Member since 2/17/03
Date: 6/25/09 9:07 PM
I support & volunteer for animal rescue. My last dog was a puppymill survivor with several genetic problems that caused a lot of heartbreak for my family. We spent thousands in vain trying to improve the quality of my dog's life. He died in January.
We are beginning our search for a new dog and we've decided to find a reputable breeder instead of rescue this time. Does anyone have suggestions for how I might find a breeder who knows what they are doing, instead of a "backyard breeder"?
Member since 12/14/06
In reply to Pam Z
Date: 6/25/09 10:02 PM
What breed are you looking for? For my favorite breed of dog (Samoyed), the national breed club has a code of ethics and a list of breeders who have signed it. The standard health problems in some breeds can be tested for and if the dog passes a number is assigned, if this is the case you can ask for those numbers (for Samoyeds that includes OFA numbers for hip dysplasia and CERF numbers for some eye problems, among others). You could go to a dog show in your area and meet breeders - although just because someone shows dogs doesn't mean they have high health standards for their dogs, some put winning/beauty above health.
The AKC has a list of breeder referral contacts,
That may get you to the national breed club, (just having an AKC number does not mean a dog is not from a backyard breeder, but it's a place to start).
You should ask what type of guarantee a breeder has, not that you could ever give up a dog even if unhealthy, but if a breeder is willing to take a dog back, they probably don't have to do it very often.
Here is a guide to finding a breeder, it is for Samoyeds but most should apply to any breed:
What is a good breeder?
I've had 4 dogs in my life, from a backyard breeder, a breeder of show dogs who never spoke to me again after I told her about a health problem, rescue, and a wonderful breeder. I hope you can find the latter. Good luck.
Member since 1/24/08
Date: 6/25/09 11:24 PM
I googled the rescue group in my state for the breed I wanted and then contacted the head person. It worked like a charm, the rescue groups seem to know who the best and most conscientious breeders are. They also steered me to the breeder that best socialized her puppies.
Member since 10/26/06
Date: 6/26/09 8:28 AM
There may also be a breed club in your town that can point you in the right direction. Be sure to get references. I would stay away from someone who offers to put a dog on a plane and send it to you. You'll want to meet the parents (the male and the female) if at all possible.
"To love another person is to see the face of God!" ~Les Miserables
Member since 8/24/02
In reply to Pam Z
Date: 6/26/09 10:14 AM
If you watched Cesar Milan's piece on dog breeders, you might want to reconsider. It was really sad, even though the breeder was "complying".
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine
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Member since 2/15/05
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 6/26/09 10:29 AM
I've had two purebreds and have decided not to go that route again... very expensive, both in initial purchase and ongoing health problems, and they both died at 7 from cancer. We had a golden retriever and a Bernese mountain dog-- truly beautiful dogs, and good temperments for the most part (the Berner was a little overprotective and got snappy at the end, he probably was not feeling well at all). Anyway, I have decided not to get another purebred; would like a mutt or mixed breed for my next dog. Taking a risk there, too, of course but I just want a healthier pet. It's not the right time in my life for a puppy just now, but maybe someday a friend or neighbor will have a sweet-tempered dog with a litter of pups...
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British Columbia CANADA
Member since 8/24/02
In reply to Pam Z
Date: 6/26/09 12:04 PM
I went to school with a girl whose mother bred Irish Setters. She is a member of the local and National Kennel Clubs and shows her dogs in Canada and the USA.
Personally I am a mutt person, but if I wanted a pure bred, I would call her and ask who she would recommend for the breed I was interested in. Not all dogs are show quality, I remember she had one runt who had more personality and character than her champion, but because she was a runt, she was sold for next to nothing.
Are there any dog shows in your area? That is a great place to meet breeders.
Just remember that many breeders, even those who raise show dogs, do line breeding which can magnify genetic problems, as well as desirable traits in a dog.
Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student
Member since 8/23/07
Date: 6/26/09 12:24 PM
I'd ask your vet (if you trust him/her, that is).
I worked for a vet many, many years ago, and he knew all the breeders in the area. Many he respected and recommended (on his "own time" of course) and many he did not. Usually because he was the one who would see, firsthand, the health of the parents and the health of other puppies in that breeder's care.
And many times, he called the ASPCA/Human Society on irresponsible breeders.
Connie in Panama City Beach, Florida :)
"And these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through" ~ David Bowie, "Changes"
New Mexico USA
Member since 5/22/07
Date: 6/26/09 12:39 PM
As a person who has bred purebred show dogs, I commend you for looking for a good breeder. In addition to the suggestions of contacting breed rescue groups, breed clubs and your vet, contact your local dog training clubs. These are people who work with their dogs and want healthy dogs with good temperments. They have contacts all over the country with their breeds.
Wendy in NM
|Doris W. in TN
Member since 2/9/04
In reply to Pam Z
Date: 6/26/09 2:30 PM
The best dogs we have had, personality-wise, are the ones where I took my time and shopped carefully. Here's my two-cents worth:
Beware the backyard breeder. Ack. Some are okay, most are not (ask me how I know), because they aren't breeding to improve the breed. They just think it would be nice to have puppies because their dog is so great. They may not be aware, nor care, about health issues.
Every breed has certain health issues to which it will be predisposed. And then sometimes bad luck just happens.
Look online for the national club(s) for the breed(s) you are interested in. There are two clubs for the Cavalier KCS (our current breed) and one of them, the original club, has very good and strict guidelines for health clearances and such, for breeders who are members in their club. That doesn't mean a member won't deviate from it, but in my search this year, I found a difference in breeders and which club they belong to.
Talking to vets offices beyond your own, and "dog people," can help a lot. Ask dog trainers, kennels, groomers. When you keep getting the same breeder's name over and over, you're likely going to get a good dog.
---Do your research, and don't be shy to walk away from a breeder or a dog.
---Ask lots of questions, like you would if you were buying a used car or an older house.
---A good breeder will want to meet you, and ask you questions about your family, lifestyle & daily schedule, meet your children if you have any, and literally look you over before they decide to sell you a dog!
---Do not buy a dog from someone out of town, who will ship the dog. ---Don't trust a nice, pretty breeder's web site. The actual place itself may not be so pretty nor the living conditions. (ask me how I know)
---Do NOT buy a dog because you don't want to hurt the breeder's feelings, or you need to rescue/save the puppy from its home.
---Go visit the breeder, look and see what the living conditions for the dog(s) are. I walked away from one breeder and ran from another before I bought Sophie (in my avatar).
Our first dog was an Irish Setter that was AKC registered. I bought it from a backyard breeder for $25 in 1980. Oh. My. God. I was so young and naive......
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