What to look for in a Responsible Breeder
Author: Lisa Frankland
Starting the Search:
- Attend an event such as the Pet Expo and talk to people who own the breed you want.
- Attend a local dog show - try the KCC Park at Skye or at Bulla. Here, you can also talk to the owners and handlers of the dogs (though not when they're about to go into the ring!).
- Go to the Dogs Victoria Webpage and find the listing for the names and addresses of breed clubs. These clubs can steer you in the right direction.
- Learn about your breed before you look to buy one. Read the breed standard, find out about grooming requirements, typical temperaments, health problems that are common in the breed, etc. Irresponsible breeders hate educated buyers!
- Price alone should not be a factor in deciding what breeder to buy from. While a high price doesn't necessarily guarantee high quality, a very low price often does not turn out to be a bargain in the long run. Find out what typical prices are for show and pet quality puppies of your breed in your area.
- Be patient. You may have to wait a few months (or longer) to find the right dog from a good breeder. This is a very short time compared with the ten to fifteen years that a dog will live with you.
Responsible Breeders DO:
- Breed in order to improve the breed and produce the best puppies they possibly can, and usually plan to keep at least one of them. Ask as many questions of you as you do of them.
- Show evidence of at least two or three years of serious interest in their breed, i.e. dog club memberships, show and match ribbons, and Championship and/or performance (obedience, agility,tracking, field, etc.) titles.
- Breed only dogs that closely match the breed standard and are free of serious health and temperament problems.
- Tell you if they think you would be better off with another breed of dog, or no dog at all.
- Provide referrals to other breeders if they don't have anything available.
- Provide at least an oral agreement, when selling a dog, with clear terms that you can live with.
- Provide a registration slip, a pedigree, and up-to-date shots/health records with every puppy they sell.
- Honestly discuss any special problems/requirements associated with the breed.
- Offer assistance and advice on grooming, training, etc., for the life of the dog.
- If, for any reason and at any time, you cannot keep the dog, will take it back.
- Normally breed only one or two litters a year.
- Have dogs that are clean, healthy, happy, and humanely cared for
Responsible Breeders DO NOT:
- Appear overly eager to sell/"get rid of" a puppy.
- Breed simply to produce puppies to sell.
- Breed a bitch on every season.
- Have breeding stock that consists of a "mated pair".
- Claim that all of their puppies are "show/breeding quality".
- Claim that their breed has no problems (some have fewer than others, but every breed has at least a couple).
- Sell puppies to pet stores or to anyone that they have not met/screened personally.
- Sell puppies that are less than eight weeks old.
- Sell puppies without papers (registration slip and 3-5 generation pedigree), or charge extra for papers.
- Have litters of multiple breeds.
If I did not have a dog ...
I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.
My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.
All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.
When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like a kennel.
When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.
I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted, without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.
I would have money, and no guilt to go on a real vacation.
I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandkids through college.
The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, outside and leave it ALONE.
My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.
I would not talk 'baby talk'... 'Eat your din din’ Go wee wee’
My house would not look like a day care centre, toys everywhere.
My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats and an extra leash.
I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L, W-A-L-K, D-I-N-N-E-R.
I would not have as many leaves and sticks INSIDE my house as outside.
I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.
I'd look forward to Spring and the Winter instead of dreading 'the wet and mud' season.
I would not have to answer the question.....'Why do you have so many animals?' from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally.
How EMPTY my life would be!