Finding a Dog From a Breeder

Finding your companion through a breeder could be your only or your best option if you want a special breed, a working dog or a puppy.

There are different kinds of breeders and you need to be informed so that you can make the best choices. Not all breeders are created equal here are some of the things to watch for:

  • A breeder should never mind answering questions. Actually, they should be asking you questions. Be prepared to talk about your family, your house, references, and your previous experiences with pets.
  • Be careful about breeders that have different prices for male versus female puppies or litters. Good breeders don’t breed for profit.
  • A good breeder has a limited number of litters per year. Maybe you will even have to be on a waiting list.
  • A good breeder should always be knowledgeable about their breed. Be sure to ask what health testing they do with their adult dogs and puppies. Most breeds have some health issues that need to be checked.
  • Does the breeder offer a written contract? A written contract protects you and gives you any guarantees in writing. Do they have health guarantees? What about poor temperament or genetic faults?
  • Do they belong to any dog clubs or are active in the breed? A breeder should be active in a local or national club as well as do something with their dogs like conformation, obedience, tracking, herding, Schutzhund, field work, etc.
Small Puppy

More Considerations

Narrow your search down to just one or two breeders, then ask if you might come visit their mature dogs. It is not good:

  • If they are not receptive to you visiting
  • If they won’t freely show you their dogs or kennel facilities
  • Or if the dogs appear to be overly shy, fearful, or aggressive

What you see in their adult dogs is a good indication of what you are going to get in your puppy later.

Once you have selected your favorite puppy, find out everything you need to its background. Get a pedigree of the litter, medical records (when you buy the puppy), and photographs of the parents. Put a deposit down on the puppy before it is sold to someone else.

To find breeders, check out the American Kennel Club. Each club can point you to various breeders located near you.

Posted with permission from the APDT site:

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