How to Identify Reputable Dog Breeders

Reputable dog breeders and hobby breeders have a passion for their breed and work toward the betterment of it. Many aim to preserve, protect, and promote the breed standard and quality of life of their dogs. These breeders are driven to produce healthier puppies who grow up to be devoted companion and support dogs.

Reputable breeders often work closely with local veterinarians to ensure their dogs are free from genetic disorders or illnesses. They develop relationships with their dogs, and love to see them placed with caring families. To pick the right breeder for you, check out our recommendations below.

Prepare a List of Questions

To get a better idea of how reputable a breeder is, prepare a list of questions for him or her. When you visit, let the breeder know you have a few things to check before making a final decision. The following questions are a good start:

  • How long have you bred dogs?
  • What is the health history of this line of dogs? 
  • Do puppies come with a veterinary health certificate or other paperwork?
  • Do you offer additional health guarantees?
  • Can you provide references from other buyers?
  • May I see the parents? 
  • Are the puppies 8 weeks or older?
  • Have both parents been screened by a veterinarian for communicable or hereditary illnesses?
  • May I see the living space of the puppies?

A good sign of being a reputable breeder is being able to answer these questions well, and have information ready for prospective buyers.

Visit the Breeder

When you visit, observe your surroundings. Check the areas and the puppies themselves to get a feel for how the breeder is operating. Some specifics to look for:

  • Proper ventilation
  • Cleanliness
  • Enough exercise areas
  • Separate elimination areas
  • Fresh water
  • Isolation rooms for illness or newborns

Take a good look around, and determine if the space is adequate and if the puppies look well cared for. They should look clean and fed, without signs of malnutrition. Watch how the puppies interact with each other, and take note of their behavior. Properly socialized dogs will roughhouse and play, and display an array of behaviors when interacted with. But dogs in questionable conditions may remain reserved or afraid, and sometimes aggressive. There are always exceptions, so make sure to point out any unusual behavior to the breeder before making any assumptions.

Responsible Dog Breeders May Have Questions For You

Dog from reputable breeder in woman's armsMany responsible breeders are selective about who gets their puppies. They may even ask you a few questions to make sure you are a good fit. Be prepared for questions about your living space, and sometimes even proof that you are permitted to have a dog. The breeder may ask if you have enough time to properly exercise your new puppy, and if you have a plan for training.

The breeder might like to know about any allergies you or your family may have, and if there are children in the household. They'll remind you to keep the puppy on a good feeding schedule and to keep the puppy food brand similar. They will likely also ask that you have your new puppy examined by a veterinarian within ten days of taking him or her home.

A Final Note about Puppy Mills

The difference between a reputable breeder and a puppy mill is in the details. Both reputable breeders and puppy mills can have different types of puppies and puppy parents that they breed on the premises. But reputable breeders follow state and federal laws, and adhere to their own codes of professionalism. Puppy mills are more interested in only profit and try and operate outside the law. Take note of everything you see when you visit, and if you have any concerns about a breeder you found through us, let us know. We don't take liability for the puppies listed on our site or their conditions, operating only as a classifieds ad, but we will investigate claims internally.

 

Show me the Puppies!

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