What to Ask a Breeder

An ethical breeder will also be willing to answer any questions you may have. After all, you both seek the same goal: the best match for owner and pup. Some questions you should ask include the following:

  • How long have you been breeding these dogs?

  • Do you and your dogs participate in any dog sports? (Conformation, obedience, agility, and field trials are some examples. Such activities show an ongoing appreciation for the breed as well as the desire to keep increasing knowledge.)

  • What kind of a contract do you provide?

  • Do you provide a health guarantee?

  • What is your policy on taking back a puppy or replacing it if it gets sick?

  • Will you help us pick the puppy that suits us best?

  • Do you provide references from others who have purchased your puppies?

  • What health problems are common in this breed?

  • What kind of genetic testing have you done on the parents? Will you provide copies of those clearances?

  • What shots will the pup have had before you sell it? What about deworming?

  • How big will the puppy grow as an adult?

  • At what age is this breed considered mature?

  • What are its nutritional needs? Do you recommend a specific diet?

  • How much activity will this dog need?

  • Will it be protective of my family?

  • Will it get along well with other pets?

  • What would you recommend for obedience training?

  • What will its grooming needs be? Can I groom it myself, or will 1 need a professional?

  • When can I take my puppy home?

Because the betterment of the breed is vital to a responsible breeder, they usually sell pet-quality puppies with a spay/neuter contract. It is up to you to be equally ethical and fulfill your part of this agreement. They also provide the puppy's first shots.

Reputable breeders view the puppies they produce as family members too. If they cannot sell or place one of their pups for any reason, they will keep it. Because they will be screening you as well, be prepared for their interest in the kind of home you will be providing to their baby.

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