You have decided to bring a puppy into your family. After extensive research, thought, and discussion, you have chosen a specific breed. Now you need to know how to choose the right dog breeder.
The most imperative traits to look for out in a breeder are care and familiarity with the specific dog that they are breeding. Practically anyone can mate a male and female dog, bring forth a litter of puppies, and make a pretty penny. The following tips will give you discernment when choosing a breeder from which to adopt.
Purebred dogs are, by nature, prone to countless ailments due to limited genetic diversity. A conscientious breeder will be knowledgeable about health issues specific to the breed and aware of all possible health issues with both parents. Good breeders know not to pair dogs with certain genetic disorders.
A reputable breeder will be able to offer you a list of families who have adopted pups from them. They should also be willing to refer you to other dog breeders for references. Respectable breeders are concerned that only the best conditions are in place when breeding puppies, and will hear “through the grapevine” if that is not the case.
A breeder with a heart for their animals will have dogs that live alongside the breeder’s family. If there are several kennels and dog runs on the property, be cautious. Also, note whether the dogs’ sleeping, eating, and outdoor areas appear clean and well kept, as well as whether the breeder’s pets have toys or treats on hand.
Another item to check out is what the dogs are eating. A trustworthy breeder will feed their pets a high-end dog chow, recommending to you that you do the same. If a breeder tells you that they provide a raw food diet for their animals, that person is indeed dedicated to the dogs. Raw food diets are time consuming to prepare and can be expensive, but help combat common food allergies and skin disorders.
Quality breeders often stay involved with clubs in their region specific to the breed. Some are active with competitive trials where judging is based on traits such as appearance or agility. Dogs active in such contests must be fit, well groomed, and meet breed standards, which means the animals are receiving excellent care.
Inquire whether the breeder is or has ever been affiliated with a pet store and what their thoughts are on this. A choice breeder would never sell or consign their puppies to a pet shop or broker. They care enough about the pups to be selective when it comes to placing them in homes.
Try to get a feel as to what the litter’s parents are like. It is best if they are both on site. If not, ask about their characteristics. You want a pup whose parents have good personalities. Be concerned if either parent is nervous, hostile, or hyperactive.
Do not start too young. A good breeder will never separate pups from their mother until they are at least eight weeks old. They should provide a written guarantee of health and advise you that they will gladly accept the dog should you ever become unable to care for it.
In addition, all animals in the home should be current on licensing, check-ups, shots and worming, and a respectable breeder will gladly provide proof of this. They will also refer you to a reputable veterinarian, should you need one.
Finally, a compassionate breeder will have questions for you. They will want to know why you desire this particular breed of puppy. They will ask whether you have other pets or small children in the home.
They will question whether you have an established relationship with a veterinarian, a yard, and how often the dog will be alone. They will wonder where the pup will be kept, whether you are aware of the grooming required, and whether you will spay or neuter, or plan to breed the dog. If a breeder’s biggest concern is “Cash or check?” go elsewhere.
When you have found the right breeder for your family, do not hesitate to ask for their assistance in finding the right puppy. A good breeder will be acquainted with the puppies’ individual personalities and will gladly play matchmaker.