Why Purchase from a Reputable Breeder?

By Susie Gleffe

While there are many places a purebred puppy can be purchased, only one source can be recommended with confidence — a responsible, reputable breeder. While places like pet shops are motivated by profit and quick turn-over, a reputable breeder only produces puppies because of a love of the breed and a dream of perfection. To that end, responsible breeders carefully screen for genetic diseases, provide the buyer with a written guarantee, and provide support and advice to the new owners throughout the dog’s life. Reputable breeders are usually active in their local and/or national breed club, and take advantage of the on-going education and support provided by the network of knowledgeable breeders in the club. While a reputable breeder strives to produce beautiful dogs according to the standard of perfection for the breed, they also place equal importance in breeding dogs that have good temperaments, are sound, and are healthy.

A reputable breeder is constantly striving to produce better dogs with each generation, and their selection of dogs used for breeding is a result of years of study and a thorough knowledge of the breed. Because this type of breeder is trying to produce puppies that they can win with in the show ring, they are highly motivated to do the best breedings possible. However, not every puppy produced will meet the exceptionally high standards demanded of a top show dog. The puppies who for one reason or another are not destined for the conformation ring will then be spayed or neutered, and offered for sale as companions to deserving homes.

  • The puppies have the same genetic make-up, pedigree, and rearing process experienced by the show puppies in the litter.
  • These puppies are the ones conscientious, intelligent buyers purchase because they know they will have a dog that was bred because of a love for the breed.
  • These puppies will have had top medical care, including all appropriate immunizations and wormings, patella checks, and often even an eye check.
  • These puppies will have been well fed and raised in a clean, stimulating environment that maximizes socialization and personality potential.
  • These puppies are raised in a family environment, which helps them transfer to a new family with minimum stress.
  • These are the puppies that will grow up to be healthy, happy companions for years to come.

Contrast this to a puppy purchased in a pet shop. These puppies are usually mass-produced in puppy mills, kept in filthy conditions with little human contact, and shipped out of state at a very young age to sit in a tiny cage in a pet shop. Because the motive here is profit, diet and health care are determined by what is cheapest, not what is best. These puppies are often ill, and require intensive rehabilitation by the unsuspecting buyer to try to make them healthy. The health history of the pup’s family is unknown (indeed, the parentage is probably even in question), and there will be no support and advice to help the buyer with any problems they encounter other that provided by the teenager manning the cash register at the pet store. Pet shop puppies are often more expensive that those obtained from a reputable breeder, something a pet store can do because they count on impulse purchasing. They care little if at all about what happens to the pup after it leaves the store. While sometimes the price of a pet store puppy, or a puppy produced by someone who has casually allowed a male and female to reproduce so they can make a few bucks, is sometimes less than that charged by the reputable breeder, is that cheaper price really a bargain if the puppy has a bad temperament, health problems, and is hard to recognize as the breed that was supposedly purchased?

Reputable breeders are also an excellent source for dogs that are a little older and out of the puppy stage and the associated problems. Because breeders are breeding for that perfect show dog, they will grow out promising youngsters to make sure that the puppy’s early promise will be fulfilled. Unfortunately for the breeder (but fortunately for the potential puppy buyer) some dogs do not grow up to be the competitive show dog the breeder hoped. They are, however, beautiful representatives of the breed of which the buyer can be most proud.

Because the dog is older, the buyer will know what he’s getting so far as size, temperament and looks, the dog will have had all their shots, and probably is already spayed or neutered. These dogs are indeed a case of the breeder’s loss being the pet buyers gain. And don’t forget the older dog, perhaps retired from the show ring. Because of the Papillon’s long life span, adopting a six- or seven-year old will still give you many, many years with your new companion. Because reputable breeders want to make sure their puppies are placed in loving, safe homes, buyers who contact breeders will find themselves going through a screening process before a specific puppy or dog is ever discussed. The breeder will want to know about the potential buyer’s family, the type of home they live in, past history of pets owned, and how the dog will be housed. The breeder might even want to visit the home to see if it is suitable for one of their special puppies. Buyers should not be offended by this scrutiny, for it is a sign that they have found a breeder who cares deeply about their dogs and to them, placement of any of their animals is a well-thought out adoption process. Their goal is to place healthy, sound dogs in loving homes where both the dog and its family will have a long, happy life together. A wise buyer will also carefully screen breeders to make sure the breeder is someone they can trust and someone who will be there when needed for years to come. When you purchase a dog from a reputable breeder, you and the breeder become partners in assuring the future of that dog.

The breeder will become your mentor and provide advice when you need it, such as how to housebreak, locating a training class., or finding a good vet. Remember, the reputable breeder’s first and foremost concern is the future of their puppies, a responsibility they carry throughout the life of the dog. While a reputable breeder has done their best to produce dogs free of genetic defects and health problems, no one can guarantee none will ever appear. If they do, the reputable breeder will want to know about it. Because producing top quality dogs takes a huge financial investment, much knowledge, and extreme dedication, a reputable breeder is committed to breed sparingly and only breed the finest examples of the breed. For this reason, dogs sold as companion animals should be spayed or neutered before the sale, or at least sold on a spay/neuter contract with the AKC papers withheld until the dog is altered. The dog may also be sold on “limited registration” meaning the dog cannot be bred or shown in conformation but is still eligible for obedience and performance events. A reputable breeder will not allow, much less encourage the breeding of an animal sold as a companion.

Remember, puppy mills, pet shops, and backyard breeders who breed carelessly in the hopes of making money, are all risky sources for a Papillon puppy. These sellers lack knowledge of the breed and consider the dogs merchandise that become the buyers problem the minute the dog goes out the door. A dog is a life-time commitment. Choose wisely. Buy from a reputable breeder.