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Not sure if this is on the right category or not, I'm new here, hi!
So I'm currently looking for breeders for one of my favorite breeds out there: the Alaskan malamute. If y'all havnt noticed, the breed isn't all that common. So it's quite hard to find one, nevermind find a good breeder that cares about temperament more than looks. I may have found one (or two). They've been "breeding over 22 years" and have a large list of awards for show dogs, therapy dogs, working dogs, etc. I spoke to them, and asked many questions. They told me they will start taking deposits once the pregnancy is confirmed. It's $200. And there is a spay or neuter contract. Another big thing, the breeder lives in NY and I live way over in CA, I'm willing to make those awfully long travel plans for a well bred malamute, especially since they seem like they know what they're doing. So, what do y'all think about paying when the pregnancy is confirmed? Is that risky? I asked if there are no pups will I get a refund.. They never answered my question, seemed to dodge it, but maybe I'm paranoid. I know I should meet up with the breeders and the dog parents before sending off a deposit to a dog who may or may not exist. It's actually my first time getting a dog from a breeder and I heard the horror stories, but also heard love stories too.. lemme knoe your thoughts, advice, and expertise :)

I forgot to add something important: I'm seeking a service dog prospect after my last one passed away! So I have that to consider in finding a breeder specifically for that breed.
And in case anyone asks, I do have expirence with the breed!
 

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I'd make sure that they do health testing on the parents (not sure what's required for that breed, but at least hips/elbows). I'd ask to see their contract, and it should tell you what happens to your money if for some reason something doesn't work out. I'd ask how many people are on the list ahead of you, if they can help you pick the best service dog prospect out of the litter... Asking for deposits before birth is extremely common apparently though... at least they are waiting to see if pregnancy is confirmed first!



I would really stay away from someone who will not answer your questions. Unfortunately, in my experience with breeders... it's really not that easy. I don't think I've ever managed to get in a conversation with what people would actually consider a reputable breeder (shows dogs, does all the health testing, only breeds when they are hoping for something specific in a litter etc), they never even answered my emails, so I'm probably not much help.


The first thing I'd do though is check the Alaskan Malamute club of America (or your local club, if there is one), and ask for a referral list of reputable breeders, see if your breeder is on it (not just check their website for puppies), and contact the other ones if you want. See if there are dog shows in your area, that's also a great place to meet breeders.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They are reputable breeders according to the site, and seem very trustworthy. They also have references from many families. I recently asked if they allow me to visit the mom and dad when the pregnancy is confirmed so i can get a feel of their temperament, but they don't allow visits until the pups are 5 weeks of age. Im Not sure how to feel about that. I would hate to pay $200 and it turns out they don't have a puppy who will be a good service dog. What do you think? I may just go to another breeder, not visiting at least the breeders themselves is odd to me.. :ponder:
 

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If they are on the breeder list from the Alaskan Malamute club of America website, it's probably a good sign.


I would really talk about your concerns with the breeder, and ask them if they can help you pick a good service dog prospect in the litter. A lot of breeders don't allow visits until the puppies have at least their first vaccines... but most breeders should definitely let you visit and meet their dogs as long as there are no young puppies around.
 

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@Sweetchedder - Do they have a website? That would give us some information on them and things I would point out as "red flags". So. here is my list of things I look for in a breeder:

  • Testing for all breed-relevant health problems (For example Malamutes should be cleared of Hip Displasia and Cataracts)
  • A breeder that has more than 3 litters a year is a no from me.
  • Titles, either Conformation or Dog Sports. I prefer working titles/dog sports over conformation, but to each their own. This shows that they DO things with their dogs, rather than just churn out puppies
  • Some sort of puppy socialization/early neurological stimulation program such as Puppy Culture. I don't want my puppies not interacted with for 8 weeks, and then sent on their way. Especially for any future agility prospects, I need them to have exposure to things that move, noises, people, kids etc.
  • I should be able to visit the parents. I don't think it is unusual to not be able to visit very young puppies, but parents for sure.
  • Is not in a hurry to sell me a puppy. We should really be feeling each other out to see if we mesh.
  • The breeder selects my puppy and doesn't let them go before 9 weeks
  • They do not list different prices for different or "rare" colours

These are kind of my top criteria, that I can think of right away.
 
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