I am just a bit courious why everyone on here seems to think a internet site is automaticly a puppy mill? There are a ton of good breeders who advertise on the internet, no different then if they had an ad in the paper. Many sites are very expensive, and so are websites. I get most of my puppy people from the internet. I don't run a puppy mill, and I am sure there are a few more breeders on here who have websites as well.
It is not a good breeders fault you got a bad puppy. Stop generalizing. There is always a airline ticket. You could have visited the kennel. As far as I am concered a couple hunderd for a airline ticket is better then thousands in vet bills. I flew, and have great dogs.
None of the breeders I consider reputable have their puppies on their websites on a regular basis. They have their dogs, the titles they hold, the health testing they have passed and where they are in their show/working careers. They sometimes have older pups for sale that were held back for show/trial consideration, but for the most part their pups are sold well before they are bred. They only breed every 1.5-2 years as well. Oh and they sure as hell dont have shopping carts on their websites.
Well I guess that means I don't know very many breeders you would consider reputable. including myself. I don't know anyone who has a "shopping cart", and would have to agree with you there. That screams sleeze ball. My pups are sold, but still on my site. I tend to have at least 1 litter a year, it depends on who is in heat, show schedule, etc.
Thanks for your opinion, I was wondering where it was comming from. I consider different things red flags. Take care
I love when breeders have websites. It makes you feel like you know them a little better when you read their info on them, their dogs, and especially pics. Always love the pics. And I like it when they do the virtual tour things of their home and show where there dogs sleep, eat, ect. I find that if they are not embarassed to show their home and dogs and they have good reputation, they are a pretty darn good breeder.
Shelties: Not enough words to describe how much I love them.
I guess I should clarify a little, they may have pics of their pups, but not for sale. I think that websites, much like ads in certain magazines can be good tools to show your dogs and what they can do, but should not be used to peddle pups exclusively. I believe I have seen your website, it has much of what I like to see, it is informative about your dogs, their accomplishments, them as pets, pups you have placed, good information about your breed.
It's the websites that show a few, or often very many, dogs, that say we breed because we love em, no one has health testing or titles, just "champion lineage" that I dont like.
Kind of a somewhat loaded question and I am sure opinions differ. I am an up and coming breeder in my breed. I have good representations of the breed and am proving that in the ring as we speak but because I havnt got to prove my breeding program time and time again as of yet, I don't have alot of the show breeders beating my door down right now. Most of my proving has to be done in the puppies I keep back from my litters to show my self. Most of the puppies I do not hold back for my program are sold as pets and I do use my website to announce the litter and to advertise any remaining pups. If I have a litter I really have high hopes for, I wont even announce it until I have made my selections.
I usually have several people on a waiting list but I also don't take too many names per litter since sometimes I don't know what I will get exactly or what they are wanting (color/gender). If I have more puppies than anticipated then I obviously have some pups unspoken for that I do advertise on my site.
I like to think I have a good site. I have tons of breed info on it and am always adding more, pics and video's of my adult dogs and puppies if I have them. It allows me to post accomplishments and health certs. When I am looking for a dog I prefer they breeder have a website so I can learn more about them. If it is someone I havnt met at shows already or someone whose dogs I have seen being handled but never actually met the breeder/owner.
This is one of those thread were it would be awesome if we could post breeder's sites. It would be so much easier to show a good site verses a bad one. I think a breeder having there own website it great. I think a reputable breeder having a website, gives buyers a chance to see what wrong with a mill site. I'm not keen on sites that are pretty much puppy classifieds, like puppyfinder, b/c the majority of "breeders" that use them are puppymills and BYBs. I know there are some very reputable breeders who use those sites too and I've never said to myself, "Oh they advertise on Petfinder, they must be running a puppymill." In fact a very prominant Maltese show breeder from Pennsylvania advertises on one of them. I will not however direct anyone to one of those sites. A good breeder's site mentions health testing, showing, has some show/performance pics and idealy has some breed info or a link to the parent club. A bad site has no mention of the things above, nothing but puppies, often sitting in coffee mugs or dressed up with feather boas, very few, if any pics of the adults and buy it now features.
I personally don't like shipping. Sorry but that's just how I feel. No one has to go along with me and I realize people do it successfully all the time. There are too many risks for me to have a puppy shipped. I want to see the breeders home (I would never buy at a petstore, flea market or side of the road either) and where my pup and it's parents live. I want to meet the breeder in person and know that I would feel comfortable contacting them for any reason. I also want to see how they interact with their dogs. Too me, I'm adding a family member and driving or flying to visit a breeder is worth it.
For what it's worth, I don't think you are running a puppymill or that you are a BYB and I hope I haven't said anything to offend.
So, this may sound stupid but....What makes a good breader? This is a serious question. I have always gotten my mixed dogs from shelters, newspaper, etc...I would love to get my husband the GSD he has always wanted. Max needs a playmate. I really don't know where to begin? I have seen ads on line...Is that really a bad thing? Help...
Maxpup, GSD are one of those breeds that I would NEVER buy from North American lines, it would have to be German lines. There are breeders that specialize in importing and breeding working GSDs, few will have any AKC conformation titles because they dont have that sloppy roached back gait.
What makes a good breeder to me is someone who breeds from the best they can, all dogs have passed all proper health clearances, have working and conformation titles. They are members in good standing of the parent club, the CKC (I am in Canada), they will back any pup they produce and help with rescue in some way.
Although I work in rescue and don't breed I love to go to some breeders' websites just to look at the pics they ahve there. I see awesome examples of the breed. That doesn't hold true for the people advertising on websites where - in my opinion - they are puppy millers or bybs.
What I look for in a repuatalbe breeder's website is a breeder that isn't trying to sell a lot of different breeds. The dogs aren't allowed to leave until at least 10 weeks old. A check is done on prospective adopters. The breeder does testing prior to breeding the animals. They stand behind the health of their animals - not just a 7 day policy. If the owner can't keep the dog for some reason they work with the person. They do not take the dogs that can no longer be bred to kill shelters for disposal.
I'm sure I'm missing some of the other red flags - but this is a start for me.
Maxpup, I wish you the best of luck in your search. I agree with Tina and NMbasset for the most part. A good breeder will do health testing, prove their dog in conformation and/or working ability. They shouldn't have more than 1 or 2 breeds, 3 at the most and only if it's a similar breed. Say 3 toy breeds or all three sizes of Schnauzers.
I agree that you should avoid North American Showlines, but a lot of the German Imports come from strong working lines and can be a handful for average pet owners. These dogs won't be content just being a pet and need an outside job to keep them happy. That could be good think if you're interested in obedience competition, agility, schutzhund or herding. Maybe you could find a breeder that tries to get the best from both lines? (Just a guess) I know German Rottweilers are a big issue on my Rottie forum. According to the members there, it's only a German dog if it was born there. There are a lot of unscrupulous breeders of Rotties, GSDs and Dobies that use "German" the same way a lot of breeders us "teacup" or "rare color." IMO, a good breeder will differentiate between a German dog and German lines.
I think a lot of good GSDs are coming from Belgium as well, at least I think that's the right country. Maybe you should PM Gunny. I know his breed is Malinois, but he may know some about GSDs. I also suggest you find a good GSD forum. That can be a big help in knowing what lines to avoid, what health problems are prevailent and what to look for in a GSD breeder. If you know any K-9 handlers, you might pick their brains. Some of them are quite knowledgable about imports and may be able to direct you toward a breeder or a dog that didn't make the cut. Some of them are also complete morons, so make sure you are dealing with someone who knows their stuff. The former K-9 officer here was a wealth of knowledge about the breed and training. The new guy can't even get the dog to listen to him.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I am not a "show dog person"...I don't take them to show, breed, or any other purpose. I really don't care if it has papers so to speak...I just want to get from a good breeder to make sure we get a healthy dog. I was just not sure what to look for because I don't show them and have no knowledge with registered dogs. I appreciate the feedback. I am going to try and research...
GSDs, even puppies used to be pretty easy to find in shelters. Now labs and pit mixes are more common, but it's still worth looking into. I understand not caring about showing etc, even though it's something I'd like to get involved with. The reason you usually want to go with a breeder who shows or works their dogs, is b/c the rest usually just breed for $. Health testing would cut into to profits so they either don't do it at all, or do as little as possible. Either that or their breeding their dogs (who probably came from a mill) b/c they're cute and they have no idea about health testing is. Look aroung this forum and see how many people say, "I took them to the vet." That's not health testing. Testing isn't necessarily pass/fail either and breeders have the option of making things like OFA results public. So it's possible for a dog to be tested, have bad results and still be bred. It's important to see the results or know that they are posted with the OFA. The reason a lot of people don't like GSD show lines is b/c the dogs are bred to have a severely angled stance. That stance is related to all kinds of hip, spinal and muscular problems. Good luck and keep asking questions. Your welcome to PM me. I'll help as much as I can.
I agree talk PM gunny, he is a member on here and ver knowledgeable about them.
Like was said you dont go to a "show dog breeder" because you want a show dog, you go to one because you want a healthy pup. They are putting often 10's of thousands into their dogs, they are breeding, showing and trialing their dogs because they LOVE the breed not because they love the money.
I also wanted to add that personally I will not buy from a breeder with any less than a 5 year health guarantee, that covers what they health test for.
Thanks ruffian for clarifing, and I want to thank everyone for their opinions. I was just courious becuase I see it so often mentioned. I couldn't tell you have many sites I skipped over trying to find my girls. I my breed there are so many puppy mills and back yard breeders. The most famous line I hear is My dogs don't have a problem, so I don't test. I had that line.
I think it depends on the breeder - and maybe the breed. Honestly, the general public would have a lot easier time finding a GOOD breeder is more advertised better. As a pet owner, I found the best breeders unapproachable. They didn't answer their e-mails as quickly as the puppymills. I couldn't find out the information I wanted to know (about the parents, availability, etc...) without e-mailing or calling - and even then, it was hard to get my questions answered without going through an intense screening process before they would even tell me "how much". (and when you're on a budget - you need to know that so you can decide if that breeder is in your price range or if you need to save up more, budget better, etc... - if they are $200 a puppy more than you already have, but you like them as a breeder, you need to be able to say "I can't swing a puppy from THIS litter - but please let me know when your next one arrives".
A very reputable Sheltie breeder that I know (shows, tests, has well socialized, happy, healthy dogs, is an active member of her local breed club) has a great website. She advertises her available puppies. It doesn't make her a bad breeder. It makes her more accessible.
And the thing is - the average pet owner with any common sense is going to see her site, her puppies, her dogs, her policies, and realize that the puppymill sites are selling low quality dogs for about the same price or just slightly less. She's accessible, answers her e-mails an phone calls, is easy to talk with... It makes a difference.
One of my mentors has been having trouble finding pet homes for puppies. They are excellent breeders. They USUALLY sell most of their puppies in their immediate area and a large percentage to repeat buyers. But they haven't had time to keep their website current and they don't advertise. They don't take regular pictures of their puppies. And because they work and show sometimes it's 3-4 days before they return a phone call (because the care of the dogs and their families are the priority). So what they have been placing is only to repeat buyers or referrals from previous buyers and in their immediate area, there just hasn't been the interest lately. They have 1 litter right now that are 8 weeks old... only 1 of the 6 puppies is going to work for show and they only have a pet deposit on one puppy... they have a waiting list - but the people want something different than what is left available in the litter... They are pretty, sound, correct puppies. Both parents have all their testing done. The sire is an AKC champion and the dam is major pointed. They have a good health guarantee. They have been raised in their home with lots of socialization.... To me, this means "advertise or plan on keeping some of the puppies until they are 6 months old"... Is THAT fair to the puppy?
And in some breeds you CAN take a waiting list for puppies and make SURE they are sold before the litter is bred. With Golden Retreivers, you know what you're going to get color wise. With Shelties we have A LOT of variables present...This litter was a Bi-Blue male bred to a Sable female. That leaves A LOT of possibilities regarding color (Sable, Sable Merle, Tri-color, Bi-Black, Blue Merle, Bi-Blue and since both parents were White Factored, there is also a chance any of those could be Color Headed Whites)... if your whole waiting list wants Sables and you only got Sable Merles... or if they want a Blue Merle and you got Bi-Blues... sometimes that means you leave people sitting on the list and need to still find homes for puppies. Or with Shelties, if they want a 13 inch Sheltie and the whole litter is going to be more like 16 inches... or if they desperately want a female and you only have male puppies...
It's just knowing the difference between the breeders who are doing their part and the lazy, unethical ones.
I was actually on one of these sites last night. I have to say I was suprised by all the show breeders that advertised on that site. A few were recommended to me through other sources, so I know they are good breeders. (Just goes to show, you can find the good breeders through alternate sources.) In their individual ads, the picture is from a dog show (not a dressed up 5wk puppy) and health testing is mentioned in the ad and on their web site. Of course the ultimate in skeezy puppy brokers advertises on the same site (you know, the former *). I really wish they would go out of business!
***Edited By: lpn169 on 5/4/2009 3:19:12 AM*** Reason: Removed kennel name