5 Questions to ask your dog breeder

Don't adopt or purchase your new furry friend without first asking your dog breeder these five questions, as recommended by the experts at Pets4Homes

1. How long have you been breeding dogs?

ask how long they've been breeding

If a breeder is well established, it shows they’re knowledgeable and committed to their work. The longer they've been breeding puppies, the better.

It’s also a good idea to ask why the breeder has produced a litter, and ask the breeder why they settled on a specific price point for individual puppies in this litter.

Read more: Expert tips on rehoming a puppy

 

2. What is your screening process, and what health tests do you carry out on puppies?

puppy

Breeders should routinely carry out screening processes on dogs they breed from and test all puppies for health issues common to a specific breed, and share this information with you willingly.

It’s very important that puppies are tested for disorders that affect their hips, eyes and ears before being rehomed to ensure the buyers aren’t surprised by, and can quickly address, health concerns that might arise.

The breeder should also be willing to give buyers copies of all test results that they’ve carried out on litters, which you’ll need to physically see before committing to any decisions.

 

3. Are the puppies up to date with their vaccinations, and have they been wormed?

puppies

This is a very important question to ask, because reputable and conscientious breeders will happily ensure you have access to all vaccination and worming records. We also recommend contacting the breeder’s vet to discuss vaccinations, the puppies’ health and the breeder’s reputation, too.

If the seller has not started the puppy’s vaccinations, it will be your responsibility to make sure you arrange vaccinations for seven days before letting your puppy go outside.

 

4. What can you tell me about the bloodline?

puppy bloodline

Breeders should know details about the health of the parent dogs, with knowledge ideally going back at least one generation. Responsible breeders should know if any dogs within their litter’s bloodline have suffered from any health issues at any point in their lives, and be open and transparent about this, with paperwork to prove their claims of good health, and detailed information on any previous problems.

You can also ask the breeder about the challenges of the breed and the breed line, and what other dogs from the bloodline have gone on to do.

 

5. Would you be willing to take a puppy back if my circumstances change?

puppy

It might be tough or seem unnecessary, but it’s a good idea to ask the breeder if they’d be willing to take a puppy back if your circumstances change and you are no longer able to keep them—whether it's in a few months, or a couple of years.

A good breeder always considers any puppies they produce as being part of their “family”. As such, they should be happy to find one of their puppies a new and loving home, if needed. You must, however, bear in mind that asking for a refund of any sort would be out of the question. Puppies should not be rehomed on a whim, and you should only commit to buying a puppy if you intend to care for it for life.

 

Prepare to answer questions too

Reputable breeders are also likely to ask you multiple questions in line with your ability to support a dog’s wellbeing. Be sure to be prepared to answer questions about where you live, if you are new to keeping dogs or are a seasoned owner, and if you have children.

A breeder is especially likely to ask these questions if you are getting a breed that might require more expertise, or that doesn’t get along well with children, and might suggest alternative breeds for consideration.

 

Read more: What to expect at dog training classes

Read more: How to choose the right dog breed