TIPS ON CHOOSING A BREEDER A great article on some considerations when picking a breeder. -->Want the quick version? Look for “In a Nutshell” -->Want a more in depth explanation? Look for “By the Bushel” -->Want to know what to avoid? Watch for “Bad Apples” *this article is from an American based blog the information provided is still fantastic but some references are not specific to Australia (eg. we tend to not use OFA but we do have our own schemes) * " "Can you help me find a puppy?” I can’t even count how many times I get asked this question, and often as a breeder.. I can! But often I can’t, and as our FB group Pandemic Puppy Raising Support Group grows and grows, nearing 10,000 as I write this, I am seeing some common problems faced by new puppy owners that could have been prevented, or decreased, if they had known how to find a breeder who valued some simple “ease of living” skills and traits. This is important because for puppies to have a good long term outcome, avoiding losing their homes, or being shuffled from one home to another, there are some really important things for people to consider BEFORE they purchase and bring home that puppy. Here are some things I find are valued by most puppy seekers, and also by most responsible and ethical breeders, fosters, and shelters. Some of these apply only to breeders, but many will apply to fosters and rescues as well. " Another One of those Stupid “how to find a good breeder” lists….. | Austerlitz German Shepherd Dogs (austerlitzshepherds.com)
CHOOSING A BREEDER When purchasing a puppy from a Dogs Victoria breeder, you should always check that their membership with Dogs Victoria or the ANKC is current. Members of this organisation are bound by its Code of Practice for the breeding and welfare of puppies, and also confirms that they are able to provide you with registration papers for your new purebred puppy.
A responsible breeder is the best source for a well-bred, healthy dog. The breeder will carefully select the parents of each litter to emphasize desirable attributes and minimise faults in their progeny. Some people breed dogs only to produce puppies to sell. These individuals have no regard for the advancement of that breed; they are motivated solely by profit.
Responsible breeders will never breed a litter without considering the advancement of the breed. Each litter should improve the quality of breeding stock, resulting in healthy puppies with improved breed soundness, that is, physical and mental health that are an advancement toward the ideal. Another good reason to buy a puppy from a breeder is that it gives you the opportunity to interact with the puppy's siblings and dam, also possibly the sire. You can, therefore, form a general impression of what the future holds for the puppy you take home. Buying from a breeder means that you are part of an extended family. Most breeders expect a call if the dog has a crisis at any stage in its life, so they can help you understand and cope with the problem. This can be especially comforting for the first time dog owners who can't even imagine what kinds of questions they'll have in the future. Examine the premises to make sure they are clean and that the dogs appear to be well cared for. Puppies should be clean, well fed, lively and friendly, without any signs of illness such as runny nose or eyes, skin sores, or dirty ears or fleas. Ask as many questions as you have and expect thorough answers. The breeder will also have questions for you as they will want to ensure their puppies re going into loving, responsible homes. You should see the dam (mother) of the puppies and she should be friendly, in good condition and well cared for. You should ask to see the sire (father) of the puppies if possible. If there are known hereditary diseases which affect that breed you should ask to see certificates or testing results which show that the sire and dam have been tested for those diseases.
What you should expect from the person who sells you a puppy:
Microchip! This is a legal requirement and no pup can legally be sold without a microchip.
Any puppy MUST be atleast 8 weeks of age
A vaccination certificate which shows vaccinations given, when the next ones are due, and evidence of the puppy's age (it is against state law to sell a dog under 8 weeks of age).
ANKC Registration Certificate (papers) (Every ANKC breeder must register ALL their pups - Breeders advertising non papered pups for cheaper - or that refuse to paper pups are often only breeding for financial gain)
When it was treated for worms and how often it needs to be treated in future
Information on the puppy's likely nature, temperament, size and care requirements.
Details of any hereditary diseases or health problems which are known to affect the breed.
Information on responsible pet ownership, in particular care and welfare of the puppy(socialisation, exercise, adequate fencing, sufficient space and proper shelter) See also "Smart puppy and dog buyer's checklist"
WHAT ABOUT PAPERS? Papers are like your pups birth certificate. They are issued by the kennel control(ANKC in Australia). It will say parentage, who the breeder was, DOB, microchip numbers and a unique name and number for the pup. All things that can identify that pup(and breeder if you needed to get in touch) and allow you to track that pups siblings and pedigree etc. For some breeds they may protect a dog from breed specific for legislation. Papers allow the dog to compete in a range of ANKC dogs sports and competitions. They also provide a guarantee to the health of the dog and a recourse if any disagreement should arise. Should any health issues appear this also provides valuable information as pedigree allows us to identify related dogs and either warn owners of the signs if there is a risk to their dog or monitor other dogs for familial risk.
"Copies of parents papers" are not the same they can belong to any dog or even just be taken from the internet. And copies of things like insurance paperwork, vet work etc is also not papers.
I don’t want a show dog; I just want a pet. by Joanna Kimball This is one of the most pervasive sentiments that puppy buyers, especially families, express when they're looking for a dog. What they really mean, of course, is that they don't want a show BREEDER – don't want to pay the high price they think show breeders charge, don't want to go through the often-invasive interview process, and think that they're getting a better deal or a real bargain because they can get a Lab for $1000 or a Shepherd for $700.
I want you to change your mind. I want you to not only realize the benefits of buying a show-bred dog, I want you to INSIST on a show-bred dog. And I want you to realize that the cheap dog is really the one that's the rip-off. And then I want you to go be obnoxious and, when your workmate says she's getting a puppy because her neighbor, who raises them, will give her one for free, or when your brother-in-law announces that they're buying a goldendoodle for the kids, I want you to launch yourself into their solar plexus and steal their wallets and their car keys. Here's why: If I ask you why you want a Maltese, or a Lab, or a Leonberger, or a Cardigan, I would bet you're not going to talk about how much you like their color. You're going to tell me things about personality, ability (to perform a specific task), relationships with other animals or humans, size, coat, temperament, and so on. You'll describe playing ball, or how affectionate you've heard that they are, or how well they get along with kids. The things you will be looking for aren't the things that describe just "dog"; They'll be the things that make this particular breed unique and unlike other breeds. That's where people have made the right initial decision – they've taken the time and made the effort to understand that there are differences between breeds and that they should get one that at least comes close to matching their picture of what they want a dog to be. Their next step, tragically, is that they go out and find a dog of that breed for as little money and with as much ease as possible. You need to realize that when you do this, you're going to the used car dealership, WATCHING them pry the "Audi" plate off a new car, observing them as they use Bondo to stick it on a '98 Corolla, and then writing them a check and feeling smug that you got an Audi for so little. It is no bargain. Those things that distinguish the breed you want from the generic world of "dog" are only there because somebody worked really hard to get them there. And as soon as that work ceases, the dog, no matter how purebred, begins to revert to the generic. That doesn't mean you won't get a good dog – the magic and the blessing of dogs is that they are so hard to mess up, in their good souls and minds, that even the most hideously bred one can still be a great dog – but it will not be a good Shepherd, or good Puli, or a good Cardigan. You will not get the specialized abilities, tendencies, or talents of the breed. If you don't NEED those special abilities or the predictability of a particular breed, you should not be buying a dog at all. You should go rescue one. That way you're saving a life and not putting money in pockets where it does not belong. If you want a purebred and you know that a rescue is not going to fit the bill, the absolute WORST thing you can do is assume that a name equals anything. They really are nothing more than name plates on cars. What matters is whether the engineering and design and service department back up the name plate, so you have some expectation that you're walking away with more than a label. Keeping a group of dogs looking and acting like their breed is hard, HARD work. If you do not get the impression that the breeder you're considering is working that hard, is that dedicated to the breed, is struggling to produce dogs that are more than a breed name, you are getting no bargain; You are only getting ripped off.