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12 Tips on "Red Flags" when Looking at Dog Breeders

Discussion in 'Doberman Breeders' started by DobieLvr, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate

    12 Tips on "Red Flags" when Looking at Dog Breeders


    When looking for a new dog, it is important to get the best and healthiest puppy possible. The best purebred puppies come from the best breeders.

    Choosing a breeder can be difficult. There are lots of great dog breeders out there and even more really bad breeders. Bad breeders don't practice the best prenatal care, provide disease screening, socialize their puppies or provide puppies with the best preventative health care.

    There are several "red flags" that you should consider when interviewing a breeder:

    1. Puppies that have not been socialized
    2. Puppies that have not seen a veterinarian
    3. Breeders that are reluctant to give you references
    4. Breeders that breed more than one breed of dog
    5. Breeders that won't allow you to see their breeding facility or environment
    6. Breeder facilities that look like puppy mills
    7. Puppies that appear dirty or smell/living in poor conditions
    8. Breeders that don't work with a veterinarian providing good quality prenatal care to the bitch
    9. Breeders that don't take the puppies to their veterinarian in for general "wellness care" and health certificates
    10. Breeders that won't give you a guarantee
    11. Breeders that don't want to you meet the pups parents
    12. Breeders that sell to pet stores

     
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    Don't mean to hijack your thread, but seems there are some that aren't familiar with some of the terms. Hope you don't mind me expanding it a little.

    1. Puppies that have not been socialized
    Puppies that are very skittish and try to hide, freak out when you try to pick them up.

    2. Puppies that have not seen a veterinarian
    Obvious signs: runny eyes or nose, coughing, bloated bellies

    3. Breeders that are reluctant to give you references
    If they don't want to give you a reference, look elsewhere period!

    4. Breeders that breed more than one breed of dog

    5. Breeders that won't allow you to see their breeding facility or environment
    The "I'll meet you at the nearest exit" with the pup doesn't cut it.

    6. Breeder facilities that look like puppy mills

    7. Puppies that appear dirty or smell/living in poor conditions
    Smell, poo stuck to coat, dull coats, flaky skin

    8. Breeders that don't work with a veterinarian providing good quality prenatal care to the bitch.

    9. Breeders that don't take the puppies to their veterinarian in for general "wellness care" and health certificates.
    Pups should be vaccinated prior to being placed and have a State Health Certificate from a licensed vet.

    10. Breeders that won't give you a guarantee

    11. Breeders that don't want to you meet the pups parents
    Always meet the sire & dam. Sometimes the sire might not be available due to being an outside stud.

    12. Breeders that sell to pet stores.
    I don't think many would admit to this, but if you ask and they are truthful enough to tell you "yes", then......run.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate

    OH no.. by all means add to the list!! I agree totally. Number 9... most people don't know this, but it's required even if you are driving!! It's not pushed but should you get a nasty cop... and you are in trouble...
     
  4. Velmadobe

    Velmadobe New Member

    I will agree with all but number 9 - I know plenty of breeders who avoid taking their puppies to the vets because of all the potential germs floating around.

    I did all of my own shots & worming, and the tails and dews were done by a very experienced professional in my home to avoid taking 3 day old puppies out of the house and potentially exposing them to God knows what.

    They did each have an exam from the cropping vet - but I didn't get "certificates". She has a very small practice and my puppies were the only clients there on the day of cropping. They got an overall exam again by my regular vet when getting the bottem stitches out - but again there was no "certificate" given or even discussed. I wonder if this is something that states differ on. I know you have to have one if you are shipping.... but I don't ship.

    Each puppy left with a bunch of stuff including a 3 ring binder with all kinds of info. They each had a shot/worming record to give to their own vet - with instructions regarding remaining vaccines and rabies.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    In the State of FL, puppies or kittens cannot be sold under 8 wks or without a State Health Certificate. They cannot be transported in our out of the state without one either.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate

    It's a Federal Law Velma... anytime a puppy/dog crosses a state line it's required. It's the reason the airlines require it. You might want to check this, because of different things that are going on, they (law enforcement agencies) are being told to ask for dogs papers when traveling now. My girlfriend is Michigan State Police and she tells me all this stuff...
    There are rumors some dog shows are going to start requiring this as well.
    So, unless your dogs are staying in your state... you really should get one. Besides, it's proof that the dog was seen by a vet - on your end, should there be a problem later.
     
  7. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate

    Did some quick checking:

    Dog Health Certificates

    Health certificates - both standard and interstate - are issued by each individual state and are obtained from licensed veternarians. If your dog is travelling across state lines, be aware of the different entry regulations for each state and request an interstate certificate from your veternarian along with signed copies


    A health certificate states that your dog is free from infectious diseases and current on all vaccinations. It does not indicate that your dog is in generally good health.
    If you are purchasing an animal, we strongly recommend that you request that an actual physical examination be conducted by a qualified veterinarian. This additional measure will insure that you are buying a healthy animal and avoid any difficulties that might arise during transport or after arrival.

    If you are using a commercial transport service (ground or air) the USDA reglations state: A health certificate issued within 10 days of shipment must accompany any dog, cat, or non-human primate that is transported in commerce by a (USDA) licensee or registrant. Regulated dogs, cats, and non-human primates transported intrastate by commercial carrier, transported interstate, or in foreign commerce, are required to have properly executed health certificates. However, dogs, cats,and nonhuman primates transported within the State and in the licensee/registrant vehicle may be transported without a health certificate.

    As an example of individual state regulations, Arizona requires an original health certificate issued by an accredited veterinarian within 30 days prior to entry. Photocopies of health certificates must have an original veterinarian signature. The health certificate must document that the animal is currently vaccinated against rabies according to the requirements of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Compendium of Animal Rabies Control."
     
  8. Silent

    Silent Novitiate

    Breeders that only give a guarantee (especially for congenital and heriditary problems) if you buy a product they get a kickback from.... like nuvet or a specific food. My vet and I should determine what is best for the dogs health because not every dog does well on specific products.
     
  9. DobesMom

    DobesMom Member

    I wish I had seen this list prior to getting Hope & Fire.
    Sadly, it's still not a guarantee....because they had health certificates, I spoke directly with the vet & he gave the woman a good recommendation, I was told the puppies had been wormed (a lie, the vet had told her the dosage...but she never gave it to them) & gotten 5-in-1's...I was told they were raised in a home with a set of 3 year old twins & a 17 year old. When they came to me, and still now, Fire is VERY leery of anyone she doesn't know (she avoids them & growls or barks, especially at kids). She sent pictures of the "parents". Lord knows if they really were them, or not. If they were I'd be really surprised.
    Anyway, I have a couple to add:

    If your calls or emails are not responded to with detailed answers, or "get lost" when you ask certain questions (like health, medical care received, parents age/health, etc.)...red flag
    If updated photos (maybe 1 per week) aren't given AFTER you have paid in full...red flag
    People who don't ask enough details about YOU, the buyer, and why you want that breed....red flag

    The "greeder" who I got Hope & Fire from , I now know, cared less about any of her animals.
    The second breeder I got Ember from was night & day difference....and so is Ember's personality & overall health/looks.

    Great thread.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate

    Really great additions!! I have a problem with breeders that only give a "1 year" guarantee with their dogs as well. I think any good breeder should do at least 3 years. it can take that long to find out there are genetic problems.
     
  11. Velmadobe

    Velmadobe New Member

    I personally consider most health guarantees to be a red flag. Most genetic health issues will not show up before a dog is 3 years of age or older so they are basically worthless. I've seen some that are null and void if the dog is spayed/neutered or not fed a specific supplement or food that you have to have proof of.... yeah right! IMHO they just are not worth the paper they are written on. I am much more interested in seeing the health testing done on the breeding dogs and knowing the longevity in the pedigree. I want to know that the breeder is doing their very best to produce a healthy dog, but understand that this breed has several serious health issues......... JMHO

    To me a truly good breeder will look at the situation and do the right thing - no health guarantee needed. Again, JMHO
     
  12. dobesanddragons

    dobesanddragons New Member

    Thanks for posting this list. I hope it can be a sticky. Good information on this thread.

    I agree 100%. My dogs do not have a guarantee on paper. However, their breeders I fully trust (the breeders have a long record of standing behind their breedings and helping their puppy buyers and taking longevity into consideration).
    So it really is a full picture that needs to be considered when looking for a breeder.
     
  13. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate


    Well Velma - here is a true life for your pat little world. My GSP that passed away last November came with a guarantee... As most people know, GSP's are generally a very healthy breed.
    At puberty she started itching - was over a year old before her first heat - it was not a normal heat by any means and exhibited signs that resembled mange. The first Vet while puzzled at the late age she showed signs of "mange" - nevertheless had me giving her dips/shots of Ivermectin - etc for pretty much a year - and she got worse. We finally had her spayed (she never came back into season) and her skin condition got better. The new Vet suggested allergies and skin borings were taken... $90 bag's of dog food were bought - and she got worse.
    At 2 1/2 I took her to a specialist - and $2000 later it was diagnosed as "zinc responsive dermatosis" - a fluke breeding brought two recessive genes together. This is not a disease seen in GSP's prior to this - it is a Northern breed problem...so tell me, just how would you "test" for this?

    While you may not think it's worth the paper it's written on.. it does go to the intentions and reputation of the breeder... why bother registering the dog? Shouldn't they just take the breeders word for it that they are registered?
     
  14. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    How did the specialist test for it?
     
  15. Velmadobe

    Velmadobe New Member


    Sh*t happens - was there a guarantee for it? What did the breeder do for it? Plenty of breeders who do give "guarantees" only give them for specific conditions and tough luck if it is something else. I still think that most guarantees are worthless - read the fine print and let the buyer beware.

    IMHO no one can guarantee a healthy dog - a good breeder does their best and then if something goes wrong you have to judge that situation .... everyone is different. I never asked for or got a guarantee on any dog I ever bought. I found good breeders and knew that they did their very best to produce a healthy dog - beyond that you just never know.

    I don't think that registration has anything to do with health - I guess I don't see the corrolation. For health testing I provide copies of everything.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate

    She re-did the test for skin borings that Vet number 2 did, and sent them to the top skin specialist in the US - the results we got back were "zinc responsive dermatosis" - and the suggested treatment was zinc supplements daily and pred for the rest of her life.

    While waiting - we did skin cleansings with medicated shampoo and loofa's.
    I took this pictures the day we got back from our first appointment. I was preparing for a battle in court. This is genetic...the pictures are graphic. I had decided before the appointment, if they couldn't find the problem and fix her I was putting her down...

    [​IMG]

    This picture is exactly one month after she was diagnosed - and Zinc started.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. deladobies

    deladobies Member

    She's lucky she had you jst....
     
  18. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate

    What you are basically saying Velma...is it will be at your discretion if you give them another puppy or pay the vet bills or do anything at all? Should you decide you didn't like the way they talked to you - you don't have to do anything? As long as it's not on paper - they may have to kiss you a$$ when something goes wrong with a dog?? Make nice nice when they call? My Vet got the name of the breeder and sent a lengthy letter to them about spaying and neutering the entire litter and both parents.. that was how adamant she was about Ali and the breeder being responsible.

    Your responses are falling way below what I consider to be a good breeder. Titled dogs don't make the breeder - it's everything else that does.

    As I stated - whether the "guarantee" is worth anything or not, it does show your intentions of what you are willing to do... or not do, should the dog become ill. You say you "know" the people you are dealing with? Let something happen and there goes a perfectly good friendship - most friendships are lost over something stupid like this. IF you know the people you are dealing with - and you value their friendship, you would insist on providing a health guarantee, just because it is the right thing to do.

    Personally I think anything that is proven to be genetic should be taken care of... no matter how much "shit" happens - it is still the breeders responsibility to make it right. They did produce the dogs after all...

    In all honesty and in my opinion - any breeder that doesn't guarantee a dog for life - is to me suspicious. I think the one, two or even three year guarantees are just for show and tell and to sell puppies. It certainly is not anyone that is concerned about the dogs they produce.
     
  19. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate

    Thanks Dela... she is the one that passed away last Nov - you have no idea how it broke my heart, I still tear up when I think of her... she was so special to me. She was my first service dog. When I started having problems with my hips and couldn't bend over to pick things up.... Ali was taught to do that for me. One of the hardest things to teach is to pick up metal... she didn't care, logs - anything - pop can's...
    And unbelievably smart... when Ken's mother passed away we stayed at her house and there was only the once couch to sit in - the furniture and things were given to family when she went into the nursing home - and I finally got tired of her wanting me to scoot over - so I told her to go upstairs and go to bed - this was a house she had not been in. It was also a quad - level. She goes up the stairs - turns - goes up the stairs again and you can hear her jump into the bed! LOL A friend was there and was just stunned at what she did... lol
     
  20. deladobies

    deladobies Member

    Dogs are amazing, and will give you their whole heart!

    Which is why I tend to like them more then most people...lol
     

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