Separating Breeders from Greeders

As with every profession, there are both good and bad among dog breeders. Bad breeders, or ?greeders,? are only interested in making money. Being informed will help you to make the right choice and avoid doing business with unethical breeders. Use the following tips as a guideline for making informed decisions about the purchase of your dog. There are many online resources for finding a breeder. You can check with breed rescue groups, the American Kennel Club website, or even dog lover groups on the web. When you locate a breeder, ask for references and call them. A good breeder will: ask you a lot of questions (you may even have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire before the breeder will even talk with you; let you see their breeding facility; offer guarantees on puppies; take back any puppy or dog from its breeding line, even if they did not breed the animal; only breed when they have a waiting list for puppies; require mandatory spaying/neutering of pet quality animals; have registration papers for the parents and current litter of puppies; not breed before the age of two. Although not mandatory, it is certainly a plus if a breeder works closely with breed rescue groups. Here are a few questions to ask to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable breeder and hence will receive a well bred dog. How was the sire chosen? If the breeder tells you that the sire was chosen because they live down the street, run the other way. Does the breeder have OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) records for the sire and dam? This will not guarantee that the puppy will not have hip problems but provides you with the best possible chance of avoiding hereditary ailments. Do the sire and dam have CERF (Canine Eye Research Foundation) clearance? The CERF examination checks for heritable diseases and abnormalities of the eye. How many litters of puppies do you have per year? Responsible breeders will usually have 1-2 litters per year. Have the dogs been checked for genetic diseases? Ask about veterinary health checks of the puppies. You may also ask about temperament of the parents, titles (working, showing, sports), and health of previous litters. Purchasing a purebred dog will cost you extra time and money. It is well worth the effort to ensure that your dog is a fine specimen of his breed.

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