Are you ready to get a dog? When you're prepared, four-legged friends can be a great addition to the family. Before searching for a dog breeder, it's best to determine what type of dog you're looking for. Even if you don't know the exact breed, you should narrow it down to a general size.
Next, it's time to find a responsible breeder. It is ultimately up to you to determine where your new pup will come from, but there are a few things you can do to make a more informed decision. The six tips below can be helpful when searching for a responsible dog breeder.
1. Ask for References
Getting a dog is a big decision, so don't wing it—ask for references. Experienced breeders will often have testimonials and referrals on hand. If possible, ask those previous customers about their experience and if they'd be willing to do it again. Did any problems come up? If so, how were they handled? This information can all be especially helpful when searching for the right breeder.
2. Prepare Some Questions
Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. It's essential to understand a how the puppies are bred before signing a contract.
Questions you should ask include:
- What health issues run in the breed, as well as the lines, and what measures are being taken by the breeder to prevent them?
- Has a vet checked the puppies?
- How old are the mother and father?
- Do the parents have any health issues?
3. Meet the Parents
Do you want to know what your puppy will look like grown up? Then, if possible, meet the parents. You can get a sense for their size, coloring, and temperaments. Are they aloof and independent, or do they crave human attention? Are they underweight or overweight? But, bear in mind that the parents may not always be available for you to see, and it isn’t uncommon for breeders to use a stud service. However, it can’t hurt to ask.
4. Ask About Socialization
Find a breeder who understands the importance of socialization. Breeders should interact with the puppies at least once per day, gently handing them in a variety of ways. This process will gradually get them used to be being touched, including on the legs, belly, and ears.
5. Get the Pedigree Information
Get your puppy’s complete health pedigree and medical history. Both will tell you much about your pup, as well as his lineage and what, if any, traits and mutations the line may carry.
6. Stay Patient
A responsible dog breeder knows a puppy must stay with its mother for eight weeks after birth for healthy mental and physical development. Removing puppies from parents when they're too young can lead to long-term side effects, such as health issues and aggression towards other dogs.
Dogs truly are man's best friend, so it can be great to have a new pup in your life. However, for the health and future of your dog, it's best to seek out a responsible breeder. Just remember, it’s good to ask questions. A trustworthy operation will be willing to provide you with as much information as you need.