Choosing a Dog Breeder: What You Need To Know

Choosing a Dog Breeder: What You Need To Know

Choosing the right dog breeder is a very important step towards finding the right fit for your family dog. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to make the best decision. This guide will help you through everything you need to know about selecting a reputable dog breeder, ensuring a healthy and happy addition to your family.

Table of content :

  • Researching Breeds and Recognized Standards
  • Evaluating Breeder Credentials and Reputation
  • Visiting the Breeder’s Facilities
  • Meeting the Breeder and Dogs
  • Reviewing Health Certifications and Genetic Testing
  • Understanding Breeding Contracts and Guarantees
  • Assessing Puppy Socialization and Early Training
  • Location and Lifestyle Match
  • Obtaining References and Reviews
  • Planning for Continued Support and Guidance
  • Making the Final Decision
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


Finding the Right Dog Breeder.

Researching Breeds and Recognized Standards

Before diving into finding a breeder, it’s key to research different dog breeds and their recognized standards. Understanding the characteristics, temperament, and specific traits of various breeds will help you narrow down your choices and find a breeder specializing in the type of dog that aligns with your lifestyle.

When choosing a breed and a breeder make sure you are clear between  the difference of having a family dog and a working dog. Breeders and breeds specialized in working dogs are going to give you a lot of challenges if you want a family dog. The opposite is also true, breeds that are meant to be pets are probably not going to perform very well as working dogs. For more on this topic check out this article: What is The Difference Between Obedience Training and Behavior Training? 

Evaluating Breeder Credentials and Reputation

When selecting a dog breeder, it’s crucial to assess their credentials and reputation within the breeding community. Look for breeders who are registered with reputable kennel clubs and adhere to ethical breeding practices. Additionally, seek recommendations from trusted sources, such as veterinarians, breed clubs, or experienced dog owners.

Visiting the Breeder’s Facilities

A personal visit to the breeder’s facilities can make a big difference to assess the living conditions and overall well-being of the dogs. Pay attention to cleanliness, organization, and whether the dogs have access to proper food, water, and socialization. A reputable breeder will welcome your visit and be transparent about their breeding practices.

Reviewing Health Certifictaions and Gentic Testing 

Take the time to meet with the breeder in person and interact with the dogs. Observe the breeder’s knowledge and passion for their dogs, as well as their willingness to answer your questions and address any concerns. Meeting the parent dogs can provide valuable insights into the temperament and health of the puppies they produce.

Meeting the Breeder and Dogs

Responsible dog breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their puppies by conducting thorough health screenings and genetic testing on their breeding dogs. Request documentation of health certifications, such as OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) clearances for hips and elbows, as well as genetic tests for hereditary conditions common to the breed.

Understanding Breeding Contracts and Guarantees

Before committing to a purchase when choosing a breeder, carefully review the breeder’s contract and any guarantees they offer. A reputable breeder will provide a written contract outlining the terms of the sale, health guarantees, and spay/neuter requirements. Ensure that you fully understand and agree to the terms before proceeding.

Assessing Puppy Socialization and Early Training

Puppies that are well-socialized and receive early training are more likely to grow into well-adjusted adult dogs. Inquire about the breeder’s socialization and training practices during the critical early weeks of the puppy’s life. A reputable breeder will expose puppies to various stimuli and provide a nurturing environment conducive to their development. For more about puppy socialization read this article: What’s Puppy Socialization?

Location and lifestyle match.

Bringing a puppy to a city is not the same as bringing a puppy to the suburbs or to the country. Puppies that are raised in a farm with a lot of outdoors time might sound like an ideal location, but if you live in a city apartment the adjustment from a farm to city living could be a big challenge.  When choosing a breeder see where they are raising the puppies and how’s the transition to your place going to look like. 

Obtaining References and Reviews

Ask the breeder for references from previous puppy buyers or testimonials from satisfied customers. Hearing about others’ experiences with the breeder can offer valuable insights into their reputation, customer satisfaction, and the quality of their puppies. Additionally, seek out online reviews and feedback from reputable sources.

Planning for Continued Support and Guidance

A responsible breeder doesn’t end their relationship with you after the sale but instead offers ongoing support and guidance throughout the dog’s life. Choose a breeder who is committed to providing assistance, advice, and resources as you navigate the joys and challenges of dog ownership. 

Making the Final Decision

After thorough research, visits, and evaluations, it’s time to make your final decision. Trust your instincts and choose a breeder who demonstrates integrity, professionalism, and a genuine love for their dogs. By selecting the right breeder, you’ll not only bring home a healthy and happy puppy but also establish a lifelong relationship with a trusted partner in your dog’s care.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

  • What qualities should I look for in a reputable dog breeder? Reputable dog breeders prioritize the health, temperament, and well-being of their dogs above all else. Look for breeders who are registered with reputable kennel clubs, conduct health screenings and genetic testing, provide proper socialization and early training, and offer ongoing support and guidance.
  • How do I avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders? Avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders by researching breeders thoroughly, visiting their facilities in person, asking for references and reviews, and looking for red flags such as overcrowded or unsanitary conditions, multiple breeds available, and reluctance to provide documentation.
  • What questions should I ask a dog breeder? When meeting with a dog breeder, be prepared to ask questions about their breeding practices, health certifications, genetic testing, socialization and training protocols, contract terms, and ongoing support. Don’t hesitate to inquire about the parent dogs’ temperament, health history, and living conditions.
  • What health certifications should a reputable dog breeder provide? A reputable dog breeder should provide health certifications such as OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) clearances for hips and elbows, genetic tests for hereditary conditions common to the breed, and documentation of vaccinations and deworming.
  • How can I ensure that I’m buying a healthy puppy? To ensure that you’re buying a healthy puppy, thoroughly research the breeder, visit their facilities in person, meet the parent dogs, review health certifications and genetic testing, and ask for references from previous buyers. Additionally, schedule a veterinary examination shortly after bringing the puppy home.
  • What ongoing support can I expect from a reputable dog breeder? A reputable dog breeder should offer ongoing support and guidance throughout the dog’s life, including advice on training, nutrition, health care, and behavior. They should be accessible to answer questions, address concerns, and provide resources as needed.

Choosing a dog breeder is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and research. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can confidently select a reputable breeder who will provide you with a healthy, well-adjusted puppy and ongoing support for years to come.

         © Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC |   All Rights Reserved April 2024

First Day Home With Your Puppy

First Day Home With Your Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting and memorable experience, but it also comes with its challenges, especially during the first day. To ensure a smooth transition for both you and your puppy, it’s key to be prepared and equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to make your puppy’s first day home a success.

Table of content :

  • Puppy First Impression.
  • Two Basic Different Types Of Puppy Temperament
  • Let Your Puppy Explore a Little
  • Do Structured Play to Make Them Tired
  • Provide Guidance From The Beginning
  • Crate Training / Confinement
  • Introduce Your Puppy to Their Kennel/Crate
  • Provide Guidance From The Beginning
  • Basic puppy supplies for puppy’s first night home
  • Puppy Potty Training – Frequent Potty Breaks
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Puppy First Impression.

The initial experience when your puppy enters your home can truly set the stage for a long-term harmonious relationship and experience. It can also save you A LOT of time and headaches.

Setting up a safe, confined area in your house where they can explore is a good way to welcome your puppy. Depending on your puppy, that first impression should be guided in different ways.

Two Basic Different Types Of Puppy Temperament.

 There are two basic types of temperament your puppy is broadly going to fall into. This can change as they grow and it can also change depending on what your puppy is doing at the time or the environment:

1.The high-energy, unruly, overexcited puppy,

2. The shy, unsure, fearful puppy.

Of course, this is a spectrum, and your puppy can be in between or switch from one state to the other.

1. The high-energy, unruly, overexcited puppy.

 If your puppy falls towards the high-energy, unruly, overexcited little devil, you will need to engage with structured play and boundaries to start calming him/her down right away. This will not only tire your puppy out, but it will also provide a lot of clarity on where structure and boundaries come from. Once they have a clear understanding of this, they tend to settle and calm down almost immediately. Understand that the lack of boundaries and structure brings a lot of stress and restlessness to puppies. Any social animal, including humans, that walks into an environment where there are no boundaries or rules immediately goes into fight/flight mode and restless behavior.

2. The shy, unsure, fearful puppy.

If your puppy falls towards the shy, unsure, fearful puppy, you will need to engage more with excitement and building self-confidence. Getting your puppy out of the shell will be the first priority. You’ll be able to put structure and boundaries in place later. If your puppy switches from one temperament to another, no big deal, you switch accordingly. This is very common.

Let Your Puppy Explore a Little

Allowing your puppy to explore their new surroundings is important for their development and adjustment. Supervise your puppy closely as they roam around the house, and remove any potential hazards or dangerous items. Encourage positive behaviors and gently redirect them if they start to get into mischief.

Do Structured Play to Make Them Tired

With energetic puppies, structured play is a must in order to help them burn off excess energy and prevent destructive behaviors. Engage in activities where you make your puppy play and stop, such as tug-of-war, or interactive games that promote mental control and some physical exercise. Be mindful of your puppy’s energy levels and take breaks as needed to prevent overexcitement or overstimulation. Know that when playing, it’s the stopping that makes them tired, not the constant play. Constant play will make them crazy. If you want to see videos and examples of how to do this, you are welcome to join our online membership: Pawmos – The Art Of Raising a Dog.

Provide Guidance From The Beginning

From the moment you bring your puppy home, it’s essential to establish yourself as a calm and confident parent. Remember that you are removing the puppy from their mother, who is the source of structure and boundaries. You need to fill in that gap, so set clear boundaries and rules for your puppy to follow, and be consistent with them. Use behavior training techniques and start learning how your body language affects your puppy. Do not rely on treats or external stimuli to learn how to communicate with your puppy. Learn more about the difference between Behavior Training and Obedience Training here: What is The Difference Between Obedience Training and Behavior Training? 

Use treats to teach them cues/commands and to reinforce behaviors that you want them to repeat, such as “come”, their name, or going to the bathroom where you want them to go.

Crate Training / Confinement

Crate training is an essential aspect of puppy training, providing your puppy with a safe and comfortable space to rest and relax. After you’ve tired your puppy out with structured play, you can introduce your puppy to their crate. Place soft bedding and a few toys inside. Use treats and encourage your puppy to enter the crate voluntarily and calmly. Do NOT throw a party if your puppy goes in the crate, since the crate should be associated with calmness, not with play. Learn more about crate training here: 6 Essential Tips For Crate Training

Introduce Your Puppy to Their Kennel/Crate

Introducing your puppy to their kennel or crate should be done gradually and calmly. Start by leaving the crate door open and allowing your puppy to explore it at their own pace.

Place some oily/smelly treat crumbs at the end of the crate and rub it against their bed before your puppy is in the room, and close the crate door.

Provide structure, play, and boundaries to make your puppy tired. Once they’re tired and calm, open the crate door, and they’ll probably go in on their own. If not, just toss a small treat in the crate to make it happen and let the magic of the smelly treat crumbs do the rest.

While they are calmly engaging with the treat crumbs inside the crate, close the door. Then wait until your puppy settles a little bit and slowly leave the room. At this point, your puppy would be tired enough to go for a nap.

As your puppy becomes more comfortable, gradually increase the amount of time they spend inside the crate with the door closed. For a free video example of how to introduce the crate to your puppy the first day click here.: Free Video: Puppy crate introduction

Basic Puppy Supplies for Puppy’s First Night Home

Before bringing your puppy home, make sure you have all the necessary supplies to ensure their comfort and well-being. Some essential items include a crate or kennel, bedding, food and water bowls, puppy food, collar and leash, toys, grooming supplies, and a pet first aid kit. Having these items on hand will help make your puppy’s first night home a smooth and enjoyable experience for both of you.

Puppy Potty Training – Frequent Potty Breaks

One of the first things you’ll need to tackle when bringing home a new puppy is potty training. Puppies have small bladders and may need to go potty frequently, especially during their first day in a new environment. Be prepared to take your puppy outside for potty breaks every hour or so, and be patient as they learn to associate the outdoors with bathroom time. For more tips in how to Pottu train your puppy check this article: Potty Training Mastery: No More Accidents!

In conclusion, welcoming a new puppy into your home is a joyful and rewarding experience, but it also requires patience, dedication, and preparation. By following the tips outlined in this guide and providing your puppy with love, guidance, and structure from the beginning, you can set the stage for a happy and healthy life together.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • How often should I take my puppy outside for potty breaks on the first day home?
    It’s importnat to take your puppy outside for potty breaks frequently, ideally every hour or so, to prevent accidents indoors and reinforce good bathroom habits.

  • Should I leave my puppy alone in their crate during the first day home?
    While crate training is important, it’s best to avoid leaving your puppy alone in their crate for extended periods during the first day. Gradually introduce them to the crate and supervise their interactions with it to ensure they feel comfortable and secure. Having said that if your puppy is sleeping in the crate, do not wake them up! Let them sleep as needed.

  • What should I do if my puppy cries or whines in their crate?
    If your puppy cries or whines in their crate, try to determine the cause of their distress. They may need to go potty, be hungry, or simply need reassurance. To prevent or to address separation anxiety read more about it here:
    Why dogs have Separation Anxiety? Can I fix it? 

  • How can I prevent my puppy from chewing on furniture and other household items?
    Providing your puppy with appropriate chew toys and supervising their playtime can help redirect their chewing behavior. Additionally, puppy-proofing your home by removing any potentially harmful or valuable items can minimize the risk of destructive chewing. For more on this issue check this blog:
    Why Is My Puppy Chewing Furniture? Here is How to Prevent It.

  • What should I do if my puppy seems overwhelmed or anxious on their first day home?
    It’s normal for puppies to feel anxious in a new environment. Provide your puppy with calmness, reassurance, and love to help them feel safe and secure. Avoid getting anxious yourself. Do not overwhelm them with too many new experiences or interactions and allow them to adjust at their own pace. Keep it simple!

         © Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC |   All Rights Reserved March 2024