Questions to ask a breeder

1. Why are the two parents ar good match?


2. Are the parents DNA'd for genetic diseases? CEA,CH,CL and TNS. Here the answer should be that the parents are free of genetic diseases based on DNA testing. Either the prospective parents should have been DNA'd or they should be clear by parentage themselves. Let’s say Parent Genotype 1 is the dad and Parent genotype 2 is the mom. If the dad is a normal and the mom is a normal all puppies would be normal. If the dad is a normal and the mom is a carrier half would be normal and half would be carriers. If the dad is a normal and the mom is affected all puppies would be carriers. See more examples below. Confused? Look at the chart below

    Parent Genotype 2  
Parent Genotype 1 Normal Carrier Affected
Normal All pups normal 1/2 Normal   1/2 carrier ALL carriers
Carrier 1/2 normal 1/2 carrier 1/4 normal 1/2 carrier  1/4 affected 1/2 carrier   1/2 affected
Affected All carriers 1/2 carrier   1/2 affected ALL AFFECTED


The table shows the desirable breeding in blue boxes these all have at least one parent as a Normal.  All other breedings would risk puppies being affected with a genetic disease.



3. How old are the parents. Use you own judgment but know most people here in the USA do not breed a female until she is at least 2 years old.

4. How many litters has the mother produced. Use your judgment but remember a female only comes into heat 2 times a year usually. There are exceptions but know if a female is bred repeatedly bred it bad for the female so a good breeder will not breed a female every heat cycle.

5. Can you tell me about the temperaments of both parents? Judgment call here. Think about what you like in a dog but also remember a pup can be a product of his/her environment so not everything is set in stone. Some breeders will tell you a puppy's temperament is mostly genetic but yet those same breeders will do ENS, desensitize puppies etc which makes me wonder if temperament were totally genetic why would they need to do all of that? Leads you to believe temperaments is not just genetic it is also environmental too. :-)

6. Do you have the parents on site? May I see them? A lot of breeders will use a stud they do not own so it may be harder to see the stud. If you are going to want to see the mom try to do so before she is bred or at least a few weeks before her pups are born or at least 4 weeks after the pups are born. (A lot of breeders do not allow people around a nursing mom until the pups are strong and have a nice immunity to disease)

7. Where are the puppies raised? In and out of the home will insure the pups are socialized and ready for family life. Kennel, barns etc are not what I would suggest for people wanting a "family" pet.

8. What do you guarantee and or contract? Most breeders offer a 1 year health guarantee against genetic diseases. Breeders often use contracts to make sure a buyer knows what is expected of them and what is expected of the breeder.

9. Do you take your pups back if we are no longer able to keep him/her? The answer should always be YES.  If the answer is No find a new breeder!

10. Can you provide references? Most breeders will provide a few references but try to respect the privacy of puppy buyers.

11. How long have you been in the breed and what do you love about the breed. Judgment call but.. if you ever ask me don't expect a short answer. GRIN

12. What are the bloodlines and why do you like them enough to breed. If the breeder can't answer that .. move on13. Will the breeder be able to help out via phone, e-mail or in person if you have any questions about training or behavior problems? A good breeder will be willing to help.

13. Will my pup have limited or full registration? Limited means the pup can participate in all AKC events other than Conformation. Your dog would not be able to register pups out of him/her either and should be altered. Full your dog can participate in all AKC events. Most breeders will only offer Limited papers to ensure the lines are bred properly and the puppy buyer doesn't breed the dog.