There are many reputable breeders out there. There are also many puppy ‘multipliers.’ There is definitely a difference. A reputable breeder is committed to better the breed of the dog. They will have all their health testing done. At a minimum, the parent dogs will have an OFA (the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) hip score of FAIR, GOOD, or EXCELLENT and their dogs will have an annual CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) examination. These are the minimum requirements. Most breeders are also testing for PRA/prcd a hereditary eye disease and, MDR1 a test which reveals a potentially fatal intolerance to a few common drugs such as Ivermectin. Recently a test for Hereditary Cataracts HC have been introduced so your breeder of choice should be knowledgeable and up to date on current testing. Just because someone has expensive dogs for sale, does NOT mean they are a reputable breeder. It is important for you as the buyer to do your research so you can ask educated questions to the breeders of the pups you are inquiring on.
Reputable breeders typically don’t raise puppies for income. Genetic and health tests, show and traveling expenses, stud fees, vet checks and the cost of caring for a brood bitch are hefty expenses just to produce a litter. Costs accumulate quickly. A reputable breeder wants to ensure that the puppies they produce are of the very best quality. The fact is, reputable breeders aren’t in it to make money. They are in it to better a breed.
A REPUTABLE BREEDER WILL:
· Take the time to answer any and all of your questions regarding the breed. They should be knowledgeable of the breed standard, structure, genetics and bloodlines. Their underlying goal should be to help educate buyers, not push you into buying a puppy. Look for a breeder that will inform you on both the good and the bad of the breed to help you make an EDUCATED decision.
· Ask you questions, after answering all of yours. Many will have you fill out a puppy application. Please don’t take offense to this. They are concerned about the dogs they produce. They will often take responsibility of these animals for life. Asking potential buyers questions about their lifestyle, job, housing for the puppy, exercise and more, helps the breeder place the best suited puppy into your family.
· Ask you to sign a spay/neuter contract on your new companion. There is no perfect dog and yet the breeder may feel that only one or two puppies may fit into a future breeding program to better the breed. Sometimes no puppies are kept for breeding purposes and the particular cross proves to not be worth repeating. However there is nothing that keeps the puppies from living healthy, happy lives as a companion animal. Remember the health testing they have done before breeding the animals? A breeder has a lot invested in their bloodline including funds, time, and a reputation. A reputable breeder will not want to jeopardize the things they have worked so hard to achieve by selling a breeding dog to someone who is not committed to the same standards.
· Allow you to visit their home or kennel. You should always be welcomed to view the parent dogs when possible. Remember an alert breeder has the health of his/her dogs at the top of their priority list. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to remove your shoes before entering their facility. Some may even ask that you spray the bottom of your shoes with a disinfectant. This will help prevent contagious diseases from being inadvertently introduced to the puppies. Young, non-vaccinated puppies are very susceptible to diseases until they are fully vaccinated at approximately 16 weeks of age. Please be courteous to the breeder’s wishes as they strive to ensure the health of their dogs. Do not bring an additional family pet along to meet the puppies. In my mind, this is never appropriate. If the dog must travel with you, leave it in your car for the safety of your dog (your dealing with a bitch nursing puppies here) and the welfare and health of the not yet fully vaccinated puppies!
BE CAUTIOUS of breeders who have a large amount of dogs. It is my opinion that it is impossible to care for and socialize large numbers of animals the right way. Puppies should be given lots of attention from the breeder in order to adapt well to their new homes. As a general guideline, breeders who produce more than 1-5 litters a year (in my opinion) are simply ‘multipliers.’
If we don't have what you are looking for, please contact us anyway! We know many reputable breeders and have no problem sending you to one that can help you find your perfect pet.