Questions to Ask Breeders

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Questions to Ask Breeders

by Melissa Steele

It's so easy to fall in love at first sight with your new puppy, especially if you've long loved they belong to. Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving when it comes to health and genetic difficulties so it is especially important that you ask the right questions of breeders from whom you may be purchasing your new dog from. And make sure you ask the questions before you lay eyes on the puppy.

Asking questions about the dog's breed as well as the dog's parents and personal DNA are important. So, too, are questions about the breeder's practices. Some questions include:

Every breed is plagued by some genetic disease or another. What congenital defects or genetic diseases are an issue for this breed?

What are some other health problems (non-disease related) that may be an issue for this breed and for this dog in particular?

What tests have been performed on the parents of the dog and the dog itself? What tests remain to be performed? Will they be completed by the time you pick up the dog?

What measures have been taken to decrease the chances of this dog developing any of these diseases, defects, or health issues?

Are the parents of the puppy owned by the breeder? Ask to see them, especially the mother. Her temperament will be indicative of the puppy's future temperament when she is visited without her puppies nearby.

What are the pros and cons of each of the parent dogs? Have either of them won titles?

How have the puppies been raised and socialized thus far? Does this fit with the style that you've chosen for your home?

What will be the breeder's responsibility to the puppy after you purchase it and take it home? What if you and the puppy are incompatible or the puppy develops a disease or serious health issue within the first year? Refunds, replacement puppy, return? Are these guarantees in place for a specific period or for the life of the dog?

Is show quality guaranteed for the dog in question? If the dog fails to become show quality, what guarantees are in place for you in terms of replacement, refund, or return? Is the breeder a member of organizations like CHIC, Breed Parent Club? Other breed clubs or organizations?

How many different breeds of dog does the breeder specialize in? How many litters does he produce each year in each breed? How old are the dogs when he begins to breed them? How many litters or bitches has the breeder bred in the past?

When choosing breeder dogs, what are some of the criteria the breeder uses to determine which are a good choice and which are not? For example, are there specific tests or accomplishments that he demand that his breeding dogs possess?

For the parents of the dog in question, are there test results that are available for your to look over? What are the requirements for the buyer that the breeder demands? Is there a certain amount of experience or environment requirements that you should meet to purchase a puppy from a given breeder?

Does the breeder require a contract? If so, what are the specifications of that contract? How do those specifications protect you, the breeder, and the dog?

How old will the dog be when you are allowed to take it home? Will it have been fully vaccinated by then? Will it be spayed or neutered?

Expect that the breeder will (or should) have a number of questions for you as well. A good relationship between you and your dog starts with open and thorough communication between you and its breeder.

Melissa Steele is a freelance writer for This site features Pet Essentials with Style including dog beds of all sizes and styles.

Melissa Steele - EzineArticles Expert Author

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