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Hello~
So I communicated with a breeder that I had my eye on through a form they had on their website. They got back to me and said to call them. Called them the next day and it was a short call. Was ask about myself and then talked about a pup that they had available and like the gender, how old and cost and to come to visit them and then the call ended. Is this alright? I am totally new to this and this is the first breeder I spoken to. I've heard a lot of things like emailing with questions and all of that. Should I do that or just wait until I meet them in person? Totally new at this so don't want to make any mistakes.
 

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If you post a link to the website the people here can tell you if there are any red flags.

Does this breeder do anything, like show, agility, or work with their dog? What breed is this dog? Does the breeder health test?

Red flags might include a breeder who breeds more than one breed of dog, has multiple litters on the ground at the same time, or won't let you meet at least one of the parents. Other people are more experienced with it so can probably offer more advice.
 

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Agreed with all the things Lillith said. If you have a website link or any info on the breeder or breed to share with us we would be glad to guide you in the right direction. What sort of impression did you get about the breeder after talking to them on the phone? And when did you arrange to meet them?

Heres what I look for in when I'm looking at breeders:

Do they health test?
This means they should be doing xrays ideally sent to OFA, specialty bloodwork, cardiac evaluations by a specialist, or eye evaluation by a specialist depending on the breed and what genetic health issues they suffer from. Simply saying that they have been examined by their regular vet and determined to be healthy is not good enough. I want to see actual reports with the results of those tests, certificates for passing the tests, or the actual xrays themselves. And if there is a national registry that they claim the results are registered with, them I'm going to search for the information on the database myself to confirm that the information they gave me was correct and accurate.

Do they do anything with their breeding dogs?
I want a dog from a breeder who can prove their dogs worth and back up their claims. All dogs make wonderful house pets, but there's tons of great dogs dying in the shelter system everyday so simply breeding a dog because they're a loving companion is not a good enough reason to breed IMO. I want a breeder who competes with their dog in some way(i.e. Conformation shows, obedience, lure coursing, agility, etc.) or actually does the job the breed was designed for( i.e. Hunting, herding, tracking, etc.). They also need to be able to have substance to their claims that their dogs are good at whatever it is they do. Being 1st in a class of 1 doesn't really impress me too much, especially if that's your biggest "claim to fame". I show my dogs in conformation, so I've heard quite a few puffed up claims on how magnificent someone's dog is, but when you actually dig deeper into the facts you'll find out that the only way the dog could have lost was if they didn't show up because there was no competition to begin with. And they can't be riding the coat tails of the breeder before them. Saying that a dog comes from macnificent champion or working lines, without actually doing the work and proving that the parents of your pup are as wonderful as their relatives, just doesn't fly with me.

Are they raising their dogs and pups in the way they claim to be?
This one is a bit of a pet peeve for me. I am fairly reasonable with different ways that people choose to raise and keep their pets, but if you claim that your dogs sleep in bed with you every night and watch tv on the coutch with you everyday while you work from home then that better be how they are actually raised. I can't tell you how many times I've seen breeders claim these things and then they post pictures on their websites of there dogs in a converted barn and dog runs. I have no problem with the converted barn or dog runs, as long as they are clean, but if a breeder is willing to lie about it, it makes me wonder what else they are lying about.

There's quite a few other nit picky things that I look for in breeders, but those are the biggies. If you any questions about a particular breeder you could ask us our opinions here so you can make a more informed choice on what you may or may not be comfortable with in a breeder.
 

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How I got my first GSD... spent a couple of years just going to see litters of puppies where ever I was.. Came across an ad in a newspaper called to talked to the breeder who didn't have any puppies at the time but said I could come by and see her kennel and talk GSD's. She was local less then 30 minutes away we set a date and I went. Spent about 4 hours sitting and talking and seeing anything I wanted to see, besides the actual dogs, but everything that she had done with her dogs and health testing documentation . IF they local and you can stop by, I don't see anything wrong with your conversation. When I have purchased sight unseen, especially a breeder I can't travel to see in person, yes there is more conversation and exchanges especially if I am looking at a breed that I have never owned before less every had my hands on in person.. That is just me...
 

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I agree with Patricia and the other posters.

If a breeder is really committed to doing it right he will always have time to discuss his dogs and be able to answer truthfully any questions.

I've only brought one labrador from a breeder so I don't have a world of experience but my key suggestion is: trust your instincts. If you're not comfortable with absolutely anything the breeder does or says turn around and walk away.
 

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I agree, go with your gut. You want to be comfortable enough with the breeder that you can ask questions or bring up concerns to them as things go along. If that's not the case, then maybe waiting to find one may be a good idea. But also maybe to meet this breeder and see what they are like in person - some people can be short or awkward on the phone.

Atlas' breeder is one I would consider 'good' - she does breed two breeds (Aussies and Lowchens) but shows them competitively in conformation. Usually has only a couple litters a year, with waiting lists. When I brought Atlas home he came with first shots, had his eyes examined already, and I got copies of paperwork about his parents (their hip scores, etc). The puppies are raised in her house, and she owns a grooming shop so they go there on some days after the first month (and have all been bathed a few times before they come home). I did not meet his parents (the stud was in another province and his momma was very protective of this litter, so we met them at 4 weeks without her around) - BUT I have been friends with her on Facebook for a few years, and this was a repeat litter, so I was not worried about anything shady. (His momma is retired from breeding after these two litters and is in a home with a wonderful lady who is doing obedience with her.)

She picked him out for me - and made a great match. She knows her dogs, and obviously her puppies. His brother went to a home with 3 (now 4) kids and has been a mellow dude from day one. Atlas was a total shark for the first 6 weeks after we brought him home, but fits into my lifestyle (he is my kid) perfectly. Be wary of any breeder that lets you go in and pick out whatever pup you want. (Sounds as if in this particular case there is only one to consider, so this may not matter.) When I met the pups, Atlas spent half the time sleeping off on his own and could have been easily overlooked for the other pups crawling all over my lap and mugging for attention. (He must have been tired, as he is a very in your face dog otherwise!)

I know this was a bit of a personal tangent, but hopefully it helps with what everyone else has said!
 

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Sounds like a hobby breeder who doesn't really care about who the dog is going to... I found a couple breeders like that when I was looking for my puppy - just give me money and you can come see the parents and pick up your puppy. But none of them did health testing... and I didn't want to find myself with a 4yo dog who couldn't walk because of hip issues or whatnot... so I passed. Unfortunately though none of the reputable breeders who do health testing actually got back to me, so there's not always a lot of options if you're really set on a specific breed.
 
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