12 Questions to Ask a Breeder


If you are looking to purchase a puppy here are

12 Questions to Ask a Breeder
(Condensed from Dog Fancy Magazine)

1. How long have you been involved with the breed?

It's important that the breeder knows a lot about the breed and it shouldn't be someone that just takes two of their dogs and breeds them together. Ask if the breeder belongs to a breed club or canine association that sets standards for breeders.

2. Do you show or trial your dogs? What titles do your dogs have?

The parents of your new puppy should have show, obedience or other titles. These demonstrate the commitment the breeder has toward improving the breed. Most breeders are happy to brag about their dogs.

3. Why did you breed these two dogs?

Reputable breeders strive to improve their breed. They may talk about improving certain conformation of one dog with another or may say that this is a repeat breeding, and they really liked the dogs out of the previous breeding. Good breeders don't breed solely for financial gain. Ask why they chose the stud dog. Reputable breeders may own a stud dog but chose a different stud dog because it had qualities they were looking to introduce into their lines.

4. Do you breed to the ANKC Breed Standard?

While some breeds have a leeway on size or colour, the breeder should not be breeding unusually large or small dogs or disqualifying colours. Read the breed standard and understand it. Know the standard before buying a puppy. (Refer Dogs NSW website for more information)

5. How many Litters do your dogs have each year?

Most reputable breeders don't encourage multiple litters. A good breeder strives for quality, not quantity. The State governing body would frown on more than one litter a year.

6. How old are the puppies parents?

Most dogs and bitches are not mature until two years old. A good breeder will wait until then before breeding them. Only an ignorant breeder will breed their dogs too young.

7. Can I see the parents of the pups? Can you tell me about the dogs in the pedigree?

Good breeders know the puppies ancestry and should have good documentation. They can usually tell you stories about the puppies parents, grandparents, cousins and other relatives. They can usually discern personality and conformation types at a very early age and advise you on the puppy to pick.

8. Do you screen for Hereditary Diseases?

Some breeds are predisposed to certain genetic diseases and certification is advisable. If a breeder tells you that they don't need to check for hereditary problems because they are rare in this breed, don't believe them. Most purebreds have some incidence of genetic diseases or hereditary problems. Some diseases can be screened for; others cannot. Good breeding practices reduce your puppy's chances of disease.

9. Do you offer a guarantee?

The guarantee usually offers compensation of another puppy or a refund. Sometimes the guarantee includes conditions, but they should be easily be met by the new owners. Many reputable breeders want first right of refusal. This means that the breeder will take the puppy back at any age if you no longer want it. Responsible breeders don't want their pups abandoned or in a shelter. Most will want to stay in touch and want to know how the pup is doing.

10. What do I need to know to bring the puppy home? (Vaccinations, food etc.)

Pups should not leave the breeder before 8 weeks. Puppies need that time to socialize and learn basic lessons from their mother. All puppies need vaccinations to protect them from diseases such as parvovirus, distemper etc. Puppies require special nutrition for growth. Ask if the breeder will provide a food sample when the puppy is ready to leave. You should gradually introduce the pup's new food slowly.

11. Do you have a contract? Can I see it, can I see the parents papers before I purchase?

The contract - a bill of sale between you and the breeder will specify guarantees between you and the breeder. Some breeders require the owner to take the puppy to obedience training or to spay or neuter it. A pup may also be sold 'on breeders terms' which means that the pup is of show quality and the breeder would like a stud or litter when the pup is old enough.

12. Can you provide references?

Breeders should be able to provide references from previous buyers and other breeders familiar with their practices. Most breeders will encourage you to look at other breeders' dogs to gain a better understanding of the breed. Most importantly, breeders should honestly tell you the breed's positives and negatives.


Contact Details

President - Jane Jackson
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Email : [email protected]