What IS An Ethical/Reputable Breeder?
Puppy Mills - Businesses who breed dogs many times during their lifespan, often in poor conditions, with little to no healthcare or affection. These dogs are bred in large numbers and the business usually breeds many different breeds of dogs. The only concern is profit.
Backyard Breeders - People who breed their dog without following through the proper steps to ensure their dog is a good candidate for breeding and will produce offspring that contribute to bettering the breed or making good pets. Backyard breeders rarely do any health testing/genetic screening, won't take puppies back if needed, may breed their dogs excessively or just a single time and may stick to a single breed or a handful of breeds. Often breed to "make back the money they spent on their dog", "earn a little side cash", or because they feel like their dog really needs to have at least one litter of puppies (or that they just really want to see how their dog is as a mom or dad).
Ethical/Reputable Breeder Checklist
Note that individual breeders vary and this is a general checklist. If the breeder you're looking into has more than a few exceptions from the following list however, we would recommend finding another breeder who will likely provide you with better puppies and more long term support.
How to Find an Ethical/Reputable Breeder
Once you have a potential breeder's info, get as much information about them online or from your source as possible. How much of it matches up with your list? If they fit most of the list, the next step is to contact them! Many breeders are somewhat busy and don't always respond right away. Give them a couple of business days and try again. If that doesn't work, switch to another method of communication. Maybe they're more responsive via Facebook messenger than email. For the record, I've NEVER had a pet professional get back to me when I've tried to contact them via an email form on their website. I wouldn't start there.
It takes a little time and effort, but learning what to look for to find a good breeder can be so rewarding if you can manage to take home an amazing puppy from their incredible breeding program. These dogs are usually a joy to live and work with. A good breeder and breeding program can make all the difference.
If you have any questions or if this seems overwhelming, please contact us and we'd be happy to help you get started with finding some options.
Copied from another breeder:
POTENTIAL OWNER: How much is the puppy?
POTENTIAL OWNER: What?? It's way too expensive!!
BREEDER: What do you think would be a good price?
POTENTIAL OWNER: No more than $500. You breeders are so over priced.
BREEDER: I am sorry you see it this way, why don't you try it yourself?
POTENTIAL OWNER: But I've never done it!
BREEDER: For FREE I can teach you how to do it, and in addition you will have the knowledge to do it again.
POTENTIAL OWNER: Perfect, thank you!
BREEDER: To start you will need a female(average cost $3000 and up). Also a male(average cost $3000 and up) or semen (average $1000 and up). You will need to show them to their championship to show they meet the breed standard(Minimal $2000 with travel & fees). You will need to do genetic & health testing on them, averages about $750 per dog. Raise and provide daily care, feeding & grooming for 2 years. (So minimal $150 per month)
POTENTIAL OWNER: But I don't have that much money...
BREEDER: For $500 you can raise a liter and then keep one of the puppies. Obviously, you will pay the cost of whelping & care.
POTENTIAL OWNER: I can do that.
BREEDER: OK so I have a female due to whelp in 2 weeks. You will need to be available 24/7 around the clock for at least 8 weeks to help with delivery and care.
POTENTIAL OWNER: Eight weeks?? it's way too much time for me! I have to work.
BREEDER: You will also need the reproductive vet to do xrays($200-$500), possibly progesterone testing($75-$250) & C-section($1000-$5000) and initial vet care on pups until old enough to be placed.
Have on hand a scale, thermometer, latex gloves, sanitizer, absorbent tissues, scissors, hemostats, heating pad, whelping box, blankets, cleaning supplies, appropriate food with supplements for mothers, formula, medications & hand feeding supplies in case of emergency....
POTENTIAL OWNER: But I don't have all these things!
BREEDER: For $1000 you can buy them.
POTENTIAL OWNER: Ummm .... You know, I think it might be better if I just buy a puppy.
BREEDER: Wise decision.
For us breeders there are no vacations or holidays, while you go to visit with family & friends we are home at our dogs side caring for them. It is a no breaks commitment.
THIS IS THE REALITY
When you choose a professional you don't only pay for the puppy but also:
Tools, knowledge, experience, love, time, sacrifices, etc.