As long as you buy a dog from a breeder with a successful track record, you are dealing with a subject-matter expert. A breeder can be a great resource to ask questions. Breeders can be a good source for a first time dog owner as they can give instructions on feeding and behavior. An advantage of buying from a breeder is that you can tell the breeder the characteristics you are seeking… such as a laid back dog or one that likes to play; and the breeder can make a good selection for you. This gives you the opportunity to get a great dog sight-unseen without having to do a lot of travel if the dog is far away. This is especially evident with working dogs. I, myself Ryan Matthews, rely on a breeder to know which dog will be the best at the work I have for them to do. If you are buying a dog from a local breeder, be sure to visit the dog more than once. You also want to see the mom and dad if possible.
Most breeders will offer a hip and elbow guarantee. You will spend more money for a purebred dog because it will come with AKC (American Kennel Club) papers. You will likely spend twice as much. The reason to choose a papered dog is to know what you are getting as the characteristics of the parents have been carefully tracked. With a non-registered/random dog, you have no idea what hereditary traits they have or what probable health issues you may face. Although you could be saving money from not going to the veterinarian, you should consider taking the dog in and having it checked by a professional dog trainers.
Here are some things to look for when you go to a breeder’s location: a clean and maintained whelping area, which is the space where the mother gives birth, raises pups and feeds the dogs. It’s their home. It’s not a kennel, instead it’s more of a custom enclosure for the dame. You want to be sure it is safe with no sharp edges, etc. You can expect urine and fecal matter, but not a highly accumulated amount. Another good way to know if you are dealing with a reliable breeder is they ask you to clean your hands and even clean the bottom of your shoes when you arrive. It shows they are concerned with what humans may pass on to the pups.
If the parents are on the property, the dame (mom) and sire (dad) of the dogs, you will want to see them. Look to see if the mother appears to have been over-bred, having gone through too many breeding cycles. You can tell because she will sag a lot on her underbelly. Also, ask for references of current clients, both recent ones and those who bought dogs five to ten years ago. You can find out from them how well the dog is holding up physically over the years. It allows you to look through a proverbial crystal ball into the possible future of your dog.
Learn about the financials of your breeder. If there is a security deposit that will allow you to have your pick from the litter. Find out what the refund policy is if the dog dies… if there’s a refund or credit for future breeding. If it’s a credit, find out how often they breed, if it’s a year or two, or within months.
Breeders don’t have a standard to comply with, that business is mostly run on ethics and morals; however, I have met people that are in it for the money. You want to find out if they are just about making money. If the breeder isn’t passionate about the breed and the dog, that is a red flag. Some breeders will require you to spay or neuter your dog, so they can control the quality of their bloodline. Those who care will work to protect the integrity of the dog. Poor breeding causes a breed of dog to become unstable, and affect the reputation of the dog. A prime example is the over-bred Pitbull.
If you are interested in breeding, you wouldn’t want to buy a dog from a breeder that requires spay or neuter. If you are planning to breed your dog, just visit my dog training education company known as World of Dog Training, be sure you are educated enough to know what is involved. The commitment requires a lot of time, effort and energy.
The decision to buy a dog from a breeder is a huge decision and it should be done with great care and attention. I encourage you to not rush the process, don’t settle and visit numerous breeders. Again, I know it’s tough to not make a decision just based on how cute a dog is but try your best to make a logical decision as well. In doing so you will be sure to have bought a dog from a breeder that you trust, gain a reliable source of information and a dog that will be a wonderful new family member!