Choosing Dog Breeders
--- Be Careful! ---

Tan and White Jack Russell Puppy
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Know how to choose reputable dog breeders. Good breeders have clean, healthy puppies. Learn how to spot bad breeders.

If you have a specific breed in mind and no other kind of dog will work out, and you’re in a hurry to get the dog, then look for dog breeders on the Internet or phone book. You can ask around. Veterinarians and dog groomers often know of reputable breeders.

This is especially true if you are looking for a rare breed that is seldom seen, such as a Neapolitan Mastiff or a Tibetan Spaniel. Those just don’t turn up in kennels everyday so you need to research, for example, the Tibetan Spaniel breeders.

Other than word of mouth, finding reputable dog breeders takes a bit of time and investigation. If you already know a groomer and/or vet, ask them who is good;. especially the vet. If you have never had a dog and don’t know vets, go online and search for “dog breeders” in your area. You can also look for specific breed groups or organizations while online.

What To Expect From REPUTABLE Dog Breeders.

Reputable dog breeders will keep the breeding operation in CLEAN facilities, in his/her house where there are no offensive odors and no urine or feces parked on the floor. Look for this when you visit. Are the puppies clean? Are the puppies happy to see you? Do the puppies come toddling over to greet you? That’s a good sign!

The puppies should be in a house so they become accustomed to hearing normal household noises such as the vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, toaster, pots and pans rattling and so on.

Is the breeder friendly? Welcoming and pleasant? Knowledgeable about the breed standards? A good dog breeder should be happy to show you around and explain the operation to you in detail Does the breeder insist you see the parents before letting you see the puppies? Inspect the parents and grandparents if possible. Are they healthy? Friendly? Sociable? These are all signs of a good breeder and reflect on the puppies.

If the breeder is grumpy and not interested in you or answering your questions, walk away. Good dog breeders are in the business not for money but for the joy of perpetuating the breed. Money is secondary. Their goal is to find the perfect home for their perfect pups.

Don’t ever let dog breeders “push” a puppy on you. It’s your decision. It’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. If you find dog breeders (or anyone) who gets pushy, WALK AWAY. No one but you can decide which dog you want to buy.

You should get a puppy from a reputable dog breeder that has been properly fed, cared for, handled and socialized. (“Cared for” includes bathing and special eye care for puppies.)

“Socialized” Comes In Two Forms.

When puppies are very young and still with their mothers, they play hard by knocking each other around, wrestling and biting each other… not biting to injure but biting enough to get the other puppy to yelp a little. When the other puppy “yelps”, the biting puppy knows that’s too much and backs off. The same goes for biting the mother. She let’s her pups know when the bite is too much to. Dog breeders know this happens and encourage their puppies to play.

When the puppy grows up, he will know how hard to bite down on your hand without hurting you because he learned that when he was little and biting his litter mates and mom.

That’s “play-biting” and it is at that point that dogs learn just how hard to bite without HURTING their opponent. That’s ONE form of dog socialization.Take the dog away from his mother and puppies too soon and he will never learn that part of doggie socialization.

form of breeder-induced socialization…
A GOOD dog breeder will spend time holding the puppies, stroking them, handling their tails, ears, paws and so on. The puppies will be passed among the family members, neighbors, the mailman and anyone else they can find, and will become familiar with humans at that very young, impressionable age. Extremely important for later in life.

The puppies will have had the necessary shots for their age and will be guaranteed healthy. The pup will have no hang-ups from being trained improperly. Prices can range from $600 to $2000 (in our area) depending on the breed and dog breeder. Be prepared to drive 50 to 1000 miles to find a reputable dog breeder for the particular breed you have selected.

If you are looking for a puppy, and have decided on a specific breed of dog, an AKA recognized breeder is your best bet. Reputable dog breeders are in the game out of love for the breed.

Reputable Dog Breeders Will…

A little English Bulldog puppy
Dog breeders delight

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Keep the dogs inside the house as part of the family. The puppies need to be handled and talked to by as many different people, including children, and strangers as possible. The socialization needs to start even before the pups open their eyes all the way. The more the handling and talking to, the better.

A good dog breeder will not sell the puppies before they are eight weeks old.

Qualified dog breeders will take care of this and more. By the time you buy your puppy at eight weeks, it should already have some idea of potty training and good manners as well as chew-toy training. (Chew-toy training is when you stuff a chew toy with food such as small kibbles or other dog food and the pup learns to chew on the toy instead of your own belongings. The toy becomes “his.”

Your puppy may even have an idea what the commands “come,” ”lie down” and “sit” on command mean by the time you buy him/her. Ask the breeder and if so, continue practicing the commands immediately when you get home.

Socialization and training are the two key factors that will determine what the puppy will be when she grows up. If the breeder isn’t already providing this, FIND ANOTHER DOG BREEDERS.

Take note:

  • By 8 weeks, a puppy should be fully sensitized to common household noises like vacuums, dishes, television and kids shouting. The puppy should also be able to do “come” “sit” “roll over: and “down” on command.

  • In addition, he should be well on his way to understanding potty training and chew-toy training. (Chew-toy training is stuffing a chew toy with food so he will learn to chew on it and leave your things alone.) This is all in the 8 weeks before you get the pup. If this has not occurred, something is wrong either with the dog or the breeder.

  • Ask the breeder how many men, children and strangers and relatives have handled the puppy you are interested in. Hopefully, a LOT. If you want an adult dog that is affectionate and cuddles, the puppy has to been cuddled and held as a puppy.

  • Take note WHERE the puppies are going potty. On newspaper? Are they confined and not offered an outdoor alternative? A puppy needs a specific potty area. Newspaper, or shredded paper, says, "I can potty anywhere, anytime.” Ask the breeder. Whatever their current habit, that’s what you’ll have to contend with at home until you can get a better routine.

  • Handle each puppy. Note if the puppy enjoys being handled.. Is it calm and seemingly enjoying the handling? Does it like being petted around it's neck, ears, muzzle, tummy and back end? It should. Good dog breeders should have spent time with their pups and gotten them used to this.

  • Insist on seeing and handling the parents of the puppy. The parents should be friendly and well socialized. Some excellent dog breeders may insist you handle the adults before letting you see the puppies.

  • Do not let a breeder try to instruct you when it comes to spaying and neutering. This will be YOUR dog and having your own batch of puppies is not recommended. There are already more dogs than kennels can hold. Try to avoid the subject with the breeder. It’s none of the dog breeders business.

  • When approaching a litter of puppies, ALL the puppies should come toddling up to greet you and do a little biting (out of excitement) when they get to you. If a pup hangs back, he’s been under socialized. Period. If the pups don’t know how to “sit” or “come” or don’t come to greet you and the breeder makes excuses, go to another breeder.

  • If the breeder won’t show you the parents of the puppy, walk away. Something’s wrong.

  • The breeder should be willing to give you information about life expectancy and possible illnesses of the breed. If not,. Move on.

  • The breeder will give you a written contract and health guarantee, allow you time to read everything over.

  • A reputable breeder will breed only one or two kinds of dogs, will have knowledge of breed standards.

  • Will work close with local vet. Show you records for the puppies, go over medical history and what vaccinations for the puppy and what more they will need..

  • Give advice on care and training of the pup after you take it home.

  • Provide references of other folks that have purchased puppies.

  • The puppies’ immediate and sustaining diet. ... must be high quality premium brand foods. Breeder or vet will advise.

  • Will keep you on waiting list for next litter. (A reputable breeder does not always have puppies available.)

  • Encourages visits, wants whole family to meet puppy before buying.

  • A good dog breeder will require you to return the puppy regardless of what problems you encounter. If the dog becomes ill, if he develops an problem with aggression, if you can not handle him as a mature dog, the breeder wants the dog back and NOT in a kennel or out on the street somewhere.

  • No puppies will be sold in under 8 weeks of age.

The puppies' physique, behavior and temperament all suggest the breeder's capabilities. The puppies should be eager to see you, come running over to see you and offer no resistance to being picked up and played with.

Puppy Mills—A Form of Breeder To Avoid
Backyard/basement operations run on a limited budget are known as “puppy mills.” The average female dog is in heat twice a year and can start having puppies from a very young age. An average litter is 6 to 10 puppies. A puppy mill is essentially a breeder by nature, but the “product” is of poor quality.

The “dog breeder” in this case is in business for the money only and has no interest in the quality or health of his puppies.

Puppy mills are usually operated in barns, garages or sheds; sometimes basements, where the dogs never see or hear the normal sounds of people living their lives. The puppies usually live in cramped cages stacked three or four high and when they pee, it trickles down to the puppy below them. They receive no vaccinations and are generally in poor health mentally and physically. The pups grow up to be misfits.

To allow a dam to be pregnant and go through nursing TWO times a year is NOT GOOD. The wear on the mother’s health is harsh and results in less than healthy pups. There is no concern for the health or living conditions of the puppies.

The undernourished, under socialized puppies are often taken from the mother before they have had a chance to properly learn social skills such as “play biting” instead of “pain biting” which will prove vital to them later in life. The puppies are then shipped off to pet stores

Pet Stores

Pet stores commonly get their dogs from puppy mills, sometimes before they should leave their mothers, and are placed on display in glass “cages” or open boxes in some cases.

They have no chance to learn natural socialization skills. These under-socialized dogs have never had a chance. Do not buy puppies from pet stores

Pet store puppies grow up barking, nipping and biting everything they see. I would never buy a puppy from a pet store. Let the pet stores sell dog food and dog toys and groom your dog, but stay away from live animals. Well, sell goldfish I suppose.

I have heard and read nothing but horror stories coming from people who bought and paid high prices for puppies from pet stores and really took a beating. As I understand it, pet stores don’t buy from reputable dog breeders because the GOOD dog breeders only produce a few puppies a year, not enough for a store.


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