Finding a reputable dog breeder to get a new dog can feel daunting and scary since you want to find a reputable breeder that takes care of their animals and can provide a quality dog for you and your family.
More importantly, if you are looking for a dog breeder to train or purchase a service dog, you have to ensure that the breeder you are going to purchase from is a reliable, honest, and healthy system.
When getting a service dog or an emotional support dog, the dog cannot have trauma or inhibitions. Getting a service dog or emotional support dog that has trauma can lead to the dog getting triggered and being unable to perform the tasks that the owner needs them to do.
Dogs can get traumatized when they are young from being mistreated or abused and neglected. This usually happens in adoption centers or pounds. Puppy breeders usually sell the puppies rather fast after they are born, so most breeders do not cause trauma, but some can.
A good breeder with a solid reputation will lower the chances of a traumatized service dog, so you want to find a breeder with a well-known and highly praised establishment that follows and lives up to health and safety codes.
So how do you go about finding the right breeder for you that checks all of these boxes?
You will need to do some research and investigating local establishments and get involved by asking questions!
If you already have a dog or service dog, set up an appointment with your dog's vet and ask them about any reputable breeding establishments that they know of that they think would work for your situation.
This is especially important if you are looking to purchase an emotional support dog or a service dog. Your vet will know the market and places that breed their dogs safely and respectfully.
If you do not have a dog yet and you are looking to get your first one, you probably do not have a vet that you can call up and ask. Try doing some research and ask a reputable vet in your area about what they think of your situation and breeders in the area.
If you are getting a service dog that needs to be trained by a professional, try talking to the trainer that would be training the service dog and see what places they say are reputable and good breeding establishments.
Have a friend with a couple of furry friends? Ask them where they got theirs!
Do bear in mind that not everyone gets their dogs from a breeder. Some people adopt or foster dogs, or train service dogs to then sell to people who need them, so they might not have purchased their dog through a breeder.
If they did, then you can ask them about the quality of the breeder they purchased their dog from. If they have a service dog, ask them if the dog came trained from the breeder, or if the dog was sent to a training establishment to become a service dog.
If your friend has an emotional support dog and you are looking to purchase an emotional support dog, then the quality of the training does not apply to your situation. Emotional support dogs do not require training, but a certification instead since they do not fulfill tasks.
If your town or city has dog clubs, dog parks, or online social media groups you could get involved and ask about the quality of breeders in your area.
You can find dog groups on social media by searching online for dog groups in your area. There are groups on websites the Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram where you can get information concerning breeders in your area and so on.
Going to a local dog show can be a great way to get face time in with some local breeders and get to know their establishment and their practices.
This is also a great chance to ask questions about the dogs, service dogs, and how the dogs are treated at the breeding establishment. You should always have a list of questions that you ask each breeder you visit or talk to so you can compare their answers and pick the best one.
Get on the internet with your search.
The amount of information online for any subject imaginable is astronomical. Take it to your Google Search bar to find places that breed dogs in your area, and then look at their reviews.
You can get a lot of information from a review on a product or company, so you wan to make sure that you read them thoroughly, with a critical eye. Not every review is accurate so make sure that you are reading them with an assertive disposition.
While review are great, you can also get a lot of information on the establishment of their website. Some establishments will have a mission statement or some kind of description of their procedures and services on their website.
If they do not have a website, no need to panic. Try to find them on Yelp or another reviewing website and see what people have to say on those sites. Rarely, a modern-day company will not have a website.
But the breeding establishment might be a little bit behind on technology, so do not just immediately dismiss them as not a good option. They might be the best!
If there is no website, there is usually a Google business listing with a phone number, location and address, and so on. Give them a call!
Another place you might be able to find a breeding establishment if you cannot find their website (or they do not have one,) is on social media.
Lots of companies have Facebook pages, or Instagram feeds where they post updates and advertisements about their product or service, so do some social media scavenging if you can't find a website for them.
If they have absolutely no online presence, try calling the phone number in the google listing. You can just ask them over the phone or arrange a time to have a meeting and discuss the quality of the breeding establishment.
If you are struggling to find a good breeder with a great reputation on your area, try using national websites to help aid your search.
The American Kennel Club is a very prestigious website and organization that could help aid you in your search, as well as Pup Quest.
Using reputable resources as your primary search facility is always a good idea since they are well versed in the legal and moral sphere of the breeding world.
These types of sources are particularly useful and beneficial when you are trying to find a service dog. A service dog needs training, and some breeding establishments will provide that training for your dog and get them the qualifications to be legally a service dog.
This is very helpful for those who need a service dog in a short amount of time.
Emotional support dogs are very different since they do not require any training. The only thing they require is that the owner must go to get a certificate from a psychiatrist that says the dog is an emotional support dog, that is actively helping the owner.
Emotional support dogs are not usually bred with the intent to have them become emotional support dogs, which service dogs tend to be.
Particular breeds of dogs make better service dogs, so reputable websites and organizations will be a huge help to find breeding establishments that can ensure a smart, healthy, and capable service dog.
Finally, look for red flags when you ask questions to the owners of the breeding establishment.
These red flags could be an assortment of different signs, but here are a few.
If the owner or employee of the breeding establishment refuses (or says they are not allowed,) to show you where the puppies and dogs are being bred and housed, take this as a big red flag.
This can indicate abuse or mistreatments like neglect or unhealthy living circumstances for the puppies and dogs.
If the breeder is not asking questions about the life of the dog (service dog or not,) after you purchase it, then the breeder probably does not care about what happens to the dog. That indicates that the dogs are not cared for in the establishment.
Look for signs in any puppies or dogs that you see for abuse or mistreatment like neglect. This can show itself in low energy levels, patchy fur that is not shiny, crusty nose, eyes, mouth or paw pads, and so on.
If one dog is being mistreated it is a very high likely hood that all the dogs are, including the ones you do not see.
When looking to get a dog from a breeder, it is highly important to support companies that do honest and good work and respect the animals they are working with.