I live in East Tennessee and am looking to buy a female Great Dane Puppy. I have been directed to a breeder close to me in Soddy Daisey, Tennessee and have viewed her puppies online. How do I go about finding out if this breeder is reputable and produces healthy pets.
Contact the breeder. Ask questions about testing for her breeding pair, ask to see a copy of the health guarantee she offers and her contract.
Ask for the pup's pedigree. Ask for vet refrences, etc...if she is a reputable breeder, she SHOULD be happy to provide all the information, but be prepared to provide all of YOUR information to her. Again, if she IS reputable, she will be very careful in screening the potential homes for her pups.
I agree with k9luver - ask for references - especially from people who have purchased puppies from her. A vet is a good reference, but always remember that their vet is one that they chose and not all vets consider good care to be the same thing. I usually try and provide 3-4 references to my puppy families from folks that have gotten puppies at different times (one from 4 years ago, one from 2 years ago, one from 6 months ago) and I try to make sure they are similar types of homes as to the person who is inquiring. If the person inquiring has small children I provide references from families with small children. If they live in a big city I provide references from city families. If they want their dog to get along with horses I provide references from families with horses, ect...
There is nothing more reassuring then getting 2-3 references from folks that can only say good things about a breeder.
How about going to a shelter and adopting a dog? I can't fathom going to a breeder and buying a dog when there are thousands killed in shelters each year that are unwanted. The best dog I ever had come from our local SPCA and since he has passed, I rescued another dog from possible death. Besides, a cute mutt dog probably wouldn't be inbred and have health problems! Just a suggestion!