For each and every breed we’ve known, there are hundreds of breeder out there that offer to sell their litter. Picking the best one might be tricky, especially if this is your first time. One thing I believe you need to remember is, do not get fooled by pictures. Some breeder might offer to deliver the puppies straight to your home. As much convenient as this may sound, don’t fall for it.
Every puppy will look cute on photo, especially if it comes from the seller.
Let’s say after deciding which breed you want to get, it turns out none of the local dog shelter you’ve visit have the breed you want, or those they do have doesn’t exactly suit your lifestyle. So the next option is to get it from a breeder.
American Kennel Club , Searchbreeders.com, and many other similar website can lead you to a reputable breeder. Just visit their website, put in the breed you want on their search engine, and you will get a list of breeders with available puppies. Get more than 1 breeder for reference, so you can compare each of them. There’s nothing wrong with having a few option in hand.
After you got the list, contact them and make an appointment for a visit. Do not get tricked by fancy pictures on the website. VISIT.. VISIT… VISIT.. and see with your own eyes. But, what’s to see? If the seller offer to deliver the puppy to my house, why shouldn’t I say no? It’s obviously making things easier and more convenient for a busy person like me. Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, please keep reading.
Having a breeder word about the puppy’s condition as your only guarantee is far from enough. For me, making sure my puppy doesn’t come from a puppy mill is very important. But that’s not all. By visiting the breeder, you can see the condition of their kennel. The size of the cages, the condition of the dames and sires, kennel sanitation, air circulation, do they have fresh water to drink and many other facts that you can only know by visiting.
Also, you can see your puppy’s personality by watching how it interact with it’s siblings and around human. A healthy puppy should be active and cheerful. But there’s always one or two that are more calmer than the other, or naughtier. And if they are comfortable around human, there’s a bigger chance they will grow up to be a lovely family pet.
I remember years ago when I was looking for a Golden Retriever breeder, I visit a few before I finally found Arthur. For some reason I can barely recall, they just don’t click with me. I remember one of them tend to rush the sales, and the other put their dogs one by one in cages with glass wall, like a display in a shop if you know what I mean. And we were not allowed to touch any of the puppies. The search went on until we found Arthur’s breeder.
A good breeder care for their puppies well being. They would want to make sure that you can provide a loving home. They will ask you a lot of question and they won’t hesitate to cancel the deal if they think you can’t be a proper adoptive parent. Some will even refuse to sell their puppy if you already have an aggressive type of dog at home. Their objective is not solely to gain profit. So don’t be annoyed if they ask you a lot of question.
A good breeder would also make sure you understand how to give a proper care for the puppy. They will tell you what kind of things you should buy and how to keep the puppy happy and healthy. If for some reason in the future, you can’t take care of the puppy anymore, they would be willing to take it back from you in any condition.
Every breed have their flaws and might prone to certain health problem. A good breeder will honestly tell you which problem you should be aware of instead of saying their puppy are guaranteed to be perfectly flawless.
A good breeder won’t mind if you ask to see the litter’s health clearance from their vets. If possible, also ask them to show you the sire and dames, even the grand parent’s health clearance to make sure the puppy doesn’t have any hereditary problems. Normally, they should have orthopedic and eye clearance.
A good breeder only breed their female dogs once in a year. This is to give the dames times to recuperate. They consider their female dogs as part of the family, not a puppy machine to make cash.
A good breeder won’t let you bring the puppy home before they are 2 months old. Puppies that separated from their mommy and siblings before they reach 2 months of age have a tendency to develop behavior problem like excessive barking, play biting, fearfulness, anxiety, even aggressiveness and many others when they grow up.
If the breeder you found have all of the above criteria, I’d say you have made the right choice if you adopt a puppy from them.
If you think of anything else I might forget to include on the list, please do share your thought on the comment box below. Or share some of your experience dealing with a dog breeder.