Finding a reputable breeder
Finding a quality dog is not easy as it seems. There are many people claiming to be “breeders” who are producing dogs in high-volume unscrupulous environments without the proper health tests or proven breeding stock. The “Backyard Breeder,” high-volume puppy mills, and pet shops are selling dogs without the necessary leg work and this can mean bad news for your family and your treasured family pet. What that means to the puppy buyer, is that they frequently can end up with a puppy who develops health and/or behavioral problems due to genetic malformations. Many of these problems could have been avoided had the person breeding these dogs done the necessary health screenings on either parent or had proven stock to start with. When you buy a dog this way, it just helps to perpetuate the problem.
- Visit the Paw-Rescue.org’s page on How Responsible Breeders Differ from Backyard Breeders and Pet Shops,
- The Humane Society’s “Puppy Mill” page
I say this to demonstrate that when you buy a dog from a high-volume or “backyard” breeder the cost you pay for your puppy isn’t the real cost of the dog – and I can vouch for this first-hand. We got our first two dogs without doing it the right way and they were purchased from a high-volume breeder. Our eldest dog had a host of health problems and after several years of trips to veterinary specialists, emergency visits, lots of medications and special diets, we learned the true cost of buying a dog the wrong way.
A good reputable breeder will stand behind his/her dogs for their lifetime and in the interest of the breed, they will want to know how your puppy is doing. If for some reason, a family is unable to keep their dog, a responsible breeder will always take the dog back and never allow that dog to go to rescue. He/She will be available to answer questions, provide access to different resources, and in general, help you get involved in your breed whether it’s AKC events like conformation, hunt, agility, or just getting in contact with other dog folks for fun weekend events.
So do your homework! You should have as many questions for a breeder as they have for you! Don’t just assume because someone says their dogs are AKC registered (our first two are registered but certainly not breed standard) that they have quality proven breeding stock.
Lastly, if showing/hunting your dog isn’t your top-priority and a companion dog is your first priority, please consider adopting a dog from rescue. There are so many wonderful vizslas who end up in rescue for a number of reasons, and they certainly can still make wonderful family members to dedicated people who love the breed!
Before you buy a dog from any breeder, take a look at the following links to get some more information on “doing it the right way.”