeder, they are the best person to know what the personality of each dog
is.  Once you and a breeder get to know each other and have discussed the type of dog you want, let the
breeder do the placing of the dogs.  They will have the best chance of placing the right dog in the right
home.   If your goal is to just have a companion, don’t expect the “Pick of the Litter”.  If you have a
future interest in breeding, be sure the breeder knows this.  Hair length is strictly personal preference;
generally the long haired version will weigh less then the shorter hair ones.  

5: Breeders:  What do I look for in a breeder?  How will I know which ones to contact?  Can I trust them?  
What will they want from me?  The best place to find a breeder is on the national breed club’s website.  
This is true for all breeds.  You can find this information, in the USA, on the AKC, UKC, and CKC
websites.  Breeders in other countries can be found on their national breed club websites.  The Board of
Directors for the breed clubs are the ones who approve breeders for inclusion on the club’s website.  
These are breeders who adhere to the code of conduct established by the parent clubs.  They have shown
they will comply with the by-laws set down in regards to health checks, breeding ages of their dogs,
number of litters produced by each female or sire by each male.  Ask the breeders you are interested in
what they offer in their sale package.  Is the puppy registered, will it have all the shots up to date, is there a
return clause in the contract, and what else can I expect for the price I’m paying.   Why are puppies
different prices?  Each breeder will set their price according to how they approach breeding.  You need to
determine if one breeder’s package is better for you for the price they are asking.  Remember the initial
cost of the puppy is nothing compared to the on going cost of raising and maintaining the dog’s quality of
life over the next 15 years.   Yes, there are other breeders who offer puppies for sale who do not adhere to
any kind of rules.  

        Bottom line: BUYER BEWARE.

6: So what about the one I like the picture of?  Although the pictures are nice to watch ALL the puppies
grow; they should not be the deciding factor in the purchase of a puppy.  Do you think people who buy
Black or Yellow Labs care about the picture?  Not likely.  After 2 minutes with an Icie puppy you won’t
care about the pictures either.

Knox Rhine 2002
Why Do I Want To Buy This Puppy?