How to Find a Responsible Dog Breeder
March 5, 2019
Buying a dog should never be a simple process. You must assess your home situation to determine whether you are able to offer a new puppy everything it needs. Then, you will have to find the perfect breed for you. This will depend on how often you are home, how much you love exercise, the size of your home, and exactly what you are looking for from your new companion.
Once you have settled on a breed, you will need to find a reputable breeder; unless you’re looking to adopt a rescue animal. While it may be tempting to grab the nearest dog to your home, it is always suggested that you do your research when buying a puppy. Sadly, many people have been scammed in the process of buying a puppy, ended up with sick, inbred puppies, or have funded a puppy farm.
There are many horror stories which we could tell you, but hopefully, you already know the importance of buying happy and healthy pups from breeders who keep their animals in the best conditions.
Reputable breeders care about their reputation and their standing in the breeding community. In the age of the internet, it only takes one bad review, comment, or story and the reputation can be over forever. Those who are exceptionally proud of the standard they care for their animals will be more than willing to show you and tell you everything you need to see and know to have confidence in them as breeders.
How to Find a Reputable Dog Breeder
In our digital age, all of the information we need is at our fingertips. Yet, not all of that information is reliable, and not everyone who makes themselves out to be a reputable breeder is. This is why it is important to not only go off gut instincts but rely on valuable resources around you. Yes, it may not be the quickest way of bringing a new pet into your home, but it will help you to ensure that you won’t end up with an ill-cared-for puppy!
Get a referral – Use your local network to ensure that you are buying from a reputable breeder. You can ask your vet, close friends, local breed clubs, or head down to local dog shows!
Consult with kennel registries – If you’re in America you can utilise the American Kennel Club website which will give you a list of all the reputable breeders.
Questions to Ask Dog Breeders
Once you have found a breeder that you are interested in talking to, you’ll need to know which questions to ask them. If the breeder seems reluctant to answer any of your questions or seems shady in their response, don’t be afraid to walk away. No responsible breeder would ever look for a quick sale. Instead, they should care about where their pups are going. They will also want to ask YOU plenty of questions too!
The questions you ask shouldn’t just be about the puppy and their parents. But you should also ask them about themselves! Get to know how long they have been breeding dogs, how many dogs they breed at a time if they are registered, and how much they will interact and play with the pups before they go to a new home.
Once you have a good idea of how they operate as a breeder, you can start asking about the puppy, such as obtaining physical health details and potential genetic issues for the breed. Once you’re happy with the conversation, it will be time to go and visit the pup for yourself. Reputable breeders won’t put a limit on how many times you can visit the puppy before taking them home, and they will never refuse to show you both parents if possible.
Reputable breeders should be experts on the dogs they have bred, and be able to answer any questions you may have about the breed, if they don’t seem to be clued up on the breed, or they breed many different types of dog definitely walk away. Walking away is also recommended if the breeder always has puppies available!
Using Your Eyes
Even though puppies can be adorable, you will have to tear your eyes away from them and notice the conditions that they are living in. The dog should never be brought away from the main environment which it is living and playing in. You should be cautious if the area is dirty, cramped and not well maintained.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to how the pups are interacting with the breeders. If the puppies seem shy or aggressive this is a bad sign. Watch how the breeders interact with the dogs and look at how inviting they have made the environment for them.
Asking for Proof
Even if the breeder you are looking to take the pup from seems trustworthy, always ask for written proof of the health, and pedigree status of the puppy and the puppies’ parents. It’s even better if the breeders provide these details to you without you even having to ask!
The breeder should be able to give you a vet passport which clearly details all of the treatments which the puppy has had so far. Make sure that the dates are marked for their vaccinations and deworming. The document should be stickered and signed by the vet who performed the vaccinations and procedures.
Also, never feel uncomfortable about asking for references from people who have previously bought puppies off the breeder!
If the dog is pedigree, you should also ask for details of the genealogy of the breed, which will include knowing your puppies family tree up to their great grandparents. However, knowing which dogs your new puppy descended from is never a guarantee of good health. Many dog breeds can suffer from genetic predispositions which are hereditary or genetically transmitted. However, genealogy allows the buyer two things - an opportunity to participate in exhibitions, and if the dog is bred according to the rules of the AKC its descendants will also be pedigree.
After you have got all the proof you need about the pup and you’re ready to agree to take the pup home, draw up a contract with the breeder. It is an even better sign if the breeder suggests a contract first! This document will state just where the responsibility for the care of the breed lies and at which point you will become responsible.
As well as offering you a contract, the breeder should also be eager to share you the best tips, guidance and advice on how to take care of the puppy.
Unlike puppy farms, a responsible breeder will provide you with the following documents and information for free:
1. Instructions for eating
2. Passport, including immunizations, types of vaccines, deworming dates
3. Pedigree comprising at least 3 generations
4. Certificate showing that the dog is healthy, signed by a veterinarian.
5. A copy of the medical studies done on the mother, father and other relatives
6. Permits and documents legitimizing the Kennel work