Once you’ve decided that a purebred dog is the right pet for you, now you need to find a reputable breeder. Listed below are some typical characteristics of a reputable breeder.
1) Reputable breeders only produce a litter with the goal of improving their breed. They will usually keep one puppy from each litter for future attempts to continue their efforts. Truly great breeders do not breed for money, but rather to supply the pet market with specimens during a wave of dog breed popularity, as a means of sex education or simply because they have two dogs of the same breed. Don’t be afraid to ask breeders of their intentions and try to obtain a candid response.
2) Reputable breeders almost always belong to a local or national breed club and actively compete with their dogs. These types of competitions include licensed dog shows, trials in field, obedience and herding, tracking events, earth dog trials and sled racing, among others. You must be aware, however, that an AKC registration by itself does not imply quality or breeding value any more than a registration sticker on your license plate means you have a top quality car.
3) Reputable breeders are often willing and eager to spend time with you to explain and teach about the desired breed and also offer you any advice they feel necessary for the betterment of their dogs. They will often discuss disadvantages of owning their breed as the first part of the conversation. This will give you an outright and initial understanding of what you may be getting into. This is not because the breed has faults; it is simply because no breed is perfect for everyone.
4) Reputable breeders will screen you very carefully to assure your suitability as an owner. For instance, they will not sell a large, active dog to someone with an apartment or an unsecured yard, or a small dog to a home with small children. It is not fair to the dog or the family to be burdened with a situation that may be problematic. A good breeder will turn down potential buyers in these situations, regardless of financial situation or amount of work involved.
5) Reputable breeders only sell healthy stock; dogs that are fully examined by a veterinarian and guaranteed for a reasonable length of time after sale. Dogs are generally tested for any genetic deficiencies which can be detected at the age of which they are sold. They also should have been administered all the necessary vaccinations and have been recently wormed and tested for heart worms. All official medical records should be offered to you in writing. Puppies should never be offered for sale any younger than 8 weeks.
6) Reputable breeders offer, or sometimes even require, that any dog they sell be returned to them if the owner’s situation changes and they are no longer able to keep a dog. The main concern of the breeder is the well-being of the dog, which is why many are also involved in breed rescue work.
7) Reputable breeders tend to stay in touch with their clients on a regular basis to see how things are going. A good breeder will not just take your money and run. This is probably the greatest advantage to buying your dog from an experienced breeder; you not only get a healthy, well-adjusted companion, you also get a lifetime of information, advice and assistance from an expert who legitimately cares about your success with the animal he has sold to you.
Given this information, it is up to you to educate yourself and make a wise, well thought-out decision. Talk to multiple breeders and ask lots of questions. Good breeders will be impressed and reassured with your genuine concern.