Choosing the right breeder.

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Choosing the right breeder.

This is a discussion on Choosing the right breeder. within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hello. I'm new to the forum. My husband and I are self employed, work from home and have 2 young children - 4 and 7. ...

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Old 08-01-2011, 12:35 PM
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Choosing the right breeder.

Hello. I'm new to the forum. My husband and I are self employed, work from home and have 2 young children - 4 and 7. We are waiting until the time is right to get a dog - probably in around 18 months - but there is a lot to think about while we are saving up for the pup and I would love some advice.

When I was growing up, we had a wonderful cross labrador retriever/golden retriever and I would like either a lab or a goldie from a reputable breeder. I don't have a preference one way or the other in terms of breed. The family dog went off his back legs and so I know about hip and eye testing etc and have spent lots of time looking at the kennel club site as well as various other organisations and information. It's important to me that the pup is as healthy as possible, living in a caring home.

I'd like to find a breeder that also has young children and cats if possible. I'd also like to go visit some puppy training classes too so I know which one I want to take him/her to.

Is it unreasonable to be making enquiries to breeders when we're not ready to get the pup yet? We want to spend a year putting away the amount we'd expect to spend on vets, food, toys, classes etc and we want to ensure that we're getting a dog for the right reasons and not as a reaction to our youngest starting school so we're waiting and are happy with that decision.

I feel that I'd like to have seen at least one other litter before I make the choice of breeder - just to be sure that they're genuine, having heard some horror stories of puppy farmers using people's homes to sell their pups from etc.

Any tips would be gratefully received. Thank you.

I'm in England. Not sure if that's helpful!
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:01 PM
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I don't think it's unreasonable at all, to inquire and find out as much as you can from different breeders, even if you aren't "ready" to purchase a pup. A good breeder would welcome that kind of a well thought out process as opposed to the impulse buyers they are probably used to seeing. Any breeder who doesn't have time for your questions or who doesn't respect your decision making process, is one I'd steer clear of anyway TBH. If they don't have time for you before the purchase, chances are, they wont have time for you after...

Trying to find a breeder who also exposes their dogs to cats/kids is certainly a reasonable request as well.

I think more people should go about bringing a dog into their home with the same patience and methotical thinking that you are doing now, then there wouldn't be so many animals in shelters because IMO there is more of an animal retention problem in our society, than a pet overpopulation problem. If you go into it with a a positive and thoughtful attitude, you have a better chance of finding what you're looking for and the dog has a better chance of living out his/her years in one home, rather than several...

I spent the better part of a year, developing a rapport/relationship with the breeder I finally chose, before acquiring my dogs from her. I also, during that time, evaluated her show record, offspring, (and their titles, health & temperament issues) talked at great length with others who had some of her dogs and was very pleased with the outcome. I did not limit myself to one breeder though. I got to know about 4 of them on a personal level and although I liked them very much, I decided that I would rather not purchase from them for various reasons....so yes, it can be and probably should be a fairly involved and somewhat time consuming process, to find the right match, in terms of breeder compatibility (morals, ethics, etc) and the type of pup that will suit your family best.

You have to keep in mind that you will want to keep the lines of communication open with this breeder for many years to come, so choose wisely and try to find someone who is willing to be there for you, should you need advice, training recommendations, medical info, etc....rather than going with one who is not all that established and may not want to deal with you, "after the purchase" like many of them.

Take your time, enjoy the journey and don't feel like you are putting someone out or being a bother, a good breeder will think you are a breath of fresh air.

I hear you on the puppy broker issue, they can be very good at hiding the truth behind where and how the pups came about. Yet another reason to scrutinize the breeder thoroughly before committing to anything. I believe that longevity and reputation play a big roll in how much trust you can place in them.

We have a great sticky here on how to pick the right breeder-
https://www.dogforum.com/general-dog-...g-puppy-11762/

this one is a good read too, about your responsibilites
https://www.dogforum.com/general-dog-...ity-lies-9868/

Good Luck

Last edited by Mischief; 08-01-2011 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:13 PM
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Thank you! That's very helpful. And very useful links.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:24 PM
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Having recently gone through the process you're about to embark on I would also add to Mischief's excellent post a few other observations. I discovered that Kennel Club accreditation is frankly not worth the paper it's written on. I would focus your attention via breed specific sites. That's not to say that breeders on the KC site are bad, but it is to say that it's far from the endorsement you'd perhaps expect it to be.

I'd also make absolutely certain that you're clear when you do finally choose your puppy the basis on which you're paying your deposit. Under what circumstances would you be entitled for it back (or at least for the option of it back)? My situation was that the puppy contracted Kennel Cough and for many reasons I decided I couldn't take her and I'm still arguing for my very substantial deposit back.

Also, while you're reviewing food, take a look at this useful site: Dog Food Ratings and Reviews - The Best Dog Foods or the Worst? It is American so it won't cover some of the food in the UK like James Welbeloved but it's a good guide to what's worth buying and what isn't. In my opinion it's worth getting good food, even if it's a bit more expensive, because in the long run you'll be spending less at the vets!

Good luck with your hunt. We're looking forward to hearing all about your new pup when you get him/her.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:03 PM
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That's helpful, thanks. Great site too. I'll bookmark it.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:05 PM
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How exciting for you and the family! We just did the same due diligence in finding a reputable breeder and did spend a lot of time prior to the puppies being born and after (every two weeks went to visit for an hour) and that allowed us the time to gather the information we needed in making our decisions. I also spend time on dog forums (under the breed I chose) asking questions on the generalities of that breed and how to find a good breeder. It was through one of these sites that we located a local breeder. She shows her dogs and they were nice specimens of the Cairn Terrier. One other thing she also did was determine if they had liver shunts by testing the puppies at nine weeks as this is an inherent problem with this breed. She also offered a full refund within two years if the dog had any inherent maladies. These are the types of things you should be looking for in a breeder - not one who is in it for the money. Most good breeders are in for the love and continuation of good lineage.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:00 PM
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My experience as a breeder is just about to begin, and it's definately a huge responsibility. I would be very happy to have someone enquire so early before wanting to embark, as many good breeders will plan their litters at least a year in advance; I know I did! So they'll be able to tell you when they have a litter planned and if the pups will be suitable for you in terms of colour, show type, etc.

I will be joining the accredited breeder scheme; I realise that some think this is a scheme with a lot of holes in it, but I do think that opening my doors for kennel club inspectors to come and view my home, dogs, and ensure that I'm doing all the things I'd do anyway makes me feel like I'm giving that puppy buyer an extra reassurance, though I know that other breeders may exploit that, I know that I'm not.

All of my pups will be eye tested, as are the dam and sire (current clear, with certs to prove it), as well as microchipped before they leave as I wouldn't be happy to let a puppy leave my home without knowing I've done everything I can to make sure they're trackable and less likely to be lost or stolen and not found again. Not only that...microchipping is pretty daunting when you see the needle, it's huge and painful (if for a few seconds) so plenty of new owners don't have it done. At least that bit is done for my puppy buyers before the puppies are gone, and I also get to put the breeder details on the petlog so that if the owners can't be find, I can.

I would go and look at their dogs and see how they live; there's a huge 'commercial breeder' in this country of my breed and several others, and his dogs live in kennels all year round, and he has about thirty of them! So defiantely go and look BEFORE telling them you'd like a puppy! Many breeders will be happy for this to happen, including me.
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