Selecting a breeder is not an easy task. While you research and narrow down a dog breed and breeder that is right for you it is imperative that you perform your due diligence before purchasing. Fraudulent or unethical breeders are common. It is important to arm yourself with caution and knowledge.
1. Whenever possible visit the breeder and dogs in person. Email is typically the initial form of contact with a breeder. This should NOT ever be the only form of contact. Once you have your initial questions answered and feel you are interested in purchasing a dog ask for and obtain as much of the breeders contact information that you can. (Ex: phone number, physical address, website) If the breeder is unwilling or frequently unable to talk on the phone this should be a red flag. Don't be afraid to do an internet search on the breeder and kennel name.
2. Knowing exactly what you are buying is critical. Make sure your questions and concerns are made known upfront. Ask the breeder to send you additional current pictures or video of the dog you are interested in. Make sure that the dog you are interested in is distinguished in some way by the breeder. Ask for pictures that show consistent growth in the dog.
3. Once you have determined that the breeder you have chosen has the dog you want to purchase you will need to settle on a clearly defined contract before you purchase your dog. Everything must be in writing. The contract should state in detail exactly what you are and aren't getting. Your contract should state specifically which dog you are going to purchase, what registration if any the dog has, any health guarantees or warranties, reimbursement process, and timeframes respectively. Both the breeder and buyer should sign the contract. A good contract will protect both the buyer and the breeder and will alleviate any problems that may arise from miscommunication.
4. Many breeders offer various methods of payment. Chose one that both you and your breeder feel comfortable with. Never ever wire money. There are many secure methods that can ensure that you have a way to protect the funds in case a problem of fraud arises. Never use Western Union, and never send cash.
5. Ask for accurate and reliable health, vaccination and pedigree information. Inquire about and clearly establish health guarantees and a return policy.
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