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Reputable breeders will never sell their puppies to pet shops or under suspicious circumstances. They will also prioritize local buyers who can come to the kennel in person to ensure a good match for the puppy.
How to Find a Reputable Breeder
When searching for a breeder, be very careful. Many unethical people do not care about the welfare of the puppies they produce or what happens to them after they leave their homes. If you meet someone using shady methods or practices, avoid them at all costs.
Responsible breeders care about the puppies they produce and will want to know that their pups go into a good home. They will ask about your lifestyle, whether you have a fenced yard, your time at home and away from home, etc. While it may seem invasive, remember they are effectively interviewing you to ensure the puppy will be happy and safe with you in the long term.
A good breeder should allow you to see the puppies and mom. They should also be willing to show you the area where the pups are born and raised and keep a clean facility in general. Never be put off if the breeder tells you they have a waitlist, as this is a sign that they take their breeding and the health of their puppies seriously. The breeder must be able to tell you that the puppy will not have any genetic diseases or abnormalities, such as merle-colored dogs (which have a high risk of hearing and vision problems) or skin disease.
How to Know if a Breeder is a Mill
When looking for Goldendoodle puppies for sale, be aware that puppy mills exist. These kennel-based operations focus on breeding popular breeds or “designer mixes.” Puppies from mills tend to have health issues, including malformed bones and joints and poor coat quality. Sadly, mills are often operated by people who care little about dogs and only want to profit.
To avoid supporting these immoral businesses, be wary of any breeder who doesn’t offer photos of where the puppies are raised or details on socialization. Likewise, it’s a red flag when a breeder refuses to let you visit their facility. They may also ask you to meet in a public place like a park or parking lot instead of their home.
One more thing to watch out for is a breeder who claims they can provide a “health guarantee” for their puppies. This is another way for mills to take less risk and liability when their puppies have health problems.
In addition, reputable breeders will be upfront about the strengths and weaknesses of their puppies. They will also be willing to tell you if the dog is not a good fit for your lifestyle or if it has a genetic condition that could cause problems in the future. They will never encourage you to buy a puppy just because it’s cheap or because you “want it now.” Puppies require a lifetime commitment, and you must ensure you are ready before purchasing one.
What to Look for in a Breeder
When choosing a breeder, look for the ones who have been breeding long-term and have a reputation for excellent genetics (though how you raise your puppy will play a huge role in its behavior). They should know their chosen breed and have a passion for it. They should also be willing to discuss their methods and answer any questions you might have.
Visit the kennel or home where the puppies were raised and observe how the dogs are kept. The kennels should be clean, and the dogs appear well-fed, healthy, and happy. They should interact well with the breeder and other dogs and be open to meeting new people.
Ask to meet the mother and father of the puppies, if possible. This is an excellent way to get a feel for the pups’ personalities and temperaments (be wary of any hiding in a corner, as this can indicate fearfulness or aggression) and see how they behave with children and new experiences.
Ask about health testing conducted on the parents, especially for hip and eye conditions. You should also be able to see the father’s pedigree, which must go back several generations. If a breeder refuses to share this information with you, that’s a red flag.
How to Know if a Breeder is a Good Match
If a breeder is reputable, they will happily answer your questions about their puppies. They will be able to tell you about the health of the parents and their puppies, including any genetic tests they have done and their pedigree (family tree). They should also be able to explain the temperament of the puppies and how they will get on with children and other dogs and cats in your home.
The breeder should also be willing to show you where the pups live and introduce you to the mother. They should be able to talk about the genetic history of the puppies and give you a copy of their contract of sale. The agreement is crucial because it sets out both the buyer’s and the breeder’s responsibilities and will protect you if something goes wrong with your puppy.
A good breeder will not sell a puppy to anyone who has not visited their premises and met the dog. It is not unusual for them to ask you to reach out to your network of friends and family so that they can see if anyone would be interested in their puppies.
Avoid a breeder who suggests that you adopt two puppies simultaneously. Puppies raised in pairs can develop sibling rivalry and are often too afraid to leave their siblings alone as adults. This can lead to serious behavior problems and should be avoided.