What is a Responsible Breeder?

Find a Silky Terrier Breeder

It’s scary to buy a puppy. With other products, you can check Yelp or Consumer Reports to see if a company is reputable. It’s different with breeders. How do you tell in a few minutes whether the voice on the phone or the person at the other end of the email is responsible?

Some people might think that it’s someone who doesn’t make any money from selling puppies. Or maybe it’s someone who only has one female or someone who refuses to ship. Actually, none of those things are the gauge of a responsible breeder.

But there are some things to watch out for when choosing a Silky Terrier Breeder. Here’s a countdown of the indicators of a responsible breeder.

  1. She will want to know about you. She will probably start out by inundating you with all sorts of questions about your home, your work, and your family. This is because she is trying to fit the correct dog to you. As a matter of fact, she will refuse to sell you a dog she doesn’t honestly feel is right for you. If a breeder does not ask you at least as many questions as you ask her, she is not responsible.
  2. In most states, a breeder is required to sell a dog with a Health Certificate, meaning that the puppy is vet certified as healthy, up to date on his shots and free of worms and fleas within the last 30 days. A breeder that tries to sell you a puppy without a vet checked guarantee of heath at point of sale is not responsible.
  3. Listen for a breeder’s stories about her adult dogs. The breeder’s purpose should be to create healthy adults that look and act like the breed. If she only talks about how cute her puppies are, she is often not a reputable or preservation breeder.
  4. She is willing for you to see her dogs in her home. Sometimes the closest breeder for your chosen breed is thousands of miles away, so this is not feasible. But if you live nearby and your breeder keeps on making excuses about coming to her house, she is probably not responsible.
  5. A responsible breeder knows about her breed. She can bend your ear for quite some time about its characteristics and history. She is honest and forthright about the shortcomings of her breed as well as its sterling qualities. A breeder that says or implies that her breed is perfect in all circumstances is not reputable.
  6. Most responsible breeders also show their dogs, as they want to preserve the great qualities of their breed. The purpose of dog shows is to sort out the best sires and dams for the next generation. Breeders should have enough pride in their stock to want to see how well they stack up against others. They belong to a club (like the STCA) that works hard to preserve, protect and promote their breed. 
  7. A responsible breeder regularly tests her breeding stock. There can be genetic difficulties in any line. Ignorance is not bliss. If a breeder doesn’t regularly test her breeding stock, she is not reputable.
  8. A responsible breeder will work with you beyond the point of sale. You should be able to call or email your breeder and get help at any point of the life of your dog. She knows that most training problems stem from you either working with your dog incorrectly or not responding quickly and appropriately to a problem. But rather than blame you, a responsible breeder helps you do it right.
  9. Most reputable breeders are willing to take back a dog that doesn’t work out. They don’t want any of their dogs ending up at a shelter or leading a life of quiet misery because they can’t fit into your family’s lifestyle.
  10. A responsible breeder takes excellent care of her dogs. This is far more important than how many dogs she has.
  11. Though the great majority of responsible breeders have bills far higher than their income, there is nothing wrong with a breeder making money. She should sell her puppies for at least enough money to approach her expenses. Puppies that are far cheaper than normal often indicate a breeder that doesn’t have pride in her stock.

I hope this helps you sort this out. Given the above points, you should be able to find someone who can become a real partner with you for the life of your dog. Good luck!


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