My amazing Clyde, always in my heart.
30 years ago I visited a home where they had a litter of brown puppies. I had been given first choice of males but when I arrived I was told that another family had got there before me and taken one of the boys. I was very angry; what if they took the one I wanted? She had promised me one thing and done another. Live and learn. I chose my brown boy who turned out to be one of the loves of my life, Clyde. As much as I adored him he suffered from poor structure over the years. There had been no health testing done for his parents once so ever, no temperament testing, nothing.
30 years later I know a lot more about what to look for. I have a huge check list and the first thing on the top of the list is tails.
1. have full undocked tail
2. have fully health tested sire and dam
3. live and be raised in home with family
4. be socialized in the rule of 7s
5. be a breeder who breeds only dogs with amazing temperaments
6. does temperament testing
7. knows the litter and matches puppy to new family
These are the 7 musts. Anything more of course is better. But if a breeder does all this then they have reached the bar level that I set for me. A few things can be modified but not dropped completely. This of course is just me and after years and years of research is what I look for in a breeder.
Admittedly, I could go out today and find a puppy. There might be one just an hour or so away from me. It sure would be easy right? But I cannot blindly give money to someone who does not care enough to do all these things. My breed is one that is not so common; add to that all of these items on the list and it gets harder and harder to find the needle.
I have found breeders who do 5 or 6 from my list. After talking to them I realize that they do not stand strong on the other things that they claim to do from the list. Some things on the list have a wide range of levels as far as others are concerned. Again, I have a high bar set for these as well.
If you are a breeder, why not do it all? Why not do your best for the puppies you are putting out into the world. It is easy to spot the ones who are just doing it for money. Yes, even breeders who do not consider themselves to be puppy mills, often do it for the money. One big clue that someone is breeding for profits is multiple litters on the ground at one time. I've been on several sites that list litter after litter, born only days apart.
I have also talked to breeders who tell me that they do no socializing. When I dig, and I do; they tell me that their puppies only get out of their whelping box at 8 weeks of age and only into another pen outside. So much is lost if puppies are not introduced to new things, smells, sights, feels and experiences. There is a huge difference in puppies who are stimulated and not.
By having a list, you can weed out the ones who cut corners, save a buck, save time and do it for the money. They simply don't care.
I will find the needle, but it is not going to be easy. It is not always easy to do what is right; but that's what I'm doing.
** This list is not because I want perfection; such a thing does not exist in the animal or human world. I want to support those breeders who are doing it right. Those who have the utmost care and concern for their dogs and the puppies that they breed.