I learned the hard way that there are certain questions you should ask a dog breeder before adopting a puppy. When I was about 12-year-old, my parents brought home a beautiful tri-colored collie who ended up dying because of congenital defects. The breeder was well aware of the problem and never disclosed it. It was heartbreaking. Here are some important questions you should ask a dog breeder.
The #1 question you should ask a dog breeder: Is the puppy in good health? What are your guarantees? Will the dog breeder stand behind the quality of his dogs? This could be a real issue if you adopt a sickly dog.
Are there any congenital defects in this breed? Defects can run a wide gamut, so investigate the breed well and decide if you’re ready for the responsibility of the breed.
When can I take my puppy home? The answer that a good breeder will give you is 8-12 weeks of age. This is the optimal age to be taken from his mother and bond to his new family.
Where was the puppy raised? The best breeders will raise their litters in their home so the puppies are used to a family’s activities and household noises.
Have they been socialized? Along with a puppy learning in the breeder’s home, they need to go outside of that environment. Puppies need to be exposed to a variety of new situations, other dogs, and people. My son and his wife adopted a rescue boxer who had lived in a kennel for six months. It has taken her two years to become accustomed to noises, strangers, and situations. She is still shy, timid and afraid at times.
How much time did the breeder spend with the puppies in the litter? It is very important for a puppy to have early interaction with humans. We essentially become the dog’s pack and he needs to learn trust.
Another question you should ask a dog breeder: How long have you been breeding this breed of dog? Any breeder that is breeding more than 2-3 breeds at one time for a short period of time is usually not dedicated to one breed. Go to a different breeder. How many litters do you have every year? A good breeder will have no more than one or two litters a year. A litter of puppies takes a tremendous amount of time if given the best care. There’s a fine line between being a dog breeder and having a puppy mill.
Ask the dog breeder for references that you can contact who have adopted dogs from him. Look for a clean dog kennel. The breeder’s dogs should look healthy and be calm, well-mannered and friendly dogs. A good dog breeder will also ask YOU questions. They want their dogs to go to responsible, loving homes. The questions you should ask a dog breeder are invaluable when adopting a dog.