What to look for in a reputable dog breeder

by Jeannie Middlebrooks

There’s a lot to consider and to be careful of when you’re looking for a puppy from reputable dog breeders. You can’t just simply hop on craigslist and look up “insert-breed-type puppy” and be getting one from a reputable breeder. Most reputable dog breeders won’t list on craigslist for a start, but you get what I’m saying. 

Knowing what to look for, the right questions to ask, and what to be wary of when searing, can make all the difference in the world in regards to the type of puppy you get.


Types of breeders

There are several different types of breeders. The one you should be looking for is a reputable breeder. Reputable breeders are more concerned with bettering the breed, versus making money. 

Backyard breeders are the people that are more concerned with making a quick buck, versus bettering the breed even at the health risk of the puppies in their litter.



Lots of things are breed-specific, For instance; you need to be more concerned about hip health testing in large and giant breed dogs, whereas with smaller and toy breed dogs you need to know more about their hearts. 

There are specific things that are good and bad about the breed you are choosing. So ensure that you are familiar with the health deficits and benefits of the type of dog you are looking for.


Health testing 

Any good breeder should extensively health test their breeding dogs. A dame should hold benefits that the sire she is bred with lacks, and reverse. 

You can find more at the AKC Health Testing Requirements website. This is an extensive list, by breed, on the minimum your breeder should have testing done for.  

As mentioned earlier, backyard breeders are in it for the money. They will charge more for different coat colors, and will also breed for “designer colors”. 

You should also make sure that your breeder has done color testing as well, just in case if you have a breed that has the potential for health issues.


Contracts & health guarantee 

Reputable breeders will most importantly, have a contract in place to ensure the safety of their puppies.

It will state that puppies need to be spayed/neutered when age-appropriate if they are for pets and that if the puppy is intended for breeding, that you will show proof of health testing on both breeding dogs before breeding begins. 

This ensures that even their puppies are being bred for the betterment of the breed.

The contract will also state that if the dog ever needs to be rehomed, it will be returned to the breeder and can not be surrendered to a rescue or a shelter. 

They will also offer a health guarantee on their dogs, usually a lifetime health guarantee. If a breeder offers you a year-long guarantee, they are more than likely a backyard breeder and you should stay far away from them.

Your potential reputable dog breeders should answer any questions that you have, without so much as a stutter in their voice. They also should have a lot of questions for you as well. They will want to know as much as they can about the home and family their puppy is going to. 

You will also want to know if they are a part of an AKC Club for the specific breed. The AKC also maintains a Breeder Of Merit list, which is a great place to start your search.


In summary

When you start your search for a breeder, it is definitely something you want to take your time with. Purchasing a puppy is not an easy task.

You want a healthy, well-bred, strong genetic puppy. Someone who is bred by someone who knows your breed inside and out. 

You want someone who takes the time, effort and money to ensure a healthy animal and betterment of your breed. Do not settle for someone who is just in it for the money. 

Yes, the puppy may be cheaper than a reputable breeder, but you could potentially end up with a lot of heartbreak and money wrapped up in a puppy with health issues.

Looking to read our another blog on Top 5 Fluffies dog breeds? You may check out the blog here

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