Wherever You Get Your Dog, Visit And Ask Questions
Conscientious breeders are bound to interrogate you so don’t be bashful. Ask them whatever questions come to your mind. Here are some relevant ones
How long have you been breeding this breed?
The longer the better.
Do you breed other breeds?
If more than one, the other breed should have attributes you’d expect the breeder to be interested in. For example, you shouldn’t be surprised if a breeder has working Labradors and working cocker spaniels but you should be if she has Chihuahuas and Akitas. She might be a front for a puppy mill.
What’s bad about the breed.
The more bad things they tell you the more honest they are.
May I see the father as well as the mother?
He may be a professional stud dog from another breeder but expect your breeder at least to have a picture of him and put you in contact with his owner so you can find out more about his personality.
Where do the dogs live?
Happy parent dogs live indoors in a home environment. They make the most sociable companions.
May I look around?
Conscientious breeders don’t mind snoopers.
May I see your other dogs?
They should all be friendly and approachable.
May I return the pup if there’s an unexpected problem?
The best breeders demand that their pup is returned to them if there’s a problem.)
May I speak to others you’ve sold pups to?
Good breeders are confident about the success of their dogs.
Has your vet examined the litter?
The breeder should be willing to give you the name and telephone number of her vet.
Do you participate in veterinary supervised health monitoring schemes?
Good breeders ensure their breeding stock have been cleared by schemes to monitor inherited conditions such as eye and joint problems.
Do you register the results of these health survey on your breeding stock with the Kennel Club?
Good breeders are proud of the quality of their breeding stock and register the results. (Curiously, registration of results with the Kennel Club is voluntary, it’s not a condition of registration.)