Top Questions to Ask a Dog Breeder

Litter of puppies

What to ask a dog breeder when you’re buying a puppy

Bringing a new furry friend into your home is an exciting time! After all, who doesn’t enjoy looking at and potentially meeting adorable puppies?

But it’s also important that it be taken seriously. After all, choosing a responsible and ethical dog breeder is crucial for ensuring a healthy and happy companion. With many dog breeders available, it's essential to ask the right questions to make an informed decision.

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What questions should I ask breeders?

In this guide, we'll explore the top questions to ask a dog breeder to ensure you are getting a well-bred and cared-for pup.

After all, there’s a lot more to picking a puppy than how cute it is!

  1. Are You Licensed and Accredited?

Start by confirming the breeder's credentials. A reputable dog breeder should be licensed and adhere to industry standards. Ask about any affiliations with national or local breeding associations, as this demonstrates their commitment to ethical breeding practices.

  1. Can I See the Breeding Facility?

A responsible breeder will welcome you to visit their facility or home. Take note of cleanliness, the living conditions of the dogs, and the overall atmosphere. 

If a breeder hesitates or refuses, it might raise red flags about their transparency and commitment to animal welfare.

  1. What Health Screenings Do You Perform?

Responsible breeders prioritise the health of their dogs. Inquire about the health screenings conducted on the breeding dogs. Examples of health screenings you could ask about are genetic testing, hip and elbow evaluations, and screening for common breed-specific issues. 

This information ensures that the breeder is taking steps to produce healthy and genetically sound puppies.

  1. Can I Meet the Puppy's Parents?

Meeting the puppy's parents provides valuable insights into their temperament and health. Responsible breeders often keep the mother on-site and, if possible, have information about the father. Understanding the lineage helps you gauge the potential behaviour and health of your future pet.

  1. What Vaccinations and Health Guarantees Do You Provide?

A trustworthy breeder will have a vaccination protocol in place for their puppies. Ask about the vaccination records of the puppy you are interested in and any health guarantees they might offer. This guarantee could cover things like genetic disorders and other health issues for a specific period, showing the breeder's commitment to the well-being of their dogs.

  1. How Do You Socialise Your Puppies?

Proper socialisation is crucial for a dog's development. Ask the breeder about their socialisation practices, including exposure to various environments, people, and other animals. 

Puppies raised in a well-socialised environment are more likely to become well-adjusted and friendly companions.


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  1. What is Your Breeding Philosophy?

Understanding the breeder's philosophy and goals can give you insight into their commitment to breed improvement and ethical practices. Ask about their breeding practices, goals, and the steps they take to contribute positively to the breed.

  1. Do You Provide Support After the Sale?

A responsible breeder cares about the lifelong well-being of the puppies they produce. Ask about the breeder's policy regarding post-purchase support, advice, and their willingness to address any concerns or questions you may have as a new dog owner.

  1. Do You Have a Return Policy or Take Back Guarantee?

Life circumstances can change, and reputable breeders might have a policy in place for returning or rehoming a dog if necessary. Clarify the breeder's stance on this matter and the conditions under which they accept a dog back.


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Other questions to ask if you’re new to owning a dog:

We have many helpful dog guides that cover all aspects of dog ownership, from positive puppy training to feeding your pooch. But it can be really helpful to ask the licensed dog breeder any particular questions that you have about the dog breed. 

Some example questions could be:

  • What types of homes does this dog breed suit? E.g. active households or households where someone is home all day.

  • What traits and temperament should I expect from this breed?

  • How do you match puppies with potential owners?

  • What type of diet are the puppies currently on? What do you recommend moving forward?

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Questions to ask your breeder before buying a puppy
We always recommend asking to see the puppies with their mother. This way you can be sure that they’re still with their mother. It also gives valuable information about the condition and care of the animals. 

It can also be helpful to ask if the licensed dog breeder has any previous references that they’re happy to share from previous puppy buyers. Although dog breeders may not have this information to share, it can help put your mind at ease if they do!

Don’t forget to explore our expert dog-owning guides!
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