How to Evaluate a Breeder

The reputable breeder feels responsibility toward the breed itself, toward the dogs they breed, the dogs they hope to breed, and additionally to all the people who have dogs of their breeding. They spend astounding amounts of time and money to better the breed in general as well as their own breeding program.

It is this awareness of responsibility, combined with a sense of continuity that marks the difference between the reputable breeder and so called “back yard” breeders or the even less desirable commercial breeder. The reputable breeder is more an artist, motivated by a drive to preserve and improve the breed; back yard breeders and commercial operations are motivated only by the desire to make money. They are truly in the dog business, selling puppies like over-the-counter commodities to anyone who can pay the price.

The reputable breeder is a link between the past and the future. They are well aware that the buyers of today may be the breeders of tomorrow, and they do their best to educate the people who come to buy dogs and to instill in them the ideals and values on which he has built his reputation. They will readily discourage potential buyers whose needs, abilities and or expectations do not match those of the breed they represent. The reputable breeder would much prefer to keep their dog than to place it in an unsuitable home.

Fortunate is the novice buyer who purchases his first dog from a reputable breeder! While others may sell whole litters to dog-dealers, the reputable breeder insists on direct contact with those who buy his dogs, and sells only after the most careful screening of a would-be purchaser in order to ascertain the mutual suitability of dog and buyer. Often not fully appreciated until long after the dog is bought, this screening by the breeder is the greatest protection a dog purchaser can have.

Commercial breeders and those interested solely in profit ask very few questions - their only concern is to sell dogs, and to get them off their hands as soon as possible in order to avoid additional expenses and work. Their interest ends when the sale is completed. The attitude of the reputable breeder is very different. Though the cost of properly caring for their dogs may cause sleepless nights and untold worry, they will not place any dog in a home that is not suitable for the breed in question or the temperament of an individual dog. Even when the dog is sold, the breeder's help and advice do not end but continue throughout the dog's life, a responsibility cheerfully accepted without expectation of compensation.

Each National Breed Club is dedicated to producing healthy dogs that are the best possible representatives of that breed. At the heart of each such Club, there MUST be breeders. They may not all agree as to what constitutes perfection, but by belonging to a National Organization they are able to arrive at a consensus, which is the American Kennel Club Breed Standard.