Anyone can put two dogs together and let them breed, and in turn call themselves a 'breeder.' However being called a 'reputable' breeder encompasses far more than that. You wont find a reputable breeder trying to sell their dogs to local pet stores, or advertising in the classified section. A good breeder does not need these 'gimmicks.' Instead, they rely on the quality of their dogs. Breeding is a practice that should be done with a sense of pride, and a feeling of fulfillment.
So once you have decided that a pure bred dog is right for you, how do you go about the overwhelming task of choosing the perfect breeder? Well ideally there are several key things to look for. Below is a simple check list to follow when looking for your breeder.
Who is the breeder? It is very important to find out who the breeder is. One way to find out, is checking references. If the breeder is unable to provide written references, you should move on. Snoop around a bit. Talk to other breeders, rescue groups, veterinarians, anyone who can give you some information.
Does the breeder require a Spay/neuter contract and limited registration? This means that you are legally obligated to promise that you will NOT attempt to breed your new dog. This helps stop poor quality breeding, and insure high standards of the breed.
A reputable breeder should provide you with a 'health check' which tests the lineage for known and testable genetic disorders. The breeder should be familiar with the health line of several generations. As a result, he/she should provide you with a health guarantee for a certain time period.
A reputable breeder should encourage you to select a puppy with the temperament and personality that is compatible with you and your family. Do not let the breeder convince you that 'this' one is for you. A good breeder will only produce litters AFTER they have buyers.
The breeder should be honest about the dogs' characteristics. They should tell you both the good points and the bad points concerning a breed. Different breeds of dogs have unique characteristics that are traditional in their breed. So it is important you educate yourself.
Check out the facilities. Make sure the breeder is keeping the dogs in a clean healthy environment. Ask to see where the dogs are kept. If the breeder insists on only bringing the dogs to you, stay clear!!
Is your breeder involved in the breed? Most often you will find that a good breeder is involved in either, showing, performance, local clubs or rescue. An active breeder is a good sign that he/she truly cares about the breed
As you can see, choosing a good breeder should involve more than finding a number in the newspaper. Be sure to educate yourself before making any decisions. Prior to meeting with a prospective breeder write down some questions, know the breed, and be patient. Choosing the right breeder and pup is not something that you should rush. Remember being a responsible dog owner starts from the beginning.
Ron Swerdfiger is the founder and owner of web-rover.com, the ultimate reource for dog owners.