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I have never gotten a dog through a breeder before so all of this is very new to me. For the past 6-7 years I have wanted a Pyrenean Mastiff to add to my furry family and have done as much research as possible on the breed and breeders. They're not very common so there were no breeders even in my province, so I decided on one in the US. There are never any in rescue either. I follow them every now and again and check the web for any new info that pops up over the years, and to my dismay there's a newer breeder less than an hour away from me now!!!!!! On top of that, the dogs they have and use for their breeding are imported from the breeder I wanted to get a dog from in the US!! What are the odds, it's got to be a sign, lol. From what I have gathered about them, they seem reputable and have many of the same beliefs as I do (not over vaccinating, feeding raw diets, etc). They do not breed their female very often which is another good sign. It also turns out they happily accept having visitors to their farm to meet them and their dogs which I am very excited about too.

So, my question for those experienced with finding a reputable breeder; what are some things I should be looking for, looking out for, asking, etc. I know the basics, but always best to get info from those that know more then myself too. I'm hoping to go some time soon to meet them and if I like what I see and hear from the people, put myself on their waiting list for about 3 years from now (I know it's a long time, but they don't seem to breed that often and I want to make sure i'm in the right place in my life to get another dog, which I am not right now)
 

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I would look for health testing on their dogs, and relatives of their dogs. I would look at the temperaments of the dogs. Do they do anything with them? Are they shown? Actual working dogs? What is their contract like? Do they have good stories to tell about past puppy buyers or do they not keep in touch?
 

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Often, when a person gets interested in breeding a specific breed of dog, they go and find who they think are the best breeders and get dogs from them. These more established breeders often act as mentors and guides helping them get started. It's almost like a little clan, with the original established breeder on top and a handful of 'student breeders' scattered across the country.

On the other hand, sometimes a person just goes and gets a male and a female from various other breeders and starts churning out puppies.

The first type, the 'student breeder' is often quite reputable, or if they are NOT, the 'mentor' breeder will know it and disprove of them.

The second type is much more likely to be hit or miss as far as reputable.

So I suggest contacting the breeder in the US who provided them with their dogs. If he has good things to say, you have your answer. If he is surprised they are breeding, that is an answer too...to stay away.
 
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