Not Always

When looking to add a cute little puppy to your family, it's easy to get lost in those sweet puppy dog eyes and that playful personality. The cuteness of the puppy will charm you so much that it's sometimes difficult to remember the important questions to ask your pup's breeder. And if you don't ask, not all breeders will tell you what's really going on. Curious about what a dog breeder might not tell you? Read on!

Sad dogs from breeder

If you've made the decision to buy your dog from a breeder, it's important to make sure you're dealing with someone who is ethical and responsible. For this article, we're not using the term breeder to refer to respectable, ethical people who are focused on bettering a certain breed of dog. We're talking about bad breeders — those looking to make a quick buck who do not have the dogs' best interests at heart.

When looking to buy a puppy, here's what a dog breeder might not tell you:

The truth about the puppy's pedigree

Your pup may come from show-quality "lines," but if a breeder can't tell you anything about the puppy's parents and grandparents, you may want to steer clear. "A good breeder will allow you access to the dam, and in many cases, the sire as well," says Diane Zdrodowski of Evanlake Cavaliers. "He or she will be able to honestly answer all your questions. A breeder who only has the puppies to show you may be hiding something." Also, if a breeder says you're getting a show-quality girl and that you can make a lot of money by breeding her, you're probably not dealing with the most reputable individual, explains Diane. Responsible breeders often don't allow their dogs sold as pets to breed.

That they're only in it for the money

An unethical breeder is not concerned with the dogs' well-being and may only be in this line of work for the money. Diane Zdrodowski has seen it all and explains how these types of people operate: "They breed random dogs or related dogs if that's all they have access to. It is most likely they do not know the health history of one or both. Even if they do, they are not honest about it. I find it's usually more ignorance than dishonesty. Most of these types of breeders will say whatever it takes to sell puppies."

General education about the breed

Great breeders don't paint a flawless picture of the breed and dog ownership in general. There is no perfect breed of dog and any breeder who tries to minimize possible health issues may be ignorant of them or just a hobby breeder looking to make money. A reputable breeder will be honest with you about the breed and possible health concerns. Before contacting a breeder, it's best to educate yourself about the breed. While breeders are happy to answer any questions you may have, being educated about the breed will only help you and your dog.

That he/she won't be available to deal with issues in the future

A respectable breeder won't disappear after the sale and will offer ongoing support at any time in the future. Bad breeders won't want to hear from you about any problems after the dog is sold.

Finally, as with most things in life, it pays to do your research. Rushing into buying a puppy may backfire on you, so take your time, ask the right questions and make an informed decision.

Tell us

What do you look for in a dog breeder? Share in the comments below!

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Comments on "What a dog breeder won't tell you"

Jessie October 18, 2012 | 12:39 PM

I had a great relationship with my doberman breader. I actually got a second dog from her. She is honest and will tell you exactly what your in for. Exactly what this article is saying.

Kathy August 19, 2012 | 12:29 PM

Thank you for this important article. With so many animals being euthanized by shelters, I say don't shop - ADOPT!

Marcia August 02, 2012 | 6:15 PM

Our 8year old pug came from a puppy mill. We didn't know the signs to watch for, met the breeder at a service station in another area, because they said it would be easier to find than their home. We bought him from an ad I the local paper. A few weeks after buying him we found he had didactic mange. This can only come from the nursing mother, the breeder had to know. Weeks of treatment at the Vet and $500+ later,he was cured. Next came surgery for a tumor that we didn't 't know he had, then he began a chronic series of bladder crystals, blood I the urine,two surgeries to remove the larger stones, three years apart. Well, I could go on but the bottom line is to encourage potential owners to buy pet insurance the day they buy their pet. We did and it has repaid us many times over. Know the breeder, and visit the location with the parent animals. We love our pug but often say that if he had gone home with any one else he might not be the happy, healthy 8 year old he is today..

Julie August 01, 2012 | 9:33 AM

Excellent info! The breeder my friend has used passes these guidelines with flying colors and makes me more comfortable to trust for myself.

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