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The top 10 questions to ask a breeder before you adopt a puppy.

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

How to choose a reputable breeder.


Carey Bolduc's puppy Amore a Retriever / Aussie Shepherd mix. at 8 weeks old standing on a stump posing infant of a red and white barn.
Carey Bolduc's puppy Amore a Retriever / Aussie Shepherd mix.

Choosing a reputable dog breeder is an important step in finding a healthy and well-adjusted companion. A reputable breeder will have the best interests of the dogs and their future owners in mind, and will take the necessary steps to ensure the puppies they produce are of good health and temperament.


The first step in choosing a reputable breeder is to do your research. This can include asking for recommendations from veterinarians, trainers, or other dog owners. You can also check online breeder directories or local breed clubs. Once you have a list of potential breeders, make sure to visit their website, read reviews and testimonials, and check for any red flags such as numerous litters available, puppies advertised at very low prices, or claims of "rare" or "exotic" breeds.


When you visit a potential breeder, take the time to observe the dogs' living conditions. Are the dogs living in clean and comfortable conditions? Are they well-socialized and friendly? Do they appear to be healthy and well-cared for? A reputable breeder will take the time to ensure that their dogs are living in a healthy and safe environment.


Another important factor to consider when choosing a breeder is their breeding practices. A reputable breeder will have a breeding program based on sound genetic principles. They will also take the time to ensure that their breeding dogs are healthy and free of genetic defects. They should also be able to provide you with information about the parents of the puppies and their health history.


A reputable breeder will be transparent about their breeding practices and happy to answer any questions. They will also be willing to provide references from other puppy owners and veterinarians.


Adopting a puppy is a big decision that requires careful consideration and research. When looking for a breeder, it is important to ask the right questions to ensure that you find a reputable breeder who breeds healthy and well-socialized puppies. Here are ten questions to ask a breeder when adopting a puppy:





Ten questions to ask a breeder before adopting a puppy.


1. What breed standards does the breeder follow?

It is important to find a breeder who follows the breed standards set by the American Kennel Club or a similar organization. This will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of size, personality, and health issues that are common to the breed.


2. How long has the breeder been breeding dogs? Have they had any business name changes?

An experienced breeder will have a better understanding of the breed and be able to provide you with a well-socialized puppy that is in good health. A breeder with a long history of breeding dogs is more likely to be dedicated to their work and have a good reputation.


3. How many litters does the breeder produce each year?

A reputable breeder will not breed too many litters each year, as this can indicate that the breeder is more interested in making money than in producing healthy, well-socialized puppies.


4. Does the breeder health test their breeding dogs?

A reputable breeder will have their breeding dogs tested for any health problems that are common to the breed, such as hip dysplasia, eye problems, or other genetic issues. This will help ensure that the puppies they produce are healthy and free of these issues.


5. Does the breeder provide a health guarantee for their puppies?

A reputable breeder should provide a health guarantee for their puppies that covers any health problems that may arise. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you can return the puppy if there are any health problems.


6. Can the breeder provide references from previous buyers?

A reputable breeder should be able to provide references from previous buyers who can attest to the quality of their puppies and the level of care they received from the breeder.


7. Does the breeder socialize their puppies?

A reputable breeder should socialize their puppies from a young age to help them become well-adjusted, friendly dogs. This will make it easier for you to train and bond with your new puppy.


8. Does the breeder provide ongoing support for the puppy and its new owners?

A reputable breeder should be available to answer any questions or provide support for the puppy and its new owners, even after the puppy has left their care. This will ensure that you have access to advice and support throughout the puppy's life.


9. Does the breeder provide a contract and/or bill of sale?

A reputable breeder should provide a contract and/or bill of sale that outlines the terms of the adoption, including the price of the puppy, any health guarantees, and the responsibilities of the breeder and new owner.


10. Can you visit the breeder's facilities?

A reputable breeder should allow prospective buyers to visit their facilities to see where the puppies are raised and to meet the breeding dogs. This will give you a better understanding of the environment in which the puppies are raised and help you assess the quality of care they receive. You may need to wait until the puppies have had their first set of shots; you may also have to wear gloves, and a mask, remove or cover your shoes and be asked not to go to any dog parks, or high-traffic areas before you visit the breeder.


In conclusion, when adopting a puppy, it is important to find a reputable breeder who follows breed standards, health tests their breeding dogs, provides a health guarantee for their puppies, and is available for ongoing support. Asking these ten questions will help you find a breeder who will provide you with a healthy and well-socialized


When you meet the puppies, pay attention to their temperament and behaviour. Are they active and curious? Do they seem comfortable and confident around people and other animals? A reputable breeder will take the time to socialize and raise their puppies in a way that promotes good temperament and behaviour.


Finally, a reputable breeder will provide you with a written contract outlining the sale's terms, including any health guarantees or warranties. They will also provide you with documentation about the puppy's health and vaccinations, as well as information about their diet and care.


In conclusion, choosing a reputable dog breeder is an important step in finding a healthy and well-adjusted companion. A reputable breeder will have the best interests of the dogs and their future owners in mind, and will take the necessary steps to ensure the puppies they produce are of good health and temperament. Do your research, visit the breeder, check the living conditions and breeding practices, ask for references and make sure the breeder follows the laws and regulations. A reputable breeder will be transparent and provide you with a written contract and all the necessary documentation.


Tips from the BCSPCA on how to find a reputable breeder.



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