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Old 04-09-2009, 12:15 AM
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wcladymacbeth wcladymacbeth is offline
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Default How do you find a good breeder?

I never realized how much there was to it. I figured if they're not a puppy mill, they can't be too awful. Shows how much I know. I was considering looking into a blue merle sheltie that was going for $400 by a breeder in PA, and Beanie did some research and helped me realize it's not that simple. I don't want to support a breeder that's not any good.

So how DO you find a good breeder? It makes me feel tired to THINK about all the research you must have to do. I guess you would have to know everything about the breed that you want, what kind of health testing is required and how often, etc. Is it possible to tell a good breeder just from a website?

Take this one for instance.
Belmark Shelties - breeder of sheltie puppies, adults for sale. Champion stud service.
I think it sounds great. The dogs are really cute and they have show dogs available, or companion dogs for a little cheaper. It has the contracts on there that require your companion dog to be spayed or neutered. It does seem like maybe there's a lot of dogs listed for one little family farm, and from what I've read on here that could be bad.

If you can't tell a good breeder just by having your good friends on Chaz check out the website, then what do you do? Call the breeder and ask them questions? What are you supposed to ask them? Is it better to go to the breeder's place and check out the actual conditions? What would you look for if you do that? I mean, obviously if I see a bunch of pregnant dogs locked up in kennels, I'll run like hell, but is it always that obvious?

If there's a previous thread that goes over all that, feel free to direct me towards it. Sometimes it's just so much easier to start a new thread and ask.

All I really want is a confident smart healthy dog, and Justin seems to want a sheltie. I told him they bark a lot but that's still what he wants, lol.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:59 AM
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If you have a specific breed in mind you can go to the breed club's website and they usually have a referral person who can send you a list of breeders in their area. These people usually have an idea of who might have litters coming up as well.

When we were looking for a griffon I read everything I could, and had a bunch of questions. Then started e-mailing everybody that looked promising saying I wanted to learn more about the breed, would they mind answering a few questions, and also asked them about their health testing, etc.

If the person has the dog's registered names on their websites you can look them up in the OFA database to see if health tests have been done and what the results were. I did that with Charlie's parents before we bought him and wowee! I have never seen such an extensive record of immediate family and extended family with great scores on everything.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:52 AM
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Personally, I like to meet breeders... or at least know & trust some one who recommends them. I've been interested in plenty of breeders, and I've found out BAD things about them that I would never have known, through people I know in the breed.

I recommend immersing yourself in the breed. Try to get out to Sheltie shows, Sheltie club events, etc. By doing so you will also learn a lot more about the breed itself and have the opportunity to meet tons of Shelties, and get an idea of what "type" of Sheltie you like, and what lines/breeders are your favorite. I found the Cardi breeder that I was going to buy a puppy from (before I found Fozzie) because I adored the Cardis on my Flyball team, who happened to be from dogs from their lines. It is so important and invaluable to have a breeder who you build a relationship with, and who is always there for you and your pup. I hope I can find one, someday! I tend to stay away from people who are short and uninterested in me, talking to me, and getting to know me. That's #1 for me, because a breeder who truly cares about their dogs and the future of their puppies is much more likely to be breeder who is improving the breed... of course, that's besides all of the BASIC breeder requirements that Beanie and Romy covered.

The breeder that you posted has gorgeous dogs, and they seem very reputable. But, they do seem VERY show-focused. I didn't see any other titles on their dogs. IMHO, any herding breed should at the very least have a HIC on them before they're bred. I would prefer something a bit higher to prove that they have the brains as well as the beauty. CGC's, TDI's, Obedience, Agility, etc titles are also something that I look for and that I don't see on any of their dogs. They do have a loooot of Shelties.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:47 AM
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Shelties are a hard breed to find breeders for imo. I thought about going that route instead of a bc for the next dog simply because shelties are familiar and not quite so high drive as a bc. I live in an apartment so that's a consideration.

When we got Trey, our breeder had HIC's, agility titles, and obedience titles on her dogs as well as conformation Ch's. I didn't realize how rare that is. Trey's breeder no longer breeds. Even then, Trey isn't the type of sheltie I'd want in the future. I've looked for similar titles on dogs now and all I see are really Ch's on most lines. I have found lines with only Ch's that produce good sports dogs, but it's annoying and I'm beginning to wonder if that type of sheltie even exists much anymore. I did find one with good dogs and performance titles but she was very short with me in emails (basically a 'I will have X litter at this time') and the only breeding she was doing this year the parents only had show titles and no performance.

I think I know someone who has a dog from Belmark, but maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:44 AM
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wcladymacbeth wcladymacbeth is offline
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Thanks for the helpful tips, guys I've never been to any kind of dog show, might be fun to check one out a sheltie show. I should also probably figure out what all those abbreviations mean HIC, Ch, CGC.... hehe I'm clueless.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcladymacbeth View Post
I should also probably figure out what all those abbreviations mean HIC, Ch, CGC.... hehe I'm clueless.
I have this on my site. Maybe it will help with all those abbreviations.
black mask rottweilers titles
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:01 AM
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one thing i always suggest is to email the breeder, talk to them and get to know them.
Also google and rip off report can be very helpful, if you find something bad on those sites, talk to the breeder about it.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcladymacbeth View Post
If you can't tell a good breeder just by having your good friends on Chaz check out the website, then what do you do? Call the breeder and ask them questions? What are you supposed to ask them? Is it better to go to the breeder's place and check out the actual conditions? What would you look for if you do that? I mean, obviously if I see a bunch of pregnant dogs locked up in kennels, I'll run like hell, but is it always that obvious?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when visiting a breeder. . .

What are the dogs in the kennels like?
Are they barking mad at you?
Are they growling?
What does their dogss coat look/smell like?
Are they over-weight?
Are they listening to the owner/handler when they tell them something (like a "quiet" command?)
What are the dogs living in?
What does there kennel look like?
Is the kennel covered in there waste?

If you can't meet the breeder before you get the dog/pup questions to ask him/her in email (or even if you can talk face to face) would be. . .

How many litters do you have a year?
How are your pups raised?
When do they let them go to there new homes?
What are the contracts like? Comepletely outragous?
What titles to your breeding dogs have?
What health tests are done? (that would depend on what health tests your think are needed for that breed)


Conversation will naturally go from there. And if they are a reputable breeder they will usually be more than willing to answer any and all questions you have and even some you may not think of.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:05 AM
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The one thing I would add is to meet the dogs. The most important thing to look for in any breed but especially shelties is a good temperament. There are a lot of shy/fearful shelties out there.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:16 AM
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This doesn't really apply to you directly, but incase there are lurkers reading too

For us Canadians, there is a magazine called "Dogs In Canada" which puts out an annual catalogue of breeders (the lists are also on the website Dogs in Canada Home). I don't know what the requirements are to be listed in the magazine, but the breeders all seem to be good. It is of course not an exhaustive list, and not the best place to look for sport dogs (they seem to all be show breeders), but it's a good place to start.
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