How to Choose a Breeder: Tips for Finding Your Perfect Pet

If you’re considering getting a new dog, choosing a reputable breeder is crucial. A responsible breeder will prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and can provide you with valuable information about your new pet’s lineage, temperament, and care requirements.

So, how do you choose a breeder? Start by doing your research. Look for breeders who are registered with reputable organizations, and who have a track record of producing healthy, well-socialized puppies.

It’s also important to visit the breeder in person, so you can see the conditions in which the dogs are kept and get a sense of the breeder’s knowledge and experience. By taking the time to choose a responsible breeder, you’ll be setting yourself and your new pet up for a happy and healthy life together.

Why Choose a Breeder?

If you’re considering getting a dog, you might be wondering whether to adopt from a shelter or buy from a breeder. While adopting a dog from a shelter is a great way to give a dog a second chance, buying from a responsible breeder has its advantages.

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White young woman dog breeder with sitting Australian Shepherd adult female dog and her puppies in arms outside in the garden

Health and Temperament

One of the biggest advantages of buying from a breeder is that you can be more certain about the health and temperament of your new dog. A responsible breeder will carefully select the parents of each litter based on their health, temperament, and other factors. This can help prevent genetic diseases and ensure that your dog has a good temperament.

Bloodline and Pedigree

Another advantage of buying from a breeder is that you can learn more about your dog’s bloodline and pedigree. This can be important if you’re looking for a dog with specific traits or if you plan to show your dog. A responsible breeder will be able to provide you with information about your dog’s ancestors and any titles or awards they may have won.

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Socialization and Training

A responsible breeder will also provide socialization and training for their puppies. This can help ensure that your new dog is well-behaved and well-adjusted. A good breeder will expose their puppies to different people, animals, and environments to help them develop into confident and well-rounded dogs.

Overall, buying from a responsible breeder can be a great way to get a healthy, well-adjusted dog with a known pedigree. However, it’s important to do your research and choose a breeder carefully to ensure that you’re getting a dog from someone who truly cares about their dogs and is committed to producing healthy, happy puppies.

Sources: AKC, Your Dog Advisor

How to Find a Reputable Breeder

Researching Breeders

Start by researching breeders online or through breeder referral programs. Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and are knowledgeable about the breed. Check for reviews and complaints on breeder forums or social media.

Visiting the Breeder and Puppies

Visit the breeder in person to see the living conditions of the puppies and their parents. Observe their behavior and temperament. Take note of any red flags such as unsanitary conditions or aggressive behavior. Interact with the puppies to see if they are socialized and healthy.

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Asking Questions and Reviewing Contracts

Ask the breeder questions about their breeding practices, health testing, and socialization. Request to see health certificates for the parents and puppies. Review the contract carefully before signing to ensure that it includes health guarantees and return policies.

Local Breeders vs Long-Distance Breeders

Consider local breeders for easier access to the breeder and puppies. However, if there are no reputable breeders in your area, consider long-distance breeders. In this case, ask for references and photos of the living conditions of the puppies.

How to Get a Puppy Home Without Trauma from a Long-Distance Breeder

To minimize stress during transportation, choose a reputable breeder who uses safe and comfortable transportation methods. Prepare for the puppy’s arrival by creating a comfortable and safe space for them in your home. Gradually introduce them to their new environment and family members. Sources:

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Red Flags to Look Out For

Choosing a breeder is a critical decision that will impact you and your puppy for years to come. Unfortunately, not all breeders are honest or reputable, and some may try to scam you. Here are some red flags to look out for when choosing a breeder.

Unhealthy or Inbred Puppies

One of the most significant red flags is if the breeder is selling unhealthy or inbred puppies. Inbred puppies are more likely to have genetic defects and health problems, which can be costly and heartbreaking. Make sure to ask the breeder about the puppy’s parents’ health and ask to see health certificates. If the breeder cannot provide these or seems evasive, it’s a red flag.

Lack of Transparency or Communication

If the breeder is not transparent about their breeding practices or does not communicate well, it’s a red flag. A reputable breeder should be open about their breeding practices and willing to answer any questions you may have. If the breeder is evasive or does not respond to your messages or calls, it’s a red flag. Additionally, if the breeder does not allow you to meet the puppy’s parents or see the living conditions, it’s a red flag.

No Health Guarantees or Support

If the breeder does not offer health guarantees or support, it’s a red flag. A reputable breeder should offer a health guarantee that covers genetic health problems for a certain period. Additionally, they should be willing to provide support and advice for the puppy’s lifetime. If the breeder does not offer these, it’s a sign that they are not invested in the puppy’s well-being.

Remember, choosing a breeder is a significant decision that should not be taken lightly. Make sure to do your research and look out for these red flags to ensure that you are getting a healthy and happy puppy.



Choosing a breeder is an important decision that requires careful consideration. By following the tips and guidelines provided by experts, you can find a responsible breeder who will provide you with a happy and healthy dog.

Remember to do your research, ask questions, and visit the breeder’s facilities before making a decision. Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs, and who are willing to provide you with ongoing support and guidance throughout your dog’s life.

When you find a breeder you trust, be prepared to wait for the right puppy to become available. Don’t rush into a decision or settle for a dog that isn’t the right fit for you and your family.

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By choosing a responsible breeder, you can rest assured that you are giving your new companion the best possible start in life. Good luck with your search!



How do you know who is a good breeder?

A good breeder will invite you over to meet and see their facilities. You should be able to meet the sire and dam of the puppy and there shouldn’t be a lot of different breeds available – good breeders focus on a smaller number of dogs so that they can ensure the animals are well taken care of.

Good breeders will also have lots of questions for you and should be able to show you that they are registered with the American Kennel Club and/or other reputable establishments for breeders, so that you may verify this on your own.

How do I find a good breeder in my area?

The best way is just to ask local veterinarians. They know many of the local breeders, who will be bringing in dogs and puppies for regular check-ups and this is a great way to find out firsthand which breeders are taking care of their dogs.

Find some vets in your local area and call them or pay a visit in person. With a little patience, you can get some excellent recommendations and purchase your new puppy with confidence.

What to ask before buying from a breeder?

Before buying from a breeder, there are a few things that you should ask. First off, ask to see the health certificates of the puppy. A good breeder won’t hesitate to share this with you and it’s a big, red flag if they don’t want to.

Also, ask what kind of health guarantee they will offer you and if they are registered with the American Kennel Club. Finally, ask how many dogs they own – too many dogs can be a bad sign that you’ve found a ‘puppy mill’ rather than a reputable breeder.

How do you know if a dog breeder is legit?

There are a few things that you can check to ensure that your breeder is reputable. If they are a member of the American KenneClubub, then you can contact the AKC to verify this. You can also check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau and sometimes you can even find reviews on online services such as Yelp.

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How do you tell if a breeder is a puppy mill?

There are a few red flags that may indicate that you are dealing with a ‘puppy mill’ breeder. Puppies that don’t seem to be used to human interaction are one sign and also puppies that seem unkempt and poorly taken care of.

Most pet stores are going to fall under ‘puppy mill’ as well, as they tend to purchase their animals from ‘farms’, but check with the individual pet store as some may have a deal with a local breeder. Finally, if there are no health papers, then this is a huge red flag that you may want to deal with someone else.

Is buying from a breeder bad?

Provided that you are dealing with a reputable breeder, it’s a very good thing. A good breeder takes care of their animals, socializing them, giving them good food, and taking care of their health with regular vet visits.

As long as you are careful to ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate breeder, then you can expect a well-adjusted puppy in the best of health.

How do you pick up a puppy from a breeder?

You’ll want to arrive with a pet carrier, and a soft blanket, and if the trip is going to take a while, then you may want to bring water and food as well. You want to be as calm and quiet as possible around the new pup as you load them into the carrier, as they will be frightened at first.

If you have children, keep them away from the puppy. There will be plenty of time for bonding when you get home and the little one will be scared during the trip back.

What should a breeder give you?

You should receive some paperwork with your pup and this will include their pedigree, as well as any information and paperwork to show that your puppy has been vaccinated and what follow-ups they may still need.

You should also get health certificates for the mother and father, to help ensure there are no known health issues in your puppy’s family tree. Finally, if the puppy has been chipped, then the breeder should share this information with you.

How do you tell if a breeder is scamming you?

If the price is too good to be true for a purebred, then you should tread carefully – you might just be purchasing a mix. Watch out also for sad stories or breeders who won’t guarantee the puppy’s health. A reputable breeder isn’t going to do that.

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Also, anyone who asks you to send the money first and pick up the pup later is probably a scammer and should be avoided.

How do you not get scammed when buying a puppy?

You should visit the breeder so that you may see firsthand how the dogs are kept and how many of them there are. Too many dogareis a sign of a puppy mill and poor living conditions are a sign of someone you don’t want to deal with.

Find out if the breeder is licensed with the American KennelClubb and check it out to confirm it – don’t buy the puppy before you do this. Also, if the breeder doesn’t have any questions for you, then this is a sign that they don’t worry about where the puppies go and you should take notice of this fact!