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I often see people posting threads concerning breeders that they have come in contact with or posting questions on what to look for. Its not only what you should LOOK for that is a worry, Its what is not often obvious that is most often a concern. Hence this thread.

1. The breeder does not require you to 'book an appointment' to come to see the pups or the property. Those who do are putting up a red flag. These breeders have something to hide and in all probability will make a mad rush to 'clean the kennels etc' just before you come.

2. The mom of the pups should be 'on site' at the breeder and not off at a 'dog show, vet appointment' etc.

3. The breeder will offer you references to check out about her dogs.

4. They will breed a female (bitch or Dam) no more than 4 times. Many have a life limit of 3.

5. The breeder will give you info on mom and dad and also provide you info on the sire (dad) upon request. Those who claim the 'sire's owner does not like contact are hiding something.

6. The breeder does not believe in breeding a dog less than 18 months old and no older than 7 yrs old.

7. A good breeder sticks too one breed specific for breeding. I have known many who OWN two different breeds but are not breeding both.

8. They discuss the various health issues specific to the breed. They will also give you an update on the health line of the pup that you are interested in. always ask if the breeder has tested the line for genetically transferable diseases. Such as vWD (von Wilebrand disease)

9. They will requre that you sign a contract 'stating that you will not breed without their knowledge and or consent. The contract should have a clause in it stating that they will gurantee the health of the pup for a specific time (things like hip dysplasia, bleeding disorders, elbow disorders etc) They will also request in the contract that you bring the pup back to them if you can no longer keep it.

10. A TRUE breeder that has nothing to hide will never request that you bring the dam (female) to their premises 3 wks before birth, to the time the pups have been weaned. In all probability they are doing this because they know of a health issue that could jeapordize mom and dont want you knowing.

11. The pups will not be released until they are a minimum of 12 wks.

12. A good breeder has all of their dogs tatooed and registered with the AKC or CKC before they leave the kennel.

13. Most breeders will give you a gift certificate to help off set the first puppy check up.

14. All breeders that i know pay for the pups first shots and deworming BEFORE the pup leave them.

16. The breeder will show you other dogs on the premises and all should appear healthy, well groomed and well socialized.

17. Good breeders will NEVER sell their pups through a pet store.

18. Never purchase a pup from a breeder who request more money to register the pup under your name.

19. A good breeder has photo albums full of all of the litters that they have had.

20. Your breeder will answer as many questions as you have and will often send you home with food and a treat and blanky when you leave. (Bearlas did)

If you see any of the following signs at the potential breeders RUN!
They wont allow you to see the pups parents or other siblings.
They wont allow you to see the breeding facility and will offer to bring the pups to your home for you to see.
they do not have the registration papers for the new pups.
They do not have nor do they offer to you the chance to see the pedigree on the parents.
None of the pups are guaranteed
None have been checked for genetic diseases.
None of the dogs have been OFA'd
None of the dogs have been certified
They do not want you returning the pup if something goes wrong and will usually state 'once you leave its your problem'
He breeds all types of breeds fo dogs and some you cant recognize, ex: cockapoo, etc
They have not have the pups health checked once since birth
They will refuse to give you their vets name and address
They do not demand spaying or neutering of 'companion' dogs.
There have been no mandatory vacinations performed or no mandatory deworming
Breeding soley for 'pet or breed' quality is not always the best for the breed. Some will breed a specific breed (german shepherd) for size and try to breed a larger dog. This raises the chances of hip and other problems.
Does not have any veterinary records on any of the dogs at tehir facility (adult or otherwise)
Does not show records of pervious titles with dogs. Does not offer references from anyone who has purchased before you
Does not question you about the enviroment the pup will be going too.
Advertises 'rare colors, sizes, etc especially in breeds like German shepherd, dobie, rotties or advertises 'King size' German shepherd, great dane etc
Advertises the pups for greatly reduced prices ex: $50. instead of $1500.
Breeds before age 2
Sells to petshops, in flea markets etc
Requires cash payment rather than checks etc.
beware of breeders that have ATMS or Interact machines on premises

Sorry the list is so long but i have seen far too many people try to pass themselves off as breeders. When we bring a dog into our family we are making a serious commitment and we dont want to loose the pup nor do we want to end up in court fighting 'new pup lemon laws'

3,174 Posts
Re: Good breeder bad breeder

My breeder met all of these requirements except I took my pups home at 8 and 9 weeks old. She said she evaluated them on an individual basis and looked at how the pup was doing and how big it was and whether or not the owner would be home with it during the day. People who work during the day had to wait until 10 weeks. That sounded ok to me.

10,528 Posts
Re: Good breeder bad breeder

8 weeks is the norm and the MINIMUM a pup should be allowed to leave it's mom. Keeping a pup until 12 weeks is preferred for socialization purposes.
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6,102 Posts
Re: Good breeder bad breeder

Thanks! Great info. But I'd like to add, how to find a good breeder. When we looked for our first dog from a breeder we couldn't figure out how that worked since we had pound pups and had not been exposed to the world of purebred dogs.

In my last 10 years of experience with purebreds and their breeders we have found our greatest success by first looking on the AKC website to see the breed standard. Print it out for reference. Then we go to dog shows and talk to breeders and owners. Who did they get their dogs from? Watch to see the winners in at least a few shows, note their kennel name in the catalog, make a mental note about the qualities of these particular dogs from these breeders. Some will be breeding smaller dogs, other larger, some have certain colors, some will breed a lot for temperment. After a few shows you will start to see a trend. Hone in on those breeders that seem to have good dogs. But in the meanwhile try to talk a lot to the people showing the dogs. Are they happy with their dogs? Are their show dogs part of the household or kept in kennels? If you can find someone who is not just showing other people's dogs for a living, but actually try to talk to people who show their own dogs, you can get a lot of information about the local breeders. And most dog owners at shows just love to talk about their breed, little tidbits about the local situation with the breed, etc.
Once you know what a good representation of the breed should look like, stop every person you see in your daily travels that has your chosen breed dog with them that has the qualities you are looking for. For instance, we have a family in the neighborhood that has the most wonderfully well bred Bernese mountain dogs I have ever seen. If anyone ever asked me about a Berner breeder, I would send them right over to my neighbor.

After you narrow down your list of breeders, of course you need to contact them and ask if they have any available dogs for sale, or soon to be for sale. Get on their waiting list if you are serious about a particular breeder and perhaps if the breed is less popular in your area. Then, go about the business as Bearlasmom describes. It is excellent advice. I wish I would have had that knowledge with our first breeder purchase. She is a great dog. But she has some issues. They were not all pointed out to us by the breeder.

2,895 Posts
Re: Good breeder bad breeder

I only rescue myself but if we didn't have good caring breeders I wouldn't have my great rescues. One dog came from a great breeder but the owner couldn't keep him due to a devorce, the other from a bad breeder with to many dogs.

I had a person complain to me about a breeder because the breeder asked to many questions. He also suggested to her that she get a female only because she was a first time dog owner. Well she didn't get the dog and I went crazy telling her that the more the breeder drives you crazy the better, they care about their dogs and want it to work!

77 Posts
Breeder Screening Questions

Some of these questions are directed towards siberian huskies (certain common genetic diseases). I welcome your comments! :D

Questions pertaining to breeding practices:
1. Do you breed any canines (breeds) other that the Siberian? How many? Which ones?

2. Do you cross-breed (mixed matings) your canines to other breeds to produce “designer dogs” or “ hybrids?”

3. Do your canines participate in Conformation trials? If not, why?

4. Do your canines participate in any other activities? Which ones?

5. How long have you been working with, and/or breeding, the Siberian Husky?

6. At what age do you begin breeding your dogs and bitches? What are your reasons for these ages?

7. When do you retire you canines from breeding? How many litters is each male and female allowed to produce?

8. How many times in a year do you breed each bitch on average? Each dog?

9. On average, how many litters do you produce in one year? Five years?

10. Do you routinely have your canines:
• certified by CERF and/or SHOR,
• certified by the OFA and/or PennHIP*,
• DNA tested for PRA, and
• DNA registered with AKC?

11. How often do you buy and sell your canines (breeding stock)?

12. Do you have your canines examined by a veterinarian before breeding?

13. Do you attempt to breed to the AKC standard?

14. What Kennel Club/Registration do you use for your canines and their offspring? Why did you choose this registry?

15. Do you breed wooly Siberians? If so, why?

16. Approximately how many litters did you have last year? The year before?

17. Do you routinely (annually) have your canines examined by a veterinarian and vaccinated?

18. Do you routinely have you canines tested for brucellosis before breeding?

19. Are all of your canines currently on a veterinarian recommended heartworm and flea prevention? Which ones? (Acceptable preventions include: Sentinel, Interceptor, and Heartgard Plus for heartworms and Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix for fleas.) Do you use Heartworm prevention year round?

20. Describe the environment in which your canines live.

21. Do you have you canines and their offspring temperament tested?

22. Do you allow visitors at your kennel? Can you provide pictures of your kennel?

23. Please provide a minimum of three references (previous puppy buyers).

24. Please provide at least one veterinary reference (this should be you current veterinarian. Please provide your previous veterinarian also if you have switched).

25. Who vaccinates your canines? What is your vaccination protocol?

26. How many canines do you own?
Breeding Males: _____________ Non-breeding males: ______________
Breeding females: ____________ Non-breeding females: ____________
27. Are your non-breeding animals neutered (a universal term meaning to desex an animal)?

28. What do you do with your retired canine breeders?

29. If you have changed veterinarians in the past please explain why.

30. Do you allow full registration to puppies who will not be shown or to puppies who are not of show potential?

31. Do you require neuter contracts for all limited or non-conformation puppies?

32. At what age do you allow puppies to leave you kennel?

33. Have you ever turned one of your animals into the animal shelter? If so, please explain why?

34. What training do your canines have?

35. Do you routinely offer your puppies with Health guarantees?

36. As a breeder, have you taken the time to properly research the Siberian Husky?

37. Are you aware of the different health related issue with this breed?

38. Why do you breed? What is your motivation and philosophy?

39. What made you select your canines for breeding?

40. Are your canines allowed to roam?

41. Do your canines closely represent the AKC breed standard? If not, what are the reasons?

42. Have you (as the breeder thus including your animals, facilities, and/or breeding practices) ever been investigated by Animal Control or the proper authorities?

43. Have you even been in trouble with AKC?

44. Do any of your breeding canines have any conditions that may be genetic?

Questions pertaining to the Sire and Dam:
1. Have either of the parents been:
• certified by CERF and/or SHOR,
• certified by the OFA and/or PennHIP*,
• DNA tested for PRA, and
• DNA registered with AKC?

2. What are the ages of the parents?

3. Is there a history of Glaucoma, Cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Distichiasis, Trichiasis, Ectropion, Entropion, or Cherry Eye in the line?

4. Is there a history of Hip dysplasia or Degenerative Joint Disease in the line?

5. Has either parent ever had Demodectic mange?

6. Please provide picture of the parents from puppyhood to adulthood.

7. How tall are each of the parents (exactly)?

8. How long have you owned the sire and dam?

9. Is there a history of cryptorchidism on either parent’s side?

10. Are the parents champions or are they working on their championships? If not, why? What other titles do the parents have?

11. Have the parents been tested for Brucellosis? Were they tested before mating? What were the results?

12. Were the parents examined by a veterinarian before mating? What was the outcome?

13. What are the temperaments of the parents? Describe their personalities.

14. Can you provide pictures of offspring from a previous mating of this sire and dam? Note that the picture should be of the offspring as puppies and adults.

15. Describe the positive and negative attributes and the faults of each parent.

16. What were you hoping to produce form this mating? Did you achieve it? If not, why?

17. Is there a history of umbilical hernias on either parent’s side? Did either of the parents have umbilical hernias?

18. Are there any other genetic disease that the parents have or that are incorporated in the lines?

Questions pertaining to the puppy and/or litter:
1. Who are the parents of this puppy? Can I see them?

2. Has the entire litter been properly socialized?

3. Has the puppy shown any signs of congenital or genetic defect?

4. Has the dam and the litter (including this puppy) been seen by a veterinarian following parturition?

5. Is the puppy, or will the puppy be upon purchase, up-to-date on vaccines, wormings, and physical exams?

6. Is this puppy of show potential? If not why?

7. Will this puppy be sold with limited of full registration?

8. What Kennel Club will this puppy be registered with?

9. When do buyers receive the registration paperwork?

10. Has the litter, including the puppy in question, been temperament tested? What was the outcome for the litter and for this puppy?

11. Is there a contract to be signed? Do you allow buyers to read over the contract before signing and paying for the puppy? Do buyers get a copy of the contract?

12. Are there any champions in this puppy’s pedigree?

13. What deposit is required? Is it refundable? Does it apply towards the price of the puppy?

14. What supplies are included with the puppy?

15. Will you provide a pedigree?

16. What vaccinations and dewormings has this puppy had and how many?

17. Give the date that this puppy will be able to leave. What age will the puppy be at that time?

18. Will this puppy come with a Health Guarantee? If so, what are the terms of this Guarantee and how long does it last? Please provide a copy.

19. What is the precise date of birth of this puppy?

20. Does this litter closely represent the AKC breed standard as a whole? If not, why?

21. Does this puppy closely represent the AKC breed standard? If not, why?
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