How do you know if the breeder you have contacted is a person of integrity committed to bettering their particular breed? It can be tough to discern, especially if this is the first time you’ve sought out a purebred breeder. Following are a few guidelines to help you make that determination.
- A reputable breeder requires that pet-quality animals be spayed or neutered. Be wary of breeders who do not mention altering.
- A reputable breeder will not release puppies earlier than 7 weeks of age, which should have had at least their first set of vaccinations (Parvo/Distemper). If a puppy is older, vaccinations should be completely up to date.
- A reputable breeder requires a contract, which varies from breeder to breeder, but usually spells out the rights of seller and buyer, health information, altering and buy-back/return policy.
- A reputable breeder shows a general interest in, love for and knowledge about the breed. He or she cares about placing puppies in good homes and will often interview potential buyers thoroughly, ask for references and refuse to sell a dog if necessary.
- A reputable breeder will guarantee a puppy’s health for a certain period of time, is well-informed about genetic problems in the mini Aussie, routinely tests dogs/pups for problems and passes this information along to buyers. Beware of breeders who scoff at genetic testing and say their particular breed/line is problem-free. Ask for proof of any testing (this should ALWAYS include eye clearances certificates for both parents, and, if possible, hip clearance certificates for both parents). If they do not have the rating, they should still have proof of examination from a veterinarian. Also ask about seasonal allergies in a breeder’s line.
- A reputable breeder will know the dogs’ pedigrees well. They should know the faults their own lines may carry. All lines have some faults. They should be willing to put in writing what they will do if your puppy develops any of these problems.
- The environment (kennel or home) in which the breeder keeps the dogs should be clean and well-maintained. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS ON THIS!
- A reputable breeder is actively involved in the dog fancy, including showing or breed clubs. While there are exceptions – like a retired individual who has shown dogs for 20 years – a person who is not involved with others in the breed can be suspect.
- A reputable breeder is willing to provide answers to questions you may have and is willing to provide names of others who have purchased pups.
- A reputable breeder will allow you to meet the puppy’s parents if available and, if the father isn’t available, be willing to show pictures.
- A reputable breeder follows up on puppies. He or she is interested in how the pups develop physically and mentally, difficulties in the owner/dog relationship and health problems.
- A reputable breeder rarely has more than 3 litters a year.
- Due to the time, the brains and intelligence of this breed, a reputable breeder will limit themselves to the number of dogs that they can realistically build a loving relationship and partnership with.
(Originally from: Woodhaven Labradors added to by MASCA)