Don’t be put off by breeders’ questions while searching for your next furry family member. Although reputable breeders will likely keep the pick of the litter because they strive to better their breed, they also want to sell their carefully bred pups to loving owners. It’s a red flag if they don’t ask any questions.They may only breed to sell puppies to anyone and see dollar signs when they look at a puppy. Chose your breeder carefully. (See: http://www.caryunkelbach.com/choosing-a-reputable-dog-breeder/ )
Before calling or visiting your chosen breeder, think about the questions that you may be asked:
- Why have you chosen their particular breed?
- Why do you want a puppy?
- Have you had puppies/dogs before? If so, how long did they live?
- Do you have a fenced-in backyard?
- Will someone be at home during the day to care for the puppy? If not, how will the pup be cared for while you are at work?
- Do you have any children? What are their ages?
- Have your children been around other dogs and puppies?
- Do you have any other dogs at home? What are their ages and have they interacted with puppies?
- How did you learn about the breeder?
Be forthright with your answers and honest with yourself. Evaluate carefully if you have the time, resources and interest for a new furry family member. If during the interview process, you realize that now is not the right time for a puppy, let the breeder know before you take the pup home. A puppy may only cause additional stress if you are going through a job change, a move, divorce or caring for a seriously ill family member.
If a mutual acquaintance or friend has referred you, don’t be surprised if the breeder contacts that person. The breeder wants some assurance that you will provide a good, life-long home for their canine. That’s a good indication that the breeder doesn’t want to sell to anyone but looks for prospective owners who won’t tire of a puppy’s antics and abandon or give the pup away.
Expect more questions when you meet breeders in person. Although you’ve passed their preliminary screening, they will look for additional assurance that you offer a good home.
Don’t rush the visit. This is a good chance for you to get to know your breeder and vice versa. They may ask you additional questions similar to these:
- What qualities are you looking for in a pup?
- Are you looking for a family member?
- Are you thinking about competing at dog performance events or hunting with your new family member?
- Do you intend to take the pup to puppy kindergarten and later some obedience classes?
- Where will the pup sleep at night?
- Where will he sleep once he is older?
- Do you expect to take the puppy on family vacations? If not, what arrangements will you make while you are gone?
- Do you intend to spay or neuter your new family member?
- Do you have a veterinarian?
A good breeder will take time to explain the use of crates and the advisable age for neutering or spaying a dog. There is research which shows that neutering and spaying shouldn’t occur before the dog is two years old. See: https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/neutering-health-effects-more-severe-golden-retrievers-labradors
Reputable breeders also will address the breed’s health issues and may ask:
- Do you understand there are no absolute guarantees about certain diseases in this breed such as hip and elbow dysplasia?
They should make you comfortable that you can call them with questions or concerns. If for some unforeseen reason, you find out later that you can’t keep your pup, let the breeder know so that they can help rehome the canine.
Many times, breeders will just chat with prospective puppy owners to glean information and assess whether they will probably provide a stable home for their pup. But their questions may be more direct. They may ask about your work and your family life to evaluate if you have the time, resources, commitment and interest in providing a good forever home or whether buying a puppy is a passing whim.
Remember that many reputable breeders spend a considerable amount of time, effort and money on the breeding, health care and training.They are invested in finding the best possible loving homes. Keeping these thoughts in mind should help alleviate any concerns that breeders are asking unnecessary and pointed questions. The sale of the pup is a two-way street.
Breeders don’t have to sell you a pup. They may refuse to do so because they don’t think your home and lifestyle will be a good fit for their puppy. Sometimes this may just be a gut feeling. Don’t take the rejection personally. Look for other quality breeders if you know that you’ll provide a terrific home for a new furry family member. There will be the right breeder out there! Good luck with your search!
Photo of yellow pup on main Blog page is of Layla’s great granddaughter: Snowberrys Keeping Secrets at Alibi, bred by Lisa Butler, and owned by Kim Jacobsen, Scott Jacobsen and Lisa Butler.
Carefully consider whether you are ready for a new furry friend by reading a fun post by Leadville author and dog lover Laurel McHargue: http://leadvillelaurel.com/dont-get-a-dog/