Note: DogTime does not endorse any breeder. We recommend readers research and interview breeders thoroughly before buying a dog.
If you buy a dog from an unknowledgeable backyard breeder or a puppy mill, you risk winding up with a dog who has health and behavioral problems. (Not to mention, you support the irresponsible breeding of dogs.) Any one of the following should be considered a red flag–and your cue to walk away.
Does the breeder:
- Sell dogs only to individuals they meet with, and they never sell to pet stores
- Meet prospective buyers at their home, rather than selling puppies at flea markets or by the side of the road
- Sell only one breed of dog and produce just one or two litters a year
- Participate in dog shows and competitions with their chosen breed
- Never advertise that puppies are ready for Christmas, Easter, or other holidays
- Agree to let you meet the puppy’s mother or both parents
- Wait until puppies are at least eight weeks old before letting them leave their mother
- Use recognized and approved registries
- Provide health clearances for the puppy’s parents and grandparents
- Ask as many questions of you as you ask of them
When you visit the breeder’s home or facility, do you see:
- The mother and puppies live in the home with the family, not outside or in the garage or basement
- The dogs appear healthy and happy
- The dogs are comfortable around people and other dogs
- The puppies’ area is well maintained, with a toilet area and water available
Adapted from the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project.