Find a Reputable Breeder
To find a reputable breeder you can visit the AKCís website at www.akc.org to see if thereís a breeder listed in your area. You can also call veterinarian offices in your town and ask whom they recommend as reputable breeder for the breed that you are looking for.
Reputable breeders are always dedicated to breeding healthy dogs and placing their pups in the right homes.
Things to look for when you visit a breeder:
- Cleanliness: Both the facilities and the dogs should be clean. Regular dog odors are unavoidable, but they should not be overpowering. Ask the breeder about their sanitation procedures.
- Appearance: Are the dogs clean and well-groomed? Little puppies can be quite messy, but they should never be filthy.
- Attitude: Well-cared-for puppies should be energetic, bright-eyed and curious about strangers and new things. If the puppies you see are fuzzy-eyed, lethargic, and not paying attention to you, it could be a sign of ill health.
- Behavior: An injured or unhealthy puppy will behave differently from the rest of its littermates. If the rest of the littermates are vocalizing, romping around and wrestling, donít assume that the one puppy that is staying quiet on its own is simply the sweet and quiet one. This could actually mean there is something wrong with the pup. A reputable breeder would know in advance if there is anything wrong with any of their pups and will be willing to share this information.
- Information: A reputable breeder will be more than happy to provide all information relating to the puppyís pedigree. The pedigree should reflect at least three or more generations. Note: A reputable breeder would never overbreed the pupís mother. Make sure to ask how old the pupís mother is and how many litters that sheís had. If the breeder appears to be hesitant to answer, it may be a warning sign.
- References: A reputable breeder will be more than happy to supply names of past clients. Make sure that you CALL ALL the references given. Donít be afraid to ask for more if you feel the need.
- Written Contract: An ethical breeder will sell a pup with a written contract. Be sure to ask what the terms of this contract are. The contract should include a health guarantee.
The Reputable Breeder Checklist
- Did they interview you and your family carefully?
- Are they happy to answer any and all of your questions?
- Do they have specific requirements that must be met by you such as spaying or neutering, backyard requirements, etc.?
- Do they sell their pups with a written contract?
- Do their pups come with a written health guarantee?
- Do they test their breeding stock for hereditary diseases specific to the breed?
- Is it their objective to try to decrease the rate of occurrence of such diseases from their stock?
- Will they show you the health certificates and test results on both the dame and the sire (i.e., the mother and the father) of the puppies?
- Are they extremely concerned with producing puppies with excellent temperaments and healthy?
- Are they committed to keeping their pups well socialized and well cared for?
- Can they identify each puppy and do they chart their growth and development from birth?
- Does the Breeder state in the contract that if you are unable to care for or keep the dog in the future that you must return the dog to them?