Choosing A Puppy Breeder

December 16, 2009

The first step in choosing a dog, is deciding which breed is right for you. One must consider several factors before settling on a particular breed. Do you live in an apartment or a house? Do you have a fenced yard or will your pet stay indoors? Do you live on or near a busy street or intersection? Can you afford the medical expense and upkeep of the breed you want? After all, cute little puppies do grow up to become adults and there are expenses involved with all breeds; some more than others.Choosing a responsible breeder is as important as choosing which breed of dog is right for you.

Research carefully! Utilize many resources before settling on a breeder. The AKC (American Kennel Club) is the best place to start your research. Visit them at On their site, you will find a wealth of information about all the breeds, information about first time puppy owners, a breeder referral service and many more interesting subjects. Pet 

magazines are another source to consider in finding a responsible breeder. One such magazine that I prefer is Dog Fancy. They have a list of dogs by breed in the back of the magazine along with breeders.

Beware of Puppy Mills! Puppy mills will usually have multiple breeds and will sell mostly for less than a breeder. The reason? They are in the business of making MONEY. Most breeders will readily tell you, there is not much money in breeding dogs. Why? Factor in all the expenses such as vet bills, food, medicines, care, etc. and after all that, there is not much to count as profit. Why do breeders continue to breed? It is because a responsible breeder is in love with the breed that they are breeding. A responsible breeder will only have one breed that they are breeding. They are interested in improving the breed and not to make a fortune on them. True, most breeders charge more than you could find elsewhere but, it is more worth it to have a purebred dog that a breeder is proud of than to have a dog from somewhere else.

Once you have settled on a breeder or two, visit them. See what their kennel or home looks like. Do their dogs react to their breeder in a positive, happy way or do the dogs shy away? Ask questions! Ask to see the dam and sire (parents) of the puppies in question. See how they react. Play with the puppies. Do they thrive on your attention or shy away. A passive puppy could indicate health problems now or later. Active puppies compete for your attention. Ask why the breeder started breeding that particular breed. Ask are there any known health problems associated with the breed. Does the breeder offer a health guarantee? What is it? What about returns? What is the kennel policy on returning dogs? Ask what they feed and recommend that you feed your new puppy. You can find a list of things to ask about on the AKC web-site as well. Ask as many questions as you can because while you are asking questions of the breeder, he will be determining if you are a good responsible candidate for his puppy. Breeders are proud of their little ones, and selecting a good, responsible owner, is as important to them as they are to you!

When you finally decide which breeder you are going to purchase your new puppy from, and you take him home, are you going to be left alone with a puppy and no support or source of information if you have further questions? A responsible breeder will welcome your calls after the purchase as much as before the purchase. They want to know how the little one is doing from time to time and may even ask that you send pictures so they can see how the puppy is growing. After all, don’t you have pictures of your children?

I choose to write this article because I have been breeding dogs for over six years and this is what I expect my clients to ask as well as what we offer them.