Is this a reputable 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.


Member Since
Barked: Mon Mar 18, '13 8:31pm PST 
Hi everyone,

I'm looking to get a puppy from a reputable breeder. I've done my research, and because this will be my first dog, I want to make sure I'm being cautious and asking the breeders all the necessary questions.

I was leaning towards this 1 breeder, but I'm not sure if their responses to 2 of the questions I had emailed them about are what a reputable breeder would've said. So I want to ask all of you about this:
1. They use a stud dog (from a champion line), so the father lives with a different breeder. I asked if I could get the contact info of the breeder that supplied the stud dog, but they said no. I wanted to make sure that the breeder that supplied the stud dog is reputable too, so their response threw me off a little bit. Is it not common to ask for contact info of the breeder who supplies the stud?
2. I asked if the parents of the pups have been through any health or genetic clearances/testings. But their response was that the stud dog is from a champion line, and they've been breeding for almost 2 decades and have never had any issues. They also offer 1 year guarantee against genetic/hereditary defects.

Are these common responses from a reputable breeder?
They're registered with their Cdn Kennel Club and are a member of the breed club of their particular breed, which is why I originally contacted them. Since this is my first time looking to buy a puppy, I'm not sure if these are "normal" responses from a good breeder. Any insights would be appreciated, thank you!
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Mon Mar 18, '13 9:15pm PST 
This actually sounds a lot like a breeder a friend went through and that scares me. This breeder, when I asked if he did health tests, stated, "My dogs are from champion lines and all the lines previous, parents, grandparents, etc, were tested, so I don't see any reason to test mine." Uh... Because genetic and hereditary health issues can crop up generations later? Duh. So that answer actually REALLY bothers me and that alone would make me avoid them. If they don't health test, they aren't in it for the betterment of the breed in my opinion. If you aren't keeping tabs on the health of your dogs you're breeding, how are you picking the most suitable, breed-worthy studs and bitches? And a health guarantee of only a year doesn't mean moot, either. Quite frankly, when issues can crop up much later in life, I'd rather see a more substantial guarantee and lifetime breeder support.

Are they allowing you any information on the stud dog at all? Proof of health, proof of 'championship show lines', proof of pedigree and registration, any of it? Because if they're not giving you AT LEAST that much, I'd be concerned about not being allowed to contact the owner of the stud, or not having them be able to have the stud owner contact me. I want to know information on BOTH parents of my dog, and lines prior if I'm going with a breeder. You don't just put two dogs together as a reputable breeder - there's more to it than that to better the breed.

This wouldn't happen to be a breeder of Irish Setters would it? The one that I know of that had similar responses was an Irish Setter breeder and I would actually avoid this particular breeder.

A good breeder is all about their dogs, making sure you're the right person, and making sure they're bettering the breed. They shouldn't be hiding information from you. Ever.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Mar 18, '13 11:12pm PST 
No. Health testing should be active, and in addition any breeder who is telling you they have bred for twenty years with "no problems" is blowing smoke. Add those two together and they are not at all recommendable.

If this is the Irish Setter, I can definitely source a good breeder for you, so if you need help let me know.

Regarding the other thread, bear in mind with exercise with an Irish they need to run. You'll need to source out somewhere they can do that regularly. It is not optimum, but they can do ok alone for fair periods. Be aware that housebreaking is notoriously a challenge with the breed and that they are very rambunctious as youngsters. Definitely a breed that requires a lot of space as well. They are not low key in the home. They are a "lot"....but very much worth it when raised correctly smile

Edited by author Mon Mar 18, '13 11:12pm PST


Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 4:38am PST 
AS far as seeing the stud dog... when someone offers a dog at public stud it is pretty much a given that he is available for potential puppy buyers to view as part of that process. You should receive a packet of information on him, including copies of all his health testing, usually a show photo plus some "at home" photos, his pedigree, and any other information available on him.
I agree with Tiller...denying problems in 20 years of breeding with no health checks is a HUGE red flag and that breeder has some pretty nice rose colored glasses, IMO. Irish setters are a breed with some pretty serious health issues and anyone who would breed them without health checks is asking for trouble.
Finally, that one year guarantee is totally worthless. Hereditary blindness doesn't show up until 4 or 5 years of age, hip dysplasia and other joint issues usually will not appear until after one year of age as well.
Finally, PLEASE, do not get taken by "champion lines" or "champions in the pedigree". Nearly ALL purebred dogs will have a champion or two tucked away somewhere back in the pedigree... unless the breeder is actively showing that means nothing at all in reference to that particular puppy.
I would run away from this breeder...you can do better!!!

bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 6:00am PST 
I definitely would not be happy with those responses. I want to see proof that those dogs are healthy, not the breeder's word. You are very right to be suspicious of those answers.

I learned that the national breed club is a good place to start to find reputable breeders, but it is not foolproof. I know of one breeder in particular that is more of a commercial breeder and does not have a very good reputation that is listed on a national breed club breeder referral.

Edited by author Tue Mar 19, '13 6:01am PST


Member Since
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 6:55am PST 
Tiller, thanks for the response! I'm not the person who started this thread, but I AM the person who started the Irish Setter thread (just happened to read this one). I'm not sure how to change the name that shows up when you post.

Wishing For Snow
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 10:27am PST 
Lots of red flags with this breeder, that's for sure! The big one is saying that they have never had a health issue - that is really unheard of - all breeders who have been breeding long enough will have something come up.
Like Toto said, championship lines are not always too much too brag about as they can be found in virtually any pedigree. Furthermore, championship does not mean healthy. I know many dogs that easily earned a championship but failed health tests. Breeders who are not doing testing on their current dogs are either sticking their head in the sand about health issues or they really just don't care what they are producing.

You really want to find a breeder that is honest about their breeding program including health issues and who they are using for a stud dog. If they won't give you basic info, how do you know they are not lying about bigger issues.