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  #21  
Old 10-25-2011, 05:53 PM
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Bit of luck on my part too. I joined a message board and began speaking briefly with a lot of members of the trial/sheepdog community and put out feelers for potential available dogs/pups. I got a response from a few people, one being a breeder I had previously admired from afar thanks to her writing and research on the health of the breed. Found out she was expecting a litter from lines that I favored, and I reserved a female pup. It was all thanks to the internet!

I got a LOT of flack from some people about going with a breeder I'd never met, since I was inexperienced in the breed and had never worked a sheepdog before. The breeder was in North Carolina and I was in Arizona, but I trusted the community; everyone I had encountered wholeheartedly vouched for her, and for the lines behind her dogs. About 5 years later I have a super healthy, gorgeous, brilliant dog and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Probably will, actually, if I wind up with another breeder dog.

I know a "perfect" breeder doesn't exist, but I was super happy with mine. The only thing is that Eve's litter was the only one she's bred in the last 5 years.
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  #22  
Old 10-25-2011, 06:12 PM
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I still haven't found the perfect breeder. I've come close, but even my Dobe breeder could do a thing or two to make her truly perfect. But really, even in Tollers where I've now gotten to know a few more breeders and know of even more and what their ethics are, it is hard to find a truly perfect breeder.

And with the breed I plan to get next (verging on becoming obsessed with them & I can't even have another dog for a few more years), breeders don't seem to typically do all of the different health testing and performance titles and such that are important to me in my current two breeds. This breed is bred solely for working purposes, so things will be different yet again as far as finding the 'perfect' breeder.

Really, I think word of mouth goes a long way in finding your ideal breeder. You can do all the internet research you want, but actually talking to people within a breed has been the most valuable tool for me.
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  #23  
Old 10-25-2011, 06:43 PM
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IMO the only way have a perfect breeder is to raise and breed dogs yourself to a high standard.
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  #24  
Old 10-25-2011, 07:36 PM
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With my first Papillon and first dog that I've bought for myself, I really didn't have that many requirements.

My requirements were that the breeder isn't too too far away (in the same province), showed in conformation, health tested and had pups for pet homes.

I looked up breeders in the breed club in the area and contacted all the people near me. I think I contacted probably 5 or 6 breeders. One breeder I liked was very helpful, after passing her screening, I had my name on a waitinglist of the litter she was breeding that year.

However, when that litter was born, it was a singleton. I kept pestering the breeder to ask if she's keeping the pup and for the longest time she said she was undecided but in the end she kept the pup for herself. She didn't have another litter planned until next spring (I talked to her around April of the year before) and I didn't really like the dog in her next breeding so I looked elsewhere.

Another breeder that I really like had a litter around that time and I wanted a female pup from it. She let me pick a pup but after a few weeks she told me she wanted to keep the pup I picked for herself as a show prospect. She said I could have her if I paid the full show contract price and allowed her to be shown by the breeder. I passed since this is my first Pap and I just wanted a pet. Plus I really didn't want to deal with an intact female dog for the next 10+ years.

Last breeder I contacted bred 2 litters a few months ago. She said she had a few pups left that she kept to grow out but she said she won't be keeping all of them and told me I could meet them. We met in a park and the pups were about 4.5 months old already. I didn't think I would be going with her as I really wanted a younger pup but when I met them, I fell in love with the annoying one that kept stealing treats, not paying attention, and eating all the flowers in the park LOL. I went home to think about it, put down a deposit a few days later. I couldn't take the pup home right away as I didn't expect to be getting a pup so suddenly and voiced my concern to Nia's breeder. She said she didn't mind keeping the pup for another month for me and that was it. Nia came home a month later and she's been perfect thus far. Healthy, drivey and energetic! I keep thanking her breeder for Nia lol.

I'm sure she's not perfect as she doesn't submit x-rays and stuff to OFA or another organization to evaluate but she did have x-rays with her certified by her vet (on knees) and I was ok with that.

Now I think I'm a bit pickier with breeders. My criteria hasn't changed too drastically though. For Paps I want to see some conformation, preferably some agility too now which Nia's breeder didn't do, health tests.

For Border Collies, since I've decided on a working line dog, I want to see the dog worked at a high level (actual farm work or successfully trialing), and health tests.

I really highly prefer breeders that are negotiable in their spay/neuter contracts and I really don't like breeders saying that pups need certain vaccinations. I do DHPP and rabies but no lepto and I probably won't buy from someone that said I had to vaccinate for lepto because it's really pretty much non-existent in my area.
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  #25  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:03 PM
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I hear ya, Hayley!

The sad fact is that, without accurate "inside information", it's very difficult to determine how "good" a particular breeder is. All too often, "successful breeders" owe their success, not to their high breeding standards, but to their expertise in knowing how to put a web site together, or knowing how to handle people, or knowing exactly what potential puppy people want to hear.

It helps to get recommendations from others but, even so, this is never a bullet-proof method ...

Simple math will tell you that if a full one third of a breeder's litters are sickly or with bad temperaments, she could still potentially use the remaining two thirds of her puppy people as references; and the more puppies a given breeder produces, the more references she generates. I personally know of breeders like this; and each will parade around more championship titles and health tests than you could wave a stick at.

I know of people who sing the praises of absolutely horrid breeders! I suppose ths secret is in knowing, to whose song one should listen.

Well... that wasn't of much help now, was it!

Good luck, Hayley!
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  #26  
Old 11-17-2011, 04:45 PM
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Best and a must is visit your breeder in person.I put up how to choose a breeder for our breed. Got good feedback and now my pre application has cut down on the amount of contact i get. 10 reasons not to own one is good for a breeder to do too. Of course got to the offa database as well. And make sure the parents do what you want in your pup. Good luck
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  #27  
Old 11-18-2011, 08:45 AM
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There's nothing perfect about where my two came from. However, I've been good friends with the breeder I will buy my next dog from. They're not perfect but pretty darn close. Health testing, house dogs, active training and competing, and a wonderful resource. The dogs are NOT typy, I like that!
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  #28  
Old 11-18-2011, 09:05 AM
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I kind of got lucky the first time. I wasn't in a position to buy a dog or even keep one. So that kept a lot that just wanted to unload a dog from even chatting with me. I met some, got involved in protection sports, learned a lot. Found dogs I liked and by then I had a good idea of what I wanted. I wouldnt suggest anybody do it any other way

But back then, if I'd have had the time, place, and money, I probably would have bought the first cute puppy I found. I'm so glad I didn't.
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  #29  
Old 11-18-2011, 03:15 PM
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I got stupid lucky too. I just wanted a German Shepherd. I knew I wanted a working line dog after doing tons of research, because I wanted to do Schutzhund with my dog. I'd found Leerburg, but I wasn't thrilled with their attitudes, and knew I couldn't afford one of their puppies.

I ended up finding my breeder and spent several hours talking with her about her dogs and the litter she had on the ground, and she felt that she didn't have a puppy for me, but she helped me find one, he was an import from Belgium, and if not for her, I'd have never had Apollo.

After Apollo passed, I didn't really want another shepherd. I did, but at the same time, I knew I'd constantly be comparing it to him, and that wasn't really fair. So I waited, and finally my breeder had a year and a half old keep back that was too small for a male to breed to, even though his lines are phenomenal, and she offered him to me to have. He's not going to be a schutzhund dog, I don't have the time for that anymore, and bite sports are not something you want a SD prospect to be involved in
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  #30  
Old 11-18-2011, 05:20 PM
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Revy's breeder is well nigh PERFECT - I found her because 3-4 people at my obedience club have dogs from the same breeder, and all are exactly what I envision a GOOD Pembroke to be. Pretty, compact, functional with the drive and temperament to be high scoring in several activities.

The dobes' breeder... well, I wouldn't say she's absolutely perfect (who is?) but I stumbled upon her completely by accident. And I've been happy with every dog I've gotten from her.
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