Responsible Breeder vs A Puppy Right Now
A reputable Shiba Inu breeder with available puppies is near impossible to find, especially following the breed's new found popularity due to the Shiba Puppy Cam). But you want a puppy NOW! What do you do? Before you decide, consider the long-term implications of your choice.
What Is A Responsible Breeder
A responsible breeder does NOT sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand (or sends a deposit via Paypal)! Too many unsuspecting people buy puppies from people who seem to be responsible breeders, but are not. Too often, the result is a puppy in poor health or with temperament problems that may only surface after time.
A responsible breeder is NOT someone whose dogs simply "have papers" and come with a state-mandated health warranty. A reputable breeder breeds to advance their breeding program and for their love and devotion to their chosen breed of dogs. A responsible breeder is someone who:
- does not breed dogs "to make money" or so their children can "experience the miracle of birth."
- only breeds one or two types of dogs and usually only breeds a litter if they intend on keeping one of the pups out of the litter. They are breeding to further improve their breeding program, not just to produce puppies for pet buyers.
- can explain in detail the potential genetic problems inherent in the breed and is willing and able to provide documentation from organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) that the puppy's parents and grandparents have been screened for these genetic problems.
- should be able to explain the reasoning behind breeding a particular dog to a particular bitch. They should be attempting to reach perfection as defined by the breed's standard. In the attempt to reach this goal with the resulting puppies, they should be able to explain the good points of each dog and what points they are trying to improve. If, when asked about the breed standard, the breeder looks at you with a blank look on their face or tells you why the breed standard doesn't matter... RUN!
- should be able to provide you with a pedigree of the puppies, not just a copy of the parents registration papers. A pedigree usually has at least three generations of the puppies' ancestors listed.
- does not breed a volume of puppies. A breeder with 7 adult bitches is not going to breed all 7 in a single year. Bitches are seldom bred on consecutive heat cycles.
- usually participates in some sort of dog-related events such as dog shows (conformation), obedience, agility, schutzhund, sled dog racing, herding, field trials, lure coursing, earth dog trials, etc. They do something with their dogs.
- usually belongs to some sort of dog club (i.e., all-breed club, obedience club, breed club, etc.).
- will tell you the good points as well as the bad points of the breed. They want their puppies in the best home possible and therefore want to make sure you are fully aware of what to expect before you buy.
- is willing and able to give you references from previous puppy buyers. Those new to breeding should be able to give you references from other breeders of their breed or dog club members. They aren't offended if you ask them for references. Talking to references will help you to judge the character of the breeder.
- will never sell puppies through a pet store or broker or any other way that does not allow for thoroughly meeting with and interviewing you to ensure that the puppy is a good match for your family and that you will provide a responsible lifelong home.
- may ask you for references or ask to visit you at your home. The breeder wants to be sure that the housing or yard is suitable for the dog. The breeder is looking for the ideal situation for the puppy. They want the owner to be happy and not return the puppy because it was ill suited for the environment or life-style of the buyer.
- believes in service after the sale. If a puppy buyer has any questions regarding grooming, feeding, or training questions, the breeder will be there for you long after the puppy is no longer a puppy.
- will usually insist that puppies sold as pets be spayed/neutered and placed on an AKC limited registration. (Limited registration makes the dog exempt from having any of its offspring registered by the AKC.)
- will take back any dog of their breeding at any age. Reputable breeders do not want to find out a dog they bred has been given up to an animal shelter or dumped by the roadside. They assume a lifetime responsibility for the canine lives they have put on this earth.
Is it worth the wait to get your next family member from a responsible breeder, instead of purchasing from a puppy mill, pet store, or backyard breeder? Absolutely.
How To FIND a Responsible Breeder
- contact local and national breed clubs.
- contact the regional purebred rescue group for the breed in which you are interested.
- attend a dog show or other dog related event and talk to the participants.
- ask your veterinarian for referrals.
- if you're looking for a Shiba Inu and you're in the Greater New York area, you've already found them!
- Antoinette Crudo in New Jersey
- Alyssa Goldman in Rockaway, NJ
- Pat Hartman in Loudon, Tennessee (well, she used to live in NY)
- Sharon Roble in Pennsylvania
- Phil & Cindy Scala in Brick, NJ
- Kathi Willi-Melton in Long Island, NY
- Terri Palumbo in Pennsylvania
- Linda Walawander in Central New York State