All breeders specialize in their chosen breed.  They know the breed standards, the desired temperaments and characteristics of the breed, and they generally have a lot of experience with the breed that stems from a deep love of the dog.  Reputable breeders strive to breed only animals that exhibit the correct breed qualities.  This benefits the buyer by allowing the buyer quality control.  They will know what they are buying which means fewer surprises, fewer disappointments and a happy lifelong home for the pet!

The following is a comprehensive guideline that can be followed to make sure your new best friend is coming from a loving & reputable breeder:

1) The breeder should be aware of and inform all prospective buyers of the known inherited defects that affect the breed.  Reputable breeders need to make sure they screen their breeding stock to be sure that they are free of all such known defects.  Of course, this may not completely eliminate or prevent an inherited defect from showing up, but it drastically decreases the chances of them occurring in the offspring.

2) A breeder is a valuable source of information for buyers if any problems arise in the home after the pet has been purchased.  They should be willing to be available to give you advise on all aspects of caring for and training.  In the event that you find it impossible to keep your pet, reputable breeders should be willing to help you relocate them.

3) Most breeders will provide you with written instructions on how to feed, care for and train your new dog.  This shows that the breeder cares about the well being of the pet even after it leaves their care.

4) Reputable breeders should take the time to properly socialize their dogs to make sure that when they leave their care they have been given the special handling they need in order to develop and adapt to living with other humans, dogs and other pets as well.  Socialization is a critical foundation to puppy development and it creates a happy, eager to learn and please dog that will bring joy to their new families.

5) Since the breeder has been laying the foundation for learning through socialization buying from a reputable breeder who does not utilize crates for long periods of time as a means for containment will be much easier to housebreak than purchasing a puppy from a pet store.  Constant confinement in a cage, like you see in a pet store, leads to a loss of the puppies’ natural clean nature.  This disrupts housebreaking because they are comfortable living close to their own waste.

6) For those that are interested in showing their new pets, a reputable breeder will help you get started in whatever area you wish to pursue – be it conformation, obedience, agility, carting, herding or tracking.  A reputable breeder will help to better their breed by striving to produce high quality pets.  This is not an easy thing to do, and it can cost the breeder a lot of time and money that oftentimes, they cannot charge for.

If you do your research before purchasing a puppy from a breeder to make sure they are reputable, concerned with bettering the breed, and are providing this service to society for the sole purpose of bringing joy to the lives of others and creating happiness for the animals, then you should have no problem with the puppy you select.

Dr. Marika Zoll

Dr. Marika Zoll