The Aspiring Dog Owner’s Guide To Selecting A Breeder

By Lawrence Reaves

Once you have become familiar with the responsibilities of dog ownership, and have chosen a breed that suits your lifestyle, the hunt begins for your new pet. Many people start their search at local animal shelters. This is a good option if you are looking for a mixed breed. Other people visit pet stores; this is a bad choice since many pet store canines arrive from puppy farms. If you have checked the shelters, but have yet to find your perfect match, there is another option: hiring a professional breeder.

The biggest challenge in hiring a breeder is finding someone who handles the job responsibly. Many people breed their dogs to make a side income without giving attention to whether the animals will be healthy over the long run.

This article will present a brief guide for finding a professional. We’ll begin by explaining exactly what a breeder does, so you’ll understand the value they add to the process. You’ll also learn how breeders painstakingly select their buyers to ensure the pets find good homes. Lastly, we’ll reveal a few telltale signs of a responsible professional.

Understanding The Breeder’s Role

The breeder’s job is to make sure that a given canine conforms to his breed. The animal should have the same body type, stance, and gait. He should exhibit the same tendencies throughout his life. His temperament should also be consistent with others of his breed. For example, a German Shepherd is known to be self-confident. Saint Bernards are known for their gentle nature. The breeder attempts to match a dog’s characteristics as closely as possible to his breed.


Another important role played by the breeder is reducing the likelihood your pet will inherit hereditary health problems. The goal is to gradually lessen the chances of such problems surfacing with each successive generation. This is accomplished by sticking closely to standards created by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Backyard breeders are unlikely to make this same effort.

Meeting The Breeder’s Requirements

A lot of aspiring owners are surprised to find themselves scrutinized by breeders. For example, the professional will want to know whether you have cared for a canine in the past. He or she may ask whether you live in a home or apartment. You might be asked to describe your backyard, and whether you own other pets. This person may also want to explain the responsibilities involved with owning a dog.

The reason a breeder goes through this process is to make sure the canine will be cared for properly in his new home. Besides the love and attention of his owners, this includes receiving the right nutrition, plenty of exercise, and ongoing veterinary care.

Signs Of A Responsible Breeder

During your visit to a professional breeder’s facility, you’ll notice clear signs that the person breeds dogs responsibly. For example, the kennel will appear clean. Many breeders will invite you to take a tour of their facilities, so you can see the areas in which the puppies are raised. If there are puppies on the premises, he or she will allow you to observe them, but may decline requests to pet them, depending on their age.

Another sign of professionalism is a wide-ranging familiarity with the breeds in which he or she specializes. The responsible breeder will be able to detail known diseases and health problems to which the breeds are susceptible. This person should be able to describe what to expect with regard to temperament, personality, and other facets of the breed.

Also, responsible breeders work by contract. A typical contract will cover your responsibilities as the dog’s owner, the breeder’s responsibilities, along with details concerning the dog’s health. There may be an additional clause that requires you to bring the pet back to the breeder if you are unable to provide adequate care. The purpose of such a clause, when it is included, is so the canine can be spared from going to a shelter.

Working with a breeder is a good option for those who prefer a specific breed, but have had little luck finding one in local shelters. Make certain, however, the person with whom you work approaches their job responsibly.

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