How to choose a reputable dog breeder

The best way to get to know a breeder is to meet in person, which may be at their kennel or their home.  If meeting in-person is not an option, ask to meet your breeder and their dogs via video-conferencing system.  Responsible dog breeders don’t just sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand.  Too often, unsuspecting people buy puppies from puppy mills.  Too often, this results in purchasing puppies in poor health or with temperament problems that may not be discovered right away.


  • Ask your veterinarian for a good reference.
  • If you like a friend’s dog, ask where they got him.
  • Most reputable breeders earn their reputation though word of mouth
  • Search online and do your homework.  Read reviews


A good breeder:

Will allow you to visit and tour all areas where their puppies and parents spend their time. The grounds should be clean, well maintained, and odorless.  Dogs should not be in cages for long periods of time.

May not have a liter of pups available but can put your name on a waiting list.  . Is not a puppy mill churning out different breeds and high volumes of puppies.  The breeder should encourage you to spend time with one or both of the parents on your visit.

Should be very knowledgeable about the breeds they raise and should be able to answer questions about your dog’s potential size, temperament, exercise requirements, special needs, etc.  Their knowledge should be extensive.

Provides several references from other families who have purchased pups and welcomes inquiries

Only sells pups to people he has approved as good pet owners.  Provides a certificate of health or a health guarantee

Provides documentation of pedigree and registration papers made out in your name

Provides a written contract.  If medical problems are diagnosed, the breeder should take the pup back and provide a full refund.

Will request that you give them the first option to re-home the dog if you find out that circumstances prevent your from keeping him.

Will accept credit card or Paypal.  Stay away from breeders who require cash apps such as Venmo as it is more difficult to get a refund if something goes wrong.


When looking for a purebred puppy, remember to do your homework.   Also, a shelter may not be a bad alternative either.  Registration papers may not be available. If you do not plan to show or breed your dog, a shelter may be a good alternative.  If a breeder has social media or a website, be sure to skim their page and look for comments or testimonials from people who have gotten dogs from them in the past.

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