Choosing a Breeder

Integrity A good breeder should be honest and up front.  They should be able to answer your questions knowledgeably and be candid about their kennel and the dogs they breed.  They will have a reputation for dealing with problems professionally, and honoring their contracts.  They stand on their own merit without vilifying or condemning others publicly. They will encourage you to seek feedback from every source, not just the ones they provide.

Well being A good breeder will provide for both the emotional and physical well-being of the parent dogs and pups in their kennel. Their kennel or home should appear clean.  Their dogs and pups will be regularly visited by a Vet, and up to date on all shots.

Health warranty A good warranty is a pre-existing agreement between an owner and a breeder that should state clearly what is covered and how restitution should be made.  When things go wrong and emotions run high, it's important for each party to know what to do,  what to expect - and to have already agreed upon it as fair. A good breeder will have a comprehensive health warranty that will cover, at the very least, two years (which is long enough to know if a pup has problems).  These warranties should not be contingent upon returning your dog for a refund  -  no one should have to return a pup. Most will offer a new puppy or 50% of the purchase price. Once Vet records or radiologist's report have been provided. Ask if your refund comes with stipulations.  Some breeders will only refund if you agree never to discuss it on an open forum.  This 'mum clause' serves to hides the problems this breeder has had, and is likely to have in the future. When buying, if you are not comfortable with everything about the breeder and the puppy, then DON'T BUY IT.

  Reading a Breeder's Website "The breeder's website says their breeding dogs are health tested, and there is a two year health warranty.  That's perfect, right? Well...  maybe not. "Okay - so what exactly is 'health tested'."    Good question.  There is actually a huge range of interpretation in this statement ask questions. Replacement pup - Do you have to return the first pup?    Some breeders offer a second pup, others expect the sick pup to be returned.  As many people would not want to part with their beloved pet, some owners of problem pups never get back to the breeder about the problem.  Valuable feedback is lost to the breeder, and the same breeding dogs can be used again.    

Contingencies read your warranty through very carefully.  Are there any food or exercise restrictions?  Are there contingencies which void or alter the warranty in certain situations?   Make sure you are comfortable with the warranty BEFORE signing or sending in the deposit.  A responsible breeder will provide a reasonable warranty, one in which both the owner and the breeder are protected.

Let's also look at red flags Deposits are generally $400-$500.  Those asking lots more often make their money by keeping unreturned deposits (once the client realizes there is a problem and tries to back out.) Some contracts state that: You must pay for the puppy in full well before the delivery date and all money received is non-refundable no matter what the circumstances!!  

BEWARE!  Beware of kennels who purchase dot com names of other kennels to redirect traffic to their site!   How many dogs are they pumping out?  • Is the registry owned by the kennel? • Does the site emphasis fees/penalties/early payment? • It is a good idea to ask to see at least one of the parents of your pup.  It is common for breeders to own only one parent for a litter produced, but when no parents are available, it can be an indication that the litter was produced in a puppy mill situation. • Speak to other owners who have visited their premises to pick up their pups.  If owners have been met at local gas stations and crossroads to pick up their pup, could the breeder be hiding something?