Tuesday Top Ten: Health-related questions to ask a breeder

Choosing a new puppy can be nerve-wracking because you want to find the healthiest possible puppy.  You may have a number of other concerns such as temperament and “fit” with your family, but the number one concern should be the health of the puppy.  How to make sure?  Start with the following ten questions which you can use to interview a number of breeders before deciding which one you will work with.

10.  How many litters do you have each year?  (Should be no more than 1 per dam.)

9.  How long is your waiting list?  (Good breeders will usually have one.  Great breeders will have a long one.)

8.  How do you decide which sire to breed with which dam?  (Should indicate that there is a plan to produce better and better quality dogs as time goes on)

7.  How many breeds do you have here?  (Should be no more than a handful)

6.  Where have you been keeping the puppies (Should be clean, warm, and not overly crowded.)

5.  Where do you do tail docking and ear cropping (if applicable)? (The area should look sanitary.  Snoop around for any evidence of sterile supplies or a means to sterilize the equipment.)

4.  Where is the puppy’s shot record?  (Shows that initial round of shots have been completed and at least one de-worming done)

3.  Where are the parents’ CERF certificates? (Shows that both parents have been checked for genetic eye diseases.)

2.  Where are the parents’ OFA certificates? (Shows that both parents have been checked for genetic joint diseases.)

1.  Where are the parents? (Both should look extremely healthy)

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

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