How to Choose a Breeder

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Finding the right breeder takes a little leg work, but we’ll show you how to choose a breeder. The pay off is well worth the time and effort spent. Finding a good breeder means you’ll be getting a quality puppy or dog. It also means that your puppy is healthier, easier to train and will ultimately make a better companion.

Just because someone calls themselves a breeder, doesn’t necessarily mean they are able to create high quality puppies. It’s easy to put two dogs together and end up with puppies. That can be done without any breeding knowledge. But to get puppies that have a great temperament, free from genetic diseases and health problems takes a lot of work, research and years of practice.

And just because the breeder claims that the pups are registered and have papers doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a quality dog. Registered dogs only mean they are purebred, but is not an indication of health, temperament or genetic soundness.


Choose a Breeder, Not a Puppy

Choosing the right breeder means you don’t have to worry about choosing the right puppy from a litter. No doubt you’ve heard about various tricks and tests to see which puppy is the right one. With a good breeder, she will get to know you and be able to match you with the right puppy. After all, the breeder spends far more time with the puppies than you will have before getting your puppy.


Breeders breed for the Love of Dogs, Not Money

If your breeder is a reputable one, then she has done her homework and researched bloodlines and characteristics extensively. A reputable breeder will choose the animals to be bred based on their strengths but also to complement each other. Only dogs that exemplify the breed standard are to be bred.

For a responsible breeder, it is a huge commitment both in time and financially, to produce a litter of puppies. Proper genetic screening, health tests, medical care, not to mention food and supplies can be very costly. But responsible breeders are not in the business for financial gain, they’re in it for the love of dogs and are wiling to do what it takes to do it right.


How to Choose the Right Breeder

paw print smChoose a breeder that has been in the business for many years and preferably only works with one breed of dog, definitely no more than two. Reputable breeders are in the business to improve the breed and strive to make a “perfect” specimen of their chosen breed.

paw print smGood breeders show their animals and are active in the dog community. This is how they determine whether the dogs they are thinking of breeding are tops among the breed.

paw print smDon’t buy the cheapest pup or from the breeder who is closest to you. Make sure you check out the breeder thoroughly before buying. Internet searches on the kennel and the breeder(s) themselves will turn up tons of information. If there is nothing, warning bells should be going off. Breeders who have been breeding for awhile and are active in the dog community should have lots about them.

paw print smYour breeder should have histories on the pedigree of both parents. Dams (Mothers) should be no younger than two years old.

paw print sm Chat with the breeder for awhile and you’ll be able to tell whether this is someone you should be buying a puppy from. You should be able to get a sense of whether this person is doing this for the love of dogs or for financial gain.

paw print smGet references and talk to people who have purchased pups from this breeder. Ask about temperament, health problems and also the whole experience of getting a pup from the breeder. Were they there after purchase to answer questions? Did they provide guidance and information during the adoption process?


Visit the Kennel

If possible, visit the breeder’s facilities. Meet as many of the dogs as possible to see how they are treated, what condition they are in and their temperaments. You should at least meet the mother (Dad may not belong to the kennel but you should still be able to get full disclosure of all testing and family history).


Puppies Should be Raised at Home

The pups, ideally, should be raised in a home environment if they are to be pets. This allows them to get used to the hustle and bustle of everyday activities within the home and also allows for early socialization.

Your Breeder Should Get to Know You

The breeder should be asking questions about you such as your experience with dogs, your family situation and lifestyle. Good breeders want to know all about the homes their pups are potentially going to. They also want to get to know you so that they can match you with the right puppy.


Dogs Should be Tested

Have the animals that are being bred been genetically tested and health tested? All breeds have specific health issues that you should be familiar with before buying your pup. Some examples are eyes, hips and elbows.

Papers Don’t Mean Quality

Just because the breeder claims that they have papers for their dogs and puppies, doesn’t mean that you are getting a quality pup. Having a purebred does not mean a quality puppy either. Even puppy mills breed purebred dogs and can get registered papers for them.

You Should Have a Contract

paw print smYou should have a contract outlining exactly what you are getting and should have health guarantees included. The minimum should be a one year health guarantee, but really good breeders will have longer guarantees, to three or four years of age.

paw print smDoes your breeder have a take back clause where if for whatever reason you are no longer able to keep your dog, that the breeder will take him back? Most good breeders insist on the dog being returned to them as they want to keep track of where their dogs are going.

Read on >> Preparing for a Puppy