How To Choose A Dog Breeder
How to choose a dog breeder? That is a great question. This is a big deal for a lot of hopeful dog parents. And it’s one that we get a lot of queries about.
People looking for a registered dog usually shop for a breed that fits well with their specific lifestyle, wants, and needs.
For some folks, that may mean a Toy Poodle they can easily carry while strolling the beach. For others, it may mean an exciting Black Lab nervously anticipating his next duck retrieval.
No matter what type of dog you want, if you choose the breeder route, you need to find a breeder who champions their chosen breed and is breeding the specific breed for the betterment of the breed and keeping the integrity of the breed alive.
Finding A Good Dog Breeder
- Trust―only consider state licensed breeders who have a good reputation with local purebred dog owners and clubs. Get at least two references you can call or visit. You might want to consider only those breeders who have a good AKC reputation, such as those in AKC’s breeder programs here: Breeder of Merit and Marketplace.
- Personable―A good breeder is a likable and helpful person who runs a clean, well-kept operation. He or she is a person you’ll feel good about during your first interview and all the following meetings. If you get bad vibes or don’t like the person for any reason then trust your gut―end the meeting and look for another breeder.
- Interview―Meet the breeder in person on their premises if you can. Don’t interview by phone and don’t meet off the location. This allows you to interact face-to-face with the breeder and to see the kind of operation they run. A good breeder is a loving and responsible dog person who will honestly answer all your questions. But remember, an interview cuts both ways. A good breeder wants their pups to go to the right kind of home just as much as you want a good dog and the right kind of breeder.
- Pedigree―A pup cannot be registered without a known and registered parentage. Tell the breeder that you want to see the pup’s parents (if possible) as well as their papers. Seeing the parents will give you a good idea about the looks, temperament, and full-grown size you can expect of your new dog. The parent’s papers will also tell you if there are any known undesirable genetic traits in their family, such as dysplasia, seizure disorders, etc.
- History―Ask the breeder for your new dog’s complete medical history. Along with the pup’s vaccination records, this should include any medical conditions that have been detected or procedures that have occurred. Also, ask for any OFA and CHIC certificates for the parents if they’ve been tested. This OFA information will inform you about any sight or other inherent conditions that may occur as your pup matures.
When You Are Ready to Buy
Once you’ve gone through all of the prerequisites discussed above, you may be ready to buy. But wait, there’s more!
Even if you’ve found the perfect pup and you really like the breeder, don’t pay and leave with the pup. That is until you’ve been given a dated receipt, all health certificates, and the pup’s AKC papers (registered breed pedigree). If the breeder complies with all that, then great―you’ve found the right dog and breeder for you. But if the breeder hesitates or says they’ll mail you the records and registration papers, then pay nothing, leave the dog, and find another breeder.
Finding just the right purebred dog for a special purpose or as a wonderful companion is never an easy task. Finding a good breeder who you can trust to treat you fairly can be even more daunting. A good breeder will be fair and someone you can count on for sound advice at the time of purchase and as your dog matures. We hope this post helps you find the perfect purebred dog and a breeder that’s right for you.