Questions to Ask When Phoning a Breeder

The following are some of the most common questions asked by people when they buy a puppy from a pet shop:


What do I need to bring with me?

You will need your passport size photo (you may want to take another one if you have any unusual features), proof of address such as utility bill or bank statement, proof of income such as pay stub, and a health certificate showing that you don’t suffer from any contagious diseases. You may also want to bring a copy of your birth certificate. If you live outside the US, you’ll probably need to provide additional documents proving where you’re going and what kind of visa you have.


How much does it cost?

It depends on which country you’re purchasing from. Prices vary widely depending on location, but usually range between $300-$500 USD. Pet shops often offer discounts for large orders or those looking for specific breeds/breeds.


Do you ship internationally?

Yes, but it’s expensive. Most places charge anywhere from $100 to $200 USD for shipping. For example, PetSmart charges around $150 USD for international shipping. Some places like Petco and PetsMart also sell puppies at discounted prices. They might even have free delivery! Other stores might not have a discount program, so you’d still need to pay full price for shipping.


What if I don’t like it when it arrives?

This question doesn’t need to be asked, because as soon as you get the pet you’ll realize that you won’t be able to return it. 🙁 Most of them have been taken from their mothers far too early and shipped in cramped containers without food or water, so they are understandably upset when they first arrive. They’ll probably be a bit shy at first, but will warm up after a few days. Make sure you give them a few days to relax and get used to their new surroundings. If, after a week, you still aren’t satisfied with your purchase, there are organizations that can help you re-home the animal or find it a new home. A lot of shelters and animal protection groups have offered to help those who have bought pets that they no longer want.

The questions listed above are just a few that can be asked. There are many other that can also be asked.

These are just guidelines on the most popular questions and answers. It is important that you feel comfortable with the breeder and your new pet.

Questions to Ask when buying a dog from a Backyard Breeder


How old is the mother?

Most breeders will have records of the mother’s age. Be wary of breeders who can’t tell you the age of the mother; she could be too young (less than two years) to produce puppies, which could have severe health problems.

Questions to Ask When Phoning a Breeder - DogPuppySite


Where did the puppies’ mother and father come from? How old are they?

Responsible breeders will have a record of parentage for all their dogs, as well as knowing the ages of both parents.


What are you feeding the mothers during their pregnancy?

A responsible breeder will feed their breeding females a quality diet to ensure the health of the mother and puppies. Maternal malnutrition can predispose the puppies to a variety of health problems.


Are you a member of any dog breed club?

Many clubs, such as Canadian Kennel Club, American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club, require that everyone who participates in their activities be a member. If they refuse to provide proof that they are a member, then I would be wary of doing business with them!


What health tests do you have the parents of the puppies (and grandparents) on?

A reputable breeder will have their breeding stock tested for genetic defects common to that breed. The most commonly tested for defects are:

hip dysplasia ((LINK REMOVED)

Elbow Dysplasia (LINK REMOVED)

Optic Dysplasia (LINK REMOVED)

Heart Disease (LINK REMOVED)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (LINK REMOVED)

Blindness (Can be caused by a number of things, including PRA and diabetes) (LINK REMOVED)

Patella Luxation (LINK REMOVED)

Other things to consider when buying a pet:

Questions to Ask When Phoning a Breeder - at DogPuppySite

1) A good breeder will be interested in where you live and work, and ask you questions about yourself.

Be wary if the breeder doesn’t want to know where you live, or doesn’t ask you any questions about your life.

2) A good breeder will also provide you with the name of the person to contact in case you have questions after you get your pet.

This shows that the breeder is willing to stand behind their puppies and help you in the future.

3) A good breeder will also offer you a health guarantee on your pet.

4) A good breeder will ask you a lot of questions about yourself.

This shows that they are more interested in finding the right home for their puppies than making money.

5) A good breeder will ask to see your home and where the puppy will be living.

This will help the breeder determine if the environment is good for the dog.

Other Questions to Consider:

1) Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

One of the best ways to find a quality breeder is to ask your veterinarian. He or she will most likely know the local breeders, and can provide you with personal referrals.

2) Check out local dog shows.

Local shows will give you the opportunity to see and talk to a lot of different breeders. Shows are typically very busy, so the breeders will be busy and quite available to talk with you.

Questions to Ask When Phoning a Breeder - Dog Puppy Site

Most of them will also have information about their dogs and the breed in general. Shows are a great place for you to decide if you even like that particular breed, as well as which breeder you feel is the best one for you. Don’t forget to ask for referrals!

3) Check out online dog directories.

There are several websites that list dog breeders, such as the International Kennel Club (IKC). The IKC provides information on breeders who have satisfied customers and members.

If a breeder is listed with the IKC, then they are actively involved in canine activities and most likely a reputable breeder.

4) Use common sense!

If the breeder asks you to pay via Western Union, or money order, or will not give a health clearance certificate, be wary. This is not the norm for reputable breeders.

These may be signs of a “backyard breeder” or even someone looking to sell puppies with health problems for a quick buck.

Remember, there are good breeders out there, but you have to take the time to find them!

Sources & references used in this article:

An ethicist’s commentary on the case of the defective puppy adopted out by a breeder. by BE Rollin – The Canadian veterinary journal= La revue veterinaire …, 1998 –

Tree breeding for photosynthetic efficiency by ER Falkenhagen – South African Forestry Journal, 1976 – Taylor & Francis

Marshall Graves, JA, RM Hope, and DW Cooper (eds.). Mammals from Pouches and Eggs: Genetics, Breeding, and Evolution of Marsupials and … by J Shattuck – 2004 – WW Norton & Company

VETERINARY MEDICAL ETHICS by T Farmer – Market Research Library, 1998

A journalist’s view by C Krajewski – 1992 –

THE PRESIDENT’S COLUMN… Working Today, Planning for Tomorrow by BM Stock – Education Week, 2007