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August 13, 2020
When you decide to add a dog to your family pack, you have several options as to where you can find your new canine companion. You can rescue or adopt a dog, you can look at various pet stores, get a pet from someone you know whose dog might have had a litter of puppies, or you can find your potential pooch through a reputable breeder.
There are many places that are simply puppy mills in disguise, cranking out defenseless pups for the sole purpose of turning a profit. It is important to understand that a good breeder has nothing to do with puppy mills. In fact, a reputable breeder is rarely in the dog-breeding business to make money; she does it because she loves it and truly cares for the animals that she breeds.
Therefore, if you decide to find your pup through a breeder, what are you supposed to look for to find the right fit for you? What qualities make a good breeder? Likewise, what are the red flags that signal you to turn and run from certain “breeders?”
Knowing what traits distinguish a good breeder from a poor one is critical to making an informed decision. You also need to know where to look. A good starting point is to ask your vet for the names of trusted breeders that she is familiar with and she recommends. You can also search for legitimate breeders through the AKC (American Kennel Club) or UKC (United Kennel Club), or your friends and family members could have suggestions based on breeders that they have used in the past.
No matter where you find your breeder, before you proceed with any transaction, it’s critical to assess the breeder’s qualifications.
Here are some positive traits of a good breeder:
In addition to these qualities, you should also determine how you feel about a particular breeder. You most likely will have a gut instinct or reaction to someone. If it feels right and the breeder checks all of the boxes, then you most likely found a great match. If something feels off, whether the breeder possesses the right qualities or not is a moot point; it’s time to look elsewhere if your heart isn’t in it.
Another essential quality of a good breeder is that she will always be willing to answer all of your questions, and you should be prepared to ask her a lot. But, a good breeder will also ask you many questions to assess whether or not you are a good candidate for dog ownership, especially owning one of her dogs.
A reputable breeder has her dogs’ best interests at heart. If a breeder does not believe that you are the right owner for one of her pups, then she can decline to do business with you. If a breeder jumps at the chance to sell you a pup without asking you any questions, this is a big red flag.
Here are some of the questions a reputable breeder should ask you before selling you a dog:
Here are some big red flags that signal a breeder is not all that she seems, and you should continue your search:
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