FAQS  (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)

CHILDREN AND PETS

Q. Will that (whatever breed ?) make a good pet for my child?

A. We can not answer that. We do not know your child and there are so many things that are subjective.

Before getting any pet, a lot of planning and sharing information can help make pet ownership a positive experience for everyone in the family. We encourage a lot of parental involvement when pets are to be included as part of the family.

Pets are an integral part of the lives of many families. 40% of us will have already shared our home with a pet of some type before we start grade school and nearly 90% of us will have some type of pet in our home at some point in our life. Children love pets! Their love of pets is passed on to them at a very early age, from their parents who themselves usually have a real admiration for nature. When a pet is included in a child’s life they offer companionship and comfort and they help build family bonds, they provide nurturing and they help with learning. Studies show that children with pets are more active. Pets can be a magnet for making new friends and therefore assist in developing social skills. The list of benefits that pets give to children and their families is endless.

For years, parents have known that pets and children are a natural fit. Parents have never needed studies done to tell them that children raised in a home with companion animals excel in all areas of development including social, physical, cognitive and emotional.

It is likely that at some point in a child’s life he or she will ask their parents for a new pet. Whether it is a first-time pet or if it is to add a second pet to the family, taking on the responsibility of a new animal is a decision that needs to be given a lot of thought, prior to making that type of commitment.

Many times, parents with good intentions, encourage children to become a "pet owner". While many children make wonderful caregivers, every pet needs to become a part of the family. It needs to be appreciated, enjoyed and included as part of the family by everyone living in the home. Responsibility for the pet ultimately needs to have some degree of parental supervision. This is very important for both the child's and the pet's health and safety.

Choosing the right type of pet for your child

It is very important that we first consider the needs of the animal and the child’s level of maturity, activity level and personal interest before we decide on what type of pet, we feel would make the most suitable type of pet for that particular child. While all animals can bring a great deal of liveliness and excitement into a home, not every species of animal is a perfect fit for everyone in the home. Choosing the type of pet that will fit also really depends on the parent’s level of experience when caring for this type of animal and be aware of what you expect from the animals. You and your family member’s expectations combined with the combined level of commitment, free time financial resources will ultimately be the deciding factor the indicate if you are ready and what type (s) of pets would be the best option for your individual circumstances.etc.

After you have decided that a pet would be a wonderful addition to your family, you will need to choose either a traditional or a non-traditional pet. All animals have the same basic needs, but every species also has its’ own unique requirements and prerequisites if is to thrive happily. Certain species are kept more for display purposes, some are anti-social while others typically enjoy human interaction. Some need to be kept in multiples while others prefer to live alone.

Some of the animals we raise are considered by many to be more of a specialist’s pet. They are primarily kept by experienced hobbyists as display animals. Some of these species do require an advanced level of commitment. Although many of our specialty pets do go to live in homes where they are enjoyed by all the family members of all ages, being that they are not "traditional pets”, most require to be cared for by experienced animal caregivers. Therefore, not every species of animals that we raise would be our first choice when choosing a new pet for younger children. That does not mean that any animal won’t be loved by a young child but that the child will likely need a lot more help from a parent while they are caring for it.

Without knowing much about your child or your personal situation we can only exchange ideas based on our own experiences and the feedback we get from other parents. Ultimately, the type of pet that you choose needs to accommodate your individual circumstances and lifestyle so, we can not make the decision on what pet you should get, for you.

When a parent calls and has already done a lot of research, he or she often sounds quite excited at the idea of getting a new pet. (Sometimes they want the pet more for themselves than for their child but are a little shy to admit it.) This is a good thing. When parents are involved, we feel comforted knowing that a pet will probably be going to a home to become a part of the family where it will receive a lot of attention.

If a child loses interest in a pet.

Sometimes we ‘adults’ need be mindful of and appreciate that even for a child, life gets busy. Sometimes if it becomes noticeable that a child has lost interest in caring for the pet there could be a lot of things going on in the child’s life but this seldom means that he or she has stopped loving it. After all, pets become a member of the family and they can become your child’s best friend. When we feel that a child is losing interest in the pet, parents need to intervene, and they may need to care for the pet temporarily until they find other ways to make the child more aware and refocused on caring for the pet. Sometimes including the pet in more family activities works (we need to be creative).

If things do not go the way you had hoped, you will need to be fully committed to caring for the animal for the remainder of the animal’s life. It is a big commitment. So, before committing to getting an animal for your child be sure it is the type of animal you will enjoy too. If you are unsure then you are just not ready. Perhaps volunteering at a shelter might help you decide if this is something you would like to pursue.

Remember, pets are not for rent and there is no trial run. Caring for one requires commitment. If it does not work out, you can’t bring them back or simply give them away. Teaching children that animals are not disposable and that once you have them, you have them for life, is a lesson we all need to be aware of.

Pedigrees, Registrations and Showing

Q. Occasionally people buying pets ask if we supply Pedigrees and Registration Certificates?

A. No, we do not ever supply Pedigrees or Registration Certificates!

Q. Do You Show your animals?

A. No. However, we do attend a lot of shows to keep up with the changes and to learn whatever we can, but we will not needlessly subject our animals to a showring or allow them to be near or interact with other animals whose origin is suspect.

More on Pedigrees, Registrations and Showing

Pedigrees

A pedigree is a diagram showing the genetic relationships between members of a family. If the pedigree is accurate, breeders can choose to use it as a tool to quickly reference and analyze patterns of inheritance for specific genetic traits and kinship. Sometimes depending on how much information is collected and displayed on a pedigree, they can be helpful when selecting which animals to pair together.

Unless you are a scientist, biologist or geneticist who use very complex pedigrees, most of the pedigrees that we are familiar with only contain the name, number, size, colour of the parents and grandparents. They do not normally contain much health history or personal information about the animals listed on the pedigree. Therefore, unless an accurate pedigree is used in conjunction with a complete and accurate database the information on the pedigree is of limited use to breeders working with genetics.

We do not give out pedigrees with any of our animals.

When dealing with small animals as a hobby there is far too much room for errors to be made when generating a pedigree. Unintentionally, people often misidentify colours, names, birth dates, etc. Being that mistakes are made frequently and because it only takes a minor error to make the entire pedigree inaccurate we choose not to offer pedigrees with any animal that leaves our home.

Even when we purchase animals from reputable breeders who choose to offer pedigrees with the animal, we always consider it as an unverified pedigree. When we enter it’s information in our database we enter it as “unverifiable”.

Note to breeders…Keep in mind that if you are breeding an animal that originates from a different breeder whose information will eventually show up on a pedigree, you are sort of breeding someone else’s pedigree. It takes several generations to produce your own pedigree. Therefore, when the accuracy of a pedigree cannot be verified, it is probably a wise choice not to pass on that specific information. Doing so could negatively impact another breeder’s breeding efforts.

If you prefer to offer pedigrees, if there is anything questionable or something that you are not sure about or if there are gaps in the pedigree, it is your responsibility to point that out to the purchaser.

A pedigree is only one of the tools that breeders might use for referencing when they are selecting animals for breeding but if you offer them to other breeders, they really do need to be accurate.

If you are a breeder who like us rely on lots of information to help make a decision on which animal to breed to one another, I suggest that you not rely solely on anyone else's pedigree when you are making your decision. Introduce the new bloodline to one or two of your own unrelated animals to see if you achieve the results that you are hoping for. Of course, you will need to wait until the babies mature before you will truly know if these babies have the traits you want, but if you do get the results that you were hoping for than you can move forward. If you do not get the results that you wanted then don't do it again. After all no two breeders are the same. We all have our own breeding goals and objectives.

(Specialty Club)  Registration Papers

We do not register our animals with any specialty clubs or live animal affiliations. There are several well organized clubs but we prefer to remain neutral and not to endorse any of them.

Nowadays, it is not hard to find a specialty club or an individual trying to earn a bit of extra cash by providing registration papers for your pet. For a small fee, they are willing to register nearly any animal at any age, including some with unknown lineage and sometimes even animals with mixed breed lineage, can be registered by some. However, if an animal does not have a microchip or a permanent way to identify it there is no way to guarantee that the registration paper / number has been matched to the proper animal that it is supposed to represent. If this is the case then the registration paper is pretty much useless.

We feel that in some instances when certain clubs, breeders and other individuals assign a number to an animal and send out a numbered certificate, they may be unintentionally sending the wrong message to people and may in fact be contributing to irresponsible pet ownership. Registering pets is not expensive and the actual registration paper is very cheap so, there is no reason to justify a price increase based on registration status of any pet and yet there are still a few people who believe that because their animal has been registered that it will automatically increase the value of that animal. This is simply a misconception! Registration papers are certainly not something that should be used to dictate the price or value of any pet.

When people promote registering pet animals they are sometimes, inadvertently making people think that because an animal is registered it is somehow more valuable and worth more than an animal that is not registered. Often people who are trying to promote a breed go too far and over emphasize the importance of registering animals. Oddly enough, consumers wanting to trust all breeders, are often seduced and misled into believing that when an animal is registered, that they are in fact buying an animal from an ethical breeder; that registered animals are healthier or somehow better than an animal that is not registered. This is simply not the case. Just look at how many registered animals are produced and registered in farms and “mills” every year.

The reasons a person might choose to register a pet may vary from person to person or breeder to breeder. Occasionally breeders choose to register animals to promote their breeding facility. Other times breeders attempting to gain acceptance by their peers (other breeders) may decide to register their pets, hoping to be considered as a “progressive breeder”. We do not register any animal that we sell but we certainly consider ourselves dedicated and progressive breeders. We know that a registration paper does not verify that the breeder has good breeding ethics or that he or she practices good animal husbandry, nor does it guarantee that the animal is healthy.

Showing (Small Pets)

We have been enjoying the hobby of keeping and learning about specialist animals for a long time. We work closely with professional people and pet enthusiasts who share our interest and we are constantly communicating with others who are dedicated to improving all breeding practices as it relates to animal husbandry. We are very selective when breeding any animal and plan each breeding with a specific goal in mind.

Occasionally, we have participated at confirmation shows and quite a few of our pet animals have competed against other animals in their class where they were judged on appearance (confirmation). Some of our pets have won ribbons and we were flattered whenever one of our animals won us bragging rights. Sure, we appreciate the nice things that people say about our animals but we are not that insecure that we need a stranger to tell us our animal is pretty and if we really need a judge to tell us we have nice animals, then perhaps we should not be breeding.

We still attend pet shows, fairs and trade shows as spectators but for the most part we find that animal shows are (for lack of a better word) hokey and most often not very important to us. For some people, animal shows are a bit of a social outing and a way to come together with others who share similar interests but being that confirmation shows are not that different than a beauty pageant, we can think of a ton of other more fun ways to spend our day.

The animals at a show are put on display to be judged by a few individuals (club members) who are supposedly the people who know what we all want our own animals to look like. Those few individuals decide on a standard which is usually based on their own animals, then they judge other’s animals based on the look that they personally prefer. Of course, there is often a bias and confirmation shows can get a bit political. The judges do not judge the breeders or their breeding ethics nor his/her commitment to the species and they are not usually aware of the level of care the breeder provides to their animals outside of the show-ring.

Showing animals can cause unnecessary stress to the animal and it can put its’ health at risk. Imagine an animal that is mostly a creature of habit and likes familiarity, being packed up and driven across the country to be put on public display for a day or two, risking being "poked and prodded at" by people it has never met and subjecting them to potential health risks by exposing them to animals of unknown origin. Rather than exposing our animals to various parasites, viruses, bacteria, various types of fungi or potential injury, we feel that it is in our animals’ best interest not to bring them into a show-ring and therefore we will gladly give up a few bonus points or a ribbon or even a title of “champion “in exchange for knowing that we have done everything we can to ensure that our animals remain healthy.

Modern day technologies have made it easier for everyone who is looking for a new pet to make an educated decision before they purchase a pet. Most people who have been considering getting a new pet already have somewhat of a preconceived idea of what they expect in a pet and they already have a notion of what their pet should look like so they do not really need to attend shows. They will likely be more interested in a pet’s good health and they will want to know where and how it is raised and they will want to meet and get to know the breeder.

There is so much more to breeding than showing animals. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the practice of showing pets for the sole purpose of being judged on their appearance is slowly going the way of the dinosaur.

Price Structure

Q. Why are your prices so inconsistent?

A. Our prices do vary, and they change throughout the year. Breeding animals is a expensive hobby. I we hope to break even on our costs we need to consider so many variables and determine the price of each animal accordingly prior to posting them for sale on our website. Our prices are very fair and are not negotiable.

More about how we decide the price…

We are breeders who take pride in caring for our pets and taking the time to educate others about caring for them. We are never in a hurry to sell one of our pets because we know that they all find homes quick enough.

We are committed to raising animals properly and ethically. We never cut corners and never deprive our animals of having everything they need food, a clean warm and dry shelter, medical care etc. (Veterinary care can be very expensive.) We know from our own experiences that raising pets is not a cheap hobby.

When we price our pets there is a lot to consider. We can only hope that we break even. Our prices are determined after first considering what it costs to raise them, (supplies, lineage, the amount of time it takes to raise a successful litter and to care for our animals properly and some of the other factors that influence prices (as listed below).

• Availability – Some species are seasonal breeders and therefore there are more babies available at certain times of the year. Late fall through early spring, the time when many people stick closer to home and want to add a bit of sunshine to their lives by bringing a new pet home. For us, this is the time of year when the demand is highest, but the availability is lowest. Prices are affected by the lack of availability.

• Gender – Quite often the males of certain species may be offered for sale at slightly lower prices than that of a female of the same species. Many species are not monogamous, and one male will mate with several females and he can sire a litter numerous times throughout the year. A female on the other hand, can only reproduce a set number of times each year. Therefore, when they are housed in captivity, a breeder may not keep as many males as they would females.

This is ideal for people looking for a pet. Males of some species are known to form better bonds with their caregivers. They are not usually nest protective and their personality is more consistent than females that experience hormonal changes when she is nesting.

• Colour Variety- A lot of breeders specialize in raising rare and unusual colour morphs. If they are rare that means that there are not as many available. Colour morphs are a result of genetic inheritance and while there certainly can be some degree of predictability there is not always a guarantee that this colour morph will reproduce itself regularly. Often a single gene may be dominant and override the other gene so these colours can be more challenging to reproduce. If you want to save a bit, why not consider a more common colour. It could save you a bit of money and you will still have a pet that you will enjoy.

Age- When selecting a new pet, a lot of people believe that younger animals make better pets even though that is not always the case. The longer the baby stays with its mother the more opportunity he or she will have to learn from her. Of course, all babies must leave the nest eventually but to be fair to you and the pet, never buy a pet that is too young especially one that has been weaned too early. Babies that are weaned too young can develop physical and psychological health issues that can affect the animal throughout its life, which often becomes problematic for the pet owner.

It is a natural part of human nature that when we are looking for a new pet we tend to gravitate towards nurturing and watching baby animals mature into an adult. Baby animals often have the look of innocence which we humans find very attractive. Some people who are choosing a new pet might find one that is a little older them less appealing and they choose one that is younger. This is not always a wise choice.

While the experience is cute it is more important to accept that often when caring for young animals it can be a lot more demanding; even more so when a person needs to care for a newly weaned baby.

Perhaps we just need to remind ourselves that a baby animal is only a baby for a very short time, they are not developed physically or mentally yet. Animals start to mature quickly, as it matures it’s looks will change a lot. Although we may be able to influence its personality somewhat, we realize that personality is also influenced by heredity.

Sometimes considering a pet that is a bit older is a wiser choice. Occasionally, some breeders who need to sell the pet, attempting to make them a little more appealing may be a little more flexible and willing to adjust prices on older animals. This is not always the case. Sometimes they blossom in to a show quality pet which therefore demands a higher price.

We always suggest to breeders looking to add another pet to a breeding program that it is often better to purchase an animal after it has had more time to mature. Teenage pets or better still, proven breeders from 'good quality' stock are often the best choice. You may not always save money when purchasing an older animal and in some cases it may even cost a little more, but you’ll have a better idea of what the animal looks and acts like, after it has matured a bit and you’ll be in a better position to decide if it is the right fit for you or your breeding program.

*Although our price are FIRM and non-negotiable, you are welcome to email us your name, email address, phone number and if you include the price that you are willing to pay for it, should we find ourselves in a position where we are still looking for a buyer in a few weeks, we can contact you to let you know that we have adjusted our prices and posted the price on our website. (Only, if your offer is reasonable)


Introducing Pets


Q. We are often asked if certain animals will get along with other animals.

A. Of course without knowing your pet it would be silly to comment, but whenever people are introducing two pets to each other, common sense needs to prevail, always.


Below are a few things to consider

Solitary animals

Many animals prefer to live alone and lead a solitary existence. They do not crave the companionship of other living creatures. They are not sociable animals. Other than the time they need to spend with other animals for mating purposes they do not enjoy the companionship of other animals. Often they will get along with each other for a short time if they are forced to live together but even then fighting is usually inevitable. It is just a matter of when and if you are not available to intervene fights can be deadly.

Although some animals can not be trusted to live with members of their own species, many can learn and be conditioned to interact with their caregivers. Some even seem to look forward to sharing play time and feeding or treat time etc. BUT! …most pets that have naturally evolved to spend life alone do not seem to care about companionship.

Herd Animals

Some species require constant companionship from members of their own species and they need it to thrive happily. While you may be available periodically throughout the day to offer it companionship the companionship that you offer it does not replace the type of constant interaction and companionship it receives from another member of it’s own species. These species typically form strong bonds with their owners and look forward to the time they spend together. When they are housed in pairs or in a group they will often include you as part of their herd.

Other non-predatory species

Having another docile non-predatory pet friend housed separately in the same room certainly adds something in the way of friendship. This method is used by some people and it can be to help animals feel more secure (like a teddy bear to a child). However, it does not replace the need to share its life with a member of it own species.

Other predatory versus prey species

If they are introduced together under safe conditions, animals will usually adjust to living in a home that has other pets in it. They may never learn to completely trust and love one another. Some can learn to respect boundaries but this is not wise as instincts are instincts and prey animals are designed to hunt.

If you already have a dog or a cat at home and are thinking of adding a new pet to your family, it is important that you introduce them to each other, slowly. You’ll need to establish rules and set boundaries. When you introduce them ALWAYS do so, in a safe and controlled environment. Have a friend with you just in case you need to react and intervene.

Never leave a predatory animal alone with a prey animal because they have evolved to hunt and if instincts kick in there is little that the prey animal can do to protect itself.

All our baby animals are housed in escape proof, secure, open air, wire cages. They are all exposed to our other pets long before they are weaned. They usually do not seem to care if another species of animal is in the room but we certainly would never trust leaving them loose together, unsupervised. WE WOULD NEVER LEAVES PETS TOGETHER, UNATTENDED!