Responsible Breeder Checklist!

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by pitbulliest, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. pitbulliest

    pitbulliest New Member

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    I've noticed that some people have been coming on here and asking about what to look for in a breeder. If you don't want to adopt from a shelter, but instead, want a puppy from a breeder, here is a good check list:


    --How knowledgeable is the breeder about this particular breed? Are they familiar with its historical origins? Can they educate you about the breed's disadvantages - especially genetic predisposition to health problems and characteristics like shedding, slobber, dominance, inter-dog aggression, etc. that may make owning the breed a challenge? Beware of anyone who sounds like a salesman and tells you that their breed has no disadvantages! Good breeders will play devil's advocate.


    --Are the breeder's dogs screened for genetic health defects like hip dysplasia, eye disorders, hypothyroidism, Von Willebrand's disease, epilepsy, cardiac conditions, and anything else that is common in the breed? Can they provide you with proof, e.g., CERF and OFA certification and other relevant veterinary documentation? A good breeder will welcome your concern and be glad to offer the requested information - beware of anyone who is defensive! An excellent breeder will candidly discuss the health of their line of dogs, including the problems that have cropped up. Even good breeders can produce unhealthy dogs on occasion. The difference is that the good breeder is on a mission to find and remove those genetic influences from their breeding lines. The irresponsible breeder approaches health in a haphazard manner.


    --Does the breeder have any old dogs on the premises? How long have their own dogs lived, and from what have they died? Beware of the person who sells off their adult dogs that are retired from showing and breeding. You want a breeder who loves the breed, not someone who loves to breed.


    --How many breeds is this person breeding? Ideally, someone will have a special interest in only one breed (perhaps two). A Jack-of-all-Breeds truly is a master of none. How many litters does the breeder have in any given year? A good breeder may breed one or two litters, or may not breed at all for a year or more between litters. More is never better. Anyone who is producing a large number of dogs is probably doing it at the expense of quality.


    --Are the breeder's dogs kennel dogs or house pets? While it is sanitary to keep large numbers of dogs outside in a kennel, you want a breeder who keeps their dogs in the house with the family. Breeders who keep their dogs in kennels may have temperament defects (like excessive dominance) of which they are not even aware. Puppies should be raised inside an active home to begin socializing them to a household environment.


    --Will the breeder provide you with the names of their veterinarian and several past purchasers to serve as references? If given a choice, request pet references. Certainly a professional trainer will be able to handle a tough puppy, but what about a family with three kids and a cat? If the latter just loves the temperament of their dog, that speaks volumes. Ask the breeder about the homes that haven't worked out. There are bound to be some. Is the breeder honest that they made a poor placement, sympathetic to someone who underwent a life change that necessitated returning a dog, blunt that they produced a problem dog... or is the breeder bitter and accusatory about the person who bought the dog? Beware of the narrow-minded breeder who places blame on everyone but themselves.


    --What kind of guarantees does the breeder offer? Most will offer a replacement puppy or refund of purchase price if your puppy manifests a serious genetic defect. Any responsible breeder will want to keep in touch with you and be informed if your dog develops health problems. The better ones may ask you to have your pet OFA and/or CERF screened when it is old enough (as your dog reflects on their breeding stock). Truly caring breeders will insist that you return your puppy to them if you are unable to keep it for any reason during its entire life.


    --Does the breeder expect to sell you a puppy with strings attached? Concerned, responsible breeders will insist that you neuter your pet puppy as soon as it is old enough. They may have you sign a contract to this effect, or they may sell the puppy with limited registration (which means that if you do breed it, you cannot register the offspring). Remarkable breeders will pediatrically neuter puppies before sending them off to their new homes. This is a very good sign in a breeder, so much so that I would be suspicious of any breeder who does not insist on neutering.


    --On the other hand, beware of any breeder who tries to sucker you into a breeding contract. They will treat you like you're stupid by flattering you and trying to con you into agreeing to keep your pet intact and breeding one or more litters, giving the breeder back one or more puppies from each litter. This is the biggest scam around. You get stuck with the expense and inconvenience (not to mention health risks) of keeping an intact animal and then providing the breeder with free puppies. If a breeder tries to talk you into this kind of pyramid scheme, find another breeder.


    --At what age does the breeder send puppies to their new homes? Avoid any breeder who wants to send home a puppy younger than seven weeks. Many good breeders will release puppies at 8 weeks, but as long as the puppy is being actively socialized, it is arguably better to wait until 10 or 12 weeks.


    --What does the breeder do to socialize their puppies? Ask them for specifics. Good breeders will have lots of toys and activities to which to expose their puppies. Mild stress is excellent for making puppies resilient later in life. A breeder who allows their puppies to experience different sounds, surfaces, etc. and meet different people is trying hard. A breeder who keeps their puppies in some sort of ultra-sanitary, almost sterile vacuum is doing the puppies a great disservice. Puppies raised in a kennel should be avoided.


    --A good breeder will be very interested in who you are and somewhat choosy about whether you are able to provide an adequate home for one of their cherished pups. A breeder who wants to see your home, your kids, your spouse, your other pets, proof of your fencing, or talk to your veterinarian is simply trying to make sure that you will take good care of their pup. Do not resent this. Good breeders want to keep in touch with you after you've purchased a puppy and will be there for you with support and advice later on. Avoid breeders who take credit card orders over the internet and ship puppies to anyone who wants them. NO responsible breeder will sell a puppy to a pet store or other broker for resale.


    --A good breeder will participate in breed rescue efforts for the breed they love. This is important. Anyone who scoffs at breed rescue or is not personally involved in it in any way is someone to be avoided. Often the best place to begin your search for a good breeder is to ask breed rescue volunteers for their recommendations.


    --Good breeders think ahead and make reservations in advance for the puppies they will produce. You may have to wait for a puppy, but that's not a bad thing. Beware of someone who first creates puppies and then worries about how to disperse them.


    --What does the breeder do for a living? Dog breeding should be an avocation. Avoid anyone who makes their living through breeding dogs! The corners they cut financially may be at your expense.


    --Are the premises clean and orderly? Are the breeder’s dogs healthy in appearance? It can be a messy proposition to raise a litter of puppies, but puppies should not be wallowing in waste, covered with fleas, or otherwise appear neglected. Keep in mind that many longhaired bitches will shed their coats heavily during this time, so if the puppies’ mother appears a little ratty it is not necessarily inappropriate or unusual.


    --Do you like the temperaments of the puppies' parents? Remember, temperament is genetic! Avoid puppies from bitches that demonstrate any aggression or shyness. Specifically inquire about possessiveness (food and object guarding), inter-dog aggression, defensiveness about being handled, etc. Accept no excuses for undesirable behavior. Don't be afraid to ask the breeder to demonstrate the *****'s good temperament to you.


    --Has the breeder or will the breeder allow you to temperament test the litter? While puppy-testing is not especially predictive of adult temperament, it’s an attempt to gauge a puppy’s personality so that it can be best matched with a new owner. Ask the breeder's permission before doing anything to a puppy. No potential buyer has the right to do anything to a puppy which a breeder perceives as potentially harmful.


    --Does your breeder respect veterinarians, trainers, groomers, breeders, and other peer professionals in the dog world? Beware of breeders who are paranoid or hostile towards other professionals. One cannot operate competently in a vacuum, and in general, good breeders are socially well-networked. They are liked, like others, and respect competent professionals in their field. A good breeder should make the effort the know other good breeders (especially of their own breed). It is important for a breeder to strive to improve their knowledge and understanding of their breed and submit to peer critique, even if it is not necessarily formalized (as in the show ring).

    -----------
    The information (with some more important points that I did not include due to character limitation) can be found on the following site:
    http://www.kateconnick.com/library/breeder.html
     
  2. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Great list, and great link. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. im not goanna get dogs from pet shops anymore.
     
  4. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Good for you!
     
  5. chazhound

    chazhound Alpha Dog Staff Member

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    Very helpful information. I stuck it to the forum so people can find it easier for quick reference. This should answer a lot of questions.

    Thanks very much for sharing the information,
    Chazhound
     
  6. pitbulliest

    pitbulliest New Member

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    No problem you guys.. my pleasure :)
     
  7. candy722

    candy722 New Member

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    You should be extremely careful if your buying any t-cup babies because often breeders would lie about their age making you think that they are very light and they'll get away with charging you over $1000 for a pup. Another thing to look for is to see their parent's. I know alot of them only have the mom but I would prefer buying from someone that have both parents on site. You just get a better feeling on how they look like when they get older and temperant.
    And also paper work on all the shots and if records that their tails are dock. Some breeder will tell you that their tells are dock but they aren't.
     
  8. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Good post ! I want to add that the age of the ***** is important. I used to get calls from folks who would want to breed to my males....1st heats!! No way!! Would tell them to check back after 2nd heat, with OFA etc. proof. Few called back....they'd find another male and the poor ***** would have a litter before her 1st birthday....BAD!!!
     
  9. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Whoops !! guess forum will not post what a female dog is !!
     
  10. Denaluvscorgis

    Denaluvscorgis Corgi bum

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    That's awful...under a year old?!?!?!? What's wrong with people. It makes me so sad to see a puppy in a pet shop in a cage. It is unbearable for me. :(
     
  11. pitbulliest

    pitbulliest New Member

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    That is why we should always make sure to educate people about puppy mills and why not to purchase a dog from a pet shop or a BYB breeder. Alot of people don't even know what a puppy mill is. My parents didn't! At least not until I learned about it a few years back and informed them. Those BYB breeders and puppy mill farms do a great job at keeping themselves hidden from the public. That's why we have to let people know where these dogs are coming from.

    I know there's a puppymill webside for Ontario (I'm sure every province and state has SOMETHING similar though). The website contains great information and has dates for when people meet up in front of a pet shop and do a demonstration, hand out flyers about puppy mills, and so on. Its a great idea and something some of you might want to plan.

    http://www.nopuppymillscanada.ca/the_truth_about_pet_shop_pups.htm
     
  12. southern_girl09

    southern_girl09 GSP/Lab Mix!

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    Great Information!
     
  13. poparf

    poparf Dog Artist

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    That was pretty helpful info. Pet stores really should be held acounted for alot of negect and abuse they cause. Shelters are the best idea. Adopt! adopt! adopt!
    My two pups are adopted and they are the super best friends in the world.
     
  14. BassetLover**

    BassetLover** New Member

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    i know im not in your part of the world but the same applies over here. i breed jack rusells, not a big time breeder just 2 litters so far, third coming soon, all my dogs go through a 5* health check before they have pups and all pups are checked as soon as possible. i do vet checks and house checks on everyone interested and they are welcome to come to my house as often as they like to spend time with the pups, meet mum dad and grandparents, my website is www.freewebs.com/hollybo
     
  15. juliefurry

    juliefurry Rusty but Trusty

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    I bought my puppy from a breeder, who was probably not very good. We met with them once to see if we liked the puppy that we bought. We met them at a park a few minutes away from their home. They brought with them our puppy and the puppy's mother. Our puppy was really skinny, which they told us that since they fed the dogs three at a time he usually got the least amount of food because he was so docile and didn't want to fight. He also had a really bad dandruff problem (which went away right away when we gave him a bath). All around he is a healthy dog though just had a rough patch with them. I'm glad we got him he is the sweetest most funniest dog you will meet. I think that the breeders had really good intentions and wanted to do the right thing for the puppies.
     
  16. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    A Scots JRT! I like that. My sister's JRT, Braec, came from Ireland, and there is so much difference between Braec and the JRTs I see around here. Mostly people have gone to the long-legged, non-workiing line here. The AKC has dubbed them "Parson Russell Terriers" to differentiate them from the old fashioned shorts. Braec's got the true Terrier temperament, which I'm seeing less and less of as they become more popular.
     
  17. moe

    moe New Member

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    This site give you a look into what puppy mills can be likePUPPY MILL

    Mo
     
  18. moe

    moe New Member

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  19. huskydogbeds.com

    huskydogbeds.com New Member

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    hey can you post this on my new forum huskydogbeds.com/forum. thank you :confused: :)
     
  20. BlackDog

    BlackDog Guest

    Yeah, I think just getting a t-cup is a risky thing in itself as alot of t-cup breeders are just doing it for the money.

    As far as the parents go, in general, its doesn't necessrely mean the breeder is bad if they don't have both parents on site. Some breeders only own the dam and found a stud for service. Others may have co-owned the sire and he is away finnishing he championship. While still others own both and the sire is away in show or preparing for it. Those are all exceptable reasons to not have the sire on site. But if it isn't any of those reasons and he just isn't there and the breeder doesn't have a copy of his pedigree and pictures to show of him/won't tell you about his personality then beware.
     

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