What to Look for in a Dog Breeder
Many people have contemplated getting a new companion from a dog breeder, but just don't know where to start. There are many different breeds and types of dogs available. The good news is that there are many experienced breeders available who can guide you through the process and find the right companion for your needs.
Which Dog is Right for You?
If you're looking for a new dog from a breeder, you probably already know what breed you want. However, some people are undecided, and it's a good idea to determine whether the breed you want is actually the best choice. While some breeders do sell more than one breed, most will focus on a single breed.
The type of dog that you want from a breeder should be compatible with your family's lifestyle. A toy dog would probably be a poor choice for a family with young kids while a large breed wouldn't be as suitable for apartment life. One of the marks of a good breeder is whether he or she helps you avoid making the wrong choice and refers you to another breeder who breeds more compatible dogs.
You'll also have to decide whether you want a male or female, as well as the dog's age. Breeders primarily sell puppies, but many will also have adult dogs for sale. These adults can be a good choice.
Some Things to Look For
A good place to start with is a referral from a veterinarian or breed club. The best breeders are involved in active efforts to promote their breed. If a breeder has a good recommendation from a vet, you can be sure that they're dedicated to producing healthy dogs.
Make sure you can actually visit the kennel or home where the dogs are raised. This will give you assurance that they're being properly cared for. You can also see the sire and dam to get an idea of what the puppies will look like at maturity.
Don't be surprised if the breeder asks questions or requests references. You may be asked to agree to contact the breeder if you can't keep the dog at some point, or sign a contract stating that you will have your dog altered. These things are done to help ensure that the dogs they sell go to stable homes where they will be properly cared for.