What to be Aware of When Looking for a Breeder

So what makes a good breeder?  What should we look for when looking for a breeder?  What things should we be aware of that should raise red flags for us and warns us to stay away?  These are some of the  questions I also hear often as a trainer. 
Generally speaking, a good breeder will list all health tests and pedigrees.  They show their dogs in conformation and/or obedience etc.  Depending on their breed, they may work them too.  They don’t usually have litters all that often, generally 2 litters a year, some even less than that.  They want a relationship with their puppy buyers.  They have a detailed puppy application and along with this will also be copious phone calls and emails.  There may also be a lengthy waiting list for one of their pups.  A sure-fire sign is in how hard it is to acquire one of their pups.
They usually try and pair up the right pup with the right family ratherthan first deposit gets first pup etc.  Deposits are held only if an appropriate pup is whelped.  If that arrangement does not work out, then the deposit is returned.  The health tests that are done are usually more than just the bare minimum.  Health and temperament are very important factors and their sites generally portray as such.
Some of the signs of a questionable breeder could be regularly having litters or always having puppies available.  Taking non-refundable deposits, especially if that deposit is half the price of the pup.  They don’t work with their dogs in any venue.  No conformation, obedience etc.   
No screening of their pups future family.  If you can pay for a pup, you can have one.  Their site wil generally state “will ship anywhere” which can also be a red flag.  They don’t usually list pedigrees of their dogs or post “ask for pedigree details”.  A reputable breeder is proud of their dogs and where they came from so they usually post pedigrees or all pertinent information. 
Now just because a breeder may do one of these things, good or bad, does not make them a good or bad breeder.  You must take they picture as a whole but these tips are some place to start when looking for a breeder.
Copyright © 2011 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/Shadowlands Canine Training/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes.  All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2011

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