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Hi there. On the AKC website i stumbled across this ad for puppies from “Martin Munoz”. He does not have a website so I spoke to him on phone, he seems nice sent me videos of mom and dad, said I could meet mom and dad upon pickup at the house. He told me he keeps the parents outside but the puppies inside in a pen in his room. Located in Hesperia, CA. Is this a “backyard breeder” I want to stay away from? He doesn’t seem to have dogs in bad conditions or anything, I just don’t know if this is an ok situation to get a dog from? Any advice greatly appreciated before I move forward. Thank you!
 

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The only requirement to advertise on the AKC marketplace is that the person not have their AKC privileges revoked or suspended.

The National Shiba Inu Club of America http://www.shibas.org/index.html has a list of members who are breeders, and he's not on it. That's not necessarily a "bad" thing, as there are lots of good breeders who aren't on their breed club's list either, but I'd for sure want to know what he's doing with his dogs besides just breeding them. Is he competing in conformation and/or performance sports? Does he do the recommended health testing? Does he socialize the puppies to a wide variety of people and experiences? Is it in his contract that he will take the dog back at any time, for any reason? Actually, from looking at his AKC ad, it looks like the only thing he does with his dogs is breed them... not a breeder I'd be interested in...

Check out the breeders on the club website. If they don't have any litters upcoming, there is a good chance they will know of a responsible breeder who does. You will more than likely have to get on a wait list, since good breeders typically don't breed all that often (a red flag is someone with pups almost always available) and usually have a list of people wanting a pup when they do.
 

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It's also a nice idea to go to some shows near you and meet and speak to breeders in person. Not only will they be honest about the good and bad aspects of the breed, but you'll get to see their dogs and find out if they have the look and temperament you like. There's a show in Pomona on May 5, one in Ventura on May 13, and more in Pomona on May 24-28. You can look up conformation events using the calendar here.

(And I know you're not in Northern California, but there's a Shiba specialty -- that's a show of all Shibas -- in Vallejo on May 18 and 19. I helped with a Shih Tzu specialty show before and it was a lot of fun... many breeders come and you get to see lots of dogs of the breed.)
 
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