Congratulations on deciding to get a new puppy! Now you just have to find the right breeder. If you want to ensure your new puppy won’t have health or temperament problems, make sure to get your pet from a reputable breeder.
Knowing what questions to ask for screening puppy breeders is crucial. Good questions will get you all the information you need and should present red flags for breeders to avoid.
In this article, we’ll learn about the most important questions to ask puppy breeders when you’re thinking of purchasing a new pet.
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What Questions To Ask a Dog Breeder
Below are questions to ask puppy breeders. They’ll help you, screen breeders, find the breeders that are best for you, and get the information you need to get ready for your new pet.
Do You Health Screen the Sires and Dams?
Without a doubt, this is one of the most important questions to ask a puppy breeder.
Sires (canine fathers) and dams (canine mothers) are the breeding stock. Many health problems in dogs are genetic, so it’s crucial to ask about the dog’s fathers and mothers.
If you want a healthy puppy that can live a long and happy life, you should ensure it has healthy parents. A reputable breeder will screen their breeding animals for genetic health conditions, and they will refrain from breeding any animals with genetic conditions.
If breeders find that an animal has a genetic condition or carries the genes for such a condition, they should spay or neuter that animal immediately.
Once they do this, the breeder should ensure that this animal has a comfortable home. They may keep them as a non-breeding pet or place them in a care facility.
Ask the breeder what kinds of paper proof of sire and dam genetic health testing they give to puppy purchasers.
Will You Let me See Where the Puppies Were Born and All The Places They Spend Time at Your Facility?
A good breeder won’t have a problem letting you see the physical space where the puppies are born and where they spend time at the facility. Make sure the puppies live somewhere comfortable, clean, and healthy.
There should be plenty of space for the puppies to play and explore.
Are Your Purebred Puppies AKC-registered?
Are you looking to purchase a purebred puppy? If so, ask the breeder whether they register their puppies with the American Kennel Club (AKC). You should also see proof that the dam and sire are also AKC-registered.
How Many Times do You Have a Litter Each Year?
Don’t buy a puppy from a breeder that breeds an excessive number of litters each year. The maximum is usually around four or five liters annually.
There will be problems if there are more than four or five litters each year. Even if the breeding facility has several dams, they probably don’t have the space and resources to raise all those puppies.
Too many litters point strongly to a puppy mill. Puppy mills are cruel and result in unhealthy puppies with genetic health conditions caused by inbreeding. Keep this in mind when thinking of questions for breeders.
What is Your Dog Breeding Experience?
Take your time asking the breeder about all their experience and the features of their practice over the years. Ask breeders whether they’ve participated in dog competitions and shows. Find out if they’re members of pure-bred dog clubs.
Do You Offer a Health Guarantee?
Don’t adopt a puppy from a breeder that refuses to offer a health guarantee for its animals. This statement should be transparent, meticulous, and easy to understand. If the breeder seems “cagey” or evades questions on this topic, stay away.
I’d Like To Speak with Other People who Have Purchased Puppies From You. Can you Facilitate That?
Talk to several people who have purchased puppies from the breeder. Ask them about their experience and whether they had any problems or concerns.
Find out whether their puppies have had any health or behavioral problems. Poor early socialization can cause problems with puppies in the future.
Do You Have a Veterinarian Give the Puppies all Appropriate Vaccinations and Deworming?
Vaccinations and deworming procedures are necessary for any young puppy. The breeder must fulfill these procedures before housing their puppies in a new home.
How Old Are Your Puppies When They are Taken Home by Their Purchasers?
Never buy a puppy from a breeder that says they let puppies leave their facility younger than eight weeks old. Puppies need to stay with their mothers for at least eight weeks. At the same time, they shouldn’t be older than ten weeks when you bring them home.
So, between eight weeks and nine (or ten maximum) weeks is the sweet spot. That’s the best time for a breeder to let you bring the puppy home.
How Old are Your Dams When they Start (and Stop) Breeding?
Breeding dams when they’re too young is a huge red flag. Female dogs shouldn’t breed until they’re eighteen months old at minimum.
The breeder should stop breeding their dams when they reach the middle of their lives. Different breeds have different life spans, so the exact age will vary.
There should also be a limit on how many litters the breeder gets from each dam. Small dog breeds can have five or maybe six litters before retiring.
Large dog breeds, on the other hand, have a lower limit. Large breed dams should have a maximum of four litters in their lives.
What health screening do you do on your sires and dams?
Ask the breeder about the specific tests they do to health screen their sires and dams. Dog breeders should thoroughly screen all breeding stock for genetic conditions, especially conditions common in their specific breed.
What Kind of Support do You Offer Puppy Purchasers?
Ask the breeder whether they’ll be responsive if you ask them questions after you buy your puppy. Reputable breeders care about their dogs and want to stay aware of how their puppies do in the future.
How do You Screen Prospective Puppy Purchasers?
Look for a breeder that meticulously screens the people who want to purchase its puppies. This procedure shows that they care about what kinds of homes their puppies will go to and what kind of futures they will have.
Your breeder should want to see your home and all the space you can offer the puppy. They should ask you about your lifestyle and how much time you have to take care of your dog.
How Many Dog Breeds do You Breed?
You should look for a breeder specializing in one or maybe two dog breeds. While some reputable breeders breed more than two breeds, they’re unusual. You want a breeder that focuses on a maximum of two.
Each dog breed has its characteristics, and the breeder should have expertise in whichever they raise.
What Steps Do You Take to Socialize the Puppies?
Breeders should take consistent steps to provide the right environment for socialization from the time the puppies are born.
Are you looking at home-based and family-operated puppy breeders? These are often the best kinds, as long as they’re reputable in every other way. These operations can give puppies the amazing opportunity of socializing with people of different ages.
If you have kids in your household, this is something to think about. Ideally, you want a puppy that has already spent some time with kids.
Why Did You Decide to Start Breeding Dogs?
Listen carefully to your breeder’s answer to this question. The main motive should be their love of the breed. Stay away from breeders that seem to be primarily motivated by financial concerns.
How Did You Become Knowledgeable About the Breed You Specialize in?
This ties into the experience question we talked about earlier. Ask about what role the breed this breeder specializes in has played in their life.
For example, if this is a German Shepherd breeder, ask about why the breeder loves the German Shepherd breed and when they got their first German Shepherd.
Can I Spend Time With the Puppy’s Dam?
The breeder should be willing to let you meet and spend time with the puppy’s mother. It’s even better if you can also get to know the sire (father). There is a genetic factor in dog temperament.
In many cases, you can get a good idea of your puppy’s potential temperament from its parents.
Seeing the puppy’s mother and father can also give you a better idea of what your puppy might look like when it grows up. There can be some variation in size and other physical factors even within purebred dogs.
Meeting the puppy’s dam (and hopefully the sire) will also give you the chance to see how healthy these animals seem. You can also get a sense of how well the breeder is taking care of them.
Have You Ever Turned Away a Prospective Purchaser?
It’s a red flag if a breeder has never turned away someone who wanted to buy a puppy. They should have meticulous standards for what they expect from purchasers.
As we said earlier, breeders should screen people who want to buy puppies, including checking their homes and making sure the animals will be taken care of well.
Do You Get a Veterinarian to Examine the Puppies Before They go to Their New Homes?
Your breeder should get a thorough vet exam for each puppy before it goes to its new home. You should be given proof of this, with documentation from the vet showing that the puppy has a clean bill of health.
This is one of the most important questions to ask breeders when picking up a puppy.
Final Thoughts: Best Questions To Ask Puppy Breeders
Never rush into purchasing a puppy. Remember, your goal is to give your new pet a forever home. Take your time making your decision and finding the right breeder. Use the questions to ask breeders that we’ve gone over above.
Sadly, many disreputable breeders, including puppy mills, exist. These operations are cruel and don’t give their animals the care and health support they need.
If you buy a puppy from a puppy mill, you’re supporting a cruel operation and will probably end up with an unhealthy puppy.
Ask puppy breeders all the pet breeding questions we’ve listed here. This list will set you up for success in finding the perfect place to purchase your new puppy.
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For more information about Questions To Ask Puppy Breeders, check out the video below: