“Primary enclosure” (Where the dog lives.)
Required to be as large as the length of his body from the nose to the base of tail + 6 in., squared
If a dog is nursing pups, she “must be provided with an additional amount of floor space, based on her breed and behavioral characteristics, and in accordance with generally accepted husbandry practices as determined by the attending veterinarian.” This is open to interpretation. “Accepted husbandry practices” are agricultural practices for raising livestock on a farm. They are not appropriate for raising puppies to be family pets.
Dogs and pups in the following situations are exempt from exercise requirements:
(They don’t have to be given/allowed exercise or out-of-cage time.)
Reputable breeders want you to meet and spend time with your potential puppy. This is great, as meeting your puppy will help ensure that he does not have any existing health or behavior problems and that he’s being raised in a clean and appropriate environment. If the seller won’t let you visit, it’s likely they are hiding something. Don’t fall for excuses like “We don’t want diseases brought into our kennel.” Walk away
Reputable breeders don’t sell their puppies to strangers! They want to get to know you. They’ll ask you about your family, if you rent or own your home, who will be caring for the pup, etc. etc.. Watch out for those who don’t ask for much more than your credit card number.
Socialization is positive exposure to people, places, and things. It helps pups respond normally to everyday situations for the rest of their lives. It is absolutely critical that a puppy has been well-socialized. Make sure your future pup has been exposed to men, women, children, and household and real-world environments. If this isn’t done, the dog is at risk for serious behavior problems.
For great info on how to tell if a pup is well-socialized, check out Ian Dunbar’s video.
Don’t just take our word on it, check out Dr. Nick Dodman’s book, “Puppy’s First Steps“
Proof of veterinary care is NOT a vaccination schedule with dates written on it by the seller. This is a common way sellers will deceive puppy buyers. True proof is paperwork from a licensed veterinarian. All puppies should have been vaccinated and examined by a licensed vet and you should be provided with paperwork that details the results of the exams.
All purebred dogs are at risk for genetic problems that are common in their breed. Reputable breeders are very aware of this and have the parents and/or puppies tested to ensure they are not creating dogs that will suffer. Verifiable proof of the results of these tests should be available. We encourage you to investigate the health issues in your breed. Visit the PupQuest Health Screening Info for more in-depth info.
Your pup is going to live in a home, so he needs to be socialized to life in one from day one! That way, he can get familiarized with all he’ll encounter in daily life: people, sights, smells, and sounds. Puppies who grow up separated from people – like in a garage, basement, or outdoor kennel, don’t get the exposure they need to grow into friendly, outgoing companions.
The parents are a sneak-peek of the dog your puppy will become. They should be healthy and friendly! If you’re concerned about the health or behavior of the parents, don’t buy a puppy from that seller-they’re likely to have the same problems! For easy info on what to look for, check out DogStarDaily’s “How to Choose a Good Breeder“. If mom isn’t on the premises, the seller may be buying the puppies from puppy farms and shipping them in.
The health and lifespan of a breeder’s dogs are a sneak peek into the pups’ futures. Find out as much as you can about them. Speak to people who own adult dogs bought from your breeder. Have there been any recurring medical problems like chronic ear infections? Do any of them have high-maintenance health issues like food allergies? Epilepsy? How long do the dogs generally live for?
Watch out for sellers who don’t seem to know much about the breed or who give you that smooth-talkin’ salesman vibe. Reputable breeders are dog-savvy and know their breed and their own dogs well. Ask the breeder questions about everything from the breed’s characteristic traits to their own dogs’ health and training.
Any reputable breeder will take a puppy back into their home at any point in her life if you can no longer keep her. A life-long commitment to each and every puppy produced is a sign of a reputable breeder.
Reputable breeders are actively associated with national breed clubs. They participate in breed activities such as herding, agility, showing, etc. A lack of involvement is a red flag.
A seller asking you to make a business transaction in a public place is and always will be suspect. Reputable breeders want to check you out and protect their puppies, they would never ship one on a potentially traumatic flight to a stranger.
A United States Department of Agriculture license is a red flag that a seller is a puppy farm. Reputable breeders are committed to only one or two breeds. If a seller is advertising multiple breeds, it is likely they are just following the trends to make money on the “breed du jour”. Keep your eyes peeled for their tricks: separate ads for different breeds from the same place can be deceiving.