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Tips on Choosing a Good Breeder?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Shep

Bring on the- sheepies!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 2, '12 3:49am PST 
So I'm not really sure what section this should go in, I chose this one because I'm also looking for advice about my next dog.

My partner and I are planning on buying a house later this year (or early next) with a minimum of 5 acres. He works away 2 weeks at a time, so for the most part I'll be by myself at the house. As much as I'd love to take Shep and Indy with me, my parents will not give them up and to be honest, I have my heart set on getting a Belgian Shepherd as my next dog.

However, I know next to nothing about buying from a breeder and seeing as my google has for some reason decided to cark it, and belgian shepherds rarely show up in shelters, I'm having trouble researching what I should actually be looking for in a good breeder. The only thing I remember reading somewhere is that you should contact a breeder and get to know them well in advance of wanting a puppy?

Any help and information on breeders and belgian shepherds would be greatly appreciated!
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 2, '12 5:27am PST 
Try checking out dogzonline.com.au, they list the best dog breeders in Oz. way to go

Another good starting point would be the QLD Belgian club (www.bsdcq.com).

Edited by author Mon Jul 2, '12 5:31am PST

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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 2, '12 11:29am PST 
When you say Belgian Shepherd, what specifically are we talking about here? In the US, "Belgian Shepherd" typically refers to the Groenendael... elsewhere it is considered a broad term and can mean any of the 4 Belgian breeds.

If you are unsure of what to look for, best thing to do, as Jackson has linked, is get in touch with the local breed club. Tell them what you are looking for, and ask for recommendations.

You can always post a website (if they have one) here and we can look it over for you, else give you ideas. What makes a "good" breeder isn't always black and white, and you will get many different opinions of what to look for.
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Shep

Bring on the- sheepies!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 2, '12 2:02pm PST 
Thanks I'll try that webesite. Yeah I'm looking for a groendael, I absolutely love the look of them and from what I've read they should cope well with agility and obedience and don't have as much of a problem with their hips as german shepherds. Does anyone know what they are like with strangers though? I'll be socialising it well, but I'd love a dog who didn't think that every stranger was a new friend.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 2, '12 2:40pm PST 
Responsibly bred Groeners are about as healthy as any responsibly bred dog- likewise, ill bred ones are just as prone to health problems as any large breed dog.

They are not overtly social. They can be agreeable with people, but are mostly aloof and don't crave attention from people outside of their immediate circle. They are by no means an easy breed, prone more towards softness and nerve issues than their Mal brothers, and require a good deal of dedication in finding both an exceptional breeder, but also in seeing that they are raised properly. They are not easily forgiving of mistakes, so you should absolutely have a game plan set up well before actually acquiring the dog.
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Dexter

1249805
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 6, '12 7:06pm PST 
Mals, Tervs, Groens, etc. appear in shelters ALL the time. Miami in particular gets 2-8 per month. It is pretty easy to arrange transport if you ask local rescues and give them your location.


If you decide to go with a breeder find one who:
- only breeds CH. a good breeder needs to prove their stock in the ring and ideally out in the field as well. there is never a good excuse to breed an unproven dog
- tests eyes, hips, heart, etc. and only breeds dogs who are rated as excellent
- keeps up with puppies and can tell you where they are now
- sells puppy to pet homes who are active in the performance world
- has multiple generations of proven performance dogs
- actively socializes puppies with a variety of dogs, people, floor surfaces, noises, objects, etc.
- feeds a premium food (NOT iams, science diet, purina, pedigree, etc.)
- will turn down an average home for a GREAT home even if it means waiting longer
- would never consider letting a puppy go before 8 (ideally 12) weeks


Good breeders are out there and are a joy to work with. A poor quality breeder can leave you with a poorly socialized puppy with no drive and cruddy hips and then you'll really be up a creek.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 6, '12 8:04pm PST 
Uhh... OP is in Australia. Pretty sure they aren't willing to arrange THAT transport.

Also that's a pretty strict list you've got going on there. If the only breeders around were the ones who met ALL of those criteria 100%, most breeds wouldn't even exist anymore confused
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 7, '12 1:55am PST 
I can never figure out why people get stuck on 'show ring champion' as a gauge on if a dog is breedable.. I mean average public not breeders themselves exactly. But Seriously depending on what breed or job you're looking for a dog for show ring could be less than useless for your cause.

That said OP good luck... I haven't really got anything useful for your search since you're not stateside but do wish you the best of luck.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 7, '12 4:36am PST 
The labrador retriever club, for one, has events where a panel of breed judges evaluate dogs conformation as for breeding quality and the qualifying dogs receive a certificate of breeding worthiness as pertaining to conformation.
And, the working certificate, while not an actual "field trial", does show that the dog has the instinct and desire to do what a retriever does, yet is basic enough so "show dogs" can easily pass.
While these are not offered often enough,IMO, they do serve as a great way to enable a well titled field lab to get "papered" in conformation or a conformation dog to show it has what it was bred for still.
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Tuvok

Toovy Doovy Doo- Ready and- Willing!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 7, '12 9:43am PST 
My favorite way to find a breeder is to hang out at dog shows. I avoid the breed ring(beauty contest)and go hang out where they are doing agility and obedience. If someone is doing well with a dog I like the looks of I talk to them about their dog. You'll get good leads to breeders this way. Obedience people aren't afraid to give you the lowdown on the good and bad.
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