Choosing a Responsible Breeder
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Copyright ©1998 by ShoMar Weimaraners - Used by permission
BEFORE YOU BUY...... Research the breed. Interview several breeders. Expect the breeders to interview you.
A responsible breeder will put the best interests of her breed and her individual dogs first. She will breed in accordance with sound, ethical breeding practices. A responsible breeder will breed with one goal in mind: to produce sound, healthy dogs that contribute to the preservation and improvement of the breed. In so doing a responsible breeder will:
- Carefully and honestly assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Breeding partners to insure a positive contribution to the breed.
- Be knowledgeable about the breed and the genetic flaws prevalent in the breed. Use available health screening and genetic testing to guard against such flaws and provide certification of same; i.e., OFA or Penn Hip certification, CERF, thyroid screening, etc.
- Educate the buyer about the positive AND negative aspects of the breed and share her knowledge and experience with the buyer throughout the lifetime of the dog.
- Take great care in selecting the best possible homes for her puppies. She will ask questions about your family, work schedule and lifestyle as well as your interests and goals for the puppy. Where possible she may want to meet the entire family and do a home visit. She make ask for references.
- Welcome your questions and invite you to inspect the environment in which the puppies are raised. She will not suggest meeting you in a parking lot, at a dog show or any other "off site" location.
- Offer a health guarantee and stand ready to assist you in dealing with any unusual or inherited problems. A responsible breeder will take responsibility for the well-being of her pups for their lifetime. Therefore she will require that puppies later given up by Their owners be returned to her for placement in a new home. At the very least she will assist you in finding an appropriate second home for the dog.
- Seek to insure a lifetime home for her puppies by discouraging hasty decisions. She will suggest instead that you take some time to evaluate her as a breeder, her dogs and your own needs before reserving one of her puppies.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR...... Choose your breeder as you would choose a friend. Then, let your breeder help you select the best puppy for your home and your needs.
Be patient. Ask to be put on the breeder's waiting list if no puppies are immediately available.Bringing a new puppy into your home is a lifetime commitment and the decision should be as important as the decision to give birth to or adopt a child.
- Is the breeder a member in good standing of her national breed club and/or local breed club?
- How much experience has she had breeding dogs? Is she knowledgeable about the breed? How many breeds does she have?
- Are the breeder's puppies and adults maintained in a clean, healthy environment? Is there adequate shelter? Are the puppies home raised by the breeder or are they reaised by another individual off the breeder's premises? Can you visit the puppies where the puppies are raised?
- Is all breeding stock healthy and temperamentally sound? Are you permitted to see at least one parent and other relatives of the puppies?
- Are the puppies well socialized and accustomed to handling?
- Is evidence of genetic screening freely provided?
- At what age are puppies placed in new homes,what information is provided regarding shot records, general care and feeding? Be aware that some state laws require that puppies must be 8 weeks old and have at least one shot before being transferred to a new owner.
- Be aware that AKC rules require that the breeder keep accurate records of all transfers and that the breeder provide the new owner with a registration application (blue form) at the time of transfer. Is this provided?
- Does the breeder offer a health & hip guarantee? Is she willing to take the dog back if you are unable to keep it?
- Does she offer breed information and assistance? Does she encourage owners to investigate the unique qualities of the breed and various activities that will promote the dog's physical and mental development?
"Why Buy From A Responsible Breeder?" American Dog Owners Assoc.
"How To Buy A Purebred Dog" VA Federation of Dog Clubs & Breeders
Click here for additional information on responsible breeders vs. "back yard breeders" vs. puppy mills.
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Weimaraner Club of the Washington D.C. Area