Not that I know of,you could try googling names. here is a list of what to look for though --How knowledgeable is the breeder about this particular breed? Are they familiar with its historical origins? Can they educate you about the breed's disadvantages - especially genetic predisposition to health problems and characteristics like shedding, slobber, dominance, inter-dog aggression, etc. that may make owning the breed a challenge? Beware of anyone who sounds like a salesman and tells you that their breed has no disadvantages! Good breeders will play devil's advocate.
--Are the breeder's dogs screened for genetic health defects like hip dysplasia, eye disorders, hypothyroidism, Von Willebrand's disease, epilepsy, cardiac conditions, and anything else that is common in the breed? Can they provide you with proof, e.g., CERF and OFA certification and other relevant veterinary documentation? A good breeder will welcome your concern and be glad to offer the requested information - beware of anyone who is defensive! An excellent breeder will candidly discuss the health of their line of dogs, including the problems that have cropped up. Even good breeders can produce unhealthy dogs on occasion. The difference is that the good breeder is on a mission to find and remove those genetic influences from their breeding lines. The irresponsible breeder approaches health in a haphazard manner.
--Does the breeder have any old dogs on the premises? How long have their own dogs lived, and from what have they died? Beware of the person who sells off their adult dogs that are retired from showing and breeding. You want a breeder who loves the breed, not someone who loves to breed.
--How many breeds is this person breeding? Ideally, someone will have a special interest in only one breed (perhaps two). A Jack-of-all-Breeds truly is a master of none. How many litters does the breeder have in any given year? A good breeder may breed one or two litters, or may not breed at all for a year or more between litters. More is never better. Anyone who is producing a large number of dogs is probably doing it at the expense of quality.
--Are the breeder's dogs kennel dogs or house pets? While it is sanitary to keep large numbers of dogs outside in a kennel, you want a breeder who keeps their dogs in the house with the family. Breeders who keep their dogs in kennels may have temperament defects (like excessive dominance) of which they are not even aware. Puppies should be raised inside an active home to begin socializing them to a household environment.
--Will the breeder provide you with the names of their veterinarian and several past purchasers to serve as references? If given a choice, request pet references. Certainly a professional trainer will be able to handle a tough puppy, but what about a family with three kids and a cat? If the latter just loves the temperament of their dog, that speaks volumes. Ask the breeder about the homes that haven't worked out. There are bound to be some. Is the breeder honest that they made a poor placement, sympathetic to someone who underwent a life change that necessitated returning a dog, blunt that they produced a problem dog... or is the breeder bitter and accusatory about the person who bought the dog? Beware of the narrow-minded breeder who places blame on everyone but themselves.
--What kind of guarantees does the breeder offer? Most will offer a replacement puppy or refund of purchase price if your puppy manifests a serious genetic defect. Any responsible breeder will want to keep in touch with you and be informed if your dog develops health problems. The better ones may ask you to have your pet OFA and/or CERF screened when it is old enough (as your dog reflects on their breeding stock). Truly caring breeders will insist that you return your puppy to them if you are unable to keep it for any reason during its entire life.
--Does the breeder expect to sell you a puppy with strings attached? Concerned, responsible breeders will insist that you neuter your pet puppy as soon as it is old enough. They may have you sign a contract to this effect, or they may sell the puppy with limited registration (which means that if you do breed it, you cannot register the offspring). Remarkable breeders will pediatrically neuter puppies before sending them off to their new homes. This is a very good sign in a breeder, so much so that I would be suspicious of any breeder who does not insist on neutering.
--On the other hand, beware of any breeder who tries to sucker you into a breeding contract. They will treat you like you're stupid by flattering you and trying to con you into agreeing to keep your pet intact and breeding one or more litters, giving the breeder back one or more puppies from each litter. This is the biggest scam around. You get stuck with the expense and inconvenience (not to mention health risks) of keeping an intact animal and then providing the breeder with free puppies. If a breeder tries to talk you into this kind of pyramid scheme, find another breeder.
--At what age does the breeder send puppies to their new homes? Avoid any breeder who wants to send home a puppy younger than seven weeks. Many good breeders will release puppies at 8 weeks, but as long as the puppy is being actively socialized, it is arguably better to wait until 10 or 12 weeks.
--What does the breeder do to socialize their puppies? Ask them for specifics. Good breeders will have lots of toys and activities to which to expose their puppies. Mild stress is excellent for making puppies resilient later in life. A breeder who allows their puppies to experience different sounds, surfaces, etc. and meet different people is trying hard. A breeder who keeps their puppies in some sort of ultra-sanitary, almost sterile vacuum is doing the puppies a great disservice. Puppies raised in a kennel should be avoided.
--A good breeder will be very interested in who you are and somewhat choosy about whether you are able to provide an adequate home for one of their cherished pups. A breeder who wants to see your home, your kids, your spouse, your other pets, proof of your fencing, or talk to your veterinarian is simply trying to make sure that you will take good care of their pup. Do not resent this. Good breeders want to keep in touch with you after you've purchased a puppy and will be there for you with support and advice later on. Avoid breeders who take credit card orders over the internet and ship puppies to anyone who wants them. NO responsible breeder will sell a puppy to a pet store or other broker for resale.
--A good breeder will participate in breed rescue efforts for the breed they love. This is important. Anyone who scoffs at breed rescue or is not personally involved in it in any way is someone to be avoided. Often the best place to begin your search for a good breeder is to ask breed rescue volunteers for their recommendations.
--Good breeders think ahead and make reservations in advance for the puppies they will produce. You may have to wait for a puppy, but that's not a bad thing. Beware of someone who first creates puppies and then worries about how to disperse them.
--What does the breeder do for a living? Dog breeding should be an avocation. Avoid anyone who makes their living through breeding dogs! The corners they cut financially may be at your expense.
--Are the premises clean and orderly? Are the breeder’s dogs healthy in appearance? It can be a messy proposition to raise a litter of puppies, but puppies should not be wallowing in waste, covered with fleas, or otherwise appear neglected. Keep in mind that many longhaired bitches will shed their coats heavily during this time, so if the puppies’ mother appears a little ratty it is not necessarily inappropriate or unusual.
--Do you like the temperaments of the puppies' parents? Remember, temperament is genetic! Avoid puppies from bitches that demonstrate any aggression or shyness. Specifically inquire about possessiveness (food and object guarding), inter-dog aggression, defensiveness about being handled, etc. Accept no excuses for undesirable behavior. Don't be afraid to ask the breeder to demonstrate the *****'s good temperament to you.
--Has the breeder or will the breeder allow you to temperament test the litter? While puppy-testing is not especially predictive of adult temperament, it’s an attempt to gauge a puppy’s personality so that it can be best matched with a new owner. Ask the breeder's permission before doing anything to a puppy. No potential buyer has the right to do anything to a puppy which a breeder perceives as potentially harmful.
--Does your breeder respect veterinarians, trainers, groomers, breeders, and other peer professionals in the dog world? Beware of breeders who are paranoid or hostile towards other professionals. One cannot operate competently in a vacuum, and in general, good breeders are socially well-networked. They are liked, like others, and respect competent professionals in their field. A good breeder should make the effort the know other good breeders (especially of their own breed). It is important for a breeder to strive to improve their knowledge and understanding of their breed and submit to peer critique, even if it is not necessarily formalized (as in the show ring).
Most of that list is reasonable except for a few things
1. A responsible breeder--especially of large dogs, may need a kennel. Responsible breeders need a way to keep a female in heat separate from males. 2 I don't know a single breeder that will allow a stranger to "temperament test' All pups in a litter. Temper tests for puppies are very unreliable even when done by a pro trainer. 3 Many vets still will not pediatric sp/neuter. I know, I have tried to find one. And the reasons they do not are very sound. 4 Few rescues will recommend a breeder--rescues have their own dogs to place. 5 I have noticed that fewer and fewer puppy buyers want to be bothered by strangers looking for a "reference", even if they love the dog. Too many crazy people in the world. Some have gone so far as to want to come to the pet owner's home and "discuss" the breeder, which discouraged any more "references".
Ditto to the long laundry list...In a nutshell, if everything seems to check out, but something doesn't seem right, go with your gut.One big factor is if it is a breed with a cropped ear, the ears should be cropped before purchase or arrangements made to have this done for you.I know a woman who breeds for the money,DObermans, and I can give you a few hints that may have been overlooked. This woman finds out in advance what you seek,i.e. a red female, a black male etc.... when the client comes over, she will only get the pups that fit that description, the clients are never taken farther back than the kitchen, and most people are so excited, they forget to ask to see the parents. Just as well, these parents are not socialized, and even though she keeps her pups clean, it is obvious something is amiss, and it's that these pups are not handled much and fear people or avoid them, I did buy a pup from her and noticed right away that she was not the plucky happy type of puppy I breed. When I have a litter of pups, they come running when they see people to be pet and played with. Abby did not and it took 4 months before i could get her, I almost didn't buy her for this reason. Please see all of the dogs on the premise and any good breeder will take you to see the facilities, even if it's just their home and backyard.Heck, I take clients to my barn to see my horse, to show them I know animal husbandry, and if they want to ride her, great. A breeder who sells a pup too young or does not do the requirements for the breed, tail docking, ears cropped, etc is more than likely in it for the money. Oh yeah and you don't ever let a breeder make you feel pressured to buy. You should pressure them to SELL the pup, a good breeder will be reluctant to just let the pups go to whomever has the cash. Good luck and I wish I had a pup for you. You sound like the kind of client I like.
There are a number of breeds that can be cropped or natural. And many that should not be cropped before 5 months old to get the right crop for the head. And few vets are good at this. I have one in my area that breeders as far away as Florida send dogs to for a show crop. This expense and decision should belong to the pet owner--not the breeder.
PixiedustPapillons, What breed gets cropped at five months,I've never heard of one! With dobes it is best left to the breeder since it needs done before twleve weeks nad A pup shouldn't go home much before that. A buyer has a say in the crop but it shouldn't be a choice. A breeder will want there dogs to look 100%.
At five months the crop will not stand,the cartillage will already be how its going to stay without the corrective devices in the ears and that just ridiculus to do. A good cropper won;t touch a dog much after twelve weeks,I've heard up to sixteen but always a warning it probally won;t stand.
***Edited By: joce on 12/9/2005 3:31:15 PM*** Reason: h
You can try to check them out on The Better Business Bureau site. www.bbb.org You probably won't find them unless they are members OR there's been a complaint filed, which of course is the information you're after.
Just something I'd like to add, I also wouldn't buy from anyone who has a USDA permit. This can easily be checked out online with a name or address. Not every puppy will fit the same situation. Hopefully the breeder will try their best to match the personality of the puppy to the right family. For example I wouldn't send a submissive quit pup into a loud, busy home or with samll children.
this is another reason why PAWS is bad and should be defeated. if PAWS passes, the vast majority of reputable show breeders will be forced to get a USDA license. USDA license is a stigma that breeders will have hard time too shake off and will cause many ignorant people to turn away from reputable breeders and go to small BYBs who know nothing about breeding.