Puppy Panic: How Do You Choose The Best Breeder?

The breeder you choose to get your puppy from is just as important as the breed you choose for your family. Don't take chances on these important decisions — here's some help on how to choose a breeder that stands head, shoulders, and tail above the rest.

Why It's So Important To Find A Great Breeder

You want your new puppy to come from a healthy, trustworthy line, but you also want a puppy who has been adequately socialized, despite his young age. Good breeders understand the value of early learning with puppies. It's very important the puppies have an introduction to people, the training process (albeit simple), and other animals.

If you end up with a puppy who hasn't been properly socialized and briefed on his expected interactions with you, it could cost you a lot in terms of time and resources. Particularly if your chosen breed is large, strong, or potentially hard to handle, such as with Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Beagles, who all pose unique training challenges. Because you'll have a lot of work to do with these puppies from the start, you want to be sure they come from a healthy, stable, and viable background.

What The Qualities Of An Exceptional Breeder Are

The best breeders will scrutinize you, the prospective puppy purchaser, as much as if not more than you scrutinize them. They should ask for recommendations from a veterinarian as well as for you to prove that you are able to sustain the health and well-being of the animal over the long-term.

They'll have clean, spacious quarters for all of their animals that you'll be allowed to inspect. Also, any questions you have regarding the specific breed should be readily answered, and your puppy should not be available until he's of the right age. The length of the weaning process should be determined by the animals themselves and not some magic number.

You should be able to meet one or both of the litter's parents and to inspect their registered paperwork as well. While you're there, observe how the various animals interact with the breeder: is there genuine affection between them? Do the adult dogs listen well? Do you get a true sense of a nurturing environment, or is it all business and rushed? Trust your instincts; they may be one of the most valuable assets in determining how good a breeder truly is.

How To Be 99% Certain Your New Puppy Comes From A Good Source

While there's no way to guarantee you'll end up with the most suitable dog for your circumstances, there are ways to filter out what may be the least desirable choices with the origins of your puppy:

  1.  Ask a veterinarian for a recommendation; a good breeder has their animals checked, vaccinated, and otherwise kept healthy.
  2.  Take your time with the process, so that you have the opportunity to get to know the breeders well.
  3.  Ask the breeder for the contact information of a few satisfied customers.
  4.  Actually check the paperwork the breeder presents you with or verify their standing with the American Kennel Club.
  5.  Within reason, you should be able to see the breeding conditions on demand or without an appointment.

Your new puppy should come with some sort of "warranty," where the breeder maintains a certain level of responsibility for certain aspects of his health, for a limited time. It's a good idea to form a bond with the breeder, too, in order to keep a positive rapport going for future interactions, questions. and even to possibly recommend the breeder yourself to people who inquire about where you got your puppy.

Enjoy your new puppy with the peace of mind that only comes with knowing he came from a great place!