Reputable Hobby Breeder
- Breeds only to improve the breed. Dedicated to producing quality dogs. Has sincere desire to create something beautiful, functional and lasting. Plans to keep a puppy closer to ideal specimen to show and continue line.
- Recognizes that screening by breeder is greatest protection dog has. Will screen buyers and sell pups only to approved home. Makes sure buyers know the negatives of the breed as well as the good. Asks many questions to determine the suitability of buyer, do you:
- live in an apartment?
- have a fence yard?
- have children?
- have other pets?
- have money for premium food, medical bills, grooming, training and emergencies?
- intend to keep dog inside or outside your house?
- have a vacation without the dog planned soon?
- How much time will you spend with the dog each day?
- Does your whole family want the responsibility of a new dog?
- Does the family's lifestyle agree with the size and temperament of this breed?
- Refuses to sell to middlemen including pet shops, dealers, auctions or laboratories; or for holiday or birthday gifts when the house is disrupted.
May donate animals to police or service organizations. Signs Breeder's Code of Ethics and can provide you with copy. Sells pets with spay/neuter agreement or AKC Limited Registration. Provides to buyer AKC registration papers, 3-generation pedigree, vaccination schedule, medical records, some dog food and instructions on general care, grooming, feeding and training of puppy. Sells puppies with a contract so that buyer's rights are secured.
Willingly provides contact with others who have their pups.
Sale is subject to good match between buyer and puppy.
- Breeder recognizes that they are link between past and future of breed.
Breeds only healthy mature adults that have been checked for and found clear of inheritable disease. Can produce certificates to verify testing by clinical exam, X-rays, bloodwork. Breeds only when has money, energy, time and no pressure to sell the pups. Can explain how planned breeding to emphasize specific qualities through line breeding, outcrossing or more rarely, inbreeding.
- Knows that puppies didn't ask to be born and therefore are the
breeder's responsibility. Offers lifetime commitment to replace any dog with disabling genetic fault. Helps owner deal with any problems for the lifetime of the dog. Will take back dog owner can't keep rather than see it disposed of badly. Welcomes being in touch with owner and hearing progress reports.
- Loves the breed and is knowledgeable about its background, uses, history, problems and ideal type. Raises only one or two breeds and stays with them regardless of general popularity and prices.
- Belongs to a local and/or national breed club indicating a love for the sport of dogs, a desire to educate oneself about the breed by sharing information with peers and a willingness to protect the breed. Exhibits own dogs at Dog Shows as an objective test of how stock measure up to the ideal Standard. Recognizes that a "pedigree" only means that parents of the dog are known, not their quality. May be involved in breed rescue - that is finding new owners for individuals of their breed which have become homeless.
- Displays litter and dam in a clean environment near where people are present so puppies can be properly socialized. Although mother of pups may be losing hair, she looks in good condition. Breeder has serious investment in dog equipment, such as whelping box, puppy pens, crates and grooming tables and uses them. Helps buyer evaluate temperament and structure and to chose the right pup for them and their lifestyle. Explains criteria for "show picks" versus "pet picks".
- Prices may be at high end of local range but still won't reflect all that is invested in pups. Has so much invested in dogs that struggles to break even, NOT make a profit. Rewards are intangible, not financial. Sells pups only after they have had shots and wormings and at no earlier than 10-14 weeks. Rarely advertises pups because has referrals from others and may have waiting list.
- Motive for breeding "to make money", "good for the kids", "fun", "want another pet just like the dog we have regardless of faults", "want one litter before we spay her", "lots of people want this breed right now".
- Doesn't screen buyer and sells to most anyone even if buyer is unsuitable. Sells to pet shops, dealers, auctions and laboratories to get rid of pups. Allows purchase of puppy as gift for someone else, or during hectic times in your household like divorce, new baby, new job, holidays. Doesn't use AKC Limited Registration option nor ask for spay/neuter contract to guard against breeding of substandard pets. Unlikely to provide contact with others who have their puppies. Pushes buyer to make decision quickly. "All sales are final".
- No concern for the future of breed as a whole or the individual pups. No concern for genetics, bloodlines, breed standard or improvement of breed. Breeds family pet to any convenient pet of same breed just to have pups. Parents not checked for inheritable diseases, such as hip dysplasia, blood clotting or eye problems etc. Sells "just pets". Offers no health guarantees beyond proof of shots, if that.
- Seller has little knowledge of breed history or AKC breed standard. May claim that this doesn't matter for "just pets". Berates "show dogs" rather than realizing the function of Dog Shows is to determine the best animals to breed. Interest in pup ends with its sale. Unqualified and unwilling to give help if problems do develop. If you can't keep the pup at a later date, tells you to sell it or take it to the pound.
- May jump from breed to breed according to current fashion or puppy prices.
- Seller doesn't increase own knowledge through participation in national or local breed clubs. Doesn't show own dogs in Dog Shows to prove their quality. May have pedigree with Champions way back in ancestry, or papers from registries other than the American Kennel Club, may have fraudulent papers or may not have proof that puppy is purebred at all.
- May be unwilling to show buyer the parents or where the pups were raised. Mother of pups may look very skinny, may act shy or aggressive. Pups raised in makeshift accommodations indicating lack of long-term investment. Rather than being raised in the house where they can be around people, pups may be raised in a garage or barn. May have shirked nutrition or medical care because of ignorance or cost. Can't or won't compare/critique pups or pups' ancestors.
- Price may be at low end of local scale to sell pups quickly and because expensive testing on the parents wasn't done. Moves pups out at an early age (6-8 weeks) so doesn't have more feeding and medical expenses. Usually advertises pups in newspapers, pet shops and supermarkets. Doesn't tell you that it is better to pay a fair price up front and obtain a healthy socialized puppy than to buy something cheap and totally untested that requires great financial expenditure and much heartbreak through its shorted lifetime.
by Gail S. Alenick 8/99 and 11/99. With thanks to Chris Halvorson, Edy Sammon, Peggy Adamson and Linda Lewin.