Questions to Ask A Breeder

When it comes time to interview breeders which questions should you ask? What matters? What answers are “deal breakers” and what answers are just a piece of the overall picture?Rosies litter 2012-2

I’m in the unique position of being able to share with you questions I recommend from the perspective of a breeder. I know how to find a responsible breeder because I am one, I know how to spot a waving red flag and I know which answers are commonly touted as red flags when they really aren’t and don’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.

There are so many things to consider when narrowing down your puppy selection and one of the most important things you can possibly decide is the breeder of your future dog. I’m also happy to provide information on the other things you should look for in a breeder (apart from the answers to these questions).

The answers to the following questions can be very important, others will just give you an idea as to what kind of person a particular breeder is. I have the full article HERE that includes the explanations for what answers mean (what they should be, shouldn’t be, etc).

Short-Short Version

Use this list as a copy-and-paste into an email sort of list. But read the explanations so you’re prepared for the interview.

Keep in mind that an unethical breeder will have no problem lying to you. Listen to your intuition. If you feel like something “just isn’t right” then move on. There are plenty of breeders out there and there is no reason to choose a breeder you’re not completely comfortable with.

And I’ve answered these questions, too.

1) Are you a professional breeder or a private breeder?

2) Why do you breed dogs?

3) What breeds do you currently breed and what others have you bred in the past?

4) What health problems are present in the breed? Which of these are genetic? What do you do to breed away from these problems?

5) What traits do you breed for specifically?

6)What are your goals in breeding?

7)  What kinds of activities do you do with your dogs?

8)  How many dogs do you own (guardian dogs included) and how many of them are breeding dogs?

9)  Are your dogs kenneled outside or do they live in your home or someone else’s home?

10)  How many litters do you have per year?

11) Where are your litters raised? If in the house where is they nursery located?

12)  What early training do you do with the puppies and how do you socialize them?

13)  When can I visit a litter and at what age do the puppies go home?

14)  How many puppies are usually in a litter?

15)  Are your adult dogs house-trained? If so how long did they take to potty train?

16)  What are the good traits of your breeding dogs?

17)  What are the faults and/or limitations of your breeding dogs?

18)  What do you feed your dogs?

19)  Can I meet the parents?

20)  Do you ever have rescue dogs available for adoption?

3 thoughts on “Questions to Ask A Breeder

    • I think rescuing is an admirable thing to do!
      I also think that supporting the proper breeding of dogs (and you’re not going to get a well-bred rescue, you just aren’t) is a perfectly responsible thing to do. Not every family has the experience and/or time to help a rescue with behavioral issues. Unfortunately most rescues need real time and training and many have aggression issues.

      For the people that understand animal behavior and dog training a rescue is a wonderful option. But I don’t agree with the current trend of thought that seems to demonize all breeders and punish responsible dog owners for enjoying the benefits of a well-bred pup with specific traits and temperament.

      Rescue exists because of irresponsible owners. If people didn’t buy dogs as impulse purchases and as accessories (dogs are not accessories people!) from scumbag breeders rescues would not exist. It isn’t right or fair to punish people that want to encourage proper breeding practices and the continuation of amazing dogs breeds, lines and types (or the development of new ones). If every single dog-loving responsible human in the world only rescued our world population of dogs would devolve into a large lot of overly inbred, disfigured and diseased mess.

      I love dogs and the special human-canine relationship to require that to happen.

      • We have a couple of things going on in my area 2breeders that breed especially for leader dogs , also puppy mills. I have only adopted, the first two were done just our will against theirs . Fred I took her to a training clinic in my area which is held every Thursdays at 5pm. For free. Great experience,yes rescue dogs have issues. Abandonment, also incarnation problems. Time will help with abandonment the other socialization. Which Fred needed socialization : she lunged at other dogs with the process she learned to trust me . She is now a therapy dog. Before her I never did professional training. More free clinics

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