Getting a puppy shouldn’t be quick and easy! A responsible dog breeder will ask you lots of questions to make sure their animals are going to the right home.

So, what’s a responsible dog breeder?

Being a ‘registered breeder’ is not enough, it does not necessarily mean the breeder meets good animal welfare standards.  A responsible dog breeder is one who has ethical practices and puts the welfare of the puppies before profit.  Healthy puppies come from a responsible dog breeder who:

  1. Plans ahead and aim to find good homes for every puppy they breed
  2. Provides a high standard of care and living conditions for all their dogs
  3. Are genuinely concerned about the welfare of their dogs
  4. Are open to questions and provide a complete history of the puppy
  5. Make sure that you will suit the puppy and the puppy will suit you
  6. Breed to produce happy, healthy pets, free from known genetic disorders
  7. Provide ongoing support and information to new owners
  8. Provide a guarantee
  9. Provide references on request
  10. Meet all their legal requirements

Ask the dog breeder lots of questions!

To make sure the breeder is a responsible dog breeder, you need to visit in person to inspect the facility and ask lots of questions before you buy a puppy.  Perhaps the breeder is located in a regional area or interstate. If you can’t travel to visit the breeder in person, you could contact a local Veterinarian and ask them to do an inspection on your behalf for a small fee.

Download our Fact Sheet ’10 Questions to ask a dog breeder’ before you buy a puppy from a breeder.

The RSPCA Smart Puppy Buyers Guide 2012 is another good resource to help you to find a puppy that is not only healthy and well-adjusted but also prevents the sale of puppies from puppy farms and irresponsible breeders.  The Guide covers a list of questions you should ask a breeder, a definition of a puppy farm, explanation of the term ‘registered breeder’ and information on the benefits of de-sexing.

Puppy farm warning!

Responsible dog breeder

Irresponsible dog breeders can be large or small operators. They don’t care about the well-being of their animals.

The RSPCA defines puppy farms as intensive systems with breeding animals and their puppies kept in facilities that fail to meet the animals’ psychological, behavioural, social or physiological needs. As a result, many of these animals have a very poor quality of life.

Irresponsible dog breeders may have large or small breeding facilities.  They do not care about the well-being of the puppies or the puppy’s parents. These businesses will discourage you from inspecting the dog breeding.  The RSPCA recommends that you do not buy a puppy from a pet shop or through an internet or newspaper advertisement without being able to visit its home, as you can’t check out the conditions in which the puppy was bred or know where it came from.