Choosing a Breeder
1. Is the breeder willing and able to answer all your questions and be knowledgable about the breed? They should know the good and bad traits, diseases in the breed and in the case of doodles, be able to tell you about different coat types, generations and what you can expect from different pairing they have planned. If a breeder tells you their breed has no health concers or that being a mixed breed "eliminates health problems", run the other ways. EVERY breed has health issues and yours should be able to tell you what they are and what they do to minimize them in their breeding program. The should also be able to advise you about a house training schedule, finding a good vet, what to feed etc.
2. Will your puppy arrive already spayed/neutered or be sold on a spay/neuter or non-breeding contract? Breeders that care about their puppies don't want them to end up in a puppy mill or having behaviour issues due to raging hormones.
3. Will your puppy be microchipped before you get it? A good breeder wants their puppies to find their way back home if they ever get lost. The chip should be implanted already when you pick it up.
4. Did you find your puppy through a vet or breed club referal or other responsible breeder listing site? Breeders with great reputations are allowed to advertise on responsible sites and usually get a lot of referals and do not need to place classified ads in the newspaper or post flyers at grocery stores.
5. Will the breeder provide you with proof of genetic testing on the parents/grandparents etc? Depending on the breed this will vary but it usually includes a certificate from OFA, CERF or other organization. A copy of their latest vet check up is NOT genetic testing and neither is their word that it was done or that their dogs are so healthy its not needed. A dog with Hip Dysplasia can still run and walk normally until it reaches a certain point so don't fall for the "looks how healthy he looks, he doesn't need any tests" sales line.
6. Can you speak to their vet about how their pups are cared for and will you recieve a vet exam certificate to go home with your puppy? If the puppy never sees a vet and the breeder just does their own shots etc with no exam then you have no way of knowing until its too late if its has a heart murmer or other problem that is undectable to the naked eye. If you are paying a lot of money for a puppy your breeder should be spending some money up front to make sure its healthy before you take it home.
7. Do you have at least a few days to return the puppy for a refund if your own vet does not find it to be in good health? You may also want to ask for a genetic warranty that offers you a refund or replacment puppy in the event of a serious genetic issues.
8. Is the breeder willing to assist you or take the puppy back if it doesn't work out? You should get a puppy with the intention of keeping it for life but if you have allergies or illness etc your breeder should be willing to help you find your puppy a good home and do everything in their power to ensure it doesn't end up in a shelter.
9. Is your puppy coming directly from the breeder and not from a pet store, broker or other online third party? The breeder may not let you visit when the pups are babies but if you are not allowed to pick up your puppy in person and they will only ship or meet you somewhere away from where the puppy lives, then run the other way, they have something to hide or they did not breed the dog themselves. There are MANY brokers who say they just act as referal services but they are just online pet stores and you risk getting a puppy who is sick, poorly socialized or not even the breed you wanted if you buy from such a place.
9. Does the breeder limit visitors or at least take precautions for visits to ensure their pups safety? If a breeder tells you to just "come on over" and meet the puppies without taking any security precautions such as clean clothes, hand washing etc then you risk someone else bring a virus over and infecting your puppy. A good breeder knows that there is a serious risk of infection that each visitor brings with them and if they allow unvaccinated pups to be visited they will have rules and protocals in place limit risk.
As with anything, there are good breeders and bad. If you can't find what you are looking for from us or location is an issues we are happy to refer you to another reputable breeder, just ask! We have also compiled a checklist to assist you in finding a responsible breeder and a great puppy purchasing experience: