Indicators of a questionable breeder:
Dogs are only listed by their call names.
WHY THIS IS BAD: Call names are simply the names that we use daily with our dogs. They are not unique. Every REGISTERED dog has a UNIQUE REGISTERED name. Using this registered name, you can check health clearances, health records, & titles on this dog through Bernergarde (www.bernergarde.org), OFA (www.offa.org), or AKC (www.akc.org).
Breeder charges more for females, for registered vs. non-registered, or for full vs. limited registration.
WHY THIS IS BAD: First you should not be charged more to have a registrable dog registered. This is simply unethical. If a breeder is selling a dog on limited registration, that means that the breeder feels that this dog should not be bred or shown in conformation. This judgment should not be overturned by an additional payment. And females cost the same to produce & raise as males.
WHY THIS IS BAD: Ethical breeders want you to have this information so that you can make an informed decision on whether this is the right litter for you. If a breeder is trying to conceal this information, that usually means that there is a problem. This would include breeders who get angry when you ask for documentation of health clearances.
Breeder's only questions revolve around payment and s/he discourages you from coming to their kennel. Breeder requires non-refundable deposit.
WHY THIS IS BAD: Responsible breeders want to meet the whole family & make sure that breed & individual puppy are a good fit. You want to see whether the dogs are kept in a safe & clean environment & how the puppies are being socialized.
Breeder sells puppies through third parties (brokers, dealers, retail shops, auctions.)
WHY THIS IS BAD: Responsible breeders want to make sure that their puppies are going to the right homes. Then they are available to the puppy’s buyers if they have problems (training, health) to give support and advice. Responsible breeders will take back any puppies they produce for the life of the dog.
- Sells what they claim is "show quality" while they never show themselves.
- Does not have verifiable health clearances on hips AND elbows of at least MOST of the dogs on the pups pedigree. If you are told "our vet said they are healthy" this is a BIG red flag.
- Sells without a contract.
- Puppies registered with other than AKC registry. (If you are getting a dog from Canada, then the CKC, Canadian Kennel Club is fine.)
- Having a PayPal or credit card system has traditionally been an indicator of a non-reputable, high-producing breeder though PayPal has been adopted by some breeders for ease of payment.