You’ve made the decision that you want a purebred dog. That’s great! But, how do you choose the right one for you? Many excellent dog breeders in the US are better than others, but not all are reputable. Therefore, to ensure that you’ll end up with a healthy puppy and a good breeder, here are some simple steps you have to consider:
Look for a licensed breeder.
The first thing you’ll want to do when looking for a purebred dog is to find a trusted breeder in your area. A breeder must be licensed by their state or local government, or they may be certified by a breed club or other organization. You should request proof of this licensing or certification from the breeder and verify it with the state or organization.
A good breeder will be willing to show you their license, registration papers, certifications, and anything else that verifies that they are legitimate. There are several ways to find licensed dog breeders in the US:
- American Kennel Club breeder referral service.
- Online directories of all breeds.
- Rescue shelters
- Local vets
Evaluate the dogs’ living conditions.
Visit the dogs’ living area in person instead of looking at photos on a website or in ads. The environment should be clean and well maintained with fresh food and water nearby. Puppies should be free to roam around the breeding ground or kennel with enough room to play and socialize comfortably with each other and their mother. Make sure the yard itself is secure so that no animals can get in or out without human assistance.
Ask to meet the dog’s parents.
Breeders should be happy to show you both mother and father in person, as long as they live on the premises. Never buy from someone who won’t let you meet the parents or who tells you they’re unavailable. If a breeder has several litters available, that’s also a red flag – reputable breeders usually only have one or two litters at a time so that they can pay attention to each puppy.
Request for medical records and proof of health screenings.
Responsible breeders will have medical records for each puppy, including shots and deworming treatments. They should also provide proof that the parent dogs were screened for genetic diseases that could be passed down to puppies. Ask to see any certificates or results from these tests before making any decisions.
Good breeders will have this documentation provided, showing that the dog’s parents are free from common genetic health problems known to occur in the breed and cleared of any issues.
Watch how the breeder interacts with their animals.
A good breeder cares about each animal as an individual. They should pay attention to the animals’ personalities and behavior, and they should be able to give you some insight into what your dog will be like as he or she grows up.
The breeder will also be alert to any problems or concerns with their animals. They should know and be able to explain any health issues in the bloodline, and if they are breeding multiple types of dogs, they should have a plan for preventing interbreeding (for example, by keeping male dogs away from females when females are in heat).
Be aware of puppy mills when you search for dog breeders.
Puppy mills in the US sell dogs to pet stores, and they usually do not care about the health of the dogs they produce. As mentioned above, a good breeder will want you first to visit their facility and meet the dog. However, puppy mills usually don’t allow people to see their facilities.
Puppy mills are inhumane commercial dog breeding facilities that put greater value on profit than on the treatment and socialization of dogs. Dogs are typically kept in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water, or socialization.
In many cases, female dogs spend their lives in cages, producing litter after litter until they can no longer reproduce. The mothers of puppies sold in pet stores are often found confined inside filthy wire cages stacked on top of one another in overcrowded sheds.
There is no “silver bullet” to picking a good dog breeder. It takes time and planning but hopefully, the six simple ways presented above will ease the process of choosing your breeder and welcome your new pet into your family.