Avoid Bad Dog Breeders: Ask Questions Before You Buy

Puppies in a crate

Once you've done your research and selected your puppy breed, it's time to prepare some questions to put to dog breeders and watch out for red flags. Puppies quickly win our hearts, but it's crucial to understand what to anticipate from your dog breeder.

Consider Pedigrees and Registration

If you don't want to breed dogs or participate in conformation dog shows, having a registered puppy may not be crucial to you. However, pedigree data and registration records are accessible from reputable and responsible breeders. If you paid for a pedigreed dog, you ought to get the required paperwork.

Make sure to find out if the puppy you want is "pet quality" or a show possibility. Only if the puppy has a strong chance of succeeding in competition will the breeder grant co-ownership; otherwise, the breeder may maintain breeding or exhibiting rights. Until a "pet quality" puppy has been spayed or neutered, the breeder may only give a restricted registration or refuse to issue papers at all. Puppies of pet quality are typically less expensive but make equally lovely pets.

Ask About Health History and Guarantees

Even pups that have been well-bred and raised may experience health issues. For instance, the puppy may not show symptoms of hip dysplasia until it is two years old. Inquire about any health guarantees included in the purchase price as well as any medical examinations that the parents or pups have undergone.

For instance, parents of dog breeds known to have dysplasia issues should undergo OFA or Pennhip testing. While it doesn't ensure your puppy will be healthy, it increases the likelihood that he won't inherit any issues. Should the puppy later be diagnosed with a heritable ailment, some breeders give refunds or rebates of the purchase price.

The medical background of the puppy should be disclosed by the breeder. This can involve one or two rounds of puppy immunizations or additional care, including regular deworming, depending on the age of the adoptee. Owners may be required by the purchase agreement to follow particular health care guidelines, feed suggested diets, or adhere to other requirements.

Check Out the Facilities

Get a close-up view of the baby's birthplace and upbringing before falling in love with it. Check out the breeder. If the breeder declines, you should be suspicious. Breeders should be able to satisfactorily explain their reasons for denying visits, including the fact that puppies are too young as one example.

The restrooms have to be spotless. Ample food and drink should be available. Look for warm, cozy sleeping spaces that aren't dirty with urine or excrement. Look for a small pack of dogs and move on if the yard or house is untidy and there are several litters of dogs present. Puppy care can be challenging, especially when there are huge litters, but you can tell if cleanliness is prioritized or not. If the puppies and mother dog are kept in kennels, find out how much human contact is given. For a puppy to socialize properly, that is essential.

Check Out Mom

If at all feasible, request to meet the parents. Although the mother dog should be present, stud dogs are sometimes owned by someone else. It would be advisable to meet the mother apart from the litter because some moms are quite protective of their babies. Observing mom gives you a glimpse into your dog's future and enables you to predict how the puppy will change as it grows. Please think twice before buying the mother dog's pups if she exhibits scared behavior, growls, or has to be confined. These characteristics can be inherited.

Expect a Quiz

The top breeders want their puppies to live out their lives in loving, well-cared-for homes. Expect to be questioned about what you can provide for their beloved kid as a result. Run the other way if the breeder doesn't ask any inquiries.

Ask if the breeder has ever turned down a sale. You want the answer to be YES, rather than learning they’ll let a puppy go to just anyone who asks.

A healthy puppy with a solid lineage from a reputable breeder won't be cheap and may cost several hundred dollars. For considerably less, local newspapers may publish adverts. Cheap "purebred" puppies are available from backyard breeders and puppy mills, but they won't pass any of these exam questions. What you pay for is what you get.