How to Find a Good Breeder!
The decision to shop or adopt for a new puppy is not always an easy one. There are merits for and against both options, with the final decision coming down to personal preference. For instance, if looking for a dog with a predictable nature, known blood lines, and a life-long guarantee, then purchasing from a breeder is the way to go. However, not all breeders are created equally, and there are a number of considerations which choosing a good one.
Find a referral from a trusted association
National associations, such as the Canadian Kennel Club, have a breeder referral program which promotes reputable breeders, known for safe and ethical practices. These breeders have the dog’s best interest in mind, and are not trying to make a quick buck. The CKC has a commitment to uphold to promote the health and longevity of each breed, so the breeders listed here will be of the highest standards.
Do a home visit, and expect one in return
A good breeder will allow you to visit his or her kennel and see how the dogs are housed and cared for. While there, you should look to see that the dogs have spacious, clean areas to roam, and are not confined to small kennels. The dogs should also show no sign of fear or anxiety around humans. Meeting one or both of your future puppy’s parents should also occur. In return, a good breeder will likely perform some type of home check, background check, or require extensive references. The well-being of the breeder’s dogs should be of utmost importance, and he or she should show great interest in where the dog is being placed.
Ask health-related questions
Purebred dogs are often genetically predisposed to a number of diseases. Ask about the health of the dogs the breeder has produced, especially the health of your puppy’s parents. The breeder should be honest and forthcoming with the breed’s weaknesses. Inquire if any of the dogs have had screenings or tests to rule out potential health problems. Do not hesitate to ask to see a breeder’s Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certificates for individual dogs.
Expect to sign a contract
A breeder who is concerned about the welfare of his or her animals will require you to sign a contract which may include terms and conditions (such as the promise to spay or neuter your puppy if not using for show), a health guarantee, and the right for the breeder to reclaim the dog if he or she does not feel the dog has been placed in the proper home. A health guarantee should be included in this contract, which states the dog can be returned for a full refund if an unexpected health crisis should occur.
A lifetime of support
A responsible breeder will be available for the dog’s lifetime to answer questions, offer support, and direct you to the proper resources for issues ranging from behavior to health. Good breeders are generally not trying to make money, but are devoted to the preservation of good genes among their breed of interest. For them, breeding is a hobby, and they should be more devoted to the happiness of the dogs than to the money they receive.