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Finding the right breeder often can be as difficult as finding the ideal puppy. Following are some questions to help you decide if a prospective breeder is the best for you. Do not be afraid to ask questions. The more information you have, the better the chance you will get the puppy you want. Also, most breeders should have just as many questions for you. Answer them as completely and honestly as possible, because the breeder will use that information to place the right puppy with you. Beware the breeder who is only interested in selling you a puppy without regard to your activities or desires. If you want to do performance with your dog, consider a breeder who does those kinds of activities as well.

Questions to Ask a Dog Breeder?

How long have you been breeding?

Do you do the health checks necessary for the breed, i.e., eye exams, hips, and DNA tests for Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) and CL, etc. Ask to see the health certificates for both parents. Also, inquire if there have been health issues within the lines. Ask to see the pedigree and do your homework. Check out the lines from which the pups come for possible genetic issues. Itís a good idea to look back at least three generations.

Do you own both the stud dog and the dam? (If visiting the kennel, ask to meet both.)

If not, who owns the stud dog? Ask for contact information as you may want to talk to the owner of the stud dog as well.

How old is the bitch?

Is this her first litter? If not, how many litters has she had?

How old was she when she had her first litter?

What is your top priority when you choose two dogs for breeding? (If health and temperament are not the top two, consider going elsewhere.)

Do you test your breeding dogs for Brucellosis?

Do you have a contract and, if so, does it include health guarantees for Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Progressive Retinal Degeneration (PRD), Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD), and Osteochondritis Dessicans (OCD)? How do you act on these guarantees?

Have you seen lens luxation, seizures, ceroid lipofuscinosis, cataracts (earlier than normal), corneal dystrophy, deafness, cryptorchidism, cerebellar abiotrophy, or hydrocephalus in any of the siblings, parents, or close relatives of the breeding pair?

Do you eye test (CERF) and Baer test your puppies before they go to their new homes?

Do you give preliminary puppy shots and worming? If so, at what age?

At what age do the pups go to their new home?

Do you have references? Itís a good idea to talk with people, who have bought from this breeder, to ask about their experience.

Will you offer support for me should I have questions or concerns while raising the puppy?

How many litters do you generally have on the ground at one time? How many litters do you breed each year?

Where are the litters born? (In the house, barn, kennel, etc.) What do you feed them? How are they raised?

What steps do you take to insure the pup is well socialized before going to a new home?

What types of activities do you do with your dogs?

May I visit your kennel?

With what organizations are you dogs registered? (AKC, ABCA, etc.)

Consider the answers to these questions carefully, as they can give you a good indication as to whether you are dealing with a reputable breeder or a puppy mill. If you suspect the latter, you may want to keep looking. As your puppy grows, no doubt you will have questions and need to seek advice, so it is important to find a breeder who will be there for you long after you take your puppy home.

Good luck and enjoy your new puppy!

Page Updated 06/16/2009

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The Border Collie Society of America, Inc. was founded in April 1993.  This site is owned by the Border Collie Society of America, Inc. and was established 12.94.