Do you know how to find a reputable breeder for that new pet you’ve been promising yourself? The most important thing I can tell you is to do your research. I did research for someone a while back who was looking for an English Bulldog puppy. As they wanted a purebred puppy, I started out at the American Kennel Club’s website. They have an online classified list of breeders of AKC registerable dogs. They also have listings of the breed clubs, breed rescue groups and a local club breeder referral. You can also check out the CANIDAE site for links to breeders.
The online classifieds on the AKC site allow you to see the breeder’s profile, which will provide you with information on AKC dog registration applications, whether or not the breeder is a member of a parent or specialty club, health screens for the parents, whether or not they provide a written bill of sale, if they will take the puppy back and under what conditions they will do so. It also tells you whether or not the breeder will provide you (the buyer) information for being a responsible dog owner, a health guarantee, if they tattoo or microchip the puppy, if they are enrolled in the AKC Companion Animal Recovery program, what AKC events her dogs participate in and how long they have been breeding.
Stay away from puppies coming from a puppy mill as they are often not treated well and can have many health issues. For more information on what puppy mills are and why you shouldn't support them, see stoppuppymills.org.
Questions to ask the breeder:
- Are both of the parents on the premises and can you see them?
- How old does your pet have to be to take home?
- If you pick out a pet when they are too young to be taken home, can you come back for visits?
- If you are buying a show quality pet, who will show them?
- If you are buying a pet quality pet, do they need to be spayed or neutered and when?
- If something arises in the future and you can’t keep the pet, will the breeder take them back?
- Does your new pet come with a health guarantee?
- Have the parents been certified healthy for issues the breed might have?
- Have the puppies already had some of their shots?
- What kind of food do they feed and how often?
- I’m happy to say that I found several reputable breeders, and even found one that was close to where they lived, so they could go and pick out their own puppy. Not only that, the puppy I found is a happy and healthy dog today, with a warm and loving family.