Asking a reputable breeder if they are a puppy mill is an insult. It’s like asking a women that has several children if she neglects or even cares about her children. Do you really think a puppy mill owner is going to say “YES we are a puppy mill.”… The term ‘puppymill’ has been used so loosely that it has lost its meaning. A puppy mill by definition is a puppy farm that has many breeds of dogs breeding for profit with no care of improving the breed, kept in dirty disease and bacterial infected cages their whole lives not receiving adequate vet care as needed and no care as to who buys the puppies. In many cases they have hundreds of dogs. Many people consider commercial breeders a puppy mill because the fact they have many dogs in cages. Asking a respectful breeder if they are a puppy mill is the quickest way to get black listed from ever getting a puppy from them. Why? Because if absolutely anything negative happens with the puppy at any time in its life you already have this stereo type in your head and all of sudden your puppy came from a “puppy mill”. ” Now if u have questions that are respectful and dignified about the breeding program of any reputable breeder such as current pups, or past pups a good breeder will be happy to answer them as any reputable breeder would. Here is a list of questions you should ask if you want to see if you are dealing with a reputable breeder or not. I have also included my answers to these questions as regarding our breeding program. When you ask these questions ask them as if you are local, even if you are not, a person is less likely to be deceptive if they know you can come check out their answers.
1. Are you licensed with the state or USDA? If they own more than 4 breeding females it is required to be state licensed. If they ship their pups site unseen to other states then it is required to be USDA licensed. If they say they are licensed ask for their license numbers. If they are not licensed, and should be, then no one is checking up on them yearly and they are in fact being fraudulent and dishonest, so not a reputable breeder. How honest are they going to be with the puppy buyer if they are dishonest with their business practices.
2. Ask to meet the dogs parents. If possible, meet the puppy’s parents. Notice if they appear to be in good health and evaluate their overall temperament. Are they shy, aggressive, or well adjusted? I personally only have a handful of adults that live at my home. Most our breeding dogs live in guardian homes as family pets or other family and friends that breed their own breeds. I can send pics of the parents and all their info and same for the available puppies. We can always discuss the temperaments of parents and puppies and you are always welcome to see the dogs and puppies that are at my home. For Cocker Spaniels you can see parents and puppies at Deborah’s house in Kansas City. Nita breeds some of our Poodles and her home is also open for you to visit if you ask her….etc….
3. Ask how often the parent dogs see a vet and if they are given vaccines and wormings and how often, also if there are any known health problems with parents or past puppies. How often are mothers bred? Our adults see a vet at least once a year for an overall check up and to get their rabies vaccine. We also give them a booster vaccine yearly and are given wormers monthly. We breed our females twice in a row then they get a year off. and some females are bred once a year.
4. Ask for testimonials or references with contact info for past buyers. We have a TESTIMONIAL page that has past buyers and their email address.
5. How are puppies socialized and what training have they had? Please read the TRAINING page of our website for info on this.
6. What does the breeder do to make sure puppy is going to a good home, and will breeder take the puppy back if it does not work out at its new home? We will ask to speak to you on the phone. I do not believe in long questionnaires but ask to speak to the buyer to get a better impression on what they are wanting and if they are a good fit for our puppies. We are always able to take the puppy back if you feel it is not a good fit for your family and find it another home.
7. Is there a health guarantee or puppy contract? We give a one year against any life threatening genetic defect. It is a couple pages long because it goes through everything we will and will not cover. Never buy a puppy with just a short hand shake or one paragraph type of health contract. If you do that then all of a sudden your puppy’s issue is not covered. Always ask for the puppy health contract and any purchase agreement before placing payment for a puppy from any breeder. Contracts are a good thing, they keep everything black and white and do not give room for misinterpretation so help keep a healthy breeder / new puppy buyer relationship.
8. Finally ask what makes them a reputable breeder in their opinion? Ask how they are different then the next breeder? We are a group of friends and family, I also stud out my males, and have a couple of breeder friends that do the same. Our adults are loved family pets and I would not choose a different way to do it. That is why we have different breeds available. All are well socialized and with training started. We never have more than a couple of litters available in each breed at any one time so puppies get the attention they need. I personally breed for the Giant Schnauzers and only have a handful of parents that live at my home. I co-own the other parents with people I trust. I am very picky how all our puppies are raised. I am also available to talk to you 24/7 if you receive a puppy from me personally. The same goes for my friends and family that sell pups on this website. We are all available to the person who adopted our personal puppy.
I hope these questions help you in your search of a new family member, even if not one of our pups… Please read over the website. There is many different pages with tons of information for before and after you receive your puppy. Thanks, Tina