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Questions to Ask a Breeder
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Questions to Ask a Breeder
Common Misconceptions about Reputable Breeders
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And questions they should ask you

"Have the parents been health checked?"
This is an important question. Not doing health tests on the parents before breeding risks passing on genetic disorders and problems; such as hip dysplicia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and vonWillebrand's disease. Ask to see the papers. Some breeds have to have health tests done that other breeds don't. It's important to study which breeds need wich health test so that you know the breeder did all of the health tests needed.
 
"Have the pups had shots and been wormed?"
 
"Do you require them to be spayed and neutered?"
 
"Have any of your litters displayed genetic disease?"
A good breeder will answer this honestly. If they say something to the tune of "my line is completely healthy", they are not a good breeder. No line is completely healthy. Health testing, while it reduces the chance of health problems, does not guarantee that the dog will be healthy.
 
"Can I return the puppy if I need to?"
A good breeder will take a dog that they sold back if need be.
 
"Will you replace a puppy with severe health problems?"
 
"How many breeds do you breed?"
A good breeder breeds no more than two breeds. Breeding is about keeping the breed healthy, not breeding many breeds.
 
"How many litters per year do you have?"
It's about quality, not quantity. Ideally, a good breeder has no more than two litters a year and often skips years. Though reputable breeders who breed more often than this do exist. Generally, good breeders do not breed back-to-back litters, which means breeding two heats in a row. However, sometimes if the bitch did very well with her last litter, the breeder may decide to do breed her on her next heat. After this, however, the breeder should wait at least a year before breeding her again.
 
"Do you compete your dogs in dog shows or some other dog sports, and have your dogs gained titles?"
A good breeder does not have to compete in dog shows, but they often do. They should however, have the dog compete in something. Their dogs should be able to do what the breed was originally bred for. If a breeder breeds a herding breed, the breeding stock should be have the ability to herd and herd well, for example. Some breeds were simply bred to be lap dogs. In that case, having them compete in a dog show or just an Agility trial is good.
 
"How early an age would you allow the puppies to leave their mother?"
Good breeders never let puppies leave their mother earlier than 8 weeks of age. This is because a puppy needs to learn certain things, such as bite inhibition, from their mother and littermates before leaving.

Quesionts a breeder should ask you:
A good breeder should have as many or more questions that you have for them. These questions are part of the screening process. All good breeders screen potential buyers carefully. These are only some of the questions that a breeder will ask.

 
"Why do you want this breed?"
Not all breeds are for everyone. Many people want a certain breed simply because they like the way it looks. While looks can be a factor, they should not be the main reason you choose a breed. Things to put into considerationinclude exercise needs, energy level, grooming needs, personality, trainability, etc.
A good breeder will help you find a breed that will suit you if their breed doesn't.
 
"Please describe yourself and your family."
 
"Please describe you ideal dog."
 
"Where will the dog live?"
 
"How many people and pets live in your house right now?"
 
"How will you physically and mentally excercise this dog?"
 
"Do you want a dog for competing in dog sports, just as a pet, or a show dog?"
 
"Have you ever taken care of a puppy?"
 
"Will you use a crate?"
 
"Will you spay or neuter your puppy?"
Good breeders usually have a contract that includes having the dog spayed (or neutered) by a certain age. The exception is if you get a dog for showing, or on a breeding contract. For this reason, breeders may not sell show/breeding-quality dogs to people they don't know. A good breeder will not sell a dog for you to breed unless they know you well and know that you will breed responsibly. They did not get into breeding to help others breed irresponsibly.
 
"Would you allow me to help you choose the right puppy out of my litter?"

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