The Reputable Breeder

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

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Gray Dawn- Treader

Don't Tread on- me
Barked: Sat Nov 3, '07 2:46pm PST 
ETA: since no one uses this thread anymore, I use it to educate by providing a link to it when people ask questions about breeding their dog or finding a breeder in Answers.
To start with, the reputable breeder puts the health of his dogs before plans for litters. Obviously, a good breeder does not abuse their dogs-mentally or physically. Also, a reputable breeder is in the breeding business for the love of the breed(s) rather than the money. If they are doing things the right way, breeding does not bring them much money anyway and I will show you why.

It's all about Quality
With their beloved dogs' health in mind, Good Breeders breed seldom. They don't care about the number of puppies either. (Remember: it's all about quality, not quanity!) Their dogs are given regular vet care, excercise, love, proper nutrition, and playtime. Responsible breeders check for signs of illness in each of their dogs once a month (Clan Duncan Sheltie calls this the "feelies"!), perhaps when the dogs are given their flea meds. They feel the dogs all over, checking for lumps, scars, ticks, etc. They also take a peek into the dogs mouth: make sure the teeth look good, breath doesn't smell ad, etc. The breeder also looks at the dogs' hineys and make sure all is normal there. Good breeders also compete in some kind of dog sport, such as dog shows, Agility, Obedience, Rally, Fly Ball or all of them! The breeders test their breeding stock for diseases common in the particular breed they breed. Female dogs should never be bred on every heat. Having puppies is tiring, and it also endangers the dog's live to a degree to have puppies. The dogs are never bred unless they are in peek health (and for female dogs, not bred after the age of seven). The breeder chooses the best stud they can find for the female. The puppies are health-tested as well. A good breeder will never sell a sick puppy; they will either keep it until it is well or keep it for life. A good breeder is honest, and NEVER sells the puppies until at least 8 weeks old. (The reason for this is that puppies need this time with their dam (breeder's term for mother dog) and littermates so they can learn proper canine manners.) Some think that selling a puppy past 10 weeks is equally as bad, but I see no cause for concern there. Do NOT be angry if the breeder you select keeps the best puppy for himself: the best puppy is the one that will be best for breeding, and by using that puppy the breeder will someday breed even better dogs. The here is why the breeder doesn't make much money breeding:Health testing costs a lot, and if things go wrong with the whelping and C-Section or something else is needed they spend even more money. Even the seemingly high prices breeders sell their puppies for doesn't make up for it sometimes!

The signs of a good breeder
Good breeders do all I mentioned above. Also:
They are as honest with their customers as possible.
They find the best homes they can for the puppies.
They are always happy to take a puppy back if things don't work out or the customer can't have the dog anymore.
They breed no more than 2 breeds.
They know a lot about dogs, the breed they breed, and know what they are doing.
They will try to improve the breed.
They have studied genetics. In Collies (and other breeds that can carry the merle gene) this is especially important, as breeding two merles (or merle-factored dogs) can result in what is sometimes called a Double Dilute (DD). These dogs, while beautiful, are usually sickly, deaf, blind, or all of these. A healthy Dilute is rare, but a vaulable asset to any breeding program. (Double Dilutes look mostly white with little or no coloring. Their fur is actually not white, but see-through like a Polar Bear's. If a DD is bred to a tri they will only produce merles. DDs should never be bred to merles or sables.)
Good breeders will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
In my opinion, good breeders should also support shelters and rescue. It shows they care!

Questions to ask a breeder
"When were the pups whelped?"
"Will they have to be eight weeks old before I can buy them?"
"Is there a waiting list?" (Some reputable breeders have these.)
"Have the parents and pups been health-checked?" (Including hips/eyes/ears. Insist that you want to see the papers that clear them. Puppies cannot be tested for hips because it requires x-rays and is not allowed to be done until two years of age.)
"Have the puppies had shots and been wormed?"
"Do you require them to be spayed and neutered unless I plan to show my puppy?"
"Have any of your other litters displayed genetic disease?"
"Can I return my puppy if I decide to?"
"Will you replace a puppy with severe health problems?"
"How long have you been breeding?"
"How many breeds do you breed?"
"How many litters per year do you have?"
"Do you compete your dogs in dog shows or some other dog sports, and have your dogs gained titles?"
Remember: if you ask a breeder if they test their breeding stock and they say something like "My dogs are perfect. No health testing needed", then get out of there and search for another breeder.

A look at a breeder's home
The home and kennels(if any) should be clean.
The place should smell good.
The dogs should have beds and toys.
The excercise erea should be both large and with no way for the dogs to get out.
There should be no poop cluttering the kennels or excercise ereas.
The dogs should appear healthy. Sicks dogs should be kept away from the healthy ones.
A puppys skin should look and smell clean.
Puppies' bellies should a little plump but not too over weight.
Puppies should be active and curious.
The dogs should be friendly.

Questions a breeder should ask you
Breeder should have questions, and a good breeder has plenty! They want to make sure the puppies get the best home that the breeder can find. The breeder will use your answers to decide whether the breed is right for you or not and whether you should have one of his puppies.
"Why do you want this breed?"
"Please describe yourself and your family."
"Please describe you ideal dog."
"Where will the dog live?"
"How many people and pets live in your house right now?"
"How will you physically and mentally excercise this dog?"
"Do you want a dog for competing in dog sports, just as a pet, or a show dog?"
"Have you ever taken care of a puppy?" (Puppies are blank ckalk boards and you do the drawing.)
"Will you use a crate?"
"Will you spay or neuter your puppy?"
"Would you allow me to help you choose the right puppy out of my litter?" (A breeder will choose the puppy that will best suit you.)
There may be other questions as well, but the above are the most important. Any questions, comments, or complaints? Just post in this forum or paw-mail me.

Edited by author Mon Mar 17, '08 1:55pm PST


Drool - It bring's- treats!
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '07 10:29am PST 
I have nothing against reputable breeders but I find it hard to believe they are not in it for the money when I see them charging 2, 3 and some times even 5 thousand dollars for each puppy. Spay and neuter contracts can also be seen as squashing competition.
Gray Dawn- Treader

Don't Tread on- me
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '07 11:05am PST 
They need to charge high prices because they spend high prices. A reputable Collie breeder I know recommends having at least 4,000 dollars in the bank before breeding on of your dogs. And lot of times they don't even get any profit at all because they spend so much! Now 1,000 would too high for a breeder to charge I think. That was a good point though. My mistress is studying to be a good breeder, so she needs to know all the right things to do.
P.S. No. The puppies with spay/neuter contracts are not breeding quality. If they are bred the breed will become worse, not better. The breeder usually keeps the best of th litter to breed. I think sometimes breeders sell the best puppy ot another reputable breeder if they don't plan to keep it. Evalating a puppy takes knowledge of the breed and a keen eye.

Edited by author Mon Nov 5, '07 11:08am PST



Angel Puppy
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '07 11:30am PST 
1,000 might be too much for some breeds. But definitely not for others. Some are just expensive and they always will be. For example, english bulldogs. They need so much medical assistance just for puppies to be possible it makes sense. Others, like our podengo, are just so rare that stud and such cost a small fortune. And then there are high maintenance breeds like kerry blues, that usually cost a fortune...i think to discourage people who aren't willing to invest the $$$ long term.
Some breeds though...breeds that are low maintenance, common, and don't need a lot of medical intervention to have puppies....I don't understand costing quite that much unless you are looking for show quality.
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Mon Nov 5, '07 5:23pm PST 
Petey, some breeds are exceptions to this, because of their rarity or the medical aspects of breeding some of the more difficult breeds, but there are very few reputable breeders charging two thousand or more for pet puppies. In most breeds, it's the millers and the pet stores that charge those inflated prices.

Reputable breeders are generally just about breaking even. Breeding dogs responsibly is just not profitable; it's an expensive hobby, not a business. That's why reputable breeders generally have full-time jobs, or spouses who make good money at their jobs, or some other source of income that supports them in their hobby.

The spay/neuter clause can be seen as stifling competition--by people who do not understand that people really do do somethings for reasons other than money, and that breeding responsibly is complex, difficult, and not profitable, and that breeding is hard on the dog, too. It's a clause that only frustrates people who think that "just one litter" is a good way to show their children "the miracle of birth," not realizing that they might wind up showing their kids the miracle of death, and people who have mistaken pets for furry ATMs.
Gray Dawn- Treader

Don't Tread on- me
Barked: Tue Nov 6, '07 6:47pm PST 
Good points, Addy. I forgot to mention that reputable breeders endorse other reputable breeders they consider good.

Drool - It bring's- treats!
Barked: Tue Nov 6, '07 7:36pm PST 
I will never understand the whole "miracle of birth" thing.

I have seen German Shepherd puppies for sale for 2,500.00 and 3,500.00.

I have seen French Bull dogs for around 4 and 5 thousand dollars. I have read that Frenchies are hard to breed and the mother usually has to have a c section so I understand the price of puppies a little but.. at 4 thousand per puppy and 2 to 4 a litter that would more than likely cover the cost and leave some money left over.

I still think even reputable breeders make some profit.
Gray Dawn- Treader

Don't Tread on- me
Barked: Tue Nov 6, '07 7:48pm PST 
They do somtimes. One breeder told me that sometimes it seems like everything goes perfect, then other litters it seems like that everthing that can go wrong will.
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Tue Nov 6, '07 8:13pm PST 
Petey, of course you've seen German Shepherds for sale for $2,500 and up, and Frenchies for $4,000 and up. The mistake you're making is assuming that those are reputable breeders, or that reputable breeders must be charging the same prices.

Backyard breeders and puppy millers advertise. Pet stores generally post their prices. Reputable breeders talk about price last, and having spent more than the millers and BYBs in producing those puppies (pedigree research, genetics, showing their dogs to prove them as breeding quality, stud fees, pre-natal and neo-natal care), in most cases charge significantly less for them. More money going out per puppy, usually significantly less money coming in per puppy--and they have perhaps two litters a year, or in many cases one litter every year or two. Think about what that means in terms of "making money" or "being profitable." Reputable breeders generally find it impossible to meet the IRS requirement for quailifying as a business instead of an expensive hobby, i.e., making a profit (even a small one!) at least two years out of every five. That means they can't deduct their expenses--putting them at an even greater disadvantage, in cash flow terms, conpared to BYBs and puppy millers.

Reputabel breeders are doing it for love, not money.
Chase CGC

It's Mine I Tell- Ya! Mine! Mine!- Mine!
Barked: Tue Nov 6, '07 8:33pm PST 
Not only do they dish out money for health test, they also spending A LOT of money showing these dogs.
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