How to Find a Reputable Breeder

When people contact me in regards to acquiring one of my boxer puppies, I often get asked questions on how to spot the �Good� breeders from the �Bad� ones. I compiled list of questions to help prospective, puppy parents determine what kind of breeder they are dealing with. Whether you buy a boxer puppy from me or from someone else, my goal is that you receive a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder. I have included explanations to as why some of these guidelines are so important.  These guidelines can be used for any breed of dog.

 Breeding should ONLY be done to better the breed.

 This term is subjective. Reputable, good, breeders that have success in the Show Ring, Field Trials, Agility, Schutzhund, and etc. will have different opinions on how to accomplish this.  So how are you to know who has the correct opinion and which dogs are the best? You compete your dogs against other examples of the breed and have an expert judge who is the best. That is why it�s critical for a kennel to compete and win!!! In a way, Champion dogs are �Certified� examples of their breed and are excellent candidates to better their breed. The holy trinity of Health, Temperament, & Type must be present in the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Type and temperament are certified by titling in the show ring or field trials and health is certified by the proper veterinarians.  

If you don�t take the test, how would you know if you aced it, barely passed, or failed???


A good, reputable breeder doesn�t breed just to produce pets. They will shoot for perfection every time!  However, in pursuit for perfection they will GENERALLY get 2-3 show quality puppies in a litter and the rest will be placed as pets. It takes an experienced breeder to know which puppies are show quality and which are not. This is the best option for prospective puppy parents because these pets have the same genes that their show quality siblings have.

Below is a list of questions that you can ask a breeder to help you determine if they are reputable or not.

  • Do they do something with their dogs, besides breeding? Do they show, work, or compete their dogs? Do they belong to their breed clubs, local canine clubs, or training clubs?

A good breeder will show their dogs or compete with them. This is not limited to just AKC conformation. It can be Obedience, Agility, Rally, Schutzhund, Field trials, etc. They will also belong to their breed club, local canine club or training club.

  • Are there Champion or Titled dogs in the first 3 generations of the pedigree?

If the only champions in the pedigree are in the Great �Great Grandparents, you have a poorly bred dog that has been far removed from quality. There should be at least one champion parent in every breeding.

  • Do they health test their dogs? Do they know the health issues that face their breed and what health tests are required to clear their dogs for breeding? Do they have documentation? Can they explain the test results to you?

A good breeder knows and can explain the health issues facing his or hers breed. They know which tests need to be preformed, and can explain the test results to you. They should also provide documentation such as OFA certification on their dogs.

  • Can you go and visit the puppy�s parents? Does the breeder allow you to see where the puppies are kept? Are they home raised or outside in a kennel?

Good breeders will allow you to make an appointment to come and see their dogs. Most cautious breeders will not allow you to see newborn puppies until they reach a certain age because they are vulnerable to disease.  This time frame varies from breeder to breeder. I believe 6 weeks old is an ideal time.

  • How many litters has the mother had? How old is she?

Female dogs should not be bred on their 1stheat and should not have more than 4 litters in their lifetime. Boxer females shall be at least 18 months old and not older than 6 years old at the time of breeding.

  • When do the puppies go to their new homes?

Puppies should not go to their new homes until they reach 8 weeks of age. Mom may have stopped nursing them but, puppies need to be with their siblings until they are 8 weeks old for proper social development.  

  • Does the breeder offer a health guarantee? And 1st shots?

Good Breeders will offer a health guarantee and 1stshots with your puppy.

  • Can you contact their vet as a reference? 

Good breeders should be able to give you references and allow you to contact their veterinarian with their permission.

  • Are their dogs and puppies registered?  

All of their dogs will be registered and puppies registerable.

  • If you are not longer able to keep your dog, will the breeder take it back?

Good breeders will always take their babies back!


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