It can be a minefield deciding which Doodle you would prefer. However, the research isn’t over once you have made your choice. Finding a reputable breeder can be a long process and you need to make sure that you do your due diligence.
Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous ‘breeders’ out there who are only in the business of making a fast buck.
With this article, we will provide you with all the knowledge you will need to ensure you are sourcing the right pup from the right breeder. We will arm you with the pertinent questions to ask, the knowledge to know what paperwork you need to see and the insight to be able to spot a scam.
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Where Do I Start?
It’s an overwhelming feeling thinking about how you are going to find the perfect pooch without getting scammed out of your hard-earned cash or ending up with an unhealthy dog. There is so much to think about, and your mind will be swimming.
There are a few avenues that you can try, in fact it wouldn’t be a bad thing to try them all, to find the right breeder:
- Word of Mouth – Ask your friends. They may not have the same breed of dog that you want but their breeder may be able to put you in touch with the right one. Personal recommendations are a great resource.
- Social Media – Facebook groups, Instagram referrals, and other social media platforms are also a good starting point. There will be a long way to go in terms of ensuring that the breeder is the right one for you and is reputable but it’s a great place to start. Observing a breeder’s social medial presence can also be a way of checking them out.
- The Internet – Good old Google will be able to list details of breeders in your local area. Or even further afield if you are willing to travel. Again, checking out their webpage for activity, reviews and testimonials can give you a good feel for them.
What is a Puppy Mill?
A Puppy Mill or Puppy Farm is a place where puppies are bred on mass. They will often breed several different breeds of dog whether that be Doodle or otherwise. If any, they will have little regard for their breeding bitches, pushing them beyond their limits. In turn, it’s is likely that the pups won’t be of the best health or temperament.
Often, once the breeding bitches have reached the end of their career, they are euthanised.
What is a Backyard Breeder?
A Backyard Breeder is a term used for a breeder who breeds animals irresponsibly. It is much the same as a puppy mill, but not on such a large scale, often from their own home.
Sometimes, the pups and breeding bitches and dogs are not pets and are kept in sheds or garages outside. Most often the owner of the bitch won’t have done their due diligence and be unable to care for the whelping mother or puppies effectively.
Do Breeders have to be Licensed or Registered?
Usually, yes, but this depends on where they are based, what country they are in, what state or county by-laws they will need to adhere to, and how many litters are produced.
Here is a broad guide to laws relating to dog breeders:
On the whole, only large-scale breeders are required by law to be licensed. However, what constitutes a “breeder” can vary depending on which state the breeder resides and operates in.
Some States require a breeder to be licensed if they are producing more than 2 litters per year. Some States base the license need on the revenue generated from the business.
A breeding license will be required for anyone breeding three or more litters and selling AT LEAST ONE PUPPY in a 12-month period. All license types issued by the local government are subject to at least one unannounced visit to inspect the breeder and welfare of the animals.
No license is required on the whole, as long as breeders keep their numbers low. In most areas, the maximum number of dogs allowed is between 3 and 4 per household, depending on where you live.
There is no limit on the number of litters a bitch is allowed to have in any given time, but breeders do need to be registered as “breeders” within 28 days of the first litter.
How Do You Check if a Breeder is Registered?
Simple – Ask to see their license! Any reputable breeder will have worked hard to obtain and maintain their license and will be please to show that they are responsible enough to have registered and abide by their local laws regarding breeding dogs.
What Questions Should I Ask?
Asking lots of questions will not only give you the answers that you are looking for, but it will show the breeder that you are serious and have the puppy’s welfare at heart. Not only do breeders get scammed too but they will want to know that their puppies are going to the best homes.
Remember that you can never ask enough questions and no question is a stupid question.
What Paperwork Should I See?
Crossbreeds should come from two purebred parents. This will mean that they have come from known bloodlines that are registered with a professional body (AKC /KC). The registration papers will include their heritage and their “Registered Name”.
Often purebred dogs are registered with a special name that will include their kennel name associated with their breeder.
It is not unusual for a purebred dog to have a name like “Buddy” in real life, but on their official registration documents, they could have a name like “Wolfenstein Darkness the Third”. Yeah, I just made that one up, but you get the idea!
Other paperwork should be health paperwork, like veterinary health tests, scans, X-rays, blood tests, and DNA test results.
What Should the Breeder Ask Me?
A good breeder will care where their puppies go. They will want their pups to have a long happy life with the same family and will want to know how their pups are progressing.
You should be prepared to answer questions relating to your family and your home situation. This could include asking about your experience, your family size, and age, your work, your garden, or your ability to access a dog park or dog-friendly field.
You should also expect to tell the breeder about any worries you have and to give them your contact number or email address so you can keep in touch with each other.
Many breeders run a social media page where a community is built upon each litter and their families, enabling you to see how the other pups from previous litters are progressing.
Will I Sign A Contract?
All breeders who sell a puppy should issue a contract to you. The terms of this contract could include such things as breeding rights and if you need to surrender the puppy for whatever reason.
Signing a contract will also give you buyers rights in the transaction. This can include such things as inherited problems or the puppy dying within a short, specified period.
Often the contract will specify breeding rights. This will ask that you get your pup spayed or neutered within a specified time and agree not to intentionally breed them.
The other way in which a contract is helpful is when you will be needing a Kennel Club endorsement from the breeder. This is applicable to all breeds currently able to be registered with the KC or AKC. This is particularly important if you plan to breed and register puppies in the future. Although Cavapoos are not yet “registered breeds”, they could become a registered breed, in time.
Should I Be Wary of a Low-Cost Puppy?
Yes. Breeding dogs is expensive if done correctly.
The bitch will need several veterinary appointments, scans, and blood tests throughout her pregnancy. She will need a special diet and exercise. Birthing the pups can be expensive if a veterinarian is required due to problems during or shortly after the birth.
All pups will need to be microchipped, vaccinated, litter trained, weaned onto puppy food, wormed and vet checked prior to being ready for sale.
If you also take into account the fact that the breeder is usually hands-on 24/7 once the pups arrive, to the day they leave, to ensure they are safe and happy, I would think twice about a low-cost puppy and just how well looked after the parents and young pups have been.
How to Spot a Scam!
There are many ways in which unscrupulous people will make you part with your cash for a poorly raised or stolen puppy, or a non-existent puppy.
Here are just a few:
- Deposit paid with no receipt
- Little or no puppy progress updates
- Mum of pups not around / available / in any of the pictures
- Breeder unwilling to allow a real-life visit
- Public space to transact the sale of the pup
- Easily negotiated down in price for the pup
- Not interested in getting to know you or where the pup will end up living
- Little knowledge about the breed they are selling to you
Whilst there are many scams, unscrupulous sellers, and puppy mills out there, there are also many reputable, caring, and worthy breeders. If you ask the right questions, do your due diligence, and stay alert then you will match yourself with the latter and not the former.
It’s easy to be drawn in with photos of cute balls of fluff and take-me-home puppy eyes but stay on your guard. This is what those who are out to make a quick buck will rely on.
It may seem like hard work and sometimes even heartbreaking but, in the end, your hard work will pay off when you bring your Cavapoo to join you in their forever home.