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10 Things You Should be Concerned About When Choosing a Breeder

Make Sure You Cover All These Items When Selecting a Breeder

Do your Homework to Insure You Get a Healthy Puppy from and Ethical Breeder

1.The breeder allows the puppies to leave mom and the litter before 8 weeks of age. You are told, “the puppies are weaned so they can leave mom”. Not true. It is absolutely critical that puppies stay with mom and their litter-mates for at LEAST 8 weeks. Many responsible breeders won’t allow them to leave until at least 10 weeks. Puppies learn vital social skills from their mom and litter-mates at this key age. Without learning these lessons, puppies can develop social and behavior issues later in life.

2. The breeder doesn’t allow you to see the parents. A responsible breeder should be more than willing to allow you to meet the parents of your future puppy. You can learn key information from observing the parents. What will your puppy look like full grown? What is the possible temperament of your puppy? Will I be able to handle this puppy when it is the size of his parents? While the father of the litter may not be onsite, the breeder should be able to show you pictures, talk about his personality, and tell you his lineage.

3. The breeder doesn’t allow you to visit. It is vital to see where the puppies are being raised. Puppies should be kept together with mom and raised with family members. The breeder does a great deal of socialization before you get to take home your furry baby. Visiting before selecting the breeder and once the puppies are old enough should be highly encouraged. If the puppies are in an area with limited human contact, run. Run fast.

4. The breeder doesn’t ask you questions. For a responsible breeder, these puppies are like their children. They want to make sure they are going to the best home possible. The breeder should ask you about your knowledge of the breed, raising puppies, and what your home life is like.  Don’t feel uncomfortable with the vast amount of questions. They are just trying to keep everyone’s best interest in mind. The breeder will most likely give you a packet of information about the breed so you can be sure it is the right breed for you.

5. The breeder breeds several types of dogs. The purpose of a responsible breeder is to better the breed. How are they able to do that if they are focusing on four or five different breeds? Bettering the breed is a very complicated process.

6. The breeder doesn’t issue a spay/neuter contract. Very few people are qualified to breed. A responsible breeder will issue a limited registration contract and require that you fix your dog by a certain age. The breeder will be extremely picky when allowing someone to purchase a full registration puppy. Most likely, the full registration puppy will only go to another known responsible breeder.

7. The breeder always has puppies available. Most responsible breeders will create a wait list of people who are interested in their puppies and will only breed when they have enough people to adopt the majority of the litter. They want to be sure they have fantastic homes ready for their puppies before they are even born.

8. The breeder doesn’t provide a contract. A contract should state a health guarantee, what the breeder expects from the purchaser, and what the purchaser should expect from the breeder. Every breed has different health tests that NEED to be done before a dog is bred. For example, large breeds will have their hips checked to limit the amount of hip issues in future puppies. Ask for the results of their health tests. The contract should also state that if you are unable to care for your puppy, the puppy must come back to the breeder. A responsible breeder will never allow one of their dogs to end up in a shelter/rescue.

9. The breeder isn’t active in breed specific clubs. Breeders are truly passionate about their breed and are always trying to learn more. A common way to do this is to become active in local, state, or national breed specific clubs. Membership to any of these clubs shows the breeder is willing to continue learning to help the improve the breed.

10. The breeder doesn’t encourage you to stay in contact. The puppies have been there for their birth and watched them slowly develop individual personalities. The breeder should be willing to provide lifelong assistance to you to ensure things go smoothly with your new addition.  They will also love seeing pictures and hearing stories as your puppy grows.