How to Find a Responsible Dog Breeder
Over the past few years, dog breeders have been getting a bad rap, and sometimes for good reason. You have probably heard of the horrific conditions that many puppy mills are host to, and, as a result, adoption has been seen as the best way to bring a four-legged friend into your household.
Some people, however, would rather purchase a pup from a breeder. Maybe your local shelter doesn’t have the right fit for your household. Perhaps you want to start fresh by raising a new puppy. How can you buy a puppy from a breeder and be certain you made the right decision?
The good news is that there are dog breeders who are responsible! While you shouldn’t buy a puppy from most pet stores, you can find reputable breeders who care about their pups as much as you do!
Finding That Responsible Breeder
You’ll have to do a little digging to find the right breeder. Asking people for referrals should be your first step. Ask your local veterinarian and friends who own healthy pups from breeders for information about where they found their dogs and why they felt confident in those breeders.
Do some research on any breeders you come across as options. Questions to ask include:
- Where are the breeder’s puppies coming from?
- Are the dogs prone to diseases?
Find out as much as you can before meeting with the breeder.
Breeder Red Flags
Even if your research doesn’t turn up anything of concern, you should still be vigilant when you meet with breeders. Here are some basic red flags to keep an eye out for:
Selling the puppy to you immediately if you have the cash
A responsible breeder will want to know if you’re a competent parent for the pup you’re trying to adopt. Most of the time, an irresponsible breeder is only doing the job for the money and won’t care where their pups find homes.
Refusing to show you where they breed their puppies
A responsible breeder will be more than willing to show you the breeding process, so you can see how healthy the puppy you’re going to adopt will be. If the breeder tells you the facility is off-limits, they may be hiding something.
Not telling you of any possible genetic dangers
Puppies of certain breeds may be prone to specific illnesses or other problems. A good breeder acknowledges this and will give you tips on how to best raise and care for your new family member.
Keeping dogs in poor conditions
If you see dogs who look dirty, cramped, or sickly, don’t adopt from that breeder, and give the Humane Society a call.
Not giving you any references
Your breeder should be willing to give you the information of previous clients to whom you can speak. A breeder who isn’t forthcoming about past clients may be hoping you won’t dig for more information.
A responsible breeder will not do any of the above. They will show you around their facility and disclose the pros and cons to you of adopting their puppies. They won’t give away any of their puppies until they know that you’re the right fit.
While it’s good to consider adopting a dog before buying one, many breeders run clean, healthy, and happy businesses. If you feel like purchasing a dog is a better fit for your family, you can find the right breeder and bring home a puppy that lives a happy and healthy life.