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