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Discussion Starter #1
I've been researching breeds a lot (still leaning strongly towards American cocker spaniels, but definitely not 100% settled on them yet), but I have one pretty big question after all my research. I'm not sure exactly how to phrase it, but I'll try. How much, exactly, does going to a good breeder "guarantee" that you'll get a healthy pup with the temperament its breed should have? For example, the breeder health tests for all the breed's major issues and selects parents based on their temperaments, the puppies are raised in the house as members of the family and socialized by the breeder--what are the odds of the puppy being happy and well-adjusted? Is it still going to be a big gamble?
 

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I had a rescue dog for 15 years who had come out of a puppy mill environment....special needs, fear aggression never resolved. Part of it was partly his breed but most of it I blame the puppy mill
Our current dog is from a well-known breeder. Now different breed so that is important. I met both parents and they had the personalities I wanted (friendly, alert, good with kids, outgoing) And this puppy is a dream, he's sharp, friendly, happy, good with my kids and all of the kids who steam into my house. I am over the moon
So while anything can go wrong, I do think a good breeder can make a difference and minimize risk
 

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There can never be an absolute guarantee with any living animal, but a reputable breeder will at least provide good care for the pups and their mom. Again no guarantee, but certainly tilts the odds in your favor. Behavior varies from dog to dog, but again a good breeder will insure that trauma is minimized for the pups, which again tilts the behavior odds in your favor. Having said all that, we adopted a rescue from the local shelter, she was about a year old, and we knew nothing about her first year. She is the best behaved, and the happiest and best adjusted dog you could imagine. Point being, a lot is just the luck of the draw.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both! I guess I'm just pretty nervous about this--none of my family dogs growing up were from a breeder, so this is all really new for me. I guess I can also ask individual breeders at what age the puppies' grandparents/great grandparents died, and what of, and that might give me a little more insight?
 

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Life's a gamble and no one can make a 100% gaurentee on exactly how any dog is going to turn out. Going with a conscientious thoughtful breeder will greatly help improve your odds of getting what your looking for. But IMHO the best reason to go with a high quality breeder is that your buying more than just a dog, you get a support team that will help you however they can to ensure that everyone involved is happy and healthy.
 
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