Why buy from a Reputable Breeder
So, you've decided you want a puppy! Congratulations! You've picked your breed, started a savings fund, and have begun collecting supplies...great! Now comes the hard part.
Picking a good breeder to get your pup from is usually a long and strenuous process, why? Because there are many breeders out there, some good some bad...again, you ask why does the breeder need to be reputable? Why do they need to be good?
Well first, we have to look at what a breeder is exactly. Obviously, the person[s] whom you might be getting your pup from...but there's more to it then that!
A breeder is someone who has fallen in love, head over heals, [ like "falling in love with your soul mate" type feeling, not "first crush" love type feeling ] with their breed of choice. They are absolutely committed to this breed an infinite percent, and that is why they want to become breeders. To better the breed they love so much. Read that sentence twice, as it is the only reason a reputable breeder breeds, and a very important one. Now what does bettering the breed mean? It means producing offspring that are hopefully, better than the pup's parents. If not better, then on the same level. There are several things that involve making the breed better.
As drop-dead gorgeous a dog might be, they are no better than their parents if they are riddled with genetic or behavioral issues. Do not let ANYONE tell you a certain breed of dog has no health issues. All breeds have health issues in their histories & are prone to genetic defects, the two absolute ones are Hip Dysplacia & Luxating Patella in addition to potential eye & thyroid issues. It's fact, not fiction. If it wasn't true, there would not be the ridiculous amount of poor dogs born with these defects every day. A good breeder's number one priority should be ensuring all their puppies are born as healthy as possible.
All dog breeds at one point or another were created for a purpose. As they were created to do a certain job they have developed certain features. For example, Shibas are small as they were meant to flush small game from brushwood. As certain dog breeds were meant to perform a certain task, certain standards were created. Again, for example, a Shiba is meant to be a certain size. A breeder will try their utmost to breed so that the puppies will fall within that size range. Other factors come into play, like colours, markings, tail shape, etc. The entire point is to try to keep the breed consistent. If half of all Shibas were born Akita-sized, it'd be a bit difficult to classify them as Shibas. A good breeder will try their utmost to ensure their pups remain as close to the standard as possible.
A good breeder will put their pups first & foremost. They will normally breed only if they are breeding to get a potential puppy for themselves &/or if they have a waiting list of potential owners.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some signs of a bad breeder?
Some definite signs of a bad breeder, Backyard Breeder, or someone who throws two dogs together are the following: Does not health certify their dogs, does not breed to the breed's standard [ breeding dogs too big or two small, the wrong colour, etc. ] breeds mixed breed dogs, does not provide a written contract. ANY of these are an instant sign of a poor breeder. Please run, do not walk, away from this person.
Why should the breeder have their breeding dogs health certified?
A breeder is someone who brings life into this world by mating a male to a female dog. Their number one concern should be to make sure all the puppies are healthy. By health checking their dogs & breeding only those who pass the check they are greatly increasing the chance for producing healthy puppies. There is no way of knowing 100% if their dogs have genetic issues unless they are tested. So for all you know, the breeder could be breeding a dog with Luxuriating Patella to a bitch with a Thyroid problem, practically guaranteeing your pup will be born with an issue. Do you want a breeder to create life for you knowing the pup might live suffering? I don't think so. Health certifications are your only way of increasing the chances of having a healthy pup, who can grow into a healthy adult dog. All certifications can be accessed, free of charge, at the OFFA website. Do not believe what someone tells you unless you can find the certifications there.
Why does colour or size matter?
As stated before, the breeders purpose is to make their dog breed more consistent. Certain colours are acceptable, certain sizes, etc. If they are not breeding to the standard, then they're not trying to make the breed better. If they're not trying to make the breed better, then why are they breeding? For $money$.
This breeder is charging me a TON of money for this puppy, that must mean they're reputable, right?
Wrong. The reasons breeders charge so much money is to offset the costs of the genetic tests they run on their breeding stock. Reputable breeders profit very little off breeding, and reputable breeders breed as a hobby, not a job. If a breeder does not do genetic tests on their dogs, then they are simply pocketing all the money you're giving them. They are simply breeding for the $money$. If a breeder is, however, charging you a ton of money, AND they perform all the health checks on their dogs, then they are simply trying to cut their losses.
Well my breeder provides a one / two year health guarantee, they must be reputable! ha!
Sorry, but a good breeder will guarantee the life of their pup, maybe not financially, but through their extensive AND expensive efforts to produce healthy pups. The pup's parents have been tested, their grandparents have been tested, etc. so they're normally confident enough to know they have good breeding stock. Ever wonder why the guarantees bad breeders provide top out at one or two years? Once again, the only way to know 100% of genetic defects is by performing the proper tests.Most of these tests can only be done at / after the two year mark so if there is a problem, alas, it's too late. Your guarantee is finished & thus, void...it doesn't mean anything.
But...my breeder has a contract!
If there's a contract, but they don't test their dogs for health issues, &/or are breeding dogs that don't live up to the standard, then you shouldn't care what their contract says, they're not a good breeder.
You still haven't told me WHY I should go to a reputable breeder! A puppy is a puppy!
If you love these dogs, if you love these breeds, then you will do everything in your power to support those trying to make the breeds better, not those trying to make some quick cash. Not only will the dogs benefit, but you will as well. You will have a pup who has a very, very good chance at living a long and happy life. Sure, there is no 100% chance you're going to get a 100% healthy puppy from a good breeder...but good breeders, rarely, will produce very few pups with genetic problems, with a poor breeder, there's a much larger chance. Why take the chance on having to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars a couple years down the road on vet bills? Why take the chance of bringing a puppy into this world who is born with a high chance of suffering later? Reputable breeders rarely charge more money than non-reputable breeders, so why not save yourself some heartache?