Tips On Getting Your Puppy From A Reputable Breeder
Finding a good breeder means doing your homework.
Most breeders have learned to tell you what you want to hear.
If you picture a "dog breeder" as a person (whether professional or a hobby breeder) who knows a lot about the breed, owns friendly and healthy dogs, and carefully plans their breedings to produce excellent puppies, you're going to be surprised to know how few and far between such people are.
The reality is that the vast majority of people you're going to encounter when you start looking for "dog breeders" won't fit this picture at all. Because, most "breeders" are simply people who bred two dogs together and got some puppies which they're now trying to trade for some money.
Puppies are not all the same. Even within the same breed, the puppies from one breeder are NOT the same as those from another breeder.
The knowledge and skill of the breeder - first, in how she selects the parents and second, in how she raises the puppies - can make a big differnece in how a puppy turns out.
So, how do you tell a reputable breeder from the rest...??
To begin with, these are 4 important things a breeder should be doing to produce puppies with the best chance of being stable and healthy companion dogs with good temperament.
1. The puppies should be raised inside of the breeder's home, surrounded by normal family activites. Puppies who are going to be family pets should be raised 100% in the house - not in kennel buildings, garage or basements.
2. The puppies should stay with their mother until at least 9-10 weeks old. A puppy learns critical social skills from hismother (and siblings) during his first 6-9 weeks. A puppy removed from his mother and siblings at 6 or 7 weeks old is very likely to end up nippy or pushy with people or other dogs.
3. Both parents SHOULD have been genetic health tested for problems within the breed. health tests should include eye tests (CERF), cardiac tests (heart), blood tests (even pets have sexually transmitted diseases), knee tests (patella), OFA hip tests. The breeder should be able to provide you with documentation that these tests were PASSED.
4. If this is a purebred litter, both parents should have extended pedigrees (4-6 generations back) so the degree on inbreeding can be determined for the litter.
Most important is being able to contact a breeder's vet and the breeder's breeder. The more information on where the parents and grandparents of the puppies are from, the better to determine whether your breeder is reputable.
Having AKC dogs does not mean a "good" breeder or dog. As long as you have a pedigree, any dog can register to become AKC. This only means that your dog can compete in AKC events. AKC does not guarantee the quality of the breeder nor the health of the dog.
Breeders that show their dogs is also a good indication that they are breeding at a higher level. What this does is proves that the dog is structurally put together properly and has a good temperament.
Lastly, a puppy from so-called "Champion lines" means nothing. To mean anything, you want the parents or grandparents to be champions, genetic health tested and known. A breeder that shows his dog is NOT breeding to make money, but is usually breeding dogs that he is proud of.