Questions To Ask Any Breeder

 

I have put some questions together that you should ask any breeder you talk to, regardless of the breed you are interested in.  Not all answers will be the same, and you will need to use common sense in determining what YOU feel is right.  For example, if you are looking for a sheltie (a house dog), a puppy that has been born and raised in a barn, garage, or outside is not a good choice.  

How do you know if a dog is right for you?

I generally tell people, think about how YOU will raise the dog, what your long term goals are and think LONG AND HARD before buying a dog, as they are a 10-15 year commitment.  When you do make your choice, remember to get its vaccinations and dewormings regularly, take the time to take the puppy places for socialization, go to obedience classes and make your dog a family member.  I cannot stress enough how important the following! 

You must socialize/immunize/train your new puppy, a breeder can do all the right things but if you don't continue you could very well destroy the important steps your breeder has taken to  help insure a happy healthy member of your family and society

 

REMEMBER A little time  (researching the right breed of dog and breeder) and expense (obedience classes and vaccinations etc) can mean the difference between a healthy well mannered member of the family or an unruly dog in the back yard that soon ends up in a shelter because "it doesn't listen", "It barks constantly" (sign of boredom), or many other reasons associated to non socialization, bad breeding practices, no testing of parents and no training (dogs are pack animals, they look to a leader for guidance).

 

 

1. How long have you been breeding  (breed of dog)?

2. Why do  you breed (Their breed)?

3. What are the strengths and weakness of your bloodlines.  ALL dogs have these, be leery of "oh my dogs don't have problems"!

4. Where was the litter whelped (in the house, in the garage, a kennel) they need to be raised in the house, for good socialization.

5. Are the parents of the puppies both O.F.A'd, thyroid, eyes (CERF certified) or vWD tested and ask to see the certificates. (If the people don't know what you are talking about, don't walk but run as fast as you can away from them.)

6. Did you have any test done on the parents before you bred them? (Dogs can carry a VD like disease that can be given to humans.)

7. Ask to see at least a 4 generation pedigree of the litter.  This may be 'Greek' to you, but if the breeder knows his/her stuff they will have one ready and generally can tell you about the various ancestors.  (If you noticed the SS-??????? on Sheltie pedigrees those are hip certification numbers for Shelties.

8. Shots & worming,  and how many have the puppies had?  

9. What is the different temperaments of the puppies?   Your breeder should be able to tell the temperament of each puppy in the litter.  Why do you need to know this??  If you lead a quiet life, you don't want a "busy bee" puppy and vice versa.

10.  How big or small do you think the dog will be?  In Shelties this is hard to determine, we can give you an 'approximate' height, but exact height and weight are not determinable. 

11.  What type of grooming does a (breed) take?  Remember various breeds require various amounts of grooming time to keep them looking good and healthy.  How does grooming affect health?  If a dog is matted, it can develop "hot spots" (raw oozing sores) under them, foxtails (wheat shaped weeds) can be trapped under them (requiring surgical removal), a matted dog holds moisture and sometimes the skin can 'mildew and rot' just like any other constantly damp thing and I have even seen maggot infestations under these mats in un noticed sores!  Also, if the dog is so matted in can't poop (usually the bottom will be one giant fecal ball) it can cause serious health issues to himself.

12. Have they ever showed any dogs in Conformation, Obedience, Agility, herding, or other "Titled" activity: depending on the breed of the dog there are several different types of activities available.

13.. What age do they let their puppies go? (Do not take a puppy before it is 8 wks old.).  In some states it might be a law as well.

14. Are they a member of any dog clubs?

15. I also like to ask breeders what their long term plans are: good answer, I want to improve on my bloodlines or improve the breed, etc and bad answer, I want to make big money fast, who knows just buy this puppy.

16. Last but not least what kind of guarantee do they offer on the puppies? How long is it in effect? A good guarantee is usually 2 years of age, by that time a lot can show up. This is the most important question you can ask after the one about the hip certification.  If so what is required? For example, some breeders will require you return the dog to them for your replacement.

ALSO REMEMBER, A GOOD BREEDER WILL BE ASKING YOU A LOT OF QUESTIONS TOO... THEY WANT TO MAKE THE BEST CONNECTION FOR THEIR BABIES POSSIBLE.  IF THE BREEDER ISN'T ASKING QUESTIONS, THEN HE/SHE MAY NOT BE AS CONCERNED ABOUT WHERE THEIR BABIES GO AND HOW THEY ARE TREATED.  A GOOD SIGN THEY PROBABLY DIDN'T GIVE THE BEST  POSSIBLE CARE TO THE DAM OF THE PUPPIES OR THE PUPPIES THEMSELVES.


 

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