Finding a Reputable Breeder

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With all of the bad press about puppy and kitten mills, finding a reputable breeder is important. This is a page about finding a reputable breeder.


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April 3, 2006

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there claiming to be reputable breeders when they are in fact not. So how do you find the right kind of breeder?

  1. Generally, it's not a good idea to buy from a pet store -- especially if the store does not say where the puppy came from. Too many puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills, where breeding mothers are forced to pump out litter after litter to meet a demand for puppies.
  2. A reputable breeder can be found through the American Kennel Club. The AKC can also lead you to the particular breed organization, another good resource for finding a breeder close by. These breeders would be held accountable for the environment and care given to the dogs.
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  4. A reputable breeder minimizes inbreeding. Inbred animals (where siblings are mated to each other, or parent and child are mated) can often bring recessive (and undesirable) genes to the forefront.
  5. A reputable breeder will be upfront about the pedigrees of the parents. If they refuse to show the pedigrees, you should be concerned that they may not be breeding responsibly.
  6. A reputable breeder will have tested the puppies for hereditary diseases that are typical to the breed.
  7. Do go look at the puppy before you agree to buy! A reputable breeder will let you meet the puppy's parents and maybe even tour the grounds. A disreputable breeder might not let you visit at all.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  1. Do your research! Learn about the breed, and the hereditary diseases associated with the breed. Find out what health issues you can expect from your new dog.
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  3. If you look at the puppy before doing your research, you may not WANT to do the research. Puppies have magical powers of cuteness that overwhelm logic. Believe me, I know.
  4. There are plenty of abandoned animals (both purebred and mixed-breed) living in shelters for various reasons. You may find the dog of your dreams without having to go through a breeder! Ask the rescue organizations in your area, or check out breed-specific rescues.

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July 15, 2011

I went to a breeder to pick out a Shih Tzu; she is 8 weeks old, and I really adored her, but I was a bit concerned because she had a very unpleasant wet dog smell. The breeder also had cats and a big German Shepherd who continuously licked the pups. I am just wandering if the smell was from that or if these puppies weren't being properly taking care of.


I would love to rescue this little puppy, but I am afraid once I have her washed and groomed she'll still have that strong odor. Please help me. I will be a first time dog owner, so I am really unsure of what to do. Thank you.

By La Shonda from Detroit, MI


July 18, 20110 found this helpful

How about adopting a rescue dog? Even in the small city that I live in, the animal shelter kills 1,200 lbs. of dogs and cats a month because people go to breeders instead of adopting one from rescue.

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July 18, 20110 found this helpful

It sounds like you have gone to a backyard breeder. A quality breeder shows their dogs and will only breed to promote the best qualities in a breed and breed out the bad ones. You can still get a loving pet from these places, but there is often a compromise in the health and build of the dog.


Hence the much lower price. I have two dogs myself, one is very well bred, the other a rescue. The difference is obvious to look at them, but they are both very loving animals and I love them right back.

This puppy may have an odor for a while, but if that is your only concern go ahead and get her. It won't last forever!

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July 18, 20110 found this helpful

Adopting from a breeder can be tricky to make sure they are a good breeder. It seems like you have already been to the breeders. Is the pets area kept clean? Are the pets caged or are they able to get exercise? Is she breeding multiple dogs or just the one?

You are never really "rescuing" from a breeder. A good breeder will have a vet check on the dogs and puppies before they go to a new home. You should be able to get vet records. They should already have their first and maybe even second shots. The puppy should also come with a warranty (if a genetic death happens, you will get first pick of another liter for example).


A purebred should also have Papers!

It seems to me that the place is not kept clean, which is why the dog smells.

Buying from a breeder isn't bad, as long as they are taking good care of their dogs. Many shelters have purebred dogs, check out! If the puppy is in poor health, the worst thing you could do is buy from them. If people keep buying, they keep breeding!

If you do get the puppy, first place you should go (with a shelter dog or from a breeder) is the vet for a full checkup!

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

Get the puppy! The smell is from being licked by the "surrogate mother shepherd" dog. Groomers use special doggie shampoo which should get rid of the smell. If it doesn't, talk to your vet. They have solutions for smelly dogs.

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

Please either take the puppy, or go to your local shelter and adopt a puppy from there. Puppies at the shelter will be put to sleep if they do not find a home.

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July 10, 2010

I am looking for a miniature American Cocker puppy, preferably buff color and male. I've had Cockers all of my life and haven't replaced the last one because my husband was deathly ill for 2 years. As he is on the road to recovery at last, I would love to find a puppy, but it has to be a mini as we live in a condo now.
Can anyone out there help me?
I live in Toronto Canada, but am prepared to go wherever I have to.

By Sharyn


July 13, 20100 found this helpful

I am glad you are looking for a reputable breeder instead of supporting the puppy mills. Even though you are in Canada, I would start with On the left side you will find a link for breeders. On the next page scroll down almost all the way to the bottom and on the also on the left you will find a link for breeder referrals. This is a great place to start. I am positive when I was searching for my pup that I saw breeders in Canada listed. Good luck!

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July 13, 20100 found this helpful

Cockers are a great breed, but mini-Cockers aren't AKC recognized. I did a bit of Googling, and you may want to as well before considering any Mini-Cocker breeder.

A lot of what I'm finding states that people will take the "runts" of regular Cocker litters and mate the undersized dogs in order to present a mini. What you're getting, in essence, is a dog that can carry a heightened risk of any diseases or health conditions that a Cocker can be prone to.

There's a big question as to whether this type of backyard breeding is ethical--both to prospective owners who have higher rates of vet bills or early death of their dogs and to the dogs: the dams that shouldn't be bred and the puppies who can suffer or die much earlier than the standard breed life.

Agree that you should check the AKC's list of reputable Cocker breeders in your area, though.

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July 13, 20100 found this helpful

I am so happy your dear hubby is on the road to recovery!

I am sorry I don't have an answer about reputable breeders but may I suggest checking out your local shelters and places like pet finders first? There are so many great dogs (including cockers) out there who desperately need homes and, unless they are in a no kill shelter, will not be alive for long. :-(

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July 16, 20100 found this helpful

Dont forget they have Purebred Cocker rescues. Please try Or if you cant find what you're looking for, try a reputable breeder.
A reputable breeder will tell you everything about the breed, parents should be present, and show paperwork.

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April 11, 2012

I am looking for local breeders for a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

By Carol from Norwich


April 13, 20120 found this helpful

Go to this AKC link for trusted reputable breeder information:

Pretty please consider adopting a Rhodesian Ridgeback in need of a home first though. You can search for one through your local animal shelters and/or go to this link to search for one up for adoption at this link:

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April 13, 20120 found this helpful

PS - I just checked out the PetFinder link more thoroughly and there are currently 515 Rhodesian Ridgebacks awaiting a home. Go to this direct link, scroll down and then click on Rhodesian Ridgeback:

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January 12, 2005

I have a 10 month old Pure Bred Chocolate Point Himalayan and am really in need of some help finding a reputable Himalayan Cat Breeder near my Home of Elmira, NY. I've tried EVERY website imaginable and am unable to find anyone. The breeder has to have breeding papers.

How do I find one and what do I look for in true Himalayan Breeders?

Betty B.
From Elmira, NY


January 13, 20050 found this helpful

Here is a page with Himalayan Breeders. I didn't see any in New York but there is one in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Some of these breed show cats so hopefully they are reputable.

Here is a list of breeders in New York state:

And more in New York and New Jersey

Susan from ThriftyFun

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