Ask the Vet’s Pets: What Should I Ask My New Puppy’s Breeder?

Dear Daisy Dog: We are planning to buy a pure-bred golden retriever puppy. One breeder I called didn’t want to spend much time talking with me. How many questions may I ask without becoming a nuisance?

Daisy Responds: Good breeders will answer all your questions – and then pose a bunch of their own. You should ask to see the puppies’ mother and as many relatives as possible so you can judge how well their temperaments match your family’s personality and lifestyle.

Question the breeder about health problems in the line. How many have common golden problems, such as allergic skin disease, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism or cancer? How long do most of the breeder’s dogs live?

Request copies of each parent’s certificates attesting that they have no inherited diseases. For example, the Canine Eye Registration Foundation certifies dogs
that are free of inherited eye diseases.

The pups’ parents also should have certificates from PennHip or the Orthopedic
Foundation for Animals, indicating the quality of their hips. OFA also maintains a registry for hypothyroidism.

Ask how many of the breeder’s puppies have earned obedience, agility or working
titles, so you’ll know how trainable your pup is likely to be. Also, ask to speak with others who have bought puppies from the breeder.

Remember, you are adding a family member, so don’t hesitate to ask all the questions you need to make such an important decision