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Decent and honest breeder

(26 Posts)
Maybenexttime08 Tue 28-Jul-20 07:51:05

Hi,

We are at the start of our dog adventure and after a long wait we are ready to start looking for a puppy which we can bring home around November time.

I am obviously very keen to ensure we use a good breeder but how do I find one apart from via kennel club? I've heard too many stories of puppy farming and clever ways they hide their business!

Thanks for any advice!

OP’s posts: |
gettingusedtothelimelight Tue 28-Jul-20 08:02:40

What breed are you looking for?

FishTaco101 Tue 28-Jul-20 08:05:54

If you are looking for a, er, 'humane' breeding, you may as well just adopt. Too much work to snoop around for an honest breeder.

Maybenexttime08 Tue 28-Jul-20 08:10:34

We are thinking labradoodle?

OP’s posts: |
Maybenexttime08 Tue 28-Jul-20 08:11:04

@FishTaco101 - that is my worry!

OP’s posts: |
icedaisy Tue 28-Jul-20 08:13:59

Well KC is there for a reason, particularly with assured breeders.

Other than that, word of mouth.

This would depend on the breed.

Ring craft local groups for example will know of reputable breeders and waiting lists. As will agility groups, fly ball etc. Local game keepers and farmers would know of spaniel, terrier and collie breeders.

I am an assured breeder and have a litter at foot now. The list is long. Maybe 40 plus people, for some circumstances will have changed, so they can be discounted.

I've turned away more than I've put on the list. The price and vetting process has been the same for years. I am aware from here and elsewhere that this is not the case across the board and prices are ridiculous which I am horrified at.

bluebluezoo Tue 28-Jul-20 08:24:19

We are at the start of our dog adventure and after a long wait we are ready to start looking for a puppy which we can bring home around November time

To start with most decent breeders have long waiting lists as they aren’t churning out puppies and will have one litter every couple of years. A two year wait in normal. So November is very ambitious. Red flags include breeders where someone has “dropped out” and hey presto there is one puppy available, despite the high demand.

Secondly your choice of breed. Doodles and any fashionable portmanteau “breed” are rife with dodgy breeders as there are no kc reg, no health certs, and people pay serious money for them.

Are you aware labradoodles aren’t the easy, non shedding, low maintenance, hypoallergenic dog people think they are? If it’s the allergies and no shedding you want a giant poodle is a better choice, and nearly indistinguishable in looks.

In the next six months or so predictions are rescues will be overrun as people go back to work and lockdown puppies flood in. Also try doodle specific rescues- unfortunately many get handed in as new owners realise they do shed, their coats are very high maintenance, and little johnny is allergic to it...

Pigletpoglet Tue 28-Jul-20 08:35:31

Maybenexttime - I'm sure there are decent and honest labradoodle breeders out there, but it is much harder to find one as there isn't the same network around this cross as there is around the KC registered breeds.

Established breeds have breed clubs, where mostly people know each other and have an idea about who is breeding what. There is an amount of peer pressure (as well as club rules) around health testing, careful selection of mates etc. This system is not perfect by any means, and there will be breeders not doing absolutely the right thing, but it is a good starting point.

Breed clubs usually have lists of breeders, but the best thing you can do is get out and about and meet owners and breeders - and that is difficult at the moment. The first big dog show of the year is scheduled for end of September (Blackpool Championship Show). Also the number of puppy enquiries at the moment is just ridiculous. We breed maybe once every 2 years, in a tiny breed that no one knows about, and I am getting daily emails.

I would suggest:

1. Research lots of different breeds. Be very clear about what kind of a life you want with your dog, and what you are willing to do. The KC has a good 'Find a Breed' tool. Be honest with yourselves - there's no point getting a working breed because you like the way they look if you're not willing to fulfil their need to work.

2. Get to a dog show (unfortunately Discover Dogs is cancelled this year). Wander around. Watch and listen. Look at how different breeds behave both in and around the ring. Ask owners on the benches if you can ask them questions about their breed - they will usually be more than happy to chat (especially if their breed is not in the ring at the time!)

3. Decide on a breed. Do more research. And more research. And more - go to another show or club event. Keep being honest with yourselves about whether you can meet the needs of the dog.

4. Contact the club (hopefully they will have a puppy advisor). Contact breeders, explaining why you have chosen the breed (briefly) and what you can offer/what you have considered (e.g. grooming and exercise requirements, working temperament etc). Go and visit if this is offered.

5. Keep researching and meeting people. Be patient. Wait for the right litter from a breeder you have developed a relationship with.

You will have to wait to get a well bred puppy. The more meeting of owners and breeders you do, the more your name will be bandied around as a potential owner, and the better chance you will have of finding a decent breeder. It takes work! I have had people drive over 6 hours for a visit, in the hopes of maybe being put onto a list for puppies not yet born.

Compare this to trying to find a breeder of a cross on the internet, where all you have to go on is what they say about themselves, and their ability to produce a puppy at a time that is convenient for you.

Lastly - more expensive does NOT mean better. Our club has an informal agreement to keep the price of puppies 'low' (in relative terms) so that the breed does not become attractive to puppy farmers.

There's lots to think about!

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 28-Jul-20 09:00:41

I'd also suggest joining breed groups on FB and asking a few questions.

IME some perfectly decent breeders (not stellar, but decent) breeders don't keep waiting lists.

tabulahrasa Tue 28-Jul-20 10:32:18

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman

I'd also suggest joining breed groups on FB and asking a few questions.

IME some perfectly decent breeders (not stellar, but decent) breeders don't keep waiting lists.

I’ve seen waiting lists full for well into next year for some fairly surprising breeds just now tbh.

It’s a weird time to be trying to get a dog, they’re currently either rare as hens teeth or thousands of pounds.

longtompot Tue 28-Jul-20 12:06:51

We looked on Champdogs. I found a prize winning breeder in Somerset who didn't have any puppies, but if she did, they were too pricey for us. Then I found a local lady who was breeding her dog for the second and last time. This was Feb time I think. We were put on reserve before the pups were born, and went to see them in early June. Reserved one, and when we looked into them a bit more, found out the dad was owned by the first breeder we looked at, it for a few hundred pounds less.
The lady we found was very local to us, like I said second and last litter. Family home, met the whole family, dog and human, including the 'aunt' of the puppies.
I think go with word of mouth, go with your gut. Don't be too desperate to buy the first pup you see.
Have a realistic budget. Our original was wholly unrealistic, and the pups I'd find were on pets for homes and other websites, looking very much like puppy farm situations (several breeds, same breeder, pictures of them living in barns, or the worst one was in a dingy looking garage!) Upped it with the help of some savings my mum had been saving for me (she still doesn't know!)

seadog1977 Tue 28-Jul-20 12:22:38

icedaisy

Well KC is there for a reason, particularly with assured breeders.

Other than that, word of mouth.

This would depend on the breed.

Ring craft local groups for example will know of reputable breeders and waiting lists. As will agility groups, fly ball etc. Local game keepers and farmers would know of spaniel, terrier and collie breeders.

I am an assured breeder and have a litter at foot now. The list is long. Maybe 40 plus people, for some circumstances will have changed, so they can be discounted.

I've turned away more than I've put on the list. The price and vetting process has been the same for years. I am aware from here and elsewhere that this is not the case across the board and prices are ridiculous which I am horrified at.


Hi , can I ask what the vetting process is for prospective buyers .

Thanks

icedaisy Tue 28-Jul-20 13:43:13

@seadog1977 yes of course, it will be breeder specific naturally but I can give you mine.

I met my now best friend many years ago via the breed club. She breeds to an exceptional standard and over the years we have gone on to have shared dogs and litters. Plus our own.

People tend to hear via word of mouth, I have never had to advertise. When I receive an initial enquire we have a basic questionnaire which is sent out. That's sort of background information.

Why you are looking for this breed, what attracts you to the breed, etc.
Then abit about you, your family life, working conditions, jobs, children, garden, etc.
Your history, previous dogs, any specific interests, eg showing, agility.
How you heard about me. This is often handy as a friend of a friend of a friend can reveal a lot.

Then you would go on the list unless that flags any concerns, I will come back to that.

Once we have a litter, which might be a year or so from when you had enquire I would let you know and ask if anything has changed, I would also then ask for two references which I would take up. That's assuming you still wish to have a puppy.

I don't let people chose puppies, I do that and I meet the people at least twice, at mine and if locally at theirs as well. That's not always possible.

I adore my dogs and the breed itself. If I'm selling a puppy it's a lifelong commitment for me to take it back and to support the buyer. I need to match the right puppy to the right person and do my best to ensure it doesn't break down.

We have a couple of Facebook and whatsapp groups for new owners and I have genuinely become friends with all I have sold to. We meet occasionally if in same area and the groups are good for people to interAct and share worries or questions. Puppies can be hard.

I have a breeding restriction on the papers but to be honest that's more to assist with matching if you chose to take a litter. If I had concerns you wanted the dog solely to breed I wouldn't be selling it anyway.

I've turned away more than I've sold by far. I've had to take back two in fifteen years, both due to horrific personal circumstances, death and break down. Both are still with me.

This was a recent enquire which didn't even get a questionnaire, never mind on waiting list.

Word for word.

Hey, here you got puppies. Furloughed and bored. Want to breed and make some holiday money. Will you take back if I'm put back to work full time in office? What kind are they? Willing to pay triple for right dog, great home awaits.

So it's not just breeders who can give dogs a bad name. angry

Rocking baby and typing one handed so may have missed bits but think I've covered most of it.

seadog1977 Tue 28-Jul-20 14:03:42

@icedaisy . Thank you for replying. I have emailed a breeder from Kennel Club as we are looking for a puppy. However I'm willing to wait til next year or the year after but also I want to go with a reputable breeder .

Iv been put on a waiting list , so I was just wondering what ,if any ,the vetting process would be .

I'm really shocked that you received an email like that , totally shocked that someone would actually think to send something like that . Did you reply or just totally ignore ?

icedaisy Tue 28-Jul-20 14:59:48

I thought long and hard but am not witty enough to to politely reply so ignored it.

vanillandhoney Tue 28-Jul-20 15:08:09

This is a very weird time to be buying a dog.

Like PP said, there are either none available for months and months, or you can get a puppy tomorrow, but it will cost you more than 3k. It's bonkers.

As labradoodles aren't a "breed" you may struggle finding a reputable breeder. Of course, that's not to say they don't exist, but as the pups can't be KC registered, lots of people will just breed any old Labrador and poodle together with no regard for health checks, lines, genetics etc.

As a minimum, I would look for a breeder with waiting lists, who does all the necessary health tests for both breeds, who knows the lineage for both sire and dam, who will make you sign a contract saying they'll take back the puppy should you need to rehome for any reasons and who will allow you to come and meet the pups, and maybe even the pregnant dam. You should be able to see pups and mum together multiple times before you take the puppy home, too.

Best of luck!

SoThisisMe Wed 29-Jul-20 16:48:45

Have a look into Australian labradoodles OP.

Different to a basic poodle/lab cross. Decent breeders are registered with WALA or ALAA with adherance to breed standards, and full health testing.

You are looking at min 12-18 months wait though.

SoThisisMe Thu 30-Jul-20 11:23:04

Sorry, that should be ALAUK if you're in the UK. ALAA is the US.

HookShot Thu 30-Jul-20 11:51:21

@Maybenexttime08 I'd say go for a KC assured breeder if you're going to go with a popular breed, as they get checked in person by an assessor, so are much less likely to turn out to be a secret puppy farm.

That, and get a purebred, preferably a working breed (i.e: a gundog like a pointer or a spaniel like a springer).

The parents of a purebred dog that is designed to do a job will have been carefully vetted for health problems that would stop them doing said job (i.e: hip dysplasia, distemper, basically any illness as that could get in the way of them living a long healthy life doing their job).

Also specific breeds have to be screened for specific things, so the parents' health is more likely to have actually been checked and considered in a purebred working dog, especially because purebred working breeders are more likely to breed when they want another themselves dog to show or work, rather than for profit, and as such may be more likely to care about the quality of the pups that they are producing.

A crossbreed doesn't have any job or breed standards, so, for example, any poodle and any Labrador could be paired together to make those pups, with no required health tests, so breeders of hybrids can get away with putting much less thought in about whether the two dogs suit each other (i.e: both parents could have dodgy hips, but nobody realises this because neither has ever had their hips tested).

Similarly, a lapdog/non-working breed (i.e: pugs) doesn't have a job, so breeders can focus on looks over function, which can lead to a pretty dog that does well in shows, but is actually really unhealthy (i.e: the fact that pugs are prone to spine problems, breathing problems, eye problems ...etc as there's no 'job' to motivate the breeder to actually produce a healthy dog).

It's also easier to find a reputable breeder if you go for a more obscure breed with a smaller population. For example, with our Brittany, the Brittany community is so tight knit that pretty much every Brittany breeder seems to know every other Brittany breeder, and can advise you if they are up to scratch). Puppy mills and other ill-reputed breeders breed for a profit, and it's easiest to profit on the most popular breeds and hybrids, so generally won't bother with breeding a more obscure breed.

So I'd say go for a KC assured breeder or go for an obscure breed, and get a working purebred.

On that note, get a dog from a breeder who does with their dog what you'd want yours to do (so if you want a pet dog, then buy from a breeder who breeds a working dog like a springer, but uses it for a less intense job like obedience competitions). Best of luck smile

HookShot Thu 30-Jul-20 12:03:25

Also, by going for a small and obscure breed, the waiting lists are likely to be shorter (or even non-existent) because there is less demand, even amongst the really good breeders

tabulahrasa Thu 30-Jul-20 12:08:47

HookShot

Also, by going for a small and obscure breed, the waiting lists are likely to be shorter (or even non-existent) because there is less demand, even amongst the really good breeders

Hmm, the waiting list may be shorter, but if you go too obscure, you’re having to wait much longer just for a litter to happen, lol

I’m in contact with two breeders, but, neither have a litter till next year...

But yes, it was easier to find good breeders than trying to weed them out from hundreds of dodgy ones.

vanillandhoney Thu 30-Jul-20 13:47:39

So I'd say go for a KC assured breeder or go for an obscure breed, and get a working purebred.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend a regular pet-owner go for a working dog. They can have quite "intense" exercise needs and aren't always suited to your average home.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Thu 30-Jul-20 13:52:35

I love working-line dogs and have three but I would agree, many of them are not suited to standard pet homes, and many pet homes are not prepared for the commitment needed. I've literally just seen a post on a gundog FB page about a Vizsla in a pet home that a trainer has just taken on, zero recall, runs off, no focus.

HookShot Thu 30-Jul-20 14:58:41

@GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman that's fair, poor wording on my part.

What I meant was go for a breed that is traditionally used for a particular job (i.e: retrieving) as they're typically hardier, but then go for a breeder who uses their dogs primarily for what you intend to use yours for.

So get a spaniel maybe, as designed to be a hardy dog out in the field all day, but get one from a line that does something 'sedentary' like obedience, where the dogs are primarily pets.

HookShot Thu 30-Jul-20 15:03:26

For example, I have a Brittany, a traditional working breed and, knowing that we were looking for a pet rather that a worker, went for a breeder who uses hers for obedience and showing, and who takes her dogs out in the field to retrieve occasionally, but they are primarily pets.

As a result I have a lovely, hardy, soft-temperamented dog who is cheap as anything to fully insure (because the breed is healthy) and who (after her 1 hour+ a day walk) will contentedly nap for the rest of the day, regardless of what games I tempt her with.

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