How to find a good dog breeder
Tinberdog advises you to consider adopting a puppy (or an adult dog) from a shelter or recognized dog and certified breeder before buying one. But if your heart is set on a purebred puppy, the first step is to find a certified breeder who knows what he is doing. Unlike pet shops and unscrupulous breeders, competent breeders ensure that they only breed healthy dogs with good temperaments. This means that any puppy you get from a breeder has a better chance of becoming a good family pet. Reputable dog breeders also know how to raise their puppies in a way that prepares them for life as a family dog.
How to begin?
Ask your veterinarian or contact local breed associations to get recommendations on good local dog breeders. On Tinberdog.com you find trusted breeders for the most breeds. And of course, if you know a friend of someone else with a great dog, ask them where they got their puppy.
What do I have to ask a breeder?
Contact and visit several breeders so that you can get an idea of what distinguishes the truly reliable breeder from the lousy one. Here are some of the questions that will help you find out:
- Where do the puppies live? The answer must be “in the home with the family.” A puppy born into family life has a better chance of growing up relaxed and friendly. A puppy isolated from people in a backyard, garage or basement is more likely to become shy or aggressive.
- How often are puppies touched? Puppies need to be touched by many different people very early in life so that they grow up to feel comfortable and safe around people. Ideally, the breeder should hold regular puppy parties at which many guests are invited to play with the puppy. Five minutes a day of head tapping by the breeder is not enough.
- Can I meet the parents? Meeting the father may not be possible, but you should meet the mother. A puppy’s parents will give you a better insight into her future personality than her breed. A friendly, well-behaved Mamma or Papa dog is a good sign, both that you have found a good litter and a good breeder.
- How many litters do you breed a year? A breeder with only one or two litters a year has the time to give them the care and treatment they need, and to find them a good home. Each female dog should not be used for breeding more than once a year.
Can I have copies of the health clearances?
Many breeds are prone to certain hereditary diseases. The breeder should provide a health certificate – a document from an independent body, that the dogs parents and grandparents have been tested for hereditary problems. Check the breeder on the internet. You will need to do some research on your breed to find out what the parents should be tested for.
Because some hereditary conditions only manifest themselves in adulthood, health certificates are not available for dogs under two years of age. For this reason, a responsible breeder will not breed dogs until they are two or three years old.
Can I talk to someone who has bought a puppy from you?
Ask for references from the breeder. Ask other breeders or customers. Do research before you buy. Put your emotions aside. Especially children can go on and on about, Oh I want that puppy.
How to recognize a trusted breeder.
Keep your eyes open when you going to visit breeders. Check the following to make sure you are dealing with a good breeder:
- The dogs live indoors. Puppies that will become family dogs should be raised indoors with the family, not in a backyard, basement, or garage.
- The dogs and puppies are relaxed around people. If the parent dogs and puppies seem at ease with people, it is a good sign that they have been well cared for and socialized.
- Don’t worry about dirty dishes in the sink – just make sure the dogs’ living space is safe and clean, and that they have fresh water, beds and toys. Is there a toilet area in the puppy’s enclosure, or is it one big toilet? If so, the puppies have a head start in becoming housebroken.
- Ask whether the breeder takes part in any dog shows or competitions. A good breeder is motivated by enthusiasm for the breed, not by earning extra money!
- The breeder asks you to sign a spay/neuter contract. If you are buying a dog that is not going to be bred with, the breeder should ask you to sign a contract promising to spay or neuter your puppy, to prevent you from contributing to the overpopulation of pets.
- The breeder does not specialize in sizes or colors that are unusual for the breed. For one thing, extremely small or extremely large dogs are more likely to have health problems. Pay attention to that!
- The breeder is frank about the disadvantages of the breed, whether that means a tendency to develop certain health problems or a character of the dog that is not for every owner. A good breeder wants you to love, enjoy and care for your new dog all your life, and she knows that this is more likely if you are well prepared too.
- The breeder wants to meet the new family and invites you for several visits. To make the best match, the breeder will want to meet everyone who will be living with the puppy. And she will want you to take the time to make the right decision; selling under high pressure is a red flag.
- The breeder will ask you lots of questions. This shows that she wants to know exactly what kind of home her puppies will go to. She may ask who will be home during the day, what your history as a dog owner is, and why you are interested in the breed. Don’t be defensive; she is just doing her job, which is to care for the puppies she brings into the world.
- The breeder will take the dog back from you, at any stage of the dog’s life, if you are unable to care for her any longer. A good breeder will want to ensure that the puppies she has brought into the world will always be looked after.
- The breeder will not let you take the puppy home until she is at least eight weeks old. By playing with her littermates, your puppy will learn a lot about getting along with other dogs. A puppy that is taken away from her littermates too early has a big gap in social skills. Please bear this in mind when picking up your puppy.
Take the time to research and find a reliable breeder before buying a puppy. Puppies from good breeders are more likely to grow up to be healthy, loving dogs.