With so many breeders claiming different things about their business it may be hard to tell a professional breeder from an unprofessional one. Usually it is cleanliness and knowledge that separates the professionals from the exploiters of both animals and humans.
Avoid breeders who do not have clean kennels or who are keeping the puppies in a filthy environment. If a breeder will not let you visit a litter, then call the humane society. This could be an indication that something terrible is going on behind closed cages – most likely serious health violations.
A truly professional breeder can prove that they have studied the bloodlines of the mother and father dog before breeding and certify there breeding stock for genetic abnormalities. The best breeders tend to be those breed show dogs as well as they have the most interest in keeping the bloodlines pure and free of diseases and hereditary problems.
A warning sign that you are dealing with a profiteer rather than a puppy breeder is if they keep too many breeds or produce too many litters a year. Breeders who have lots of litters of lots of different breeds may have trouble keeping track of their bloodlines. Most responsible breeders keep no more than two breeds at one time in their kennels to keep the bloodlines pure. Any breeder that is producing more than six litters a year or breeds too many dog breed simultaneously is probably exploiting the animals.
Professional breeders do not discard dogs they can’t sell, don’t overwork the reproductive systems of the mothers and refund your money if you are not happy with your breed.
The clear advantage of buying from a professional breeder is that the puppy that you buy will most likely be physically, emotionally and mentally healthier than a puppy acquired from any other source.
Backyard breeders are part time breeders who discovered that they could make money-selling dogs once an older female puppy went into heat. This type of breeder may be responsible or not, depending on many factors.
Amateur breeders may accidentally or on purpose mate their females with an incompatible breed or with a puppy that has a genetic abnormality. Although they mean well and might just be trying to make a little Christmas money on the side, a backyard breeder rarely has the financial resources to spend on having mother dog tested for common diseases and hereditary afflictions.
This is once again, a case of Buyer Beware. If you fall in love with a puppy that is the offspring of a backyard breeder, be prepared to spend some money on quite a few tests before you buy the puppy. This can save you an enormous amount of expense and heartbreak in the future.
An advantage of buying from a friend or neighbor is often a lower price for the puppy or even a free puppy. Usually the neighbor down the street is not trying to make money, but more interested in finding the puppy a good home.