How to choose a breeder

Selecting the right breeder for you can feel a little overwhelming at first. Here are a few helpful tips to get started.

by Good Dog

Selecting a breeder doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking process. Becoming a new dog owner is a very emotional journey, and you want to take each step as seriously as you can — but you don’t have to feel intimidated when working with breeders.

Once you narrow down what breed of dog is right for you, you can start to think about which breeder best fits your needs. You can rest assured that all of the breeders here on Good Dog have been screened to make sure they’re very responsible and ethical operations. (Phew!)

Some people choose to work with breeders local to their area — but don’t feel like you have to do that. There are some benefits to choosing a local breeder, but limiting your search locally may make it far more difficult to find a responsible breeder that has a puppy with the right fit for your family. And nowadays there are many safe options for transporting your puppy home from road trips to flight nannies that chaperone your puppy to your nearest airport.

Next, consider the entire process of buying a dog from a breeder. There are wait lists, deposits and a weaning process to get through before your puppy comes home. Every breeder handles these differently, so pay attention to their specifications before you make your selection. For example, some breeders are pick-up only, meaning you will have to physically go to the breeder’s location to pick your puppy up; some breeders provide flight nanny options or cargo flights. Some breeders may require you a place a deposit and join their waiting lists while others may ask you to stay in touch as they plan their breedings.

Finally, get a sense for the breeder’s personality, practices and point of view. They are experts in their breed and will be honest with you about their dogs’ characteristics. Feel free to speak to a couple of breeders before you make your final selection. At the end of the day, you could be working with them for at least three months, and you should feel comfortable with the relationship. Just like with dogs, your personalities have to match to be a good connection.