How to find the perfect breeder

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How to find the perfect breeder

This is a discussion on How to find the perfect breeder within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Scams, scams everywhere... I like adopting dogs from shelters, but im curious... if I end up ever wanting to get a pup from a breeder, ...

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Old 10-24-2013, 12:34 PM
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How to find the perfect breeder

Scams, scams everywhere...
I like adopting dogs from shelters, but im curious... if I end up ever wanting to get a pup from a breeder, what should I look for? Does presentation of information count towards anything? (Typos or messy pages?). I understand low prices are a huge red flag as well. If they refuse a visitation where the pups are staying that is bad, right? So what should I look for and what should I avoid?

I would love to have a borzoi or rough coated collie someday, and am following several rescues. But even then, its hars to find either around here...
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:45 PM
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Hm...I know with the puppy I want desperately ( A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) getting a good breeder is important. First, I found people I know that had the dog and asked them their experience of when they got them.

Only one was happy with the breeder-- the others hadn't been informed of the possible health problems with the breed and their wallets were suffering for it. The one that was happy had had the pup screened and the breeder was responsible.

From there I found the website, and am very pleased with everything I've seen so far.

So...that would be my first step, if you know anyone that has the kind of dog you would want.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:53 PM
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Thats a great idea! I could always ask someone on here, like Colliesrock.
Thank you!
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:56 PM
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Yep . It took me several years to find a breeder close enough that I liked-- and I'm years more away from getting my $1,200 puppy (which is fine, I need to forget what Applejack has done to my sanity first XD). But I'm keeping an eye on the breeder and have talked with her a couple of times.

So, don't get discouraged if it takes a while. Finding the right breeder is worth it.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:55 PM
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Do lots of research on the breed of choice, then find breeders in or around your area. (Sometimes, you might have to go further.) Ask tons of questions about the breed of choice to the breeders you think are good. Reputable breeders will be very happy to talk to you about their dogs and their breed of dog in general. (A Byber/Puppymill will try and redirect you or refuse to answer all the questions.) Another way to figure out who is reputable and not is to ask if they had any health problems with their dogs. (If they say my dogs are healthy and they had no problems at all.... red flag.) Even reputable breeders do have health problems from time to time with their dogs.

The breeder SHOULD tell you that you need to make an appointment to see the pups. (If the breeder has a newborn litter, they will refuse anyone from seeing the newborn because they can and will get sick.) A reputable breeder will KNOW the day her female(s) will give pups and won't allow any visitation at all for a few weeks or more. Also, the breeder should be breeding every other year to give the female a chance to recover and regain her beauty before being bred again. A reputable breeder will only breed for themselves so they can continue their liniage they worked hard for. They should also be doing blood work and they HAVE to be showing their dogs and win multiple points/awards from legit shows.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:39 PM
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I seem to be most interested in breeds that are not terribly common unfortunately.

I'd probably rescue again anyway but part of me does love the idea of starting with a pup, and knowing what that pup will turn into.

I did find a coolie breeder nearby and they seem responsible-ish but for me, red flags went up when I found no information about their imported dogs lines. Not to say they didn't do their own research, but it seems odd to me that this wouldn't even be mentioned on the website of a breeder.

The website seemed pretty amateur and family-business-ish which doesn't mean they're not treating their dogs well, or that they're not testing for health issues. But it strikes me as emblematic of people who are breeding dogs for pets rather than show (hard for me to complain since that's why I'd be buying a dog from them). They do mention that many of their pups have gone to performance homes.

I guess now that I think about it, they seem like they might be a perfectly appropriate breeder for a person (like me) who wants a dog as an active pet with some potential for more, but who's not interested in showing or actually acquiring a real working dog.

Anyway I'm kind of thinking aloud here but would be interested in people's thoughts.

Thanks for starting the thread KodaKeet!
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:14 AM
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I'd rather buy a new car than find another breeder It's difficult to find someone you can trust. It can help to contact the breeder referral person for the national breed club or others with the same breed for recommendations.

When I was looking I received great information from a number of people including a local breeder, a breeder on the other side of the country, and a poodle owner also on the opposite coast. Breeders have reputations and people active in the dog world and/or breed clubs should be able to advise you.

When I evaluate breeders, I look for a few things:

- Do they do the health testing recommended by the breed parent club? Do / will they provide proof?

- Do they breed for the "total dog" meaning health, structure (or conformation to breed standard), temperament, and working ability/drive? This often means they breed their dogs with dogs from other kennels (i.e., they don't routinely breed their dogs and bitches to each other).*

- Are they active in the dog world as members of local or nation breed and/or kennel clubs?

- Do they do something with their dogs other than breeding? Do they show in conformation? Compete in performance sports? Participate in real world work? (This is more a personal issue for me. I like to know that breeders consider their dogs more than just "puppy machines" and that they believe in their dog enough to allow outside evaluation.)

- I try not to judge web pages (some great breeders have horrible web site - or no site at all). I will judge if there is misinformation, repeated "typos" related to basic dog terms (e.g., confirmation vs conformation), or marketing terms (e.g., teacup or tiny toys).

- You should be able to meet the puppies and dam - when it's safe for them. The sire may not be available if he is from a distant breeder.

I don't think there is a perfect breeder. There are some breeders whose ethics align better with mine than others. Some breeders make choices I'd like to support and other breeders make choices I can't, in good conscience, support. But, they're not perfect.

This Breeder Comparison Matrix is nice summary of things to consider when evaluating a breeder.


* Breeders who have been around for a number of years or who have brought outside dogs into their program will breed their dogs and bitches in addition to breeding to outside lines.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:21 AM
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Fantastic and comprehensive post - thank you :-)
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:53 AM
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I think for my own purposes I'd be looking for a breeder who at least meets the criteria to be a hobby breeder.

I always feel a bit leery of breeders who breed two or more breeds.

And it's nice to hear some feedback that the website isn't a be all, end all. Obviously any missing information, you'd want to hear from the breeder themselves though.
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