We are sure many of you have heard of the #AdoptDontShop movement that is being pushed in today’s society. However, if you have not, it is a movement that is encouraging wannabe dog owners to adopt their furry companion, rather than buy from something like a pet shop.
This is great, as pet shop puppies commonly come from dishonorable breeders, like those that run puppy mills. The problem with this movement is that it groups otherwise reputable breeders into the same category as breeders that are only in it for the money.
You may be in the category of people who believe that all dogs should be adopted, not purchased. The problem with this is that people may want a dog for a specific purpose, whether that be for shows, dog sports, hunting, etc that you may not be able to fulfill through adoption. People should not be shamed for the type of dog that they desire to have, as long as that dog is being purchased from a reputable dog breeder.
Tips for Selecting a Breeder
-Avoid the sponsored listings on google. Sponsored listings on Google can often lead you to sites that do not properly check the backgrounds of their breeders. While advertising your site on Google does not directly make you a dishonorable site, more often than not these are the sites that advertise the sale of puppies.
-Utilize the AKC’s breeder listings. While being registered with the AKC does not guarantee a breeder is reputable, it is still one of the best resources you can use. The AKC's breeder listings can be an excellent starting point for finding a breeder. The AKC also offers other ways to find out what standing a specific breeder is in.
-Facebook groups are your friends. There are a large number of Facebook groups that can help you find a breeder for a specific type of dog. You can also find groups like this one that will even give you insight into a specific breeder if they have experience with them.
-Look at the parent’s medical history. Always be sure to check the medical history of a puppy’s parents to ensure you are aware of any potential health problems that can occur. Also, be wary of any breeder who is hesitant of showing you the medical history, as this is a major red flag.
-Be sure to meet/see the parents. Always be sure to meet the mother of a prospective puppy when possible. But understand when it comes to meeting the father it may not be possible as Responsible breeders choose the best sire they can find for their female even if he’s in another state or country!
Seeing pictures of the father and hearing about his personality and temperament is the next best option. The parents of your pup are a great way to see what type of dog you will be getting. Same as before, a breeder hiding the parents is a huge red flag.
-Parent Club for the breed you’re interested in. Each breed of dogs has a “parent club” a group of people who are involved in the breed and responsible for promoting the breed to the public, preserving the qualities of the breed via the breed standard, and who in general simply just care about the breed.
Parent clubs always have “Breeder Referral” programs, a great resource for finding Responsible breeders in your area. To locate the parent club for an AKC registered breed, simply google “AKC Parent Club” and the name of the breed you are interested in.
Trust in your Gut
Sometimes it can be hard to spot warning signs of a dishonest breeder, this is why you should always trust your gut feeling. If you have a bad feeling about a breeder, and you can not seem to pinpoint why it is advisable to trust yourself and move on to another breeder.
If the breeder is responsible it surely will not hurt them in the long run. But if you were right and there was cause to be concerned, you may avoid a lot of problems down the road.