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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2006, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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How to get info on a breeder?

Is there any place that you can go to to research information on specific breeders. Whether or not there have been any complaints/etc.

I have been looking at blue merle collies, and have found someone with a couple at relatively decent prices, but they have 4 litters right now. I know it doesn't necessarily mean the mothers are overbred, but I still can't help but look at 4 litters and think "Have there been any puppy mill accusations?"

Does anyone know if there's a place I can go (other than the breeders personal website) to get information?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2006, 09:58 AM
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Contact the AKC and inquire about the breeder. Ask if there have been any inspections.

Contact their local area kennel club and see if they are a participating member.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2006, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2006, 05:37 PM
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You could also your local better business bureau and visit your local animal shelter to see if they have heard anything bad about the breeder you are thinking of using.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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The breeder lives on a huge farm, and it certainly doesn't look like a puppy mill, but obviously I want to be sure first. My guess is that they breed more during the summer because their children enjoy spending time with the new pups, and don't have school in the summer.

Oddly enough, the breeder themselves actually helped me out with this. The four litters only had 3 blue merles, and all 3 already have homes waiting for them. The breeder offered to keep hold of my email address and let me know when they have blues available again. So basically, when they tell me they have more blues, I can see whether or not the new ones share a mother with any of these 4 litters, and if it is one of the mothers that just gave birth, I'll be able to tell how long it has been since their last litter.

I'm still going to check with the AKC/etc. Unfortunately, they are in a different state from me, so I don't think my local shelter or BBB would have any info, but I can contact shelters in their area to see if they have heard anything.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 11:01 PM
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Having recently got a puppy from a breeder - here's my experience. Just talking to the breeder made a lot of difference and told me a lot.

For example, my pup's breeder (and her mum!) is a couple of hours north of here. Dad came from a few 1000 miles away - subtext, breeder is interested in improving breeding lines, not pumping out maximum number of puppies.

Another example - in talking about the dogs generally, she was able to tell me characteristics of some of the different breeding lines. Subtext - again, a passion for improving the breed.

Lots of backup, support, and information - she's followed me up since I got the pup, answered lots of probably stupid questions before I got her, etc - subtext: interested in the dog going to a good home, not just in selling her.

Comment about going to Queensland to pick up a puppy, because she had provided a free stud dog to this kennel a few times so now they were giving her a puppy.... you're getting the message.

Showing her dogs - actually finding a time to meet the dogs on a weekend (given that breeder lives 3hrs drive from here) was a challenge because the owner was off to dog shows. Now personally I just wanted a pet, champion pedigree doesn't really excite me - but again, it was an indication of how the breeder thinks about her dogs and that her priority is NOT a puppy mill.

Where the other pups were going - one was staying to be a stud dog. One was going to be a show dog. One was staying to be a pet because her husband likes tan-and-whites. One (ours) was going to be a show dog (when I first contacted the breeder she had no pups available!) until its owner-to-be lost a job and decided not to take it (so breeder contacted me) - now of course the breeder could be lying, but again, I don't get the impression of a puppy mill.

Of course, the breeder was registered - this information is online here. I also found breed clubs a handy source of information.

I spoke to quite a few breeders and some of them are mad as cut snakes (i took to making first contact by e-mail after a while, so I could filter out the stranger ones!). The "puppy mill" ones are pretty obvious - actually sometimes they were obvious from the breeder's own website - the word "puppy farm" on one had me running for cover!

Anyway, I don't know of an "official" way to check, but with this breeder, several conversations, e-mails and a couple of meetings and it just all added up right. You get a sense of their priorities!
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