How long have you been breeding dogs?
Ideally, you want to deal with someone who has several years’ experience – and the more involved they are in breed clubs, conformation shows and competition, the better.
Will the puppies be registered?
In Canada, all purebred dogs come with a Purebred Dog Certificate of Registration issued by The Canadian Kennel Club – without this certificate, they can’t legally be sold as purebred. The certificate indicates, among other things, the dog’s registered name, breed and date of birth, as well as the names of the dog’s sire and dam. The breeder is responsible for registering the puppy and forwarding the certifi-cate to the new owners within six months of the purchase date – they cannot charge additional fees for this service.
Can I see the sire's and dam’s health clearances?
A responsible breeder would never think of breeding a dog that hasn’t passed the recommended health clearances. Routine tests vary according to breed – ask a veterinarian or check with the national club for the breed for what you should look for.
Can I see where the puppies are being housed?
The best way to raise puppies is in a home environment where they receive lots of handling and human contact. No amount of love and attention from you can ever make up for a lack of early socialization.
What were your goals for this litter?
A good breeder plans litters ahead of time with clear goals in mind and will have carefully researched the choice of sire and dam. Know what you’re looking for in a puppy – whether it be a show prospect, hunting companion or house pet – and choose a breeder of like mind.
Is the dam current on her vaccines?
Puppies receive their initial immunity directly from their mother. If her vaccines arenot up to date, the puppies’ ability to resist disease will be compromised.
At what age will the puppies be ready to go home?
Puppies should go to their new homes between seven and nine weeks of age. This is the optimum time for a puppy to transition from his litter to his new family – any earlier and he may have issues with other dogs in the future; any longer with his littermates and he may not bond as well with people.
Will the puppies be seen by a vet before they leave?
Puppies need to be examined, dewormed and vaccinated prior to leaving the breeder. Ensure that you follow up with your own veterinarian, as puppies that don’t receive boosters at appropriate intervals are at risk of contracting life-threatening illnesses.
What kind of guarantee do you offer?
Breeding is not an exact science, and problems can surface in the best of lines. Good breeders offer a health guarantee on their puppies, but consider the terms carefully – would you really be willing to exchange your much-loved 18-month-old dog for a new puppy if a health problem arose? Can you provide me with references? Don’t be shy about asking for references from others who have purchased dogs from the breeder – and don’t be surprised if the breeder asks you to provide references as well. Both breeder and buyer are responsible for ensuring that the match is in the puppy’s best interest.