How to identify responsible, caring breeders:

  • Meet breeder in person at the location the dogs are housed and bred – no off-site, roadside, or parking lot meetings
  • Ability to see the conditions the puppies – and their mother – are housed in
  • Conditions should be clean, spacious, and temperatures appropriate for the specific dog breed – not crowded or caged continuously
  • Dogs should be provided with nutritious food, bedding, and toys as appropriate
  • Research the breeder beforehand – a quick Google search of their name for news articles or negative reviews can help you identify bad actors
  • Ask what happens to the mothers and fathers when they can no longer breed
  • Responsible commercial breeders are licensed and regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) – check for their license on the USDA and MDARD websites and ask the breeder to present their license(s) on-site
  • Responsible breeders breed only a small number of dogs at one time, and shouldn’t always have puppies readily available at all times
  • Responsible breeders have established relationships with veterinarians and have records of the animal’s health and vaccination history, and other necessary documentation
  • Responsible breeders will have you commit to return the animal to them should you not be able to care for the animal

The bottom line – responsible breeders care about the well-being of their dogs and puppies – while in their care and after they leave.  They are not simply motivated by making a profit and will not be willing to sell their animals to anyone with the money to purchase.