6 Tips That Can Help You Find Ethical Dog Breeders

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Getting a dog is always exciting. It’s a big change whether this is your first dog or simply the newest addition to the family because dogs bring so much enjoyment and fulfillment to our lives. If you’ve decided that getting a dog is what you want to do, then congratulations! You’re about to embark on an experience that will last for years to come. That said if you’re looking for a purebred, there are 6 tips that can help you find an ethical dog breeder.

how to find reputable dog breeders
how to find reputable dog breeders

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The Importance Of Finding A Good Breeder

Before we get into the tips, it’s important to understand why you should find which breeder to go with. While finding dog breeders that are ethical may take some time, it’s one of the best things you can do when deciding to buy a purebred dog. There are three main ways in which it affects the dog itself, as well as your life with the new pet:

  • The Breeding Process – a good dog breeder will keep track of the different lines formed in their kennel. If you breed animals that are closely related, it causes problems in future generations when health issues start popping up because of possible genetic defects.
  • Learned Behaviour – the way the breeder acts around and towards the dogs helps them learn different behaviors. If they approach the dogs as any responsible owner would, the dogs will grow up to be well socialized. On the other hand, if the breeder keeps them in cages all the time, doesn’t allow for enough playtime among them, and is meanspirited or simply disinterested towards them, it can have adverse effects on the dogs. 
  • Overall Health – if the dog is living in a suitable place that’s clean, provides enough room, and is suitably warm and dry – that’s a great start. It should also get high-quality food that’s age and breed appropriate, regular checkups with the vet, and enjoy plenty of physical activity where it can run, play, interact with others, and explore its surroundings. If a dog doesn’t get all of these things mentioned, it can develop a variety of health problems that you’ll have to try and deal with yourself if the breeder you get the dog from wasn’t a responsible one.

1. Decide On The Breed You Want

Different dog breeds have different needs. Deciding on which breed of dog you want will help you narrow down your search to the breeders that deal with those dogs specifically. For example, some breeders will only keep show dogs, others will have working dogs, and others yet will keep dogs that have characteristics of both. Generally speaking, dogs that do well in shows are bred so that they meet the necessary standards needed for purebreds. However, for some breeds, the standards are made in a way that can impact their Health negatively. On the other hand, dogs that are made to be working dogs – whether that implies assisting law enforcement, being a guide dog, or something else – are bred so that they have the necessary traits to perform these tasks, and less attention is paid to their appearance. Because of this, they often don’t do as well in shows. Depending on the type of dog you want, it’s important to do your research when it comes to the standardization of this kind so that you can find a pup that’s perfectly suited to you.

2. Price And Testimonials

Going to online forums to see what other people have said about a certain breeder is always a good idea. However, unlike other things where it’s always best to see if other people know how to get what you want for less money, this isn’t a good thing when it comes to dogs. Once you’ve decided on the breed, you should look at the price range for it in your country and state and disregard those breeders that offer pups for below that price. Besides that, check what people have to say about the conditions the dog was kept in and if there are any behavioral or health issues that may have been passed to the pup that came from that kennel. If a person claims that a specific breeder has shady practices and they let their dogs breed too often, isn’t careful about who to sell their pups to, or doesn’t uphold high standards when it comes to this kind of thing, you should look elsewhere. That said, you might find recommendations online for the breed you’re looking for, and that could help you narrow down the list of potential breeders to only the ones that are well-reputed.

3. Veterinarians And Dog Owners

Even when it seems like there are so many breeders out there, it’s impossible to pick the right one; it’s really not the case. An experienced vet will know most, if not all, of the ethical breeders in their area and can provide you with recommendations of their own. The best way to go about this is to ask a friend or a family member that owns a dog to recommend a vet to you. Chances are they know a veterinarian, and there’s no better way to get a good referral than by word of mouth. In case you know people that already have a dog that the breed you want, you can simply ask them where they bought it from. Dog people love to talk about their pets, and chances are they’ll be more than happy to recommend the breeder they got their pup from.

4. Visit The Kennels In Person

Once you’ve compared prices and read other people’s experiences with a certain breeder, it’s time to pay them a visit in person if you’re looking for the best breeders. This will be different depending on what country or state you live in, but most responsible breeders will require this no matter where they are so that they can see how you interact with their pups before letting one go home with you. They want to make sure that you’ll be able to provide for it, so they’ll ask you about your living conditions and their care. They might even have a few questions relating to your personal life so that they can see if you’re compatible with the dog. However, keep in mind that this isn’t meant as an interrogation – most of them are just curious because they want to make sure it’s a good match for both you and the dog. Therefore, answer as best as you can, and they won’t judge you.

5. Ask Questions

Just like the breeder will have some questions for you, it’s important that you ask them certain things as well. This will not only help you better understand what kind of life the dog has led up to this point and what you can expect in the future, but it can also be telling as to what kind of breeder you’re dealing with. A good breeder will be happy to answer all your questions because it will be a sign for them that the dog will get a good and responsible owner. On the other hand, if a breeder seems to be dodgy or even annoyed when answering your questions, that could mean that you’ve found a bad breeder. This is why it’s important to pay attention to their tone and how they answer you, as well as the information they provide. Some good questions include:

  • How many litters have you bred so far?
  • What are parents like?
  • What character traits is the puppy show?
  • How much exercise does the dog need daily?
  • Do you have a vet you can recommend?
  • Is there anything specific I need to look out for with this breed?
  • What are your recommendations on how to socialize the dog?

Even if you already know the answer to some of these questions, posing them will help you figure out what that breeder is all about, and it can be a great indicator as to whether they’re good or not. After all, if the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem knowledgeable enough about their breed of choice or their line of work, then you should probably look elsewhere.

6. Certification VS License

A license is a state-issued document that isn’t required in the majority of cases. While it’s not a bad thing to have, it isn’t really something that you need to worry about too much, especially given the fact that most breeders don’t have a license – which is perfectly legal and acceptable. You should, however, take notice if the breeder has any kind of certification by a national or international kennel club. While it’s not required to have one, a responsible breeder is more than likely to have one. Looking into the specific certifications can help you find out more about the breeder’s experience if their breeding practices are ethical, and if their work is in line with the standards set by the kennel club. Of course, it’s best to look for those that have certificates issued by the most well-known clubs so that you can rest assured that you’ve found a professional breeder.

Taking steps to find an ethical dog breeder is important if you’re looking for a purebred. Even though it might take more time and effort, this will ensure that you get your money’s worth and more because you’ll be getting a healthy pup whose parents have been looked after by professionals who know what they’re doing. Once you’ve found the right breeder, they’ll do the best job in matching you with the most suited puppy for your needs.

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