Finding the best breeder

When you embark on your journey to find the best breeder, you need to make sure of the following:

  • The breeder is passionate about their breed and will happily answer any questions you may have about the breed.
  • The breeder only breeds for the betterment of the breed. Therefore, only the best dogs in terms of health, temperament and the breed standard will be used for breeding. You are allowed to ask for proof that health tests have been done on your puppy’s parents.
  • Good breeders won’t let their pups go to just anyone. They will ask you a lot of questions, and possibly even request to meet the whole family.
  • You will be allowed to meet your pup’s mom and, if possible, the dad as well.
  • A responsible breeder’s dogs live as part of their family, as do the new puppies. Having a large number of dogs who live in kennel runs, is not acceptable. Living in the home also has the benefit of exposing pups to household noises and activities, like vacuum cleaners, children and doorbells, from a young age – this is extremely valuable in terms of preventing future behaviour problems.
  • As responsible breeding means not adding to the staggering number of dogs who live (and die) in shelters, an ethical breeder might only have puppies available a couple of times a year, and only breed with their dogs if they already have potential homes for the dogs. That means you might have to go on a waiting list for your puppy.
  • Ask your breeder if they will take your puppy back if, for whatever reason, you can’t keep him. This is another great way of ensuring that the breed does not end up in rescue.
  • A responsible breeder will insist that the puppy gets sterilised at an appropriate age.

Where NEVER to buy a pup

Some of these might seem like a less expensive way to get a puppy, but there is always a catch:

  • Pet shops You might be told that a breeder left the pups there to be sold. A good breeder will never do this. They want to know who their puppy is going to, and approve the new home. You might inadvertently be supporting a puppy mill. This environment is also very unhealthy and interferes with a puppy’s normal development – you might very well end up with behaviour issues, not to mention expensive medical problems.
  • Also avoid Online classified ads (reputable breeders have no need for these); flea markets; the side of the road; your friend/cousin/colleague’s dog’s puppies. Once again, reputable breeders do not sell their pups in this manner. You have no guarantee where these pups come from, what kind of temperaments they have and if they are healthy, and breeding them in the first place was irresponsible.

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