What to Ask a Dog Breeder: Essential Questions for a Successful Adoption

QuestionWhat to Ask a Dog Breeder?
AnswerFollow the 10 Items listed in the More Info box directly below.
More Info1. Health Clearances: Ask about genetic health testing and clearances for both parent dogs.
2. Puppy’s Health: Inquire about the puppy’s health history and vaccinations.
3. Socialization: Ask how the puppies are socialized and exposed to different environments.
4. Parent Dogs’ Temperament: Learn about the temperament and behavior of the parent dogs.
5. Return Policy: Discuss what happens if you’re unable to keep the dog.
6. Breeding Practices: Understand their breeding philosophy and practices.
7. Support: Ask if the breeder offers ongoing support for you and the puppy.
8. Visit: Request to visit the breeder’s facility to see the conditions.
9. Puppy’s Diet: Inquire about the current diet and feeding schedule.
10. Contract: Make sure there is a clear contract outlining responsibilities.

Editors Note: This table covers what to ask a dog breeder without needing to scroll through 2000 words of text.  If you want to get into detail on the items listed above, scroll down and enjoy.  Thanks!

Breeders: 101

what to ask the dog breeder

Types of Dog Breeders

When you begin your search for a new furry family member, it’s essential to understand that not all dog breeders are created equal. There are three main types of breeders:

  1. Hobby Breeders: These breeders typically have a few dogs in their home and breed them occasionally. They’re knowledgeable about the breed and invested in the well-being of the puppies.
  2. Professional Breeders: These individuals run a breeding business and often have multiple breeds available. They follow strict guidelines, have proper facilities, and place a strong emphasis on the health and temperament of their dogs.
  3. Backyard Breeders: These are casual breeders who may not have extensive knowledge or experience. They often breed dogs without proper health testing, and their main goal might be profit.

To ensure you’re getting a healthy, well-adjusted puppy, it’s crucial to identify the type of breeder you’re dealing with.

Finding Reputable Breeders

locating reputable breeders

A reputable breeder is one who is dedicated to the well-being of their dogs and adheres to high standards in breeding practices. Here are some key points that can help you recognize a reputable breeder:

  • Health testing: A reputable breeder will have their breeding dogs undergo health tests and screenings for genetic diseases common to the breed.
  • Temperament: The breeder should be able to provide information about the parents’ temperaments, as this can greatly influence the puppies’ behavior.
  • Socialization: Puppies should be exposed to various experiences and stimuli to help them grow into well-adjusted dogs. Ask how the breeder socializes their puppies.
  • Vaccinations and deworming: Reputable breeders ensure their puppies receive proper vaccinations and treatments, such as deworming, to maintain their health.
  • Breeding frequency: Quality breeders prioritize the health of the mother, limiting the number of litters she has.
  • Openness: A reputable breeder will be transparent about their breeding practices and facilities. They should welcome questions and allow you to see the parents and where the puppies are raised.

By keeping these points in mind throughout your search for a dog breeder, you’ll be better equipped to find a healthy, happy puppy that fits perfectly into your life.

Preliminary Breeder Questions

Breeder Experience

When speaking with a dog breeder, a crucial initial question addresses their experience. Inquire about the number of years they have been breeding dogs and the number of litters they have bred so far. This will help you gauge their expertise and dedication.

Breed Knowledge

A breeder’s knowledge about the specific breed they focus on is extremely important. To evaluate this, you could ask:

  • What are the common temperament traits of this breed?
  • How do they socialize their puppies to help mold their personalities?

Getting well-informed responses reveals their depth of understanding and passion for the breed.

Breed Health Concerns

It’s crucial to ensure that a breeder prioritizes their dogs’ health. Some key questions to consider are:

  • Run a Health Test on the parents? (if so, obtain the results)
  • Does the breeder have the puppies’ vaccination histories and provide any deworming treatments?

Moreover, ask about any prevalent genetic diseases or health concerns specific to the breed. This will help you assess their familiarity with potential health issues and the precautionary measures they adopt.

Remember, asking these questions and analyzing the breeder’s responses provides valuable insight into their expertise, professionalism, and dedication to their dogs’ well-being.

Assessing Breeder Ethics

Breeding Practices

When looking for a responsible dog breeder, it’s essential to inquire about their breeding practices. Start by asking them about their knowledge of the breed, such as any breed-specific health issues, and how they aim to maintain or improve the breed’s quality.

Don’t hesitate to inquire about their experience in breeding and their involvement in the dog community.

An ethical breeder will willingly provide proof of health screenings for their breeding dogs, along with the pedigree and registration documents.

Make sure to ask about the frequency of their dog litters, as responsible breeders pay close attention to the recovery time for their breeding females.

Moreover, ethical breeders prioritize proper family planning and ensure there is a demand for their dogs before breeding. They won’t force their animals into frequent mating, and they emphasize quality over quantity.

Animal Welfare

The welfare of the dogs should be at the heart of any ethical breeder’s practices. When speaking with a breeder, ask about the living conditions for their dogs. Are they kept in a clean, safe, and comfortable environment?

Do they have access to outdoor spaces when temperatures are safe for their breed? Are they given proper exercise, socialization, and enrichment? They should be dedicated to providing the best environment for breeding and raising puppies.

A responsible breeder is focused on ensuring the physical and mental wellbeing of their dogs. They prioritize proper nutrition, healthcare, and socialization for each dog in their care.

Additionally, they usually have a limited number of breeds they focus on, ensuring they have a deep understanding of each breed’s unique needs and characteristics.

Lastly, ethical breeders are aware of the importance of early socialization and responsible ownership. They invest time and effort into properly socializing their puppies before finding them their forever homes and providing new owners with valuable resources and guidance.

By asking these questions and assessing the breeder’s responses, you will gain a better understanding of their ethics and determine if they are the right breeder for you.

Observing Breeding Environment

Living Conditions

When visiting a dog breeder, it is crucial to observe the living conditions of both the puppies and their parents. Ensure that their living quarters are clean, spacious, and well-maintained.

Take note of the area’s overall cleanliness, including feeding areas, sleeping areas, and play spaces. A healthy environment should have:

  • Fresh water available at all times
  • Clean bedding and resting areas
  • Well-ventilated spaces
  • Safe and secure fencing or enclosures

Socialization Practices

Another important aspect to consider is the socialization practices employed by the breeder. Puppies should be exposed to various sights, sounds, and experiences from a young age to become well-adjusted and sociable adults. Breeder’s effort in socialization should include:

  • Introducing puppies to different people and animals
  • Exposing them to various household sounds and objects
  • Handling the puppies gently and regularly
  • Engaging in playtime and basic obedience training

How to Pick a Good Puppy

Puppy’s Health

When talking with a breeder, it’s essential to inquire about the puppy’s health. Make sure to ask if the puppy has received the necessary vaccinations and if it has been dewormed.

It’s also crucial to ask if the breeder provides a health guarantee and contract. This is a key indicator of a responsible breeder who prioritizes the well-being of their dogs.

Some important questions to ask regarding the puppy’s health might include:

  • Are the puppy’s vaccinations up-to-date?
  • Has the puppy undergone deworming treatments?
  • Can you provide a health guarantee and contract?

By gathering information about the puppy’s health, you’re ensuring a solid foundation for your future companion.

Puppy’s Temperament

The temperament of a puppy is largely influenced by its parents, so it’s vital to inquire about the parents’ temperaments during the conversation with the breeder.

A puppy may inherit more characteristics from one parent than the other or might even develop its unique traits.

To better gauge the puppy’s temperament, you can ask the breeder the following questions:

  • What are the parents’ temperaments like?
  • How do you socialize the puppies?
  • Can I see any videos of the puppies interacting with humans?

Post-Purchase Support

Health Guarantee

When choosing a breeder, it’s crucial to inquire about their health guarantee. A reputable breeder will confidently provide details about the steps they take to ensure the health of the puppies.

Ask about the health tests performed on the parents, such as hip and elbow scoring, and any genetic testing relevant to the breed. The breeder should also inform you about the vaccinations and deworming treatments the puppy has received.

Feel free to request documentation that verifies the health status of the puppy and its parents, as well as veterinary examination records.

By doing so, you’re establishing a solid foundation to care for your new companion and address any potential health concerns.

Return Policies

can you return an adopted puppy

Another factor to consider when selecting a breeder is their return policy.

Even the most careful consideration can sometimes lead to unexpected circumstances where you may not be able to keep your new furry friend.

Ask the breeder about their return policies and what they expect from you as the puppy owner. A responsible breeder will prioritize the welfare of the puppies they produce.

They should be willing to provide support and guidance in the event you need to rehome the puppy or return it to them.

Inquiring about post-purchase support, health guarantees, and return policies are some of the ways you can ensure a smooth transition for both you and your future canine companion.

By asking these questions, you’re taking the necessary steps to build a long-lasting and rewarding relationship with your new furry family member.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you ensure the health and genetic testing of your dogs?

It’s important to ask the breeder about the health and genetic testing they have done on their dogs. This helps you ensure the puppy is free from genetic conditions. Find out if the parents have been evaluated and certified disease-free.

What is the breed’s temperament and needs?

Each breed has a unique temperament and set of needs. Ask the breeder about the breed’s characteristics and requirements to make sure the dog will be a good fit for your family and lifestyle.

What socialization and training does the puppy receive?

A well-socialized and trained puppy adapts better to a new home. Discuss the breeder’s methods for socialization and training, and inquire about any specific techniques they use to set the puppy up for success in your home.

What is your experience and history as a breeder?

Understanding the breeder’s experience and history helps you assess their commitment to breeding healthy, quality dogs. Ask about their years of experience, certifications, and any professional affiliations they may have.

What guarantees and support do you offer after the purchase?

Post-purchase guarantees and support are essential to ensure a smooth transition for both you and the puppy. Inquire about health guarantees, contractual agreements, and what kind of ongoing assistance the breeder provides to new owners.

Can I visit the breeding facility and meet the puppy’s parents?

Visiting the breeding facility and meeting the puppy’s parents can give you valuable insights into the environment and genetic background of your future dog. A breeder should be transparent and willing to let you see the facility and interact with the dogs.