Responsible Dog Breeder?

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Responsible Dog Breeder?

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Old 04-12-2013, 07:10 PM
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Responsible Dog Breeder?

Well, we may be getting a puppy in the summer, and I was poking around a little. While searching around for a responsible dog breeder online, I found one that would have pups ready to go home just around the time I need. Almost everything seems okay, but I just have one or two concerns about it....

The good:
-will take back the dog if you don't want it for any reason
-required to spay/neuter
-dogs live at home
-won't let the puppies leave until 8 weeks
-no shipping (due to possible stress)
-requires vet check-up within two days
-breeder will provide help if needed
-requires keeping the dog in the house


What I'm worried about: On the "expecting litters" section, they show that they're going to breed three litters on the 23, 25, and 27th of April. I think they also bred in March (2 litters? something like that) and I read that breeding too often is a bad sign. Also, the dogs are priced at around $400-600. Is this a normal rate and price? Just wondering.

And....on the "before buying" section, there's a part that talks about "imperial shih tzus", saying that there's really no such thing, and it's just said to make them sound more special. The part that I was concerned about was that they said that their shih tzus would be considered "imperial" (although they prefer not to use that term) because they're so small......is this okay?

A lot of things point that this is a responsible breeder, but I was just worried over these points, and was wondering if it's something to be concerned about. Of course, I'll probably find out once I e-mail the breeder (I plan on doing so when the litter is born), and visit (if they allow it), but yeah, you can never be too careful. I know, I'm probably being a little paranoid. Incidentally, I said I'd probably contact the breeder once the litter is born, but should I just go ahead and contact the breeder as soon as I can? I feel like that would be a little weird.......
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:16 PM
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What size are their dogs, that they're "small"?

That does seem to be some really frequent breeding, thats ALOT of intact breeding age bitches in one household, even if they are small dogs.

Personally I'd say contact the breeder now. How they respond to your inquiries will tell you alot about them.

Questions I'd ask:

Are the pups and dogs registered, and if so what registry?
What health testing has been done on the parents and grand parents and can you see the results?
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:18 PM
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Heres the list of known health problems for the breed and availible tests: Shih Tzu Breeder Guidelines
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:39 PM
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Thank you for the quick response! I'll e-mail the breeder then, and then try to see what he/she is looking for in a buyer. I'll probably also visit the breeder's home sooner then, to both see the size and temperament of the adults.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:51 PM
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Oh, price: my BIL paid $500 for his Shih tzu a few years ago. I wasn't involved in ttheir search process, so I can't tell you what they looked for, but thats right in the middle of that price range.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:04 AM
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Okay, I haven't contacted then breeder yet, which I'll do asap, but I did find out the size of the parents. The females are 5, 6, 7, 9, 9, and 10 pounds.....and apparently the size of an average shih tzu is from 9-14 pounds......the male is 10 pounds, the other was not listed (borrowed yorkie). The litter I have my eye on will have both parents at 10 lb, but....I still think this is kind of worrying, considering that half of the females were below the listed weight of a shih tzu.

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Old 04-13-2013, 09:31 AM
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When looking for a responsible breeder, the national breed club is one of the best places to start. In your case, it would be the American Shih Tzu Club.

In fact, the club's website offers potential buyers a guide to finding and identifying responsible breeders. Here ya go:

Quote:
HOW LONG HAS THE BREEDER BEEN BREEDING SHIH TZU?


IS THE BREEDER KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE BREED? DOES HE/SHE DEMONSTRATE A KNOWLEDGE OF THE STANDARD OF THE BREED?
Responsible breeders try to breed dogs as close as possible to the breed standard, which does not recognize "toy" or "imperial" Shih Tzu. Shih Tzu far below the normal weight range for the breed may have health problems. If you want a truly tiny dog, select another breed.


DOES HE OR SHE REPRESENT HIS DOGS AS HONESTLY AS POSSIBLE AND TRY TO ASSIST THE SERIOUS NOVICE IN HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE BREED?


IS HE OR SHE INVOLVED IN COMPETITION WITH THEIR DOGS (CONFORMATION, OBEDIENCE, AGILITY)?
This indicates valuable experience with the breed.


DOES SHE/HE TRACE HEALTH PROBLEMS IN THE DOGS HE SELLS?
If new to the breed, has breeder carefully researched the genetic problems that may lurk in the background of his lines? The breeder should be knowledgeable about and working to control and/or eradicate conditions, including those that are particular to the breed, such as renal dysplasia, portal systemic shunt, hip and eye problems, allergies, Von Willebrands disease, thyroid disorders, and inguinal hernias? ASTC pamphlets can tell you more about breeding healthy dogs and renal dysplasia.


HAVE THE PUPPIES BEEN RAISED IN THE HOME?
Puppies used to home activity will more easily adapt to new families and homes. Puppies require proper socialization by gentle handling, human contact, and a wide variety of noises and experiences, and should not be removed from their dam or littermates before 8 weeks of age. (The ASTC Code of Ethics suggests puppies not be sold before 12 weeks.)


HAVE THE PUPPIES' TEMPERAMENTS BEEN EVALUATED AND CAN THE BREEDER GUIDE YOU TO THE PUPPY THAT WILL BEST SUIT YOUR LIFESTYLE?
A very shy puppy will not do well in a noisy household with small children, just as a very dominant puppy won't flourish in a sedate, senior citizen household. A caring breeder will know the puppies and be able to help you make a good match.


HOW OFTEN IS THE DAM BRED?
Breeding every heat cycle is too often and may indicate that profit is the primary motive for the breeding.


ON WHAT BASIS WAS THE SIRE CHOSEN?
If the answer is "because he lives right down the street" or "because he is really sweet," it may be that sufficient thought was not put into the breeding.


ARE THE PUPPY'S SIRE AND DAM AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO MEET?
If the sire is unavailable can you call his owners or people who have his puppies to ask about temperament or health problems? You should also be shown pictures or videos.


WHERE DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THIS BREEDER?
Responsible breeders usually breed only when they have a waiting list of buyers and don't need to advertise in newspapers or put a sign in the yard.


WILL THE PUPPY BE SOLD WITH A MANDATORY SPAY/NEUTER CONTRACT AND/OR LIMITED REGISTRATION (WHICH MEANS THAT IF THE DOG IS BRED, THE PUPPIES CANNOT BE AKC REGISTERED)?
A breeder who cares enough about the breed to insist on these for a pet puppy is usually a responsible breeder.


DO THE PUPPIES SEEM HEALTHY, WITH NO DISCHARGE FROM EYES OR NOSE, NO LOOSE STOOLS, NO FOUL SMELLING EARS? ARE THEIR COATS SOFT, FULL, AND CLEAN? DO THEY HAVE PLENTY OF ENERGY WHEN AWAKE YET CALM DOWN EASILY WHEN GENTLY STROKED?
If the puppy is in good weight, a slight, clear nasal discharge may be due to pinched nostrils, quite common during the teething phase. They generally open as the puppy matures. Small umbilical hernias almost always close with age.


DOES THE BREEDER ADVISE YOU TO HAVE THE PUPPY CHECKED BY A VETERINARIAN WITHIN 2 DAYS (48 HOURS) OF SALE, WITH ADDITIONAL TIME ALLOWED IF THE PUPPY IS SOLD ON A SATURDAY OR SUNDAY, AND PROVIDE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO REFUND THE PURCHASE PRICE OR TAKE THE PUPPY BACK AND REPLACE IT IF IT IS FOUND TO BE UNFIT BY A VETERINARIAN? HAS THE PUPPY RECEIVED THE NECESSARY IMMUNIZATIONS AND BEEN CHECKED FOR PARASITES AND TREATED IF NECESSARY?


DOES THE BREEDER PROVIDE A 3-5 GENERATION PEDIGREE, A COMPLETE HEALTH RECORD, AND MATERIAL TO HELP YOU WITH FEEDING, GROOMING, TRAINING, AND HOUSEBREAKING?
An AKC Registration form should also be provided and clearly explained.


ARE THERE A MAJORITY OF TITLED DOGS (THE INITIALS CH, CD, ETC. BEFORE OR AFTER THE NAMES) IN THE FIRST TWO GENERATIONS?
The term "champion lines" means nothing if those titles are back three or more generations or if there are only one or two in the whole pedigree. Also, remember that not all champions are created equal and that a champion may or may not produce quality puppies.


DOES THE BREEDER HAVE ONLY 1 OR AT MOST 2 BREEDS OF DOGS AND ONLY 1 LITTER AT A TIME?
If there are several breeds of dogs, the breeder may not devote the time it takes to become really knowledgeable about our breed. If there are several litters at a time, it is very difficult to give the puppies the attention they need and may indicate that the primary purpose for breeding is profit, rather than a sincere desire to sustain and improve the breed.


WILL THE BREEDER BE AVAILABLE FOR THE LIFE OF THE DOG TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE? IS THIS SOMEONE YOU WOULD FEEL COMFORTABLE ASKING ANY TYPE OF QUESTION?
If you feel intimidated or pressured, keep looking!


WILL THE BREEDER TAKE THE DOG BACK AT ANY TIME, FOR ANY REASON, IF YOU CANNOT KEEP IT?
This is the hallmark of responsible breeding (and the quickest, best way to make rescue obsolete).


DOES THE BREEDER BELONG TO THE AMERICAN SHIH TZU CLUB AND/OR A LOCAL SHIH TZU CLUB AND ABIDE BY THE ASTC CODE OF ETHICS?
Responsible breeders also do not sell puppies to pet shops or commercial pet mill establishments, donate puppies for raffles or auctions, crossbreed or sell crossbred puppies, or give stud service to unregistered bitches.
http://www.americanshihtzuclub.org/q...to_ask_breeder

Take it from them! This is a great set of criteria.

They also offer breeder referral by region...

http://www.americanshihtzuclub.org/breeder_referral
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Last edited by beretw; 04-13-2013 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:39 AM
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Oh, and if you're comfortable doing so, feel free to share the name of the kennel or even the registered name of the potential sire and/or dam. I'm sure many here, myself included, would be more than happy to help you determine if the breeder is responsible and to help spot any potential red flags.

I think that's legit? Just re-read the DF rules and it seems to be kosher...
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Ayuminji View Post
Okay, I haven't contacted then breeder yet, which I'll do asap, but I did find out the size of the parents. The females are 5, 6, 7, 9, 9, and 10 pounds.....and apparently the size of an average shih tzu is from 9-14 pounds......the male is 10 pounds, the other was not listed (borrowed yorkie). The litter I have my eye on will have both parents at 10 lb, but....I still think this is kind of worrying, considering that half of the females were below the listed weight of a shih tzu.

Thats really small.....my BILs dog is a nice solid and slim 12lbs and she's about perfect IMO (admittedly I'm biased towards BIG dogs, but still).

why a borrowed Yorkie, are they breeding "designer dogs" too? If so thats a HUGE red flag IMO.

Without having more information I'm on the fence leaning towards unhappy with this breeder. Thats ALOT of bitches being bred all at once, they're breeding especially small dogs, they're either breeding more than one breed or "designer breeds"......

Did you find out what registry they use?
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by beretw View Post
Oh, and if you're comfortable doing so, feel free to share the name of the kennel or even the registered name of the potential sire and/or dam. I'm sure many here, myself included, would be more than happy to help you determine if the breeder is responsible and to help spot any potential red flags.

I think that's legit? Just re-read the DF rules and it seems to be kosher...
I believe other folks have done so without getting told not to.


Other questions to ask the breeder: how old are the parents? and how many litters has the dam had?
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