The Ethical Dog Breeder – A Rare Breed

With constant awareness prospective pet parents either adopt a pure bred or a mutt which is either a puppy or an adult dog. I am and have always been pro adoption but sometimes people decide to buy a puppy because of several reasons either keeping the size as a perspective or wanting a pure bred instead of a mutt. So here are a few pointers to make sure that even if you ever decide to buy  a puppy you are not encouraging puppy mill trade which is inhumane and cruel or patronizing a backyard breeder who will most likely sell you a sick pup. So save yourself some heart ache and read on!!

The Ethical Breeder

  • Do not sell their pups to or through pet stores. Instead, they personally screen and select homes for their puppies, advise people on caring for the breed, turn away people whose lifestyle, commitment or home situation does not fit the breed, test for and guarantee the health and temperament of their puppies, have detailed documentation of their pups’ lineage, demonstrate knowledge about canine health, genetics, socialization and development, and take back their animals at any time and age if the buyers cannot keep them.
  • Do not sell multiple breeds of dogs, since they specialize in one or two breeds.
  • Demonstrate extensive knowledge of the breed’s history, traits, temperament, and conformation. They have years of experience with the breed.
  • Has at least the mother dog on premises and let prospective purchasers observe the dog and her health and behavior. Responsible breeders breed their female dog to the best male, not the most convenient one.
  • Breed only dogs over 2 years old, and breeds the dog only a limited number of times; not every year.
  • Do not separate a pup from the mother and litter before 10-12 weeks of age. Also deworm and vaccinate their puppies.
  • Can provide references for happy puppy buyers.
  • Has at least the mother dog on premises and let prospective purchasers observe the dog and her health and behavior.
  • Provide advice and guidance to purchasers. Interview and usually visit the homes of prospective puppy purchasers, placing pups only with people who demonstrate they can provide safe, responsible homes.
  • Keep their dogs as house pets, so they know that the offspring will be good pets as well.
  • Generally only have a litter at a time. Beware the breeder that has a lot of litters on the ground or a number of pregnant bitches. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (a lot depends on the circumstances of the individual breeder and the situation at hand), generally speaking the breeder with an abundance of litters/bred bitches should be avoided.
  • The ethical breeder’s premises are neat and clean. Dogs are well exercised, happy and healthy. Kennel runs are roomy and comfortable. Dogs are up to date on innoculations, well-fed and well-groomed. There is no excuse for dirty, matted, skinny, or under-exercised dogs. If these things are obvious, look elsewhere for a puppy. A breeder should never have more dogs than they can physically care well for.
  • The ethical breeder does not support him/herself by breeding dogs. Breeding should not be a business–done correctly, there is very little money to be made in breeding dogs. Steer clear of breeders who make their living off of producing puppies.
  • The ethical breeder is usually involved heavily in the sport of purebred dogs, whether in conformation, obedience, etc. Stay aware from breeders who bash organized dog sports and say they stay away from competition because of politics. This usually signifies that the breeder’s dogs just can’t cut it in the show ring.
  • Ethical breeders are registered in India with the KCI (Kennel Club Of India) & AWBI (Animal Welfare Board Of India)

So if you must buy a pup make the right choice and get one from an ethical breeder instead of a backyard breeder, pet shop or puppy mill.

42 thoughts on “The Ethical Dog Breeder – A Rare Breed

  1. Fantastic blog post Malaika! You are spot on with these points, every one of them. Thank you for sharing such important information. Everyone deserves to have the dog breed of their dreams, it’s important for them to go about it responsibly. There are many breed specific rescue organizations here in the U.S. for nearly every breed of dog, that is a very good place to start your search – I’m not sure if there are such rescue groups in India as well though? I also love the title of your blog post, it’s perfect!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  2. This is awesome! As someone who works hard in rescue – and tries hard to get people to stop supporting puppy mills this is spot on in what to look for. I wish people would do more research into the potential breeders they want to buy from…..there are so many that have a false facade! Great post!

  3. While I am very much PRO adoption, at the same time I am not anti-breeder like many of us pro adopters get accused of. Great post! There is a place for responsible breeding.

  4. Great article for those planning on purchasing a dog from a breeder! Would make a great check list to take with them to a breeder when going to look at pups.

  5. Well done! People need to be able to check out if they have a trustworthy breeder. This is vital if they want to ensure they have a good healthy pet from good pedigree animals.

    • Yes, in my work as an assistant at a veterinary clinic in the past i have seen far too many people ending up with sick puppies from backyard breeders.

  6. While I think I will always go through a rescue, my sister and her husband did breed Westies for awhile so a lot of this is familiar to me. It is good advice for those who do want to go through a breeder.

  7. This is an excellent reference list. The other thing I would mention is that they also don’t complete the transaction online like you are buying a product from Amazon. There are a lot more steps and they have to approve YOU to receive one of their dogs. I’ve seen a lot of websites popping up that act as the e-commerce site for pets and I DO NOT like it one bit. A website that connects quality breeders is one thing, but it shouldn’t be completing the transaction.

    • I agree with you when pups are being sold online like comodities there is nothing ethical about it. During my resarch for this article i found out that ethical breeders do not advertise. They always often have a waiting list of prosepective pet parents that have been approved for their litters.

  8. Thank you for helping people to be able to distinguish an ethical breeder from one who is either just in it for the money or doesn’t have the background to breed responsibly.

  9. This is great information. All my life I have only heard negativity regarding dog breeders (I’m not one, but have just always heard people say negative things about breeders). It’s nice to read a fresh point of view from an ethical standard.

    • I am pro adoption but do understand when someone wants to buy a pup. A little guidance can help them make the right choice for an ethical breeder.

  10. Wonderful. I fully support ethical breeders that are breeding to better the breed. If not for them, our lovely breeds would not exist or their health would deteriorate. Great post.

  11. This is something to think about. I live in a small town and the local pet store gets cats and dogs from ‘breeders.’ That’s all the owner will tell me. Considering where I live, I don’t think the source would pass this test here. All of my pets have found me through one way or another, so I’m not sure if I rescue or am rescued.

    • With pet shops you never know after all a reputable and ethical breeder will not sell his litter to them. I like the sound of how you say that you are rescued is more like it

  12. While I have always adopted from shelters, this is really great information for those who do choose to go through a breeder. I will definitely share your post with some friends who always use breeders. Thanks for the great post!

    • In India here unfortunately most people are ill informed and often think that the younger the pup is you bond better with it. Have come across many people like this who have brought pups as early as 4-6 weeks only to not make it. As they are first time pet parents who do not know how to care for the pup and moreover at that age it must be with the dam (mother)

  13. This is a fantastic and important post. It is so critical for people to do their homework when it comes to buying a pet. From my work in rescue, I know that it is absolutely possible to find purebred dogs in shelters or through breed-specific rescue groups and given the sheer volume of animals waiting to find a home, I always suggest that folks adopt instead of shop. That being said, I do recognize that some folks want to adopt a specific breed and prefer to go to a breeder. Unfortunately, there are so many unethical “breeders” who not only scam buyers but who also breed irresponsibly when it comes to the health and well-being of the dogs. I 100% agree with everything you’ve said and I thank you for addressing such a critical topic!

    • Thank you for stopping by and i am glad you liked his post. Unfortuantely most people in India prefer to buy rather than adopt so just trying to create awareness. We do have NGO( Non Governmental Organization) that rescue abandoned pure bred dogs but we do not have shelters that are breed specific yet.

  14. If I ever decided to buy a puppy through a breeder, I would have no idea where to start! I imagine it is difficult to find a reputable and trustworthy breeder. So many people out there wanting to make a quick buck rather than have quality puppies. Thanks for these great tips!

  15. This is important information for those that insist on having to have a pure breed. I am involved in trying to stop puppy mills but I do try to accept responsible breeding, although it’s hard. Recently I saw a post being shared on FB about too many Great Pyr puppies needing homes, I think it was their breed rescue. My first reaction was that is not responsible breeding to have so many dogs of one type needing homes. The rescue place looked more like a puppy mill than a rescue. But the AKC does nothing to control the number of dogs in one breed.

  16. “Can’t cut it in the show ring” – the show ring produces extreme deformed mutants. Look at the English bulldog – the show dogs are sick messes of BOAS and stenotic nares, skin irritation, tail pockets, narrow pelvises making natural birth impossible for most… The breeders producing non standard dogs (old English bulldogs) are making much more structurally sound dogs with less breathing problems but they aren’t recognised by the KC so you won’t find them in the show ring.

    Honestly whether someone “shows” their dog speaks nothing about how healthy it is. Check health tests and vet records by all means but don’t use show results as a guide to health.

  17. Hi. Thank you for this article. Great help.
    I looked at KCI website but can’t find the list of breeders there. If you could post the link to the page here.

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