How to Find an Ethical Dog Breeder

The key to finding an ethical dog breeder is research. Although it is unfortunate, there are puppy mills out there looking to make a quick dollar.

These are not ethical dog breeders, and the quality of puppies produced is questionable, often leading to an array of serious, expensive health conditions. In order to make sure that you choose a reputable dog breeder, consider these ideas:

Contact Previous Buyers

An ethical dog breeder is not afraid to have new buyers contact previous buyers. In fact, they often prefer it. A good breeder realizes that experience means everything when it comes to breeding dogs. Although the breeder can give you as much information as you want, the breeder realizes that the true test of the quality of dogs produced comes from satisfied buyers.

If a dog breeder is not willing to give you this information, run for the hills. It could be that they routinely produce dogs with major health issues, or they may be extremely unresponsive to genetic health issues that arise with the dogs they have sold. Whatever the reason is, if a dog breeder is not willing to provide a list of references, consider the gesture and find another breeder.

Consider the Price

Bargain shopping is not necessarily true of purebred dogs. In most cases, you will get what you pay for. For example, the average price of an English Bulldog is between $1,500 and $3,000. If you find a breeder offering their puppies for $500, you may want to question why they would offer their dogs at such a low price. After all, if Bulldog owners are willing to pay the higher price, why lower the price? There must be a reason for this.

Many breeds, such as the Bulldog, are notorious for being genetically prone to a variety of health conditions. A reputable breeder uses only the best stock and works hard to breed out the impurities. However, this takes a great deal of time and money, which is why the Bulldog breed is typically so expensive. Although you may find a deal upfront, you may end up paying for it later in veterinary bills, so consider quality and price to be directly tied together.

Visit the Breeder’s Facilities

An ethical dog breeder should not prohibit you from viewing their breeding facilities. Visiting the premises gives buyers a chance to see the sire and the dam, the environment in which the puppies have been raised, and the cleanliness of the facilities. If all of these issues are legitimate, you have to ask yourself why a breeder would not want you to see how and where the puppies are raised. Is it because they are living in unsanitary conditions? Is it because the sire or dam is suffering from a major health condition?

As a buyer, these are questions that you have a right to ask, and the proof should be shown to you. If a dog breeder is not willing to show you these things, consider the motive.