There is no license required to breed dogs. Registration papers are only as good as the reputation of the person who bred the puppies. Make sure the person from whom you buy your special puppy is qualified to make the best possible decisions about the breeding and rearing of puppies. There is no fail-proof method for identifying reputable breeders, but there are some key qualities shared by them.
Reputable breeders are knowledgeable. They have studied their breeds for years and are involved with both local and national breed clubs. They usually actively show dogs. This enables them to stay current on what is happening with the breed. They know the weaknesses of the breed and willingly discuss them with potential puppy buyers. A reputable breeder never tries to push a puppy. Instead, the breeder will interview potential buyers to see if they are suited for one of his or her carefully raised pups.
Many nice people breed their pet dogs for all the wrong reasons: They don't realize they are contributing to the pet population problem. They love their dogs and therefore want to reproduce them. By breeding their pets, these well-meaning but uninformed people produce dogs with structural problems, unsound temperaments and genetically transmittable disease. Unsuspecting puppy buyers take these dogs home and must later deal with the problem of being attached to very sick dogs. There are no guarantees when buying any dog, but the odds are better when buying form a reputable breeder.
A breeder has invested many years in producing each litter of puppies. For the protection of the puppy, as well as the reputation of the kennel, a breeder will often designate a pup as either a "pet" or a "show" dog. If you purchase a pet, the breeder may require that the dog be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age. Do not be offended if the breeder asks you to sign an agreement: Appreciate his or her direct, up-front discussion of your plans for your dog.
Any time you sign an agreement, be sure you understand the terms of the contract. Ask questions, take your time and seek assistance. Once an agreement is made, whether written or verbal, you must abide by the terms.
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