Finding a Responsible Breeder

What are some of the things to look for when you are trying to find the right breeder with the right puppy? This is a somewhat difficult question to answer because it varies depending on the potential owner and the potential home. But in general:

A good breeder of Curlies should be breeding Curlies, not show dogs. What is the difference you may ask? A good breeder is very concerned with the health and temperament of their dogs, more so than whether or not they are going to be big winners. If a potential buyer asks about an upcoming litter, they should be told whether or not the parents have had their hips, hearts and eyes checked, the heart should be echoed and the results sent to OFA and CERF. The breeder should be doing something with their dogs other than just showing them in the breed ring, such as field work, obedience or agility, as training and interacting with their dogs will bring out details of temperament, trainability and biddability that can't be seen during a two minute spin in the show ring, or even as a household pet. The breeder should be able to tell a potential buyer all about many if not most of the dogs in the litter's pedigree, indicating that the breeder researched them before making the breeding, and it should be something beyond Ch So & So was a multiple BIS winner.

A good Curly breeder will offer a guarantee that covers, at least hips, heart and eyes, and for at least the first 24 months of the pup's life. The guarantee should specify what the breeder will do should the dog's hips, heart or eyes not pass and what the responsibility of the buyer is. Beyond that, some breeders offer contracts but the lack of one doesn't mean that a breeder isn't responsible.

A good Curly breeder should be willing to take back any of their dogs at any time during their lives, no questions asked. The breeder should be available for any questions and concerns thruout the life of the dog.

Puppies from a good breeder will be bright eyed, active, curious and probably noisy! They will have had at least one puppy shot and been wormed at least once. Ideally, if weather allows, they will have been outside and experienced various different things under their feet, met dogs other than their mother, maybe introduced to children, cats or other "odd looking dogs". They will have been raised essentially underfoot in the breeder's home and so will have experienced things like the vacuum cleaner, TV, phone and all the other things that go on in the average house. A good breeder will be able to tell a buyer that this puppy is outgoing and a troublemaker, and that puppy is more mellow and laid back because the breeder has been watching and interacting with the pups since birth.

And, in the end, a buyer should go with a breeder they are comfortable with. Because, after all, this is someone you may end up talking with on a more or less regular basis for the next 10 - 15 years!