10 Things To Look For in a Reputable Breeder

For many people who are looking for a new puppy, trying to find a breeder and knowing where to start is the hardest part! If you simply Google (for example) “saluki puppies for sale” you will most likely be seeing websites from puppy mills or “backyard breeders.” So how do you know who is a responsible, reputable dog breeder? Here are some universal tips to help you!

A responsible dog breeder…

1. Is dedicated to producing quality dogs that strives to improve on the breed. Dog breeders should always be thinking about how each breeding is going to improve on the sire/dam and be committed to the health of that breed (not continuously breeding same dogs over and over again, or continuously inbreeding).

2. Struggles to break even because of everything invested into the dogs. They will rarely make a profit off of sold puppies. Will only sell to qualified, approved homes and wants to be kept up to date with the puppies throughout their lives. They will never advertise in newspapers and will have an established waiting list for their puppies. Prices will most likely be in the medium to high end of the local range.

3. Has a lifetime commitment (contractual) and health guarantee to puppies. If the puppy acquires a genetic health problem, breeder will take the dog back or help the owner deal with the problem. They can produce health guarantees through testing of breeding stock such as OFA certification, and other testing specific to each breed (research your breed of choice and what genetic health problems are prevalent in that breed).

4. Can explain in detail how and why breeding was planned by describing pedigrees, linebreeding, and outcrossing. They should know exactly why they chose that specific sire and dam, and what they are trying to accomplish (conformationally and functionally) through each breeding. Can identify all bred dogs’ ownership and whereabouts.

6. Has a great passion for their breed. They will be able to talk with you, in great detail, about what the dog was bred to do, the background of the breed, and the AKC standard of the breed.

7. Has a lot invested in dog equipment (i.e. dog kennels, crates, whelping box, grooming supplies, etc). Puppies and other dogs are in a sanitary, spacious environment.

8. Will help prospective homes get matched up with the proper puppy to suit their needs. They will know if the puppy is a “show quality” or “pet quality” and help prospective homes evaluate the puppy’s conformation, functionality, and personality to try to match the best puppy for that home.

9. Are members of a local, national, or regional dog club. This could be dog clubs (i.e. the American Saluki Association), a dog show organization (i.e. Bonanza Kennel Club), or a dog sporting organization (English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association). Being a member, being actively involved, or regularly showing or sporting their stock shows that they are committed to objectively testing their dogs against others in comparison to the standard.

10. After purchase of the puppy, they are always available to help you with training, grooming, and/or behavioral problems. Will have a contract stating that if for any reason you cannot keep the puppy, it will be returned to them only. They will also have in the contract spay/neuter/breeding agreements.

This is a ton of info to take in! So where do you start? The AKC breeder referral search is a great tool in finding breeders, breed clubs, and breed rescues.

Is there anything else you feel makes a responsible, reputable breeder?

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Puppies, puppies, and wait…more puppies?!

That’s right, my pride and joy, Zoey (Ch. Uziduzit Second Amendment JC, CC, CM) gave birth to TEN puppies on 9/12/12. So expect the occasional “pupdate” on this blog, everyone loves puppies right? This is Zoey’s first litter.

The proud father, Jude (Santana’s Hey Uziduzit Jude CC, CM), also his first litter!

The whelping went very smoothly. She went into labor around midnight that night (this is normal for dogs to have their puppies at nighttime when it is dark and quiet). The first born came into the world at 12:08am. After an exhausting night for all involved, the last pup was born around 6:40am.

I’ve been asked by many, does the stud dog know those are his children? My experience with this situation has lead me to the conclusion that, yes, the daddy dog knows his babies under certain circumstances! One circumstance that I have encountered was actually with the litter that Zoey was in: The dam (Zelia – BISS Ch. Amala Zelia at RFR CC, CM) was bred to the sire (Joey – Phenix Firecracker Joe CC, CM) in the same household that she spent her pregnancy in and the same household that she whelped in. All night (during the whelping) Joey sat in a nearby chair watching the entire process. When the pups got older, Joey would bring them dead squirrels from the yard to play with and even regurgitate for them!

With this litter, Zoey spent most of her pregnancy at a different household than the one she was bred at. However, she whelped the litter at the same household she was bred at. Again, Jude (the father) watched the entire night and even tried to get in the box a couple of times! It will be interesting to see how he interacts with the pups as they get older

So these guys are now about two weeks old. What does that mean?

1. Their eyes are open! Depth perception not very well developed yet, learning what each other and mom look like.

2. They are ALWAYS hungry and attack the “milk bar” with vicious squeaks and kneading.

3. Schedule: Eat, sleep, eat, sleep, repeat.

4. Motoring around the whelping box (crawling, but almost supporting weight!).

5. And climbing/falling off the Mt. Everest that is their mom.

Zoey, being the avid hunter she is, demands daily morning walks for the possible rabbit chase (which she has achieved on multiple occasions). All hardworking moms have to get away for some “me” time every once in a while after all.