"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.