buyer should understand they are purchasing a companion for
ideally the next 15 years. A careful selection will
dramatically increase the chances that this will be a healthy,
The primary determining factor
of a litter's quality (meaning health, temperament and looks)
will be the puppy's parents. A responsible breeder puts a
great deal of thought into each litter, matching parents based
on health issues, temperament, looks, and performance records.
However, don't expect to be able to see both parents in the
breeder's own kennel. Often breeders will use an outside stud
dog. Typically only the most established breeders will own a
stud dog of such quality as to be the very best match for
their bitch. Close proximity is usually not a valid reason for
The second critical factor in a puppy's
future is how it is raised. Much research has been done on
critical periods of puppy development, and the consensus is
overwhelming--puppies need lots of human contact. While there
is no magic age for separating a pup from its littermates and
dam, there is conclusive evidence that no puppy should leave
the breeder before seven weeks.
While breeders utilize
a wide variety of facilities for puppy raising, from elaborate
kennel buildings to garages to living rooms, cleanliness and
human contact is what's important, not the fanciest setup. As
pack animals, puppies learn from their mother that their "den"
should remain clean, and eventually they begin to go further
and further from their sleeping area to soil making them easy
to housetrain. A litter that is kept in a dirty pen learns to
disregard where they potty, making them very difficult to
Most contracts include basic health
warrantees and requirements for basic care on the owner's
part. Breeders carry an enormous burden to produce dogs that
conform to the breed's standard for looks, temperament, and
working ability while being free of genetic disease. Making
color, sex and other superficial characteristics your
priorities increases your risk of not getting a healthy
companion for a lifetime. Responsible breeders love contact
from puppy buyers only interested in a quality dog, but will
be patient with your desire for a particular color or sex if
you are willing to wait for the right one to be available.
Each breeding and the resulting puppies should meet
the BCLRC Breeder’s Code of Ethics. The breeder should be able
to explain why this particular match of stud dog and brood
bitch took place.
Buyers should be completely honest
and forthright as to their home situation, how this puppy will
be raised and kept throughout its lifetime, and all of their
expectations in acquiring this new family member.
Buyers should be able to meet at least one parent and see
pictures of a parent who is not on the premises. All pedigrees
and clearances should be available.
All areas where
the puppies and other dogs are kept should be clean with
obvious marked attention to their safety and well being.
Temperature should be kept at comfortable levels. As the
puppies out-grow their whelping box, their puppy pen should be
the same: clean, comfortable and safe. Puppies should appear
to be content and not under any stress, either as to health or
The puppies should appear to be well
socialized. Buyers should know that every breeder will have
different rules regarding visits to their litters. Please
understand and abide by them. They are established to keep the
puppies and their mother healthy.
Puppies should be on
an appropriate worming schedule.
receive their first vaccination between 7 and 8 weeks and this
vaccination should be given prior to the puppy leaving the
breeder’s premises. Puppies should not be available for going
to their new homes prior to 7 weeks.
Puppies should be
tattooed or microchipped prior to going to their new homes.
All puppies must be registered with the Canadian Kennel Club.
It is the breeder’s responsibility to do this.
should understand that breeders are aiming to produce puppies
that will fulfill a particular goal such as conformation
shows, field events, agility trials, service etc. Puppies in a
particular litter that appear to have those qualities will be
earmarked for homes that will take that puppy to its full
potential. In no way are the other puppies in a litter
A well-thought out breeding with proper
raising will produce wonderful, sound and attractive pets.
Buyers should understand that a breeder who takes the effort
to produce a litter as described above and gets to know the
prospective buyers and their home situations, will be able to
best match each puppy to a particular home and family with
greater chances of success than if the buyer makes his/her own
choice. Many breeders, in fact, insist on making that final
Buyers should familiarize themselves
completely with the paperwork and information that a breeder
provides. Breeders welcome the opportunity to answer any
questions and concerns. Buyers should be given instructions
regarding care and feeding of the puppy. This should take
place in plenty of time for them to prepare for the day they
take their puppy home.
Contracts and guarantees can be
an important consideration when purchasing a puppy. However,
remember that a contract is only as good as the person
offering it. There are no ironclad guarantees when breeding
animals. A breeder can do everything considered normal and
appropriate to breed healthy animals, and still produce the
occasional genetic health issue. Potential buyers should
receive a copy of the contract/guarantee prior to any deposit
being made, in order for them to completely understand both
their and the breeder obligations.
Buyers should be treated with complete honesty and openness. They have a right to expect respect and
consideration. All agreements between Buyer and Breeder should be spelled out in writing. Deposits and
payments on any particular puppy should be written out, with any reservations clearly documented.
Buyers should expect eager and friendly follow up care after their puppy is taken home. In fact, breeders
should be available for consultation and take an interest in the welfare of the dog for its entire life.