|Keeps her/his dogs in the
home and as part of the family--not outside in kennel runs.
|Has dogs who appear happy
and healthy, are excited to meet new people, and don't shy away
|Shows you where the dogs
spend most of their time--an area that is clean and well
|Encourages you to spend
time with the puppy's parents--at a minimum, the pup's
mother--when you visit.
|Breeds only one or two
types of dogs, and is knowledgeable about what is called "breed
standards" (the desired characteristics of the breed in areas
such as size, proportion, coat, color and temperament).
|Has a strong relationship
with a local veterinarian and shows you the records of
veterinary visits for the puppies. Explains the puppies' medical
history and what vaccinations your new puppy will need.
|Is well versed in the
potential genetic problems inherent in the breed--there are
specific genetic concerns for every breed--and explains to you
what those concerns are. The breeder should have had the puppy's
parents tested (and should have the results from the parents'
parents) to ensure they are free of those defects, and s/he
should be able to provide you with the documentation for all
testing s/he has done through organizations such as the
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals(OFA).
|Gives you guidance on
caring and training for your puppy and is available for your
assistance after you take your puppy home.
|Provides references of
other families who have purchased puppies from her/him.
|Feeds high quality
"premium" brand food.
|Doesn't always have
puppies available but rather will keep a list of interested
people for the next available litter.
|Actively competes with
her/his dogs in conformation trials (which judge how closely
dogs match their "breed standard"), obedience trials (which
judge how well dogs perform specific sets of tasks on command),
or tracking and agility trials. Good breeders will also work
with local, state, and national clubs that specialize in their
visits and wants your entire family to meet the puppy before you
take your puppy home.
|Provides you with a
written contract and health guarantee and allows plenty of time
for you to read it thoroughly. The breeder should not
require that you use a specific veterinarian.
|In addition to the
above criteria, you'll want a breeder who requires some
things of you, too. A reputable breeder doesn't just sell
her puppies to the first interested buyer!
|The breeder should
require you to:
|Explain why you
want a dog.
|Tell her/him who
in the family will be responsible for the pup's daily
care, who will attend training classes, where the dog
will spend most of her time, and what "rules" have been
decided upon for the puppy--for example, will the dog be
allowed on furniture?
veterinary reference if you already have pets or, if you
don't have other pets, s/he should ask which practices
you are considering for your new puppy.
from your landlord or condominium board (if you rent or
live in a condominium complex) that you are allowed to
have companion animals.
|Sign a contract
that you will spay or neuter the dog unless you will be
actively involved in showing him or her (which applies
to show-potential dogs only).
|Sign a contract
stating that you will return the dog to the breeder
should you be unable to keep the dog at any point
in the dog's life.