Top ways to screen a breeder | GMAD

Top ways to screen a breeder

Here are some tips on screening a breeder! They don’t have to check off every single item on the list below but there are some red flags to be aware of. Follow your gut instincts!

Do they have a legitimate website/instagram/facebook page?

  • There are plenty of scam pet websites offering puppies at a low price to attract customers. The website looks very nice and has all the details but there is little to no info about the breeder. The photos will be stolen from the internet and the websites might even have spelling mistakes and errors. Always reverse image search to make sure the photos are legitimate.
  • Check to see if you can find where the website is registered and the email address it is registered under.
  • Is there a phone number? Phone numbers are the best way to contact your breeder. You can reverse-look up a breeder’s phone number and see if it matches the breeder’s name.
  • Does the website ask for an application and contract? A good breeder will want to know more about you to make sure their puppies are going into a good home. They also want to make sure you have the time and resources to take care of the puppy and see if the particular breed is the right fit for you and your lifestyle.

Can you visit the facility?

  • With the pandemic going on, this might not be a viable option. But ask to FaceTime the breeder and ask them to show you the facilities. A breeder that is running a good and honest business, should be proud to show you their facility. Some breeders post photos of their facility. This can help you get comfortable as to where the litter is born and raised for the first few weeks but always reverse image search to make sure photos are not stolen from the internet.
  • If you live nearby the breeder, you might even ask to come stop by and see the facilities. (This might be an option post-pandemic)

How does the puppy look?

  • When you FaceTime the breeder or go in-person, how does the puppy look? Is the puppy lethargic or growling? A well socialized and healthy puppy will be curious and be open to being handled and pet. The puppy’s eyes should be bright and clear. If the breeder sends you pictures of the puppy, reverse image search to ensure it isn’t stolen off the internet.
  • Ask to see the mother. Check to see if the mother is doing well and looks healthy. Ask how many litters the mother has had- if the number is high or if they are unsure, that is a red flag.

How are they going to communicate with you?

  • We insist that you maintain a line of communication with the breeder from the minute you decide to go with them, until your puppy is at least one year old. Ensure the breeder is ready to communicate with you via email or phone. Ask the breeders to send you pictures and videos of your puppy growing. Even after you bring your puppy home, keep the line open for questions and follow-ups.

Check the references

  • Look at the instagram pages we have found for the breeder and contact those dog owners if you wish. See the instagram dogs from infancy to adulthood to see if the breeder had produced a healthy litter of dogs. A good breeder will be happy to give you a list of references from happy customers.
  • Check Better Business Bureau, if applicable.

Is the breeder offering a health guarantee and are they testing the parents?

  • Most breeders these days are offering a health guarantee. The “health guarantee” guarantees the puppy’s health against genetic diseases for a certain period of time.
  • Ideally, we have seen anywhere from one year to a lifetime. This, in itself, does not ensure the puppy is healthy. The breeder should be scrutinizing any issues that the breed might be susceptible to and what they are doing to limit that risk. While you can’t guarantee perfect health for the entire dog’s life, the breeder needs to be taking time to test the parents for genetic diseases such that the puppies have a higher chance of living healthy lives.
  • Ask the breeder which health tests they have performed and to see these health tests. Responsible breeders have pedigree information and direct links to the test page. There have been stories of the tests being stole by others and modified so make sure these tests are authentic.
  • Many states require health certificates to be issued by a veterinarian before the puppy is picked up. It is also recommended that within a week of picking up your puppy, you take it to your own veterinarian to be examined. Ask the veterinarian about the appropriate vaccines and the overall health of the puppy.

Is there a contract? How are you paying?

  • Even after doing all the steps above, you should sign a contract listing both parties with the amount due. Having a contract will help ensure both parties know what to expect. Be sure to read the contract closely for all the fine print.
  • The prices shouldn’t be surprisingly low or high. If you are seeing prices in the $1000 ballpark for that breed/location, but someone is offering a puppy for $200, that sounds suspicious. Large discounts also sound very suspicious.
  • Keep an eye out for suspicious shipping companies. It is always best to go pick up your puppy directly. Often times, scam websites will set up scam shipping companies that doesn’t exist and promise to deliver the puppy through the company.
  • Ensure that your payment leaves a paper trail. Avoid cash, wire transfer, Moneygram, Western Union or iTunes gift cards.

Good luck on your search and we hope that these tips and tricks will help you find your perfect breeder!

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