7 Qualities to Look for in a Great Breeder

litter of different puppies in a dog bed

Adding a puppy to your family is exciting and finding the right fit is important. You want to make sure you will be able to provide for the puppy you’re getting. Above all, you want to make sure your puppy is healthy.

If you’ve decided buying a puppy is the right option for you, it’s absolutely vital that the breeder you are buying from is reputable, takes care of their dogs and puppies, and is the best you can work with.

If you’re inexperienced in the industry, it can be difficult to determine who is legitimately a high-quality, reputable dog breeder and who should be avoided. Here are several qualities to look for in a great breeder:

1. They Are Knowledgable About The Dog Breed

Basically, your breeder should know everything about the breed, from international and national standards for the breed as well the particular temperament that breed tends to display; indeed, you may find out something new from talking to them about these things. A good breeder should be able to tell you about the breed’s standards and history.

They should be able to answer any questions regarding what the dog was bred for originally, common health problems in the breed, and what kind of environments the breed enjoys most. Your breeder should be able to answer any and all of your questions about the breed. These are all things you should look for when buying a puppy. If you feel like the breeder is lacking in knowledge, then they almost certainly aren’t right for you.

2. The Breeder Asks Questions About You

A breeder who cares for their animals will want to make sure their puppies go to a loving home capable of caring for the dogs. The breeder may inquire about who you are, your lifestyle and family situation, as well as what you plan for the dog. The breeder may ask whether the puppy will live inside or outside or whether or not you can afford the food and special care the breed may require.

When asking questions like this, your breeder is feeling you out and trying to determine if your home – and you – would be a good fit for the dog based on the dog’s unique needs. This is all part of choosing the right puppy for you.

To a great breeder, the dog isn’t just an item to be sold no questions asked – it’s a puppy that deserves a good home and they won’t sell to just anyone who wants to buy. If the breeder doesn’t do this, they may not really care about where the dog ends up – and that says a lot about how they were bred and raised thus far.

3. They Are Completely Transparent About Their Practices

One of the qualities to look for in a great breeder is transparency. They should be open and honest about their breeding practices, dogs, and more. A reputable breeder should be able to provide you with medical records and information on the animal’s parents.

They should also be willing to show you the environment where the dogs and puppies are raised. They should be open and willing to talk to you about how they’ve been raising and caring for the puppies and eager to answer any questions you have.

4. The Breeder Socializes Their Puppies

A great breeder will have also started to train and socialize a puppy. It’s up to you to continue to do that once you get a puppy home, but the breeder should have started these “early life skills” with their puppies.

5. They Will Not Allow You to Take the Puppy Until They Are at Least 8 Weeks Old

Also, they will not separate the puppy from the mother until the puppy is at least 8 weeks old. You may be able to sign a contract and make a deposit for a puppy before then, but the breeder will not allow you to take the puppy home until they are old enough.

Before 8 weeks, the puppy may still be weaning and in the process of transitioning to solid food. Outside of special circumstances, puppies also need the security of the litter and their mom nearby until that point. Some breeds may require even longer and a responsible breeder will be upfront with you about this.

6. The Breeder Has a Contract for Both of You to Sign

Most reputable breeders will require you to sign a contract before purchasing one of their puppies. The breeder’s part of the contract includes a guarantee that the dog is healthy and has been immunized and wormed appropriately for their age.

Most contracts from a quality breeder also include requirements that the buyer must follow, such as properly feeding and housing the dog and other provisions to ensure the dog receives adequate care. Many contracts even allow for the breeder to repossess the animal if they find that it is not being cared for properly or the new owner finds they can no longer care for it.

7. They Will Stay in Contact Even After the Animal Has Been Sold

Breeders are experts in the breed they sell while the buyer may be new to the world of owning a pet. Although this is not necessarily a quality you will see before you buy, one of the qualities of a great breeder is that they stay in contact after the sale.

A breeder who cares about their animals will make themselves available to buyers for advice.
They may not actively reach out to you, especially if you’ve expressed no desire for continued contact. However, they should be willing and available to you should you decide to reach out to them regarding your new puppy.

There are more qualities to look for in a great breeder, but these are the big ones, especially when you are looking to buy a puppy online safely. When your breeder shows they care, you can feel confident that the puppy has been in good hands!