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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I hope to get some clarity about finding a good breeder, not byb or puppy-mill. We are looking to buy a puppy (small, under 10 lbs), and are having a hard time with it. Going through the news paper adds did not help much. How do we find a breeder that is responsible? Do responsible breeders sell dogs through Puppyspot.com? We tried to adopt, but were denied because we have a 5 year old daughter. We live in Los Angeles.
 

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Finding a reputable breeder is a little bit difficult. It always feels like you have to search through the depths of the internet. What breed(s) are you looking at?

Most websites are terrible places to find puppies and are riddled with mills. Very rarely do good breeders sell through sites that have several breeds and on demand puppies.

Sometimes a google search for your breed + state can bring up decent results if you know what to look for. Health testing, titles and kennel/dog info on a singular breeder site (not multi breed high volume site like puppyfind/greenfield puppies/doggyinthewindow etc) are what you want to look for.

There's also usually a person that does breeder referral from the parent breed club (more responsible breeders are part of the breed clubs). I believe the AKC website has links to all of those now. Not sure how up to date they are.
https://webapps.akc.org/breeder-referral/#/
 

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The parent breed clubs usually have a list of members breeders. Local clubs can also put you in contact with breeders. Going to shows is another good way to meet dogs and their people.

Websites like Puppyspot, NextDayPets, and the like are broker sites. They don't regulate, and indeed don't particularly care, about whether or not a breeder who advertises through their site is a good, responsible, ethical breeder, a back yard breeder who might love their pets but don't put much thought into breeding other than producing puppies, or a large scale commercial puppy producer.
 

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Yeah, newspaper adds nor Puppyspot.com are very reliable.

But, this might be a good place for you to start: https://www.akc.org

Through there, you could find a breeder in your area, and perhaps you can figure out when they're going to show, or get their contact information so you can ask them about their dogs.

One thing to look for in a reputable breeder is someone who does something with their dogs, like obedience, agility, or conformation, or even therapy work (that's not an exhaustive list, of course, just some examples). You don't want someone who decided to breed their two companion animals because, you know, they're good dogs. You want a breeder who has taken time to prove their dogs are good breeding stock before popping out a litter. You also want a breeder who health tests for genetic diseases. You want OFA health tests, not just a vet's certificate of health. You also want a breeder who raises the puppies in their home and has some sort of puppy socialization program to prepare them for their forever homes, like exposing them to stairs, vacuums, and other regular household noises. You should also be able to meet at least the mother of the puppies.

Avoid giant kennel facilities. Avoid breeder who have more than one breed of dog (okay, sometimes good breeders have two different breeds, but its rare). Avoid "designer dog" breeders like Cavachons or Yorkipoos. Avoid puppies raised in a kennel outside. Avoid breeders who say "Champion Bloodlines" but their own dogs have no titles to their names. Avoid breeders who charge more money for certain coat colors or eye colors. Avoid breeders who charge more because their puppies are "specially trained" or "already potty trained" or some other outrageous statement (because come on, no 12 week old puppy is potty trained!) Avoid breeders who want to unload their puppies before 8 weeks.

Most importantly, a reputable breeder will put it in their contract that for any reason you can't keep the dog, they will take it back.

Yeah. It may take a long time and a lot of research, but I promise the effort is well worth it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for your response, ForTheLoveOfDogs! Looking for a Yorkie or a Silky. It is difficult and the websites are terrible. Looked on the AKC website, nothing in my area
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much, LeoRose, I am going to check for shows in the area. I was concerned about the breeders that sell through Pyppyspot because of the horror reviews on the Better Business Bureau.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much for a thorough response, Lillith! Your "avoid" list is very helpful. Honestly, I was considering a yorkiepoo, oops. You are right about taking time. This dog is going to be with us for many years. I do not want to rush, nor do i want to support irresponsible dog breeding.
 

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1. Look for breed clubs and trustworthy organizations.
2. Research the breeder. I read about my breeders' dogs from a kennel club online registry.
3. A good breeder:
- Shows interest in you and your situation and cares about where she is giving her puppies.
- Is open about her business and will answer your questions.
- Has the puppies checked up by a vet.
- Provides a safe, good environment to the puppies and their mom.
- Does not separate the puppies from their mom before they are at least 7 weeks of age.
- Socializes the puppies.

Always personally visit the breeder to see her dogs and the puppies.

(This is, if you're getting a puppy from a breeder; I don't have experience of rescue organizations or shelters.)
 

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Also, a good breeder does not breed the mom too often. Look for someone who is more interested in the well-being of the dogs than making money by selling as many pups as possible.
 

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Thank you so much for a thorough response, Lillith! Your "avoid" list is very helpful. Honestly, I was considering a yorkiepoo, oops. You are right about taking time. This dog is going to be with us for many years. I do not want to rush, nor do i want to support irresponsible dog breeding.
There's nothing inherently wrong with mixed-breed dogs themselves, of course. The issue is that they've become a huge fad in the past decade, and the grand majority of breeders have jumped on the bandwagon to make some money (by cutting every corner possible), or have swallowed the myth that crossbred dogs are automatically healthy (I wish it were that easy!). This sadly means that it's even harder to find breeders doing even bare-minimum health testing and puppy socialization for crossbreeds than it is for purebreds.

You've gotten some excellent advice. I'd definitely encourage you to go to shows or other dog events in your area. Meet a couple of the breeds you're interested, talk to the owners. If you meet any dogs you particularly like, ask about their lines and who bred them. Even if no one's currently breeding in your area, they may be able to give you references for caring, reputable breeders they know. You may have to travel a bit, but imo it's worth it for a companion you'll have for the next 15+ years.
 

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Facebook can also be helpful IF YOU READ CAREFULLY. There are probably a bunch of Facebook sites you can join about your breeds. Sometimes you'll find discussions about particular breeders or there will be places you can ask about finding a good breeder.

If I'd belonged to Facebook before I got Mesa I would probably have gone to a different breeder. The caveat here is that people frequently have agendas so you have to read between the lines to weed out personal attacks vs real concerns.
 

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You can also try asking on a breed specific forum. Theres usually lots of people on those with first hand experiences with breeders- those people can generally tell you who to avoid and who is actually a good breeder. It's surprising how many breeder websites look great, but produce crap dogs, and vice versa. There are also some really good breeders out there who dont advertise much- but can be found through word of mouth hence asking on breed specific forum.
 

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Good point, Dexter! Most breeders aren't web designers for sure, and plenty of really excellent breeders have terribly designed, outdated, or even no website. Meanwhile, some of the ones with super slick websites (not all!) are the ones who treat their dogs like cash machines and focus more on marketing than they do producing healthy, well-socialized puppies with excellent temperaments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi DaySleepers, thank you for taking time to respond. I decided to stick to the purebreds for now. I am going to meet a Yorkie breeder, that i found on AKC Marketplace, tomorrow.
 
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