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Questions for breeder(9 Posts)
Hi, I’m going to meet a breeder tomorrow with a view to going on her waiting list for a puppy later this year. She seems very thorough, has sent details of the health tests the parents have had, and has asked me loads of questions about my situation. I’m meeting her in her home and will be able to see her dogs. This will be my first dog. Has anyone got any suggestion for questions I could ask whilst I’m there? Thanks
Things I asked...
- why she breeds (I was looking for someone who was aiming to improve the breed and could explain how without giving me a sense they were exaggerating characteristics to unhealthy levels)
- why she breeds this specific breed (just looking for a love of the breed)
- whether she breeds any other breeds, if so, what (most good breeders only breed one or two different breeds, I would avoid those that breed multiple diff breeds)
- how she selects which dogs to mate together (looking for a sign they choose dogs with traits that could complement each other or balance out in the resulting litter)
- what she is hoping for from this specific pairing (to get an idea of what would be different in your pup from the parents)
- what experiences the pups will have in their first 8 weeks with her (looking for lots of experience living in households, with washing machines and hoovers etc. Maybe also exposure to children. Possibly some training, such as toilet training started)
- to meet the dam (and sire, if she owns him)
- whether that bitch had any prior litters and what she was like as a mum, what the pups were like (a proven good mum is more likely to have well balanced pups; if this is the bitch's first litter what would the breeder do if she wasn't very good)
- whether she has ever had any health issues in her line, what and what she did about it (anyone breeding for any length of time will have had issues at some point)
- what she is looking for from an owner (look for someone who really cares who gets her dogs - tbf yours sounds like she does)
- to see a draft of her standard sale contract (to make sure you are comfortable with the terms)
- whether she vaccinates, microchips pups before they are sold
- what her returns process is; this can sound callous but a good breeder will have a structured process for if/when pups need to be returned
- how many litters her breeding bitches have and how often they are (look for no more than around 4 litters total and no more frequently than once every other year)
- how old the bitch is (not too old, not too young)
- the price, the deposit and when it has to be paid
- who chooses the pup (many breeders choose for you, which is sensible as they know the pups best and are with them all day; choosing for yourself, especially for a first dog is a total gamble for most people)
- if she chooses, how she selects the pup for you
- how long she (the breeder) has been breeding; if she is new then ask about her mentor (does she have one, who is it)
- what SHE thinks the good and bad of her breed is
There will be some I've missed that others can add to
Thanks missbattenburg that list is really helpful. She’s already answered some of them in her emails and on the phone, but there are certainly some I can ask tomorrow!
I asked our breeder if she was still in touch with any previous puppies - they were and took some in for holidays.
Asked what will come with the puppy (they should provide some food to start you off and insurance).
Also are you buying a pedigree as they should be KC registered. You can find lots of info on the kennel club website
OP: what breed are you going for? There are some breed-specific questions people may suggest.
If it's a working breed will it be docked?
I think miss battenburg has summed it up fairly thoroughly tbh.
If your selected breed has genetic health conditions are parents clear or is one a carrier - creates 50/50 chance of pups being carriers. There can be acceptable reasons for this but they need to be able to demonstrate/explain those reasons.
Inbreeding coefficient - you can look at specific breed averages online - preferably you want a low one, it should certainly have been a factor in choosing to mate those two dogs.
Returns policy is a good one. Good breeders will always be insistent on dog being returned to them no matter what. Really exceptional breeders may even refund part or all of your money if you want to return in a certain length of time after purchase, as well as the life long return to them policy. This is to ensure you don't try to sell puppy on gumtree to recoup costs.
I'd also expect full money back if a health problem was found within 7 (or even 14days) of you taking puppy home.
Club membership - whether that's breed club, agility based club or relevant working dog groups/clubs. And that they abide by club rules.
Also watch the way her dogs interact with her, as well as assessing their confidence and temperament meeting and interacting with you.
Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. She has already sent me quite a lot of information and has recommended further reading. Puppies come with 3 weeks food, microchipping, 4 weeks insurance, toys, harness etc. Her number will also be on the microchip. The contract will stipulate that puppies cannot be sold on but must be returned to her. She also shows new owners how to clip nails, groom and clean ears. Anyway thanks to you all again, I now have a list of additional questions and have some things to look out for
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