This is our second time we met with our dog breeder Valerie of Cooperslane. Her process is a rigorous one. Not just for the dogs and pups but very much for her prospective pet owners. She ensures that the fit is just right! You don’t get to pick the dog, she picks the dog for you. (see How your puppy and you are matched). Getting as much information about your potential dog breeder and ensuring the right fit for both yourself and puppy, is very important for both of your future happiness.
Here are points to get started on meeting with your dog breeder
I’m going to assume you have already selected the dog breed you want to get. If you haven’t please look at our article on picking the right dog for your family.
First word of mouth is your best bet. Is your dog breed walking in the neighborhood? Do you think the dog has all qualities that you and your family want in a dog. Does the owner look like a responsible owner? Then introduce yourself and explain why you would like information on where the dog came from. ask questions like:
- What are the 3 top qualities in your dog?
- Does the dog have any problems (ie allergies)?
- Was the dog breeder easy to talk to and willing to work with your family?
- In the end did you feel that the dog breeder was reputable?
- Did the dog breeder provide as much information as possible about their dogs?
- Did the dog breeder provide you a package on what to expect from your puppy? (ie helpful hints)
- What did the breeder provide you with when you arrived to take your puppy home?
- Was the breeder willing to work with you after the puppy went home?
Now you may not get a chance to ask all these questions, but ask the questions that you feel will give you enough information to look into the dog breeder and whether you would select a dog from them. In the end you should feel completely comfortable with your decision.
Review dog breeders on the internet
Next look on the internet Canadian Kennel Club, as well as the American Kennel Club, provides a list of all dog breeds and dog breeders. They all provide you with questions to ask and what to look for in a dog breeder. Also if you are not sure about a puppy and are thinking that an older dog maybe a better fit for your family look at your selected type of dog breed rescue . Here are just a few Labrador Retriever Rescue, retired Grey Hound racers, Or career change / retired service dogs. Another thought is looking into being a foster family for a dog breeder as well. Many established dog breeders look for families to look after their girl and boys in a home setting.
Go and visit the dog breeder
All reputable dog breeders will gladly have you come for a visit to see their kennel by appointment. This gives them the chance to show off all their girls and most likely boys too. If you talk to a dog breeder and they are giving you reasons on why you can’t come over…DON’T PICK THAT DOG BREEDER! This is a RED flag! Check out their website as well.
Check the dog references provided
Ask for references of other families that have gotten a dog from them and call the reference. Here are some easy questions to ask:
- How old is your dog now?
- Why did you choose this dog breeder?
- What were the highlights of your relationship with the dog breeder?
- What are the most admirable qualities of your dog?
- Have you had any issues with your puppy? If so, was the dog breeder willing to work with you?
Visiting your dog breeder
Once you have your information and have planned your visit make a list of your own questions that you feel are important to you for the breeder when you meet with them. If the dog breeder has the mother and father on their premises (remember that some breeders use foster parents to look at their girls and boys) ask is you can meet them. Take note of their appearance and personality because, in some ways, it’s give you a good view into your future puppy. As well, this will give you a good idea of how your pup will eventually look and act.
Look around the kennel or home in which the puppy will be raised. It should be clean and well maintained. If there are other dogs in the kennel, look to make sure they are happy dogs and well taken care of dogs (ie no fleas or ticks, well fed).
The dog breeder, as in our case, had a lot of questions for us as well. She wanted to make sure her puppy was going to a proper loving home as well.