Questions for Breeders

Questions For Breeders

What can you tell me about your dog(s)? What are their positive and negative traits? (Beware of the perfect dog!)

How often do you breed? How many litters has your dog had/sired? (Beware the breeder who breeds multiple yearly litters, repeatedly breeds on every heat or overuses their stud.)

What health screenings have you done on your dogs? Results? (Look for things like OFA/PennHip scores, MDR1 status, CEA/PRA screening)

Can you tell me about your dog’s working traits and drive? What kinds of activities have you done with her? (Depending on your own need, pick a pup from parents that demonstrate the skills/traits you want with preference given to actual experience vs. assessments. The ESC working trait evaluation can help in this regard).

Can you tell me what kinds of traits I might expect in the lines that this pedigree contains? (A breeder should definitely know the traits in their own dogs and most likely in the grandparents. Make sure claims of line traits are born out and based on personal experience, not conjecture)

Do you offer any kind of guarantee or ongoing support? (Will the breeder take back a dog at any point or help to re-home it if the need arises? Will he remain accessible to help problem solve behaviors or network with others to help find answers he cannot provide? Is this spelled out clearly in a contract?)

How do you determine placement of pups? (Beware of breeders who will make placement decisions based on color/sex/markings or who will make placements at a very early age as the character of a pup can take 6 weeks or longer to unfold.)

When can pups leave for their new home? (Pups should be at least 8 weeks of age before leaving. Up until that point they are learning important canine manners from their mother and littermates. Pups without this foundation are often lacking in social skills)

What do you do to socialize pups? (Early socialization is extremely important. Pups should be exposed to a wide variety of people and experiences to insure a smooth transition into their new home)

Are you involved in any breed associations or breed rescue? (Involvement in these groups often indicates a concern for the welfare ad protection of the breed.)