- The Importance of Finding a Responsible Breeder
by Brigitte Smith
A new puppy in the family is a such an exciting time for all
concerned. What a wonderful time you'll have creating a bond with
your puppy with lots of cuddling,
trips outside and walks in the park, as the puppy is quickly accepted as
an integral part of the family.
But where are you going to get your new puppy from? This is
just such a important question to consider. There are a number of
options - breeder, pet shop, shelter, advertisements for dogs being
given away (or sold) by private families who don't breed dogs as a
This article will focus only on the option of buying from a breeder
of some description (as opposed to the alternatives of pet shop -
definitely not recommended - or shelter - highly recommended unless
you're after a particular type of pedigree puppy).
So, if you're thinking of buying from a breeder, you
will definitely want to be sure you choose a responsible breeder versus a backyard
breeder (those who may only breeding for financial benefits). In
some circumstances you might certainly consider a "new" or
"single" breeder - someone who has bred their pet in order to
have the experience, as opposed to doing it for the money.
But in general terms, most people would prefer a registered breeder
simply because they can have greater confidence in the breeder's
When looking for your new dog, there are things you need to expect
from your breeder as well as some things the breeder will expect from
you. You can find a reputable breeder through personal references
or recommendations, or from information provided by your vet or by a
registered breeders organization. Once you have found a
responsible breeder, you may be surprised by the types of probing
questions you may be asked. This is actually quite acceptable –
in fact, the more questions the breeder asks you, the greater their
interest in placing their pups in a suitable home.
From a responsible breeder you can expect to be asked such things as
your work schedule, who lives in the house with you, what your yard
layout is like and the kind of friends you have that may be visiting you
in your home. Although these seem like personal questions, they
indicate that the breeder cares what kind of home their puppy may be
going to. A breeder who asks no questions and is just looking for the
sale generally won’t offer you the same quality and breed of puppies
as the responsible breeder will.
Another perk to buying a puppy from a responsible breeder is that you
will be told the lineage that the puppy came from. In other words,
you’ll be privy to the father’s as well as the mother’s heritage,
and will be given the papers to prove it. This can be an important
aspect of buying a puppy because personalities, as well as health
issues, are generally hereditary, and it’s encouraging to know that
your puppy is from good stock. Often, a backyard breeder or pet
store simply won’t offer this type of information. Buying from a
pet store is NOT recommended. Pet store puppies often come from a puppy
mill—a relative breeding farm—and they are sold on a first come,
first serve basis. Questions aren’t asked of the buyer, and no
attention is paid to the puppy’s welfare.
A responsible breeder will expect the buyer to have questions and
concerns of their own. A buyer should not be afraid to ask
questions about this new life you will be taking into your home.
Here are a few things you should ask your breeder about as well as some
expectations that you should have:
· Is there a signed veterinary health certificate, plus a
written health guarantee from the breeder, including one against
congenital defects? (Any reputable breeder will expect to supply
such a guarantee).
· Is there a completed eye screening certificate and OFA or Penn
· Does the breeder have a written contract available for you to
sign, specifying the rights of the seller and also the breeder’s
rights? (Not every breeder will have this, but it’s useful to
have the parties’ rights clearly spelled out in writing just in case
there is any problem with the puppy).
· Is all health information available and up to date?
· Can the breeder provide AKC or CKC registration papers on the
· What is the lineage of the puppies? (A responsible breeder
should be able to tell you lineage from generations back, as well as
giving you a family tree of the puppy).
Responsible breeders will not only be able to help you find the puppy
that is right for you, but will be happy to give you tips on raising and
caring for your new bundle of joy. As long as you find a
responsible breeder, your prospect of find the perfect puppy for you are
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