Good dog breeders are usually dedicated enthusiasts
of a particular breed, their only aim in
producing a litter being to improve and better
their breed in terms of temperament, health
and conformation. This is achieved by selecting
only the best, most suitable male (stud dog)
to mate with the most suitable female of
that particular breed. However, it’s not
as simple as it may sound and all breeders
are not equal. Buying a pup from an unethical
breeder can end in tears, so please read
on to discover more about the often murky
world of dog breeders.
You will find the best dog breeders
spent years upon years studying their
breed (normally after years of owning
learning about canine genetics, health
behaviour and, when they are confident
are up to the job, researching everything
involved with dog breeding from mating
whelping to rearing litters to finding
homes and supporting the new owners
the need arise. Good dog breeders are
themselves mentored by other good breeders
who are often even more experienced
about the chosen breed.
Unethical Dog Breeders
Those who breed dogs purely for financial
gain are frowned upon in the dog world,
not without good reason. Most of the
those trying to make a quick buck out
dog breeding are unethical breeders.
breeders care little for the dogs they
and they don’t give a hoot about the
that they ‘pass on’ to the unsuspecting
(which may only manifest themselves
in the dog’s life). Some unethical
are also referred to as puppy farmers
backyard breeders. Puppy farmer is
the label given to those breeders whose
purpose is to produce (farm) as many
as they possibly can without a care
world for the health - present or future
- of the pups or that of their studs
bitches. They rarely test their breeding
stock for ailments and disease as recommended
by the respective breed clubs – meaning
may be born with certain diseases or
an increased predisposition to such
or other illnesses. If you buy from
farmer, they win, you lose - they are
with the money they make, but you cry
tears when your poorly-bred pup has
put to sleep 6 months down the line
of a disease it contracted or was born
due to the puppy farmer not bothering
health test the parents. The best way
stop unethical breeders is to not buy
them – if they stop making money they’ll
stop breeding and the chain of misery
Backyard breeders is the label given to people
who know little about dogs (let alone
and decide to mate their bitch with
stud dog (probably also owned by another
unethical dog breeder) in an effort
a quick buck. They generally use a
number of excuses to justify the breeding,
but these are often just a mask to
underlying motive, money. However,
don’t realize is that a number of complications
can lead to them spending more money
they ever imagined or worse, their
Ethical Dog Breeders
Anyway let’s get back to good dog breeders.
Ethical breeders, as they are generally
to, are the complete opposite of the
dog breeders we just talked about.
breeders can invest thousands of pounds
the best possible ‘stock’, sometimes
going to the expense of travelling
to view that stock on numerous occasions.
They will also spend a great deal of
and time in owning, showing and learning
as much as humanly possible about their
breed as well as studying all aspects
breeding and taking time off work to
after the litter when they are born.
not uncommon to find that the good,
dog breeders rarely make much money
breeding, because they generally invest
they have (and sometimes lots they
in the breeding and bettering of the
How to find a good Dog Breeder?
So where do you find a good dog breeder?
First you should research your chosen
as much as possible, and pay particular
to anything which is specific to your
– especially which illnesses it may
to and what health tests are recommended
by the breed’s breed club. Having a
background knowledge about your breed
make it easier for you to tell which
are devoted experts and which ones
Ask lots of questions of any breeder
contact, and don’t be afraid to try
them out about health tests etc – the
breeders really won’t mind such questions,
in fact they will appreciate the fact
you have gone to the trouble to learn
the breed you are considering bringing
Take a look at breeder guidelines set
by dog clubs and societies such as
Club, and Breeders Charters which sites
Dogsey ask any breeders wishing to
them to adhere to. You could always
them out and ask the breeder the questions
over the phone.
Most good dog breeders have a waiting
so be prepared to wait for a pup. Consequently
you rarely find these dog breeders
puppies for sale either in free-ad
or other printed publications – generally
it is sufficient for them to get ‘listed’
as a breeder with their respective
club and on an all breeds website (like
that has set out a strong and clear
of ethics (Breeders Charter) that those
wishing to list their details must
to adhere to.
Unfortunately there is little legislation
to protect you when buying from unethical
breeders, so you really do need to
that extra bit of time before going
buying a pup – it may help ensure your
is healthier and happier in the long
and could save you a lot of money and
WHERE TO BUY A PUREBRED DOG
By Laurel Tofflemire
From what resource would you have the best
chance of finding a nice
healthy pet with lifetime of support from
it's breeder? I feel it is odds on
from the hobbyist show breeder. While anyone
who produces a planned registered
litter is a dog "breeder", some
hardly fit the traditional meaning. Today
need to define breeder farther. Please remember
there are personally honorable
and less than honorable people in each group
and that AKC papers are NOT a
guarantee of quality.
Very responsible or they don't rate the designation. Their dogs are their pets
as well as show dogs. Often their "kennels" include the couch or bed. The
hobbyist feels the only reason to breed is to strive to produce the ideal dog of
their breed. They breed "the best to the best" no matter how much time, research,
money and effort it costs. They are creating a work of art and have thoroughly
educated themselves .Having champions in the pedigree proves nothing toward
breeding quality of an individual. Therefore they breed a dog only after they
prove themselves in their field, be that a show Champion, a hard pulling sled
dog, or a good sheepdog or retriever. They do all available genetic screening
for known health problems in their breed. They spay or neuter any dogs that
produce health problems, no matter how beautiful, or how much they have won.
They breed to the written standard of excellence for their breed, not to a
showring fad. These breeders are committed to every dog they produce for life.
Expect pet quality to be sold on spay/neuter contracts only to protect the breed
and written guarantees to protect you. Many only sell their puppies by referral,
although some do advertise in the paper or magazines. They would not trust their
mother to screen a prospective home, let alone a retail pet shop. When you have
located a hobby breeder expect to be grilled about your home and life and maybe
to wait a awhile for a puppy. You may even run into resistance when you ask
about buying their dogs. Best to ask price last, it may well depend on how good
of home they think your family will be! The hobbyist is surprised if they break
even on a litter because they invest so much "doing it right". When you do
acquire a puppy from a true hobby breeder you will be joining a new family,
So how do you find the quality kennels and Hobby Breeders? Your local kennel
club should have a breeders list. Also visit the dog show calendar at AKC's
site, at Infodog or inquire with your local kennel club to find a dog show
nearby to attend. It is a great place to find out more about the breed you are
interested in and talk to the breeders. The extra effort will be well worth the
Large Show or Working Breeding Kennels
May expect a profit and produce numerous litters for the show and pet market.
They do not make their profit by cutting costs, but by increasing their price
based on their reputation. They sometimes do genetic testing , not quite with
the "in home raised" attention a hobby breeder can give. Sometimes I feel they
do not have the time to properly mentor the people to whom they sell pets and
show/breeding potential dogs. When people, new to the dog show sport, get
frustrated if they don't instantly win, they breed the dog to "get their money
back" adding to the backyard category. These large operations are less than
willing to take dogs back as older dogs because of the numbers involved and add
to rescue problems. These breeders sell their own dogs, pets may be sold on spay/neuter
contracts. They often advertise in the national dog magazines.
Commercial Breeder, USDA licensed (Puppy Mill or Puppy
These are wholesalers, the government considers this agriculture, they produce a
product to sell for profit and that is their only reason for raising dogs. To do
so they must keep costs down, so puppies are only guaranteed to arrive live at a
broker's or pet store and so ends their involvement. The dogs get the bare
minimum in quality of care and food. Genetic testing for heath problems is rare.
Some raise their dogs in clean kennels or on wire floors in raised cages (like
rabbits) and so are in reasonably good condition when they are shipped. But
puppy factories seldom socialized the pups, so many have lifelong behavior
problems. The adults are livestock. Once they produce as many litters as they
can they are usually either killed or sold at auction. The worst puppy mills are
too horrible to describe here, suffice to say, short cuts in costs often lead to
suffering and abuse. Most puppies are sold to pet shops. The new scam in larger
cities, are "Breeders Outlets" and clever "home" retailers that advertise in the
local paper to hide their puppy mill origin, watch out for one phone number
advertising several breeds.
Starts with a family breeding their beloved pet. The majority of purebred dogs
come from this category in many popular breeds and the majority of purebred dogs
in rescue or destroyed in pounds. Their reason to breed is honorable but
uneducated; they think it will be fun (wait till the thousandth dirty newspaper
or the midnight visit to the vet), They think they can make back the purchase
price of their dog (The hobby breeders who do it "right" lose money on most
litters), they want the children to see a birth (At 3 AM most kids are not
interested enough to stay awake), because their friend or relative wants one too
(They don't consider what they will do with the other six dogs they brought into
the world, if no one calls off the ad in the paper so many end up in shelters).
Most don't get involved enough to know if the dog is breeding quality and breed
to the closest male they can find. Some are sold as registerable when papers
were lost do to lack of paperwork, and the litter will never be registered at
all. The majority are sold locally through newspaper ads and the responsibility
ends with the sale. Often they do not have the knowledge to properly raise a
healthy socialized litter or to help the new owner with any problem that might
arise. Some backyard breeders turn into small time unlicensed puppy mills,
keeping a few bitches to breed for profit without consideration of quality or
health concerns, and selling them locally.
A retail pet shop, no matter how clean or well run, will only have stock from
the above two sources. If they say their dogs come from local breeders, it will
be of the backyard variety. The sales people can not know each breed like a
hobby breeder knows their own. Many do not care if the breed or individual puppy
will be right for you, most will be more than willing to make the sale. The
average pet store's commitment to the dog is a 48 hour guarantee at best.
Copyright Laurel Tofflemire 1998-2005 . This
article may be used freely but only in it's
entirety and with credit on the web or in
REPUTABLE DOG BREEDERS
By Gina Heitz
A reputable breeder feels responsibility toward the breed, toward the dogs he or
she breeds and to the families who choose to live with dogs from their kennel.
Support after placement is an investment of the heart, and provides personal
gain through satisfaction of knowing that dogs from their kennel are placed in
loving homes as family members, not just animals…
Affiliation, a reputable breeder will hold membership with the national breed
club, in the case of the Golden Retriever, that affiliation is; The Golden
Retriever Club Of America www.grca.org. In addition they may belong to their
local breed club and one or more performance club/All Breed Kennel Club.
Passion and responsibility is what set's apart a true responsible breeder from
some one that just raises dogs. A responsible breeder is motivated to create
perfection; Puppy raisers and dog dealers are motivated to make a profit only.
Reputable breeders will carefully screen potential new owners, most sell with
awritten agreement, that provides for the dog and they will ALWAYS take a dog
back at any time for ANY reason, regardless of age or health. States or puts it
in writing, that they must be consulted regarding the re homing of a dog from
their kennel. Insisting that they must approve the new home.
A reputable breeder will show you the pedigree and appropriate clearances for
both sire and dam as well as ancestors, explain the bloodlines, heritable traits
etc. You will usually be invited to visit the puppies and the mother, when the
breeder feels the time appropriate. Prior to having puppies most breeders are
willing to have you come to visit more freely and usually encourage this. After
the puppies are born, there are factors, which each breeder takes into account
and may limit visits and have rules regarding the handling of puppies. Please
respect the wishes of the knowledgeable breeder here.
What to look for when you visit:
1. Cleanliness. Normal dog odors are unavoidable, and puppies are not bathed
until close to go home. Adult dogs and the facilities should be clean. Puppies
should appear to be clean and in good condition. It's perfectly ok to inquire
about routine management of environment.
2. Attitude. Happy, healthy, well-cared for puppies are bright-eyed, energetic,
and curious about strangers. Mom's depending on how old the puppies are can look
a bit rag tag, and will have coat loss due to normal hormonal changes. Other
dogs on site should look happy healthy and well cared for.
3. Appearance. Are all the dogs on site clean and groomed? Remember that puppies
can be messy, but unkept adults on site is a sign of neglect.
4. Behavior. An additional health factor and a very important point to observe
and question; unhealthy or injured puppies will usually behave differently than
the rest of the litter. A reputable breeder will take notice of this and not
offer for placement a puppy that is "off". A reputable breeder will be able to
tell you something about each puppy and it's general attitude in the pack and
away from the pack. Ie: how each puppy interacts with children, adults, other
pets and other environmental factors.
5. Information. A reputable responsible breeder will supply a pedigree, not just
show a display of pedigree and awards their dogs have obtained. A breeder will
provide you with written feeding instructions and a feeding schedule. A lot of
hand outs in a package called the go home book. You should be provided with the
puppy's immunization record and schedule, listing the dates and types of
vaccines used, worming and other pertinent medical info. Pedigree and
registration papers do not guarantee health or quality. Any dog that is pure
bred from registered purebred parents of the same breed are registrable with the
AKC and other registries.
6. References. Ask for a list of others who have dogs from the breeder. A
reputable breeder should gladly give you several contacts. Ask if they would
purchase another dog from the same kennel. As well ask for references from other
breeders of the same breed, this breeders peers.
7. Written Contracts. The written contract should be reviewed and explained in
depth. Be sure to go over the terms of the contract and ask questions. Often
breeders misuse the word guarantee in place of warrantee. Be sure that you are
getting a warrantee. No one can guarantee you health and temperament.
8. What warrantees do they offer? What penalties are imposed for violation of
contract? Be cautious of contracts/warrantees that that have conditions in them
that you might not understand or feel are unreasonable. Ask for further
explanation and/or amendment to parts of any agreement you do not feel you can
uphold. Remember a contract is legally binding and by entering into any contract
you are saying yes I agree.
9.The pup will come with AKC registration, and "pet puppies" not intended for
breeding, should be placed only on a limited registration. The registration
application form must be completed and signed by the breeder per AKC rules and
regulations at the time of placement if available. If not available, a bill of
sale should be given, until the registration application is received by the
breeder from the AKC.
10. Some breeders will only provide registration applications after all fees
have been paid, and/or spaying/neutering is proven, etc. This depends upon the
contract and the breeder and is perfectly reasonable and legal.
11. A reputable breeder will allow some time (min. 48 hours to 10 days) for
return of pup/dog, in the same condition as time of sale, for any reason with
full refund of purchase price. (?) This allows you time to have your pup
examined by your own vet. However, remember a reputable breeder will take back
any dog for any reason regardless of age. You may not receive a refund if it is
determined you are the cause of the reason for return, or may be asked to wait
to receive a refund pending investigation of such.
What You should Expect over all:
1. Sells by written contract. Or has presented you with a good verbal agreement
you feel comfortable with. At the very least some sort of a written agreement is
strongly encouraged. Even a simple document that states the basics of the
breeders intent to be responsible for the dog and fair with you as the new owner.
2. Sells puppies with a health statement and some promise of a warrantee given
there might be a problem down the road. Not all reputable breeders care to spell
out exactly what they will warrantee in a document, and this should be respected
and appreciated. For instance in many warrantees there are conditions such as,
but not limited to the warrantee is null and void if you feed anything other
than brand XXX feed. Or if you allow your dog to be run on uneven ground the
warrantee is null. Written warrantees are only as good as what is written. A
verbal agreement in many cases is much more user friendly and often will cover
more than the basics.
3. Insists upon getting the dog back if the buyer is no longer able to keep the
4. Does not have more litters than they can keep well groomed and well
5. Tests breeding stock for known hereditary diseases and breeds with the aim of
decreasing the incidence of such diseases. Does not breed affected animals of
even unknown hereditary diseases.
6. Is very concerned with producing puppies with excellent temperaments and
7. Can identify each puppy and chart its growth and development from birth.
8. Is willing to help educate you and answers questions about the breed and
their individual dogs. May supply a forum for sharing on line with others who
live with dogs from the kennel, a list group. Or sends out kennel updates and/or
questionnaires. Or simply contacts you with some degree of frequency, or
requests that you keep in contact. Remember a responsible reputable breeder is
in high demand and while they are interested it might be up to you to make the
9. Wants to be informed of any health or temperament issues puppies might
develop through out the lifetime of each dog. As well as positive information.
10. Is available for help, advice, and education to the buyer throughout the
life of the puppy/dog.
SO YOU WOULD LIKE TO BECOME A BREEDER...
It's not cheap to breed dogs and you sure
don't get rich doing it but here is
info on how to start as a good breeder
When you plan to breed have a waiting
of homes ready and waiting long before
need them, most good breeders do.
Join your nearest Alaskan Malamute Club and
become an active member.
Seek out an experienced reputable breeder
to become your mentor.
Become active in conformation showing and
/ or working sports.
Read the Alaskan Malamute Standard thousands
of times and ask as many questions as you
wish to, so you fully understand what a Alaskan
Malamute should be.
Start a savings account so you have plenty
of money for health testing, stud fee's,
whelping costs, vaccinations, worming etc
etc... you will need a fair bit tucked away
for all this.
Wait until they are at least 2 years old,
and get all the proper health clearances
first, (CHD, HD, CERF, etc. and NOT breed
if ANY of them are not clear). Understand
that there are other problems which mean
a dog should not be bred with... like bad
temperaments. Are you going to show them
to their championship?
Get to know Mals 'bloodlines', your mentor
will be invaluable here.
Understand genetics - Have you read books
on dog genetics and do you understand how
certain traits are inherited? Your mentor
will help as well but read, read and do more
reading on genetics. Your Alaskan Malamute
club mentor will be able to recommend several
Most important, become active in helping
with Alaskan Malamute Rescue / Educating
the public about Mals.
Having a litter of puppies may seem like
a lot of work but realize that the
of the Breed lies in you hands, it
is a huge
Consider the Responsible Breeder
1 - Care about each dog you bring into this
world. Treat it as part of your extended
family when you place it in a new home.
Take positive steps to make sure the
you create will never land in a shelter
in rescue. Take the time to become
with shelter dogs. Volunteer and you
be able to help some dogs and have
vision about what kinds of dogs end
the shelter. Do what you can to make
your dogs don't end up dead before
Make sure that you have homes for the puppies
before the sire and dam ever meet.
deposits to encourage commitment.
Interview interested parties to ensure they
are a suitable match for the dogs you
be placing. Verify the information
Be honest about the qualities of the dogs
you are placing. Explain the good points,
and the not so good.
Never promote your puppies in a way to encourage
reluctant buyers. If they need a special
price or some incentive to buy they
the right home for your puppies.
It must be very clear that the person taking
home your puppy chooses to do so. No
gifts no matter how earnest the belief
the giftee wants the dog.
Promise to take in, or help place,
puppies you have caused to be created,
matter how old they are.
Remain available to serve as a resource,
advise and support for typical problems
in raising, training and caring for
Take positive steps to ensure that
you produce are a source of joy, not
Know the typical genetic diseases for your
breed. Test for them, and do not breed
dog that may pass on serious genetic
Do not let your love for your dog make
blind to your obligation to others.
dog may be healthy, but may still pass
serious genetic disease. Do what you
to avoid causing heartache.
Do not breed your dog if you have no
on the health and fitness of both the
of your dog, and its prospective mate.
need more than a single generation
a good decision.
Research the pedigree for your dog (and any
prospective mate). Find out the health
temperament of your dog's siblings,
siblings, cousins, aunt, uncles, parents
Get an education in basic genetics
you understand why two dogs that are
healthy can produce puppies that will
serious genetic disease.
Make sure that the dogs you produce
of a full and happy life, sound in
body and temperament. Recognize that
physical health is not enough; the
be raised to be great companions too.
Even if you love your dog very much, and
can forgive its faults of temperament,
not breed overly timid or aggressive
Understand that your love of your dog can
make you blind to its faults.
An outside eye will help both you and
puppy buyers know that your opinions
more than just wishful thinking.
There are plenty of good "just
in the shelters, if that is the best
can produce you aren't making the world
dogs any better.
Obtain an objective evaluation of the health
and fitness of your dog by testing
a manner appropriate to the breed,
activity, e.g. obedience, agility,
tracking, search and rescue, stockdog
conformation, flyball . . . The goal
increase the probability that the dogs
bring into this world will make a good
You do this by demonstrating skills
intelligence, problem solving ability,
or persistence, bidability or desire
stability of temperament among other
and showing soundness and physical
Ensure that the necessary time is invested
to produce puppies that will make good
If you own the sire ensure that the
you are responsible for creating will
the necessary time and attention.
In most cases a responsible person
to be home full time from one week
the dam is due to whelp until the last
is in its new home.
Provide the best opportunity for building
self-confidence and individual identity.
Give each puppy individual attention
from its littermates on a daily basis.
A person who cares about producing
best out of their puppies will limit
breeding. In most breeds that means
than one litter at a time because one
is about all the time one human has
If you don't want to have the same
for the progeny of your dogs then insist
the dogs you produce be spayed or neutered.
Remember, you are the one in control.
can require agreement by contract.
insists on irresponsible breeding you
have to be a part of it. Use your power
contract to educate, and to enforce
role as a responsible breeder.
Contribute to the future well being
Support and participate in programs
to collect and maintain standardized
on the health of dogs. Centralized
will provide a tool to better enable
breeders to spot and avoid problems.
Don't breed a very young dog. Mere
ability to bear puppies is not enough.
dog needs to be completely physically
mentally mature. In most breeds that
at least two years old.
Learn the risks before breeding. Decide
your goals are worth risking the life
health of your dog.
Never sell without a written contract.
sure the contract is clear to both
Make sure the contract is fair to both
you. Think about it from both sides
seller and the buyer, and always keep
mind the best interests of the dogs.
is a sample of a guarantee from a contract.
Make sure the buyer has an opportunity
review the contract without feeling
Send it to them in advance, or otherwise
insist that they review it before they
to taking a puppy home. Ask them to
down any questions or concerns so you
go over them together. That protects
of you. You want the person to understand
both their rights and their obligations.
Don't expect the buyer to read the
on their own even if you do give it
in advance. Go over the most important
with them, and have them initial that
in the contract. Try your best to make
buyer feel comfortable about asking
Make sure you know the laws and rules
may affect you. Check to see whether
Lemon Law , local regulations and ordinances
or the rules of your breed registry
Too many Malamute
puppies are produced every year and that
there just are not enough potential
owners to go around that are qualified to
own a Malamute. This breed sometimes
attract people who simply have no idea the
work involved in making them good
pets. It's HARD to find good homes for Malamute
puppies. Also, they are your
responsibility to take back for re-coming
- even 3, 5, 10 years from now! Do
have the facilities to house these "return"