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Essential Questions To Ask A Dog Breeder

Choosing a puppy can prove challenging, after all there's nothing cuter than a dog when they are still very young. Once you've done your research and found the perfect breed to suit your lifestyle, the next step is to find a reputable, well established breeder which you can do online or through a local dog club. A good breeder would be ready and willing to answer all the questions you want to ask them over the telephone before you think about visiting their kennels.

A well established breeder would have an in-depth knowledge of all health issues that commonly affect the breed and as such would have done their level best to only use screened dogs and bitches in their breeding programmes. This in itself reduces the risk of any hereditary health problems being passed onto their offspring. However, other questions you should ask a dog breeder before arranging to visit their kennel include the following:

  • Ask how long they have been in the business. If they are well established it shows they’re committed to their work and the longer they've been breeding puppies, the better
  • Ask for references from people who have bought puppies from them in the past. It's a good idea to talk to the people to see if their puppies developed any health or behavioural issues
  • Ask about their screening processes which they should routinely carry out on dogs they breed from and what sort of tests need to be carried out on puppies. The breeder should be happy to let you know about breed related health issues that can be tested for and if their puppies need to be tested for any of them which includes disorders that could affect their hips, ears and eyes. The breeder should also be willing to give you copies of all records of tests they’ve carried out on their litters which you need to have in your hands before making a decision to buy a puppy from them
  • It's important to ask whether the puppies are up to date with their vaccinations and if they have been wormed. Again, a reputable and conscientious breeder would be only too happy to make all records available to you. It's also worth contacting their vet to have a chat with them if you feel you need to
  • Ask the breeder whether or not they would be willing to take a puppy back if your circumstances change and you are no longer able to keep them whether it's a few months down the line or a couple of years later. A good breeder always considers any puppies they produce as being part of their “family”. As such, they would be only too happy to find one of their puppies a new and loving home if the need arises. You must, however, bear in mind that asking for a refund of any sort would be out of the question.

Questions a Breeder Might Ask of You

Once you have asked all your questions and are happy with the answers you’ve been given, it's quite common practice for a breeder to ask you some questions about your circumstances too. This would include where you live and if you are new to keeping dogs or a seasoned owner. If you are a new dog owner, a breeder may ask whether or not you have any children especially if you've decided to share a home with a dog that might not be the best choice for families with kids. If this is the case, you may find they advise you not to get that particular breed and some breeders might even refuse to sell you one of their puppies for this reason.

Arranging a Visit to the Breeder

Once you have discussed everything with the breeder over the phone, the next step is to arrange to visit their kennels. If possible you should ask to see the pup's mum and if their father is there, ask to see him too. This allows you to see their characters and personalities which would then give you a good idea of how their puppies would turn out.

Visiting a breeder's kennel is essential because you get to see the sort of environment dogs and puppies are kept in and whether it is clean or not. All the puppies should appear in good health and full of life. They should “smell” nice too because this is a very good indication of them being kept in hygienic conditions all of the time, and not just when potential owners are visiting the kennels. Their eyes should be nice and bright with no discharge from them or their noses either. The other thing to check is whether or not any of the puppies has a swollen or bloated stomach which could be a sign of them having worms. Too thin and puppies are undernourished which is never a good sign either.

Conclusion

Taking on a new puppy is exciting, but with all the fun comes a lot of responsibility and commitment. Before deciding on a particular pup, it's important to find out as much as you can about the breeder. A well established breeder would be very proud of the litters they produce and as such would be only too happy to answer all your questions over the phone and to show you records of all their breeding stock when you arrange a visit. Once you’re satisfied and can meet the puppies and their parents, it’s time to make a decision. A good breeder would help you when it comes to choosing a puppy after having asked you several questions about your circumstances which is another huge plus of dealing with a reputable dog breeder.


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