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Ryan and Stacey Poler
Viola, ID 83872

Web Page Designed and Maintained by Stacey Poler

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How to Find a Reputable Breeder

Ryan napping with our first litter.

This document covers:

  • Introduction
  • What Should I Look For In A Breeder?
  • What Is Full Versus Limited Registration?
  • What Are The Wrong Reasons for Breeding?
  • How Much Should A Puppy Cost?
  • What Should I Look For In A Contract
  • Where Do I Begin Looking For A Breeder?


    At times, finding a good breeder seems like an impossible task. It is so hard to start out in a new breed...Who can you trust? Who can't you trust? How do you figure these things out? How do you get a reputable breeder to sell you a puppy? Are you the right home for that particular breed? These are all questions that will be addressed on this page. My goal in writing this is to help people on their quest to find a good breeder who will stand behind their dogs. This is simply my opinion based on my own personal experiences, so take it as you will! This is a summary of what I look for in a breeder and expect of myself everytime I consider breeding.


    What to Look for in a Breeder?

    1. What sort of contract do they have
    2. How long have they been breeding and are they willing to give you contact information from previous puppy buyers
    3. Are they out to sell you a puppy, OR educate you on the breed and help you make the best decision as to whether or not your lifestyle is right for the breed
    4. What are their long-term goals in breeding
    5. What do they hope to "improve" upon in their current breedings
    6. Why did/do they choose the breedings they have done or are doing
    7. What are the current health/temperament problems in the breed and what measure are they taking to decrease the prevalence of these problems in their lines
    8. Is the breeder readily available for consultation on any aspect of their puppies
    9. Is the breeder active in their puppies lives, will they be available to you for the entire life of the puppy

    The breeder you choose should be willing to talk with you about all of the common health problems in the breed, and how they screen their breeding stock to prevent these from being passed down. They should be very willing to tell you any health problems or temperament problems that their dogs have, as you should be aware of what you are getting in to.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg, a good breeder should be very reluctant to whomever they talk to about placing a puppy, they should really care about what sort of home the dog is going to and what the person expects from the dog. They should ask you numerous questions about your lifestyle and how the dog will be trained, treated, etc. They SHOULD NOT be willing to sell a puppy on full registration if it will not be shown or trained in appropriate areas.


    What is Full Versus Limited Registrations?

    To explain full registration: The American Kennel Club "AKC" now provides two types of registration, Limited and Full. The AKC has recently offered this for breeders to sell puppies with AKC papers, but to limit their breeding rights for those people that have no wish to breed or have bought a puppy that is not of breed quality. AKC limited registration allows the puppy buyer all the rights and privileges of other AKC puppies with the exception of breeding rights and the ability to compete in Conformation. Dogs with limited registration can still show in tracking, obedience competitions, agility and other AKC performance events that are both fun and useful for the owner and the dog. Now just because a dog is a Champion or has working titles does NOT make it good breeding stock, a breeder must determine a dog to be good for breeding based on NUMEROUS areas applicable to that particular breed. So the reason I say a breeder should not be willing to sell a puppy on full registration if it will not be shown or trained in appropriate areas is because a breeder should be protecting their lines from people who want to breed for the wrong reasons. There are too many dogs in the world for people to breed "just for fun."


    What Are The Wrong Reasons For Breeding?

    1. To make money
    2. To have the experience of having a litter
    3. For fun
    4. Because it would be interesting
    5. Because your dog is a "Champion."

    If you breed the "Right WAY" you cannot make money, it takes an incredible amount of work, dedication, research, and especially TIME!


    How Much Should a Puppy Cost?

    One other really important point that should be addressed is the cost of the puppy. Cost should be the very last thing on your list of priorities...if it even makes the list. If you call a breeder and the first thing out of your mouth is, "How much do your puppies cost," do not be surprised if a good breeder hangs up on you! The initial cost of the dog is very minimal when compared to the cost throughout their life. What you are paying for when you buy a quality dog is the years of dedication of the breeder to improve their lines, a healthy dog with some kind of contractual guarantee, the expertise of the breeder at your disposal for the puppy's entire life, etc. Do not be surprised if both "pet quality" and "show quality" dogs are the same price, you are paying for a healthy dog, and whether it is a pet or show quality the same amount of time and effort has gone into the breeding.


    What Should I Look For In A Contract?

    As I said before, one thing to expect from a reputable breeder is a contract. These contracts are typically written to protect the breeder and puppy as well as the buyer. Contracts tend to be different for full and limited registered puppies. These contracts address breeding, health issues, and can even be as detailed as to include instructions about how to feed the dog, the amount of exercise allowed in the first year, etc. This information is based upon the experiences of the breeder. Please do not take offense to the extreme detail of the contract, as I said before, it is there to protect you, the puppy and the breeder.


    Where Do I Begin Looking For A Breeder?

    After all of this, you may be thinking, "How will I ever find a reputable breeder?" I would advise that you contact the National Club for the breed you desire. They should have information on Breeder referrals, HOWEVER, this does not mean that all the work has been done for you. It is necessary that you still take time to get to know the breeder, ask all of the appropriate questions and make sure they are there for the betterment of the breed, NOT TO MAKE MONEY!

    There is no perfect dog, and every dog has its problems. It is for this reason that we have to depend on our breeders to make the best decision to maintain the essence of the breed as well as health and temperament. The breeder has to look at the "whole picture." If a breeder focuses on just one attribute in their lines, they often will loose other important aspects of the breed. If it is at all possible, do some additional research into your potential breeder. Find out contact information from people who have previously purchased puppies from them. Take time to visit the parents if you can. Pay SPECIAL attention to temperament, as this is a very heritable trait that is of the utmost importance.

    In my mind, buying a dog is a huge investment of your time, and especially of your heart. You want to be sure you do your best to get a healthy dog that will live a long and happy life.

    Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.

    Good Luck!