How do I find a reputable dog breeder?

You’ve decided that you want to buy a dog, you’ve chosen the breed and now you want to find a good breeder. But how do you know if they are a good breeder?

Reputable breeders breed dogs for the love of the breed, not for the money. They are knowledgeable about the breed they represent and can help with behavioural and physical issues that might come up later. These breeders socialize their puppies early on, breed in good traits and breed out bad ones and they can show you your puppies’ parents and give you their history.


How do I find a reputable breeder?

 If you are looking at getting a pure breed the most common place to look is on the Breed Club websites. Jase and I have relied on the Golden Retriever Club of Victoria website. They give you all the information you need; they list all reputable breeders and give you lots of information on the breed, choosing a dog and on breeders with upcoming litters.

Mix breeds are a little harder so please make sure to do the research, go visit them, ask them all the questions below, and make sure they are breeding for the right reasons.  


What questions should I ask the breeders to know if they are good breeders?

1) Are you a registered breeder?

For example, a registered breeder in Victoria, Australia, must be a member of DOGS Victoria, the controlling body for pure breed dogs.

2) Has a vet has been involved?

Mother and pups must be fully vaccinated and wormed.

3) Have the parents been checked for inherited disorders?

Some medical conditions have a genetic component so the best breeders will not use dogs to breed with if they have any of these conditions. Some of the best breeders will actually provide the results from screening tests done on the parents in the pups registrations documents.

4) What do you do with the pups in the first 8 weeks? 

Make sure that the pup has been raised in the best possible environment during the first 8 weeks of its life (which is the amount of time it is with the breeder). In this time make sure the pup is socialised with other dogs, puppies and people.

5) Can I come to your property and visit the mother and pups? 

You will be able to see first hand the temperament of the mother and the conditions in which the puppies are being raised and socialised. Also be wary if they offer to bring the dog to you – you want to be able to see where your pup is coming from.

6) Have you seen any behavioural or temperament issues in any of your dogs?

Temperament problems such as dominance aggression (i.e. in the cocker spaniel), also runs in families, and good breeders will avoid using dogs with known inherited behavioural problems.

7) How do you advertise?

Generally the best breeders don’t have to advertise their business, they usually have a waiting list and rely on word of mouth.


Be prepared for the breeder to interview you too. A responsible breeder will want assurance that you can provide a good home for their babies.


Again – I am always happy to help if you need.

Mel xox


** Please note, this article was written in 2012 so please make sure to check the current rules and regulations of reputable breeders in your state before buying a puppy.



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