HOW TO EVALUATE A BREEDER
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The reputable breeder feels responsibility toward the breed itself, toward the dogs he breeds and to the people who have dogs of his breeding. He spends astounding amounts of his time and money on matters he thinks are for the best interests of his breed. It is this awareness of responsibility that marks the difference between the true breeder and mere “puppy-raiser”. The breeder is an artist, motivated by a drive to create perfection; the puppy raisers and the dog dealers are motivated by the desire to make money. Fortunate is the novice-buyer who purchases his first dog from a reputable breeder! Whereas a puppy-raiser may sell whole litters to dog dealers, the breeder insists on direct contact with those who buy his dogs, and sells only after the most careful screening of a would be purchaser in order to ascertain the mutual suitability of dog and buyer.
While often not fully appreciated until AFTER the dog is bought, this screening by the breeder is the greatest protection a dog purchaser can have. Though the cost of properly caring for his dogs may cause him sleepless nights and untold worries, the reputable breeder will never let a single puppy or older dog leave for a home that is not as good or better than the one he is providing. Even when the dog is sold, the breeder's help and advice do not end but continue throughout the dog's life, a responsibility cheerfully accepted by him without expectation of compensation. When selecting a puppy, the reputable breeder will show you a copy of the pedigree and explain why they selected the bloodlines they used. He will allow you to see the puppies and the mother and assist you in selecting the proper puppy to meet your needs.
The Ethical Breeder:
1. Carefully interviews prospective buyers and has specific requirements that prospective owners must meet, such as spaying and neutering pets, housing the dog in an enclosed yard, agreeing to never let the dog off lead in an unenclosed area
2. Sells by contract
3. Sells puppies with a health guarantee
4. Insists upon getting the dog back if the buyer is no longer able to keep the dog
5. Does not have more litters than he can keep well groomed and well socialized
6. Does not have more litters than he can keep housed long term if he is unable to sell the puppies
7. Spends individual time with each dog under his care every day
8. Tests his breeding stock for known hereditary diseases and then breeds with the aim of decreasing the incidence of hereditary diseases
9. Is very concerned with producing puppies with excellent temperaments as well as health
10. Can identify each puppy and chart it's growth and development from birth onward
11. Is willing to help educate the novice buyer and happily answers any and all questions about his breed and his individual dogs
12. Is willing and able to show the prospective buyer the health certificates and test results on the sire and dam of the puppies
13. Wants to be informed of any health or temperament problems that his puppies develop through out the lifetime of each puppy
14. Is available for help, advice, and education to the buyer through out the life time of the puppy
How to Evaluate the Website of a Poodle Breeder
Many dog owners begin their search for a pet on the Internet. Completing a purchase over the Internet is ill advised; you have no way to verify information posted and little recourse if problems arise. However, the Internet might be a fun and informative way to begin searching for a new dog. Many reputable breeders now have websites, and organizations including VIP (http://www.vipoodle.org/) provide valuable information to help in searching for your next dog. How do we identify reputable breeders to contact and weed out irresponsible breeders who are not worth contacting?
What you want:
1) Testing to be cross-referenced with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) site (http://www.offa.org/). If not listed on the OFA website, breeder MUST be willing to show you documentation of ALL test results. Testing must be appropriate for age and variety (http://www.vipoodle.org/docs/VIP_education.html click on VIP Recommended Health Tests).
2) Titles (conformation, companion, or working) on dogs the breeder owns. This shows the breeder is currently active in the sport of purebred dogs, indicating that he or she is:
A) Proving their breeding stock.
B) Spending time and money on their dogs
C) Actively in contact with the dog show world, where one can hear the scuttlebutt about problems in lines, etc.
3) Membership in a dog club, preferably an AKC club.
4) If the breeder is still of interest to you after checking the above items and the red flags below, look for referrals, as many as possible. The breeder referral contact for a local PCA affiliate club is a good place to start. The Breeder Referral Contact for Watchung Mt. Poodle Club (NJ) is Angela Spitaletto. A reputable/responsible breeder will refer to another breeder they trust. For additional information on evaluating a breeder go to http://www.vipoodle.org/docs/VIP_education.html and click on “How to Evaluate a Breeder”.
1) A breeder having numerous colors and varieties or breeds.
2) The newest "marketing buzz phrase" e.g. Hunting Poodles, Royal Poodles or Teacup Poodles.
3) Breeding multiple litters (more than 2 or 3 litters) in a year, or breeding the same parents multiple times a year.
4) Breeding young (too young for proper genetic clearances). Standards should be at least 2 years old.
5) Breeder willing to sell and ship without personal contact.
6) Breeder using their own same stud over and over with the same dam (multiple litters of the same parents).
7) Breeders advertising "Rare" colors such as red or parti colored which is 2 or more colors at the skin (not rare colors-but a popular ones with puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders).
8) Bargain prices (below what other breeders are charging) or an additional cost if you want "full registration".
Another important red flag!!!! Registration with any registry other than the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club---these are the ONLY LEGITIMATE REGISTRIES FOR NORTH AMERICA. Beware of CKC (Continental Kennel Club), APRI (America's Pet Registry, Inc) or other worthless "papers". The ONLY reason a "puppy raiser" offers these "papers" is because they are NOT eligible to register the pups with AKC, UKC or the Canadian KC.
For additional information on finding a new dog, puppy or older rescue see: