- Is there a signed veterinary health certificate, plus a written health guarantee from the breeder, including one against congenital defects?
- Are ACVO eye screening and OFA or Penn Hip certificates completed, to avoid any future problems with the puppies?
- Does the breeder have a written contract available for you to sign, specifying the rights of the seller and also the breeder’s rights?
- Is all health information available and up to date?
- Can the breeder provide AKC or CKC registration papers on the puppy?
- What is the lineage of the puppies? A responsible breeder should be able to tell you lineage from generations back, as well as giving you a family tree of the puppy.
It is an exciting time when you get to bring home a new puppy. He quickly becomes part of your family and you create a bond with lots of cuddling, trips outside and walks in the park. If buying from a breeder, you will want to be sure you choose a responsible breeder versus a backyard breeder (those who are only breeding for financial benefits). When shopping for your new dog, there are things you need to expect from your breeder as well as some things the breeder will expect from you. If you have found a responsible breeder—which can be done through references—he or she may come across as a very nosey person. This is okay, considering that the nosier breeder, the better! From a responsible breeder you can expect to be asked such things as your work schedule, who lives in the house with you, what your yard layout is like and the kind of friends you have that may be visiting you in your home. Although these seem like personal questions, the breeder cares what kind of home their puppy may be going to. A breeder who asks no questions and is just looking for the sale won’t be able to offer you the same quality and breed of puppies as the responsible breeder will. Another perk to buying a puppy from a responsible breeder is that you will be told the lineage that the puppy came from. In other words, you’ll be privy to the father’s as well as the mother’s heritage, and will be given the papers to prove it. This can be an important aspect of buying a puppy because personalities, as well as health issues, are generally hereditary, and it’s nice to be certain that your puppy is from good stock. Most of the time, a backyard breeder or pet store simply won’t offer this type of information. In addition, pet store puppies usually come from a puppy mill—a relative breeding farm—and they are sold on a first come, first serve basis. Questions aren’t asked of the buyer and no attention is paid to the puppy’s welfare. A responsible breeder will also expect the buyer to have questions and concerns of their own. A buyer should not be afraid to ask questions about this new life you will be taking into your home. Here are a few things you should ask your breeder about as well as some expectations that you should have: