Buying a Puppy from a Responsible Breeder


We hear a lot about “adopt don’t shop” however, some people want a purebred dog.  This article is going to explain how responsible breeders differ from irresponsible breeders and how one goes about finding a Responsible Breeder.

Responsible dog breeders are NOT contributing to the number of dogs in shelters.  Backyard breeders, hobby breeders, puppy mills, puppy mills who provide pet stores with dogs, and irresponsible pet owners who don’t spay and neuter their pets are the group that is contributing to the number of dogs in shelters.

Responsible breeders do health testing of the sire and dam before breeding them to help ensure the good health of the puppies.  They probably show dogs and genuinely care about their care and health.  They take their puppies to their wellness checks.  Most responsible breeders have buyers sign contracts stating the dog must be spayed or neutered.  Here’s the ONE detail that will set aside responsible breeders from the rest, if for any reason you can no longer care for the puppy, even later in life, they ask that you contact them and they will take the dog back.

One primary reason irresponsible breeders are still in business is because people keep buying from them.  I hear it all of the time, “I don’t want to pay that much for a dog.”  Well then, if you buy a cheap dog from a backyard breeder, you are indeed contributing to the pet overpopulation problem.

Well-bred dogs cost more because it costs more to breed and raise well-bred dogs.  You are also to, more than likely, get a healthier dog.  To provide one example, my Grand Basset Griffon Veendeens breeder hip and eye checks all dogs.  If they do not pass, they are spayed or neutered and NOT bred.  Well-bred dogs are not overbred, while puppy mill breeders will breed a female dog every time they are in season; therefore, they produce more puppies and charge less for them.

A question that comes up is why do people want a purebred dog?  This is because different breeds come with different qualities.  Certain breeds don’t shed, others are developed to hunt or do other jobs. Different breeds of dogs come in all sizes and fit differently into people’s lifestyles.  Some breeds tend to have a distinct personality, and someone may choose a breed due to this.  When it comes to mixed-breed dogs, you don’t know what you’re going to get.


How does one find a responsible breeder?  Word of mouth by asking people, such as dog groomers, trainers, and Veterinarians for recommendations. I also suggest people go to dog shows.  You can look up dog shows by state at  There you can meet people who are active with the breed you’re wanting to find who can direct you to a reputable breeder.


Be careful when looking online.  There are many puppy mills that have very nice websites and hire people to pose as the breeder.  If you’re looking at a site that has many breeds, it is probably a puppy mill.  Reputable breeders aren’t going to be offended if you want to see the parents of the pup or where the dogs live.


I found my Bichon, Bernard, through word of mouth.  A well-respected show groomer, breeder, and exhibitor of Bichons, posted that a breeder she knew had nice Bichon puppies available.  I contacted this breeder and we had a long discussion.  I sent him a video of my dogs interacting so HE could decide which of the puppies would fit in our home best.  We traveled from Indiana to Georgia to pick him up.  We went to his house and got to meet all the dogs, parents of the puppies, and see the environment.  We spent a couple of hours visiting and are still friends and close with Bernard’s breeder to this day.


Bernard as a puppy

Bernard as a puppy

Bernard as an Adult

Bernard Today










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