Where do you start to look for a responsible breeder or better still, where do you
NOT look.? PLEASE DO NOT LOOK ON Kijiji. If you have ever heard the old saying,
"you get what you pay for," that, unfortunately is what you will get on Kijiji.
NEVER BUY A PUPPY FROM A PET SHOP! Pet shops purchase puppies from
“Puppy Mills” (often in the U.S.). They are usually poor quality specimens, often
riddled with disease and parasites, AND they can have many genetic defects.
Anyone, or almost anyone can call themselves a “breeder.” However all breeders are
not equal. Very often on Kijiji you will see "Registered Breeder." Don't be fooled.
For a mere $50.00 you can have a Basic membership in The Canadian Kennel Club.
For another $168.80 you can Reserve or Register a Kennel Name, and for another
$44.60 you can obtain a tattoo series. Now you are ready to be a "Breeder". It's
pretty easy to do.
A great place to start to look for a reputable breeder is on the Internet, which is, I
suspect how you found this very page you are reading.
Look for the National breed club. For Shelties in Canada it is the Canadian Shetland
Sheepdog Association or CSSA. Another great site is The Sheltie Strut. There are
many links to some very reputable breeder listed there.
So now you have found a breeder you would like to visit.
Be prompt when you visit! Breeders are very busy people, especially when they have
puppies. They have set aside a time for YOU. Be considerate. If for any reason you
cannot make your scheduled appointment, have the courtesy to call and say you
can’t make it. Most importantly, PLEASE DO NOT make appointments to visit more
than one kennel per day. You don't know what parasites, or viruses you could
transmit from the first kennel to the second kennel. The result for the second
breeder could be catastrophic. Above all RESPECT THE BREEDERS RULES. If you
are asked to not pick up puppies, DON’T DO IT. If you are asked TO SIT ON THE
FLOOR to play with puppies DO IT. (We recently had visitor to our home to view
puppies, who did not follow our rules, and the husband stepped on one of the
puppies, causing severe nerve damage. She was our pick puppy, who will never
have a show career due to their carelessness)
Make a list of question you have regarding their kennel, their dogs, availability, price,
(PLEASE DO NOT INSULT THE BREEDER BY TRYING TO GET A PRICE REDUCTION; THAT WILL NOT WARM A
BREEDER’S HEART TOWARDS YOU.) etc. Ask to see where they keep their dogs. If they are
unwilling to show you, what are they hiding? Ask to see the parents. Often a
breeder will not own the sire (father), but do ask to see a photo. You should be able
to see the dam (mother), and if not, ask WHY? Do they show their dogs? Showing
in Conformation is a sure sign that a Breeder is breeding to improve the breed, and
not to improve their pocket book. What about Registration? Will your puppy be CKC
Registered? Don't be afraid to ask questions, but also be prepared to answer the
Breeders questions as well. They will want to know about your previous pets and
what happened to them. Do you have a fenced in yard or dog run? Do you work,
and how long will the puppy be alone during the day? These are all concerns the
serious breeder will have. Bring photos of your pets past & present. Try to keep
your visit to an hour or so. Breeders have puppies to feed, adults to groom, and a
multitude of other chores to take care of.
A good reference from your veterinarian regarding your care of a previous pet can
go a long way in winning your new breeder over.
Irresponsible or "Back Yard" breeders usually don't do health clearances on their
dogs. Very often they simply don't want to spend the money, or perhaps they just
don't care. A responsible breeder will mention OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for
Animals) clearances against hip dysplasia, as well as canine eye-health foundations
such as CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation). Certification numbers from
these organizations should be posted on their web pages. ANY RESPONSIBLE
BREEDER should be happy to show you copies of any testing their dogs have had.
DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK to see them. If a breeder is unwilling or unable to show
you the documentation, chances are they DO NOT HAVE IT. Click HERE to see
examples of what this documentation should look like.
A good and reputable breeder has one goal, and that is to produce a happy healthy
puppy, both for themselves and for YOU. Their litters are well planned, for specific
reasons, and they are very careful to ensure that their special puppies go to the best
Do your homework, do your research and choose your breeder wisely. It WILL be
worth the effort when you bring your new puppy into your life.
After all, you are not purchasing stereo equipment; you are purchasing a wonderful
living, breathing creature that will become a member of your family, bring you
endless hours of enjoyment, and be a very special part of your life.
SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author Bonnie Rector
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