How to Buy a Puppy Responsibly
You need to perform your own due diligence when you find a breeder you are interested in. Like every other industry, there are scammers, liars, and truth-benders out there. Some basics include, but are not limited to the following.
1. Parental Health Clearances
Ask for proof of health testing. There is no reason a breeder can't share that information. There are people who steal health papers and present them as theirs, but a breeder can watermark their papers to share, or they can share links from many testing registrations. 👉Some organizations such as GANA and GoodDog (www.gooddog.com) or some breed clubs check health clearances (not all breed clubs do—be sure to check with a breed club if you are relying on them to help select a breeder), so if your breeder is with one of those then you can still request if you want, but you can buy with a lot more confidence without seeing the actual testing yourself. We are certified responsible breeders by both GANA and GoodDog. We are Blue Ribbon Certified by GANA (the highest level) and have GoodDog Responsible Breeding Certification.
Make sure your breeder is a real person. Check that they have a well-established website and Facebook business page. 👉Look for a breeder with Google and Facebook reviews. 👉Look for a breeder whose website and Facebook page have been around for a while ❗Facebook has deleted some breeder business pages this past year because of political pressure from animal rights extremists, so not all breeders have Facebook pages. If they don't, be sure to check for a strong website presence with Google reviews or some other proof of being a legitimate business.
3. Puppy Development
Responsible breeders raise their puppies using enhanced enrichment and early development protocols. Puppy Culture and Avidog are two of the better known programs, but there are others. 👉 Regardless of the enrichment program, INSIST on seeing video proof of what the breeder does. There are a lot of breeders who have bought the programs but either don't implement them or only use a few pieces, etc. ❗If you don't see video, there's no proof of how they are raising their puppies. You don't need to see videos of everything, but you should see breeders working with their puppies at various stages and puppies should appear well-adjusted, well-mannered, and well cared for.
Back in the day, we all believed that if you couldn't visit a breeder and meet the parents then that was a red flag. Unfortunately, in today's world things are different. There are risks of theft, assault, injury, politically motivated targeting, and even death to breeders (yes, this has happened on more than one occasion). In the case where your breeder doesn't allow visits or limits visits, be sure that you can see plenty of videos of where and how the puppies are being raised, and look for Google and Facebook reviews and a breeder who has been around for a while.