Dogs make excellent companions, and certain breeds are prized for having certain abilities and demeanors. These are some of the most common reasons that individuals seeking a specific type or breed of dog will often seek out dog breeding services in efforts to avoid the pitfalls of puppy mills.
However, just picking dog breeders randomly out of the newspaper or online can lead to dissatisfaction all around.
Here are some tips for choosing a dog breeder with a solid reputation for a positive experience.
1. Choosing a Hobby Breeder or Professional Breeder
There are two general types of dog breeders: hobbyists and professionals. Many hobbyists have full-time jobs and may be less responsive to queries and requests. However, this does not make them any less qualified or passionate.
Full-time breeders may seem more appealing initially, but they also may have their hands full with all of their animals. Unless there’s a personal preference here, make a judgmental call after reading the remaining tips.
2. Personally Visit the Breeder’s Facility
Don’t agree to buy a puppy sight unseen or send money to a breeder in an arrangement for a dog breeding without meeting them and seeing their site. Take time to visit the kennel or home where the breeder operates and observe the premises and the pets onsite. Is the area clean and odor-free?
Do the dogs look healthy, happy and well cared for? What types of dog food (organic, branded, etc.) are they feeding the dogs? Are there any indications of neglect concerning the animals and/or the property are not good signs of a responsible breeder. If the visual inspection is good, ask to see one of the puppy’s parents (or potential parents) to get an idea of their general temperament and demeanor.
3. View Interaction Between Animals and Breeders
During the personal tour, take note of how the animals interact with the breeder and yourself. Do the animals seem happy to see the breeder during your tour of the facility or are they shying away? Does the breeder authentically seem to care about the animals under their care? Animal people can often ‘sense’ these things, so go with gut instincts when it comes to evaluating breeders. After all, dogs that hail from stressful breeding environments often have resulting health and emotional problems.
4. Ask for Health Information
Any reputable breeder will have extensive knowledge concerning the breeds of dogs they specialize in. They will know the health of the puppies, their parents and will be willing to share any potential weakness or genetic conditions the dog may have by birth or by breed.
Breeders should be willing to share any information they have such as health screenings and certificates with potential puppy buyers. If a dog is purchased, never leave the facility without having all of the necessary paperwork in hand. Anyone refusing to offer paperwork on the spot may have a nefarious reasons for not doing so.
5. Inquire About Breeding Practices
If how the dog is bred makes a difference, inquire whether they breeder uses a stud service, artificial dog insemination or another method during their efforts. Some individuals have become sensitive to the plight of breeder female dogs and feel more comfortable with modern, painless insemination practices. If this matters, inquire via the phone to save any unnecessary trips to breeders lacking the services you prefer.
If you have additional concerns about choosing a top dog breeder, contact a local expert near you or reach out to reputable resources such as the SPCA, animal shelters or a trusted veterinarian.