Dog Care 101

What To Look For When Choosing A Dog Breeder… 3 Questions To Ask

Photo of author

By Regina

2-tiny-puppies.jpg Telling the difference between a good dog breeder and a bad one is very important, especially if you want to purchase a puppy that is healthy, happy and designed to live the maximum amount of years for its breed.

Most people who want to purchase a puppy don’t think much of going to a pet shop, or even just looking in the newspaper for people who might be selling puppies. While both of these options can work for someone wanting to buy a puppy, there are also problems that can occur with both.

Ultimately, the best choice for someone wanting to purchase a healthy, happy, puppy is to choose a good dog breeder who knows what they are doing.

My grandmother raised and bred Pomeranians for years and I’ve heard some real horror stories about wannabe dog breeders who didn’t know what they were doing. This resulted in puppies that developed health problems later, or animals that were kept in such poor conditions that they never really got completely healthy because they had such a bad start to begin with.

Here are 3 questions to ask when you’re visiting dog breeders…

#1  How many animals does the breeder have?
While this might seem like it is not important, it really is. Some dog breeders run what are commonly known as “puppy mills” and the goal is not to produce healthy, well adjusted puppies, but rather to make a profit by keeping their female dogs pregnant as much as possible. This does not allow the female dogs a chance to recuperate from the previous pregnancy, thus possibly causing health problems for the female dog down the road. It can also produce less than healthy puppies.

#2  Are the animals kept in kennels that allow them run and move about freely, or do they run freely in a yard or other large area?
It is not a healthy situation for any animal (particularly the larger breeds) to be kept cramped in small or even medium cages for long periods of time. This can cause not only physical health problems for the dog, but emotional issues, as well. Ideally, a good dog breeder will have a large space for the dogs to run and move about most of the time. If you see that a breeder has many dogs in small to medium cages and they aren’t allowed out to run and interact or play, then the dog breeder is probably not going to have very healthy puppies to offer you.

#3  How knowledgeable is the dog breeder about the breed(s) he or she is selling?
3-puppies.jpgThis can be a very big tip off to you about whether or not a dog breeder is a good one. Educate yourself about the breed you are going to look at, including any health problems that might be inherent to the breed. Then, ask the dog breeder questions. If it appears that the dog breeder really doesn’t know anything about the breed he is selling, then most likely he is what is a “backyard breeder” —  which is to say that the dog breeder is someone who just decided it would be fun to breed her female dog(s) and get some puppies to sell. This sort of dog breeder probably isn’t going to pay any attention to either the dog’s bloodlines, health, or emotional state anymore than the male dog she breeds her bitch to. This is again a situation that could be a problem waiting to happen — in the form of unhealthy puppies. While the puppies may seem to be happy, well-adjusted and healthy in the beginning, health problems can develop later in the dog’s life, just as with humans.

Those are the 3 most important things you will want to look for when searching for a dog breeder to purchase your new puppy from, although they are by no means the only ones.

Also, be sure to educate yourself about the breed(s) you are interested in. And ask yourself hard questions about whether or not your lifestyle will allow you to raise a happy puppy into a well-adjusted dog.