10 Questions to Ask a Breeder Before Buying a Puppy
So you’ve decided that you are ready for a dog and have found some cute puppies online that are already melting your heart. But how much do you know about the person selling them?
Sadly, there are too many people out there who are focused on the business-side of breeding and are allowing animal welfare to take a back seat. (Find out more about puppy farms here).
For this reason, it is important to find out as much about your breeder as possible to ensure that they are responsible, ethical, and have their dogs’ best interests at heart.
You should also note that a responsible breeder will ask as many questions about you as you do of them, to ensure that you are willing and able to provide one of their pups with the best life possible.
Here are 10 questions to ask your breeder that will help you determine what kind of breeder they are:
1) How long have you been breeding dogs?
It’s good to have a breeder who has had many successful years of experience, but remember that everyone has to start somewhere. There is no problem buying from a less experienced breeder providing they are passionate and have a knowledgable mentor supporting them.
2) How often do you have litters?
A responsible breeder will only allow a mother to have one litter per year. Be particularly diligent in your research if the breeder seems to always have puppies available. How many dogs do they own? Are they all given the attention and care that they deserve?
3) Are you a member of any Breed Clubs or Governing Bodies?
Such organisations usually have a code of ethics and practices that their members must adhere to, and will also provide breeders with support and advice.
4) Do you have any reviews or testimonials that you can share with me?
A good breeder should have no shortage of people who are willing to sing their praises. If they have a Pawbase Breeder Profile, you will be able to see reviews from people who have dealt with them in the past. You can also view the profiles of their previous puppies to get a better idea of the dogs that they breed.
5) What kind of environment are your puppies raised in?
Ideally the breeder should raise their puppies inside their home to ensure that they are closely monitored and familiar with human contact. Raising pups inside the home isn’t always possible (especially with larger breeds), but every effort must be made to ensure that the puppies are comfortable, cared for and loved
6) How do you socialise your pups?
The first 8 weeks of a puppy’s life play a huge role in their development. Frequent exposure to home life during this phase will ensure that they are well socialised and comfortable around human activity. Regular contact with people is essential, while exposure to strangers and children is an added bonus.
7) Have both parents been cleared of any genetic diseases?
The breeder should be able to show you evidence that the mother and father have been tested and are certified to have no genetic diseases associated with the breed. You can find out the common health issues associated with each breed in our Dog Breed database.
8) Do you provide any health guarantee for your puppies?
“Yes” is the only acceptable answer to this question. A responsible breeder will be as concerned about your puppy’s health and wellbeing as you are.
9) What support do you provide to puppy owners?
A good breeder will offer you as much support as necessary while your pup is settling into your home. Ideally they should stay in touch with you throughout your dogs life. A responsible breeder should encourage you to contact them straight away if you are no longer able to care for it.
10) Am I able to come and meet the puppies and their mother?
A breeder with nothing to hide should have no problem with you visiting the puppies and seeing the environment in which they are raised. You may not be able to meet the father when visiting, but you should ALWAYS be able to meet the mother. For those who live too far away, see if your breeder has any reviews on Pawbase from people who have visited the breeder previously.