Checklist

Questions To Ask A Breeder Before Buying A Dog

1. How Long Have You Been A Breeder? How Long Have You Been Breeding This Specific Breed?

Just as with any career, the more experience a dog breeder has, the better. Your breeder should have a deep understanding of raising and caring for dogs, and be an expert on the specific traits of the breed you are interested in.

2. Can I Meet The Parents?

A responsible breeder should be more than willing to show you at least the mom, if not both parents, of your potential new pup. Pay attention to the parents’ temperament and overall health. Observing the puppy’s parents can provide insight to what your dog will grow to look and act like. Be sure to ask if either of the parents have experienced major health problems in their lifetime.

3. How Have The Puppies Been Socialized?

It is crucial for a puppy’s development that he is introduced to other dogs and humans in the first 5-16 weeks of age. This period of time will permanently shape your puppy’s future personality and how he will react to different environments as an adult. The puppy should be socialized with his litter from 5-8 weeks, and then with humans starting at 12 weeks. Be sure your breeder has taken the proper steps to start socializing your dog and is able to provide you with feedback on how your puppy has reacted to different situations so far.

4. Is The Puppy Up-To-Date On Vaccinations And Has He Been Dewormed?

You should be sure that your potential puppy has visited a veterinarian to receive his shots and be dewormed before taking him home. Breeders should have proper records on veterinary testing and treatments and should be able to provide you with the vet’s contact information. Understand what shots your puppy has received and when he will be due for his next vaccine.

5. What Health Guarantees And Reclaiming Policies Do You Provide In Your Contract?

If puppy become severely ill, what will your breeder do? Know which inherited diseases afflict you puppy’s particular breed and be sure your breeder has tested your puppy and confirmed he is disease-free. What if you can no longer care for your puppy? Understand your breeder’s reclaiming policy before bringing your dog home.

6. Do You Have References?

A responsible, experienced breeder will have a list of previous customers and veterinarians that can speak to their reliability. Call the previous customers and be sure they had a positive experience with the breeder, and that their puppy was well cared for by the breeder.

7. Can We Contact You After Taking The Puppy Home?

Your breeder should be able and willing to offer you guidance as you are raising your new puppy. Be sure that they are available to contact with questions or concerns about your dog or the breed in general, as they are an expert.

8. What Do You Need To Know About Me?

You should be prepared to answer questions the breeder has about your lifestyle and concerned if they don’t ask any questions about you at all. Reputable breeders will want to ensure their breed suits you, and that you are prepared to raise and care for one of their puppies.

9. When Can I Take The Puppy Home?

Puppies should stay with their mother and litter until they are at least eight years old to properly mature and socialize. Your breeder should not place a puppy in a new home until he is between eight and 12 weeks.