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Choosing the Right Dog Breeder

ďYou want a puppy so bad. You miss puppy breath, clumsy paws and snuggling up with a warm puppy. You have an idea what breed of puppy you are looking for, but are unsure about how to go about finding a good, ethical breeder.Ē

If the above description sounds like you, then this article will help guide you in making the wisest choice.

If you donít have an idea of what breed you are looking for, then a good book to turn to is The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by Caroline Colie Ph.D.  This book is the most comprehensive and user-friendly book around.

Finding the right breeder:

The following tips are based on personal experiences and private interviews. Understand that sometimes appearances can be deceiving. One breeder that I met  keeps her kennels immaculate. The grounds are pristine. The walls in her home are covered with awards, ribbons and trophies and medals adorn her shelves. We spoke over two hours. I watched videos of her dogs in the show ring. I was won-over and wanted a puppy immediately!

In the puppy room, these beautiful, roly-poly puppies came scampering over to see me.  No puppy looked unhealthy. The bitch was of good temperament, the sire stand-offish but approachable.  I paid good money for a puppy, and after I left the kennel with the puppy in my arms, I had nothing but heartache and vet bills to look forward to. 

Signs of a good breeder:

  • Minimal advertising for the litters available; they donít advertise widely, because they donít have to.
  • They breed for quality not quantity. The point is made when you see the small managed litters. This would not apply to the bigger kennels.
  • One breed of dog offered. If you see a number of different breeds in the same kennel, leave immediately.
  • Breeder keeps the pups she canít sell, and humanely puts down the ones not up to standards.
  • Provides answers to your questions readily and efficiently; addresses any concerns and offers to help you in the future.
  • Offers a health guarantee and a money-back clause.
  • Gives you, your choice of vet.
  • Releases the puppy at the right age (9-12 weeks).
  • Provides a puppy-pack with current shots and vet care listed.
  • Has no complaints on file with the Better Business Bureau or the local SPCA

At dog shows, the kennel name is well-recognized.

Know what questions you are going to ask before you arrive. Research the breed you are interested in and pay close attention to genetic problems of the breed. Few dog breeds do not carry genetic defects or health issues.

Ask your questions before you meet the puppies. If the breeder doesnít allow you into her home, be wary as to why. Ask the breeder that if the puppy doesnít work out, what is your recourse? Ethical breeders will take back a puppy and offer you another one instead.

Let common sense guide you. Look over the kennels and the home carefully. Are the grounds maintained?  How do the dogs act? Are they in clean runs?  Is the wire fencing stout? Are the water bowls clean?  Are the waste piles solid or runny? Are the dogsí eyes bright and free of discharge?  Talk with the breeder extensively.  Donít purchase the puppy on the first visit. Plan several visits over the next few days scheduled at different times to see what type of reception you receive.

Being prepared, and knowing what to look for, will help ensure that you will make the right choice. And you will find the best companion to fit your lifestyle.


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