Visit their kennel
Check out the breeder’s kennel. Visit the breeder’s kennel/home and ask to view the parents and if they won’t permit this, regard it as suspicious. Any reputable breeder will understand your need to check them out thoroughly before they will entrust their dog(s). They’ll also want to know everything about you to see if you’re a good fit for them and the style they use. It’s also demonstrating an active interest in how the dogs will be cared for once they have done their work. Ask lots of questions and negative answers are as important as positive ones.
If the breeder doesn’t want you to visit.
If they sell the puppy before letting you seeing it.
- If you don’t get full access to their kennel.
- If your senses are screaming badly after your visit.
These signs tell you the breeder isn’t for you.
You should be able to meet the mother at the kennel
This is crucial. If possible, also ask to see the father. If that’s not possible, ask why. He may be owned by a different breeder and was only used as a stud. Artificial insemination may have been used. These are legitimate reasons not to see the “father.” Reputable breeders will have official pedigree information that covers the puppy’s lineage, including name and registration numbers for parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents.
The mother isn’t on the premises and/or the pedigree information isn’t available to see. This would only be the case with a disreputable breeder. These points are definite deal breakers.
See health and vet records
Some purebred dogs will inherit medical problems. Reputable breeders will have ways to reduce or eliminate such problems so you need to see the medical history and clearance for both male and female dogs. If the male isn’t there, there should still be records of his health on the premises. Check the vet records as well. Breeders will make sure parents have their health cleared before breeding. Puppies should never be sold without their shots and a vet check-up.
- Health records aren’t available or they’ll be sent to you along with the registration certificate.
- The breeder says the breed has no health issues.
- The breeder claims you must take the puppy to the vet after the purchase and pay for it.
You Must Get a Signed Receipt stating the puppy is a purebred.
The bill of sale legally protects you. The breeder must date and sign it. It has to say the dog is a purebred and must have the breeder’s name, your name, the dog’s id, verification that you’ll be given registration papers and the cost of the dog, including all related fees. Never pay for a dog without having this information on the bill of sale.
The breeder asks for some or all of the money up front and says the bill of sale will be sent to you. NEVER accept that.
You must have a Written Guarantee
Anybody buying a purebred dog should receive one that’s both mentally and physically healthy.
However, there may be unforeseen genetic problems that can skip five generations and then appear in the next one. A guarantee will cover compensation if such a problem were to occur, not a statement that such a problem will never happen. Reputable breeders won’t hesitate to give a written, detailed guarantee and will always uphold the agreements. Don’t buy a dog without such an agreement and read it thoroughly so you understand it before your purchase. No agreement means no sale.
- The breeders says he will send you the agreement along with the registration papers.
- He says he can’t guarantee the dog’s health. (It’s true that he can’t guarantee health but he CAN guarantee the dog is free from known genetic problems.)
The Dog Must Be Uniquely and Permanently Identified.
The law states that a purebred dog must be identified before sale so it can be registered with an international kennel club. The breeder must cover these costs. You can have a tattoo or a microchip transponder. The tattoo must be easy to read with your naked eyes. To read microchips, a scanner is needed, which a breeder would have. He has to scan the chip to confirm the identification number matches the one on the bill of sale. If this isn’t possible, he must have a vet’s certificate confirming the chip is present in the dog.
The breeder tells you the identifying process is your responsibility.
He says the microchip is in the dog but can’t scan it or give you a vet’s certificate.
NEVER buy a dog under these circumstances.
Confirm the Kennel Club registration of the puppy, litter and parents of the puppy you’re buying.
This is law under the Animal Act. A breeder has six months from the sale date to register a dog and give the new owner the papers. The parents and litter must also be registered. Any reputable breeder will do this willingly. If there are doubts, ask for the Certificate of Registration of Litter that he was given by the Kennel Club. The cost is only $25 but the breeder must pay this fee. The Kennel Club takes about 10 days to do the processing. Then the breeder sends you the certificate. You don’t have the financial responsibility for any of this. It’s all up to the breeder to cover the costs here.
- The breeder tells you to fill out and send in the registration papers and the fee.
- The breeder gives you one price with papers and another price without papers.
Check if the Breeder is a Member of a Kennel Club
Most breeders will be members of a Kennel Club. Some breeders will have been members for many years. Members must follow all rules and regulations so if your breeder IS a member, the chances are high that he’s reputable. They will display a membership certificate in their premises as well. If the breeder is not a member, you should ask them why.
- The breeder says there’s no advantage in being a member.
- He says he was a member but quit.
- Members only pay 50% on registration fees and have other benefits so you need to learn why he isn’t a member. He may have a good or a bad reason. Contact the Kennel Club if you have any questions or doubts.
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