Questions to ask a dog breeder.

questions to ask a dog breeder

You may be wondering what questions to ask a dog breeder before you purchase a new puppy.

Dog breeders spend a lot of time responding to inquiries about their dogs and puppies.

A lot of buyers come armed with a laundry list of old, rehashed questions that actually tell you very little about the breeder.

Important information can be obtained, if you dig a little deeper with some open-ended questions.

This is by no means an exhaustive list

A knowledgeable and serious breeder will have answers to these questions.

questions to ask a dog breeder

Ask questions about the Sire and Dam of the litter you are interested in

  1. Why did you choose to breed these particular dogs together?
  2. What are the faults of each dog?
  3. What were you hoping to achieve with this litter?
  4. How old are the Dam and Sire?

Good breeders will be able to tell you what faults their dogs have, or what about their dogs they want to improve on.

If the breeder says the dogs don’t have any faults, that is a red flag.

The Sire and Dam should both be at least 2 years of age if you hope to purchase from health tested parents, since most health testing requires the dog to be at least 2.

All dogs have faults, and a breeder needs to know what they are in order to improve and better the breed.

Only through knowing their strengths and weaknesses can they choose dogs that will compliment each other.

What a breeder is hoping to achieve in any given litter is going to vary from breeder to breeder, but they should show that they had some forethought, and were breeding for specific things that are important to them.

At this point you can ask yourself if what you are looking for in a dog aligns with what this breeder is hoping to produce.

questions to ask a dog breeder

Ask about the health of their dogs

  1. What type of health testing do you have performed on your dogs?
  2. What steps do you take to ensure the health of your dogs and puppies?
  3. Can you provide a reference from your vet and past puppy buyers?
  4. Do you offer a health guarantee?

*Ask the breeder to see the results from any health testing that has been completed.

A check-up at the vet prior to breeding is great, but not sufficient health testing.

Breeders should also have protocols in place to safeguard the health of their dogs and puppies.

This could range from giving their dogs high quality nutrition, cleanliness, regular vet checks, and having bio-security measures in place to protect their dogs and puppies.

Most reputable breeders will offer at least some sort of health guarantee.

This could be in the form of a refund or replacement puppy should something go wrong.

Health guarantees usually only cover specific health issues.

References from the breeders vet and past puppy buyers can be a valuable source of information as well.

questions to ask your dog breeder

Ask about their breeding program in general

  1. What are you hoping to achieve within your breeding program?
  2. How many litters do you produce per year?
  3. Do you offer support to puppy buyers in the form of advise and information?
  4. What happens if a buyer is no longer able to keep a dog?
  5. Why did you choose to work with this particular breed?
  6. How long have you been breeding?
  7. What activities do you participate in with your dog?

Each breeder will have their own, unique idea of where they are headed with their breeding program, and what they are hoping to produce.

Breeders vary greatly in the traits they prioritize and the reasons why.

That’s fine, as long as they are breeding to the breed standard.

Breeders have their own vision of what they deem to be the perfect dog, and they are constantly striving for that.

Although no dog will ever be perfect, a good breeder should be trying to improve the breed.

A quality breeder should always be willing to offer advise to help with any problems that may arise with a puppy you purchased from them to the best of their knowledge and ability.

That doesn’t mean the breeder can solve all your problems for you, but they should be a valuable source of information.

Some breeders brag about producing only 1 litter every 2 years. I find this to be problematic.

This means they could have been breeding for 8 years and only produced 4 litters, as opposed to a breeder that produces 4-5+ litters a year.

This is a problem because producing only 4 litters in 8 years means the breeder probably has a lack of experience.

A breeder producing 4-5 litters yearly is gaining much valuable on the job experience, knowledge, and wisdom.

Each litter a breeder produces is an opportunity to learn something new.

A dog breeder should be breeding dogs, it’s what they do.

Being a higher volume breeder isn’t inherently bad, as long as the dogs receive great care, and great homes are found for the puppies.

questions to ask a dog breeder

Buying Etiquette

I would like to take a minute to address the topic of etiquette when reaching out to a breeder.

Your first question should not be “How much?”

Yes, we all understand that cost is a factor, but it shouldn’t be the most important consideration when choosing your breeder.

Asking the breeder to negotiate on price may not be the best idea. This can be perceived as insulting. Please remember this is a living animal, not the purchase of a used shirt.

Great breeders pour their hearts and souls into raising the best puppies possible.

This is not just an eight week endeavor, but begins before the puppies are even born through countless hours of planning and research.

Remember, you are asking about one of their precious babies, so don’t address price in the first message.

Instead, tell them why you are interested in this breed, and in their puppies specifically.

This tells the breeder you have done your due diligence, and are serious about a puppy.

And remember, a good breeder will have many questions for you as well.

Depending on the breed they may ask questions like:

  1. Do you have a fenced in yard?
  2. Why are you interested in this breed?
  3. What are you looking for in a puppy?
  4. Have you ever owned a dog before?

The breeder may even ask that you fill out a puppy application to be considered for one of their puppies.

In conclusion

Finding the right breeder can be a complicated process, however having meaningful conversations with breeders can be beneficial and help in your search.

These are important questions to ask a dog breeder, and the breeder should be happy to answer them.

I wish you the best of luck on your quest find your new puppy.

We hope these questions to ask a dog breeder are helpful.

Now that you have found your breeder, check out our list of must have items before you bring your puppy home HERE.

This post contains affiliate links, which means we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See our full disclosure HERE.

Looking for some more great pet ideas, check out our other blog articles! Click Here!

Potty Training tips Crate training tips Best dog toys


Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.