Breeder: responsible dog breeder defined

A dog breeder is a person involved in the breeding of dogs. In reference to a specific litter, the breeder is the owner of the dam (female) at the time she is bred (mated with a male).

A responsible breeder:

  • Breeds to improve the breed, and has no more litters than necessary to do so. They are breeding to further improve their breeding program, not to produce puppies for pet buyers.
  • Keeps no more dogs than they can provide for, with quality nutritional and medical care, attention, socialization, exercise and training.
  • Participates in some sort of dog related events such as dog shows, obedience, agility, schutzhund, sled dog racing, herding, field trials, lure coursing, earth dog trials, etc. They do something with their dogs. And they usually belongs to a group (all-breed club, obedience club, breed club, etc).
  • Tests their breeding dogs for known, testable genetic disorders. They can explain the genetic problems in the breed and show proof that the parents of the litter are free of those problems.
  • Provides a pedigree of the puppies, not just a copy of the parents registration papers. A pedigree usually has at least three generations of the puppies' ancestors listed.
  • Carefully screens prospective buyers, matching each dog or puppy to the right home. The breeder may want to be verify the housing or yard is suitable for a dog. They want the owner to be happy and not return the puppy because it was ill suited for the environment of life-style of the buyer.
  • Gives references from previous puppy buyers. Those new to breeding should be able to give you references from other breeders of their breed or dog club members. They aren't offended if you ask them for references. Contacting the references will help you to judge the character of the breeder.
  • Insists that puppies sold as pets be spay/neuter or placed on an AKC limited registration (the dog is exempt from having any of its offspring registered by the AKC).
  • Provides service after the sale. If a puppy buyer has grooming questions, feeding questions, or training questions, the breeder willingly assists, long after the puppy is no longer a puppy.
  • Takes back any dog of their breeding, at any age. Reputable breeders do not want to find out a dog they bred has been left in a pound or dumped by the roadside. They assume a lifetime responsibility for the canine lives they have put on this earth.
  • Does NOT breed dogs "to make money" or so "children can experience the miracle of birth."
  • Never sells puppies through a retail outlet, animal broker, or to a laboratory.

When evaluating a breeder, consider these items:

  • Does the breeding facility appear clean and sterile?
  • Does the breeder seem knowledgeable about the breed?
  • Does the breeder have NO More than 2 breeds (types) of dogs and 1 litter at a time?
  • Does the breeder provide access to the parents or pictures and info on both parents?
  • Does the breeder suggest or insist upon spay/neutering?
  • Does the breeder offer the medical records for both parents?
  • Does the breeder ask you to fill out a questionnaire (as buyer)?
  • Can the breeder direct you to a puppy/dog that best fits your lifestyle?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the breeder on a personal level?
  • Do you feel pressured to buy, or get the impression you are asking too many questions?
  • Does the breeder wish to be informed of the puppy/dogs accomplishments and problems throughout the duration of it's life?

How and where can you find a responsible breeder? --link

Individuals are involved as dog breeders for any number of reasons, among them the improvement of the breed and the progeny resulting from their breeding stock; for conformation showing; for working purposes such as herding or assistance dogs; and for the sale of puppies to the dog-buying public.
Breeders rank on a continuum from excellent to very poor. Good breeders adhere generally to high standards in their breeding practices and may be identified by the superior quality of their stock, their well-maintained and managed facilities, and their willingness to display the parents of a litter and other progeny. Good breeders will have well-groomed, clean, healthy, and socially well-adjusted dogs and puppies, and will provide evidence of vaccinations and relevant health clearance(s) showing the breeding stock is free of genetic defects generally associated with the breed. A good breeder is also one who maintains thorough and up-to-date records, i.e., whelping dates, histories, vaccinations and other health records, cleaning routines, etc.
Bad breeders tend to have run-down or crowded facilities; a reluctance to show off parents of a litter and other progeny; dirty, unhealthy, and ill-adjusted (e.g., overly submissive, hyper-active, or aggressive) dogs. These dogs may be sold at an inappropriately young age, often without proper vaccinations; and no certification for genetic defects. Poor breeders have little regard for the frequency of breeding or the age of breeding stock. Good breeders will have a written contract or agreement with the new owner to take the puppy or dog back for practically any reason, without any particular time limitation, and with financial compensation in the event of genetic disorders that occur commonly in the breed. Poor breeders provide little if any guarantee.
When a dog is selected and purported to be purebred, the word “purebred” or “registered” must, by law, be on the bill of sale or receipt and the dog must be registered with a recognized body under the Animal Pedigree Act. The Animal Pedigree Act is an essential part of federal law governing the registration of purebred dogs in Canada and any infractions thereof. A statement of breed on the bill of sale (e.g., Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, or Maltese) is not sufficient. Requirements for purebreds are established by an authorized breed association (e.g., the Canadian Kennel Club).
Potential purchasers of a puppy or dog should spend time screening breeders and the animals sold by them. This is as important for an individual acquiring a pet as for those looking for breeding stock and potential show-quality dogs. All buyers should consider “good temperament” as an essential criterion for selection.
Impulse buying should be strongly discouraged. Breeders selling dogs to the general public must spend time with the consumer to ensure that the dog is compatible with the expectations of the purchaser and that the purchaser can provide a suitable environment for the dog. --(source): A Code of Practice for Canadian Kennel Operations).
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