Tintop Cairn Terriers
Lovingly bred for health, beauty & temperament

A Good Breeder Is.....
What should you
expect from a
good breeder?

It's important to realize that not all breeders are of the same caliber.  Please be an informed consumer to protect your family from disappointment.  Read the list below for some pointers on finding a dedicated breeder.

A good breeder....

  • Will not tell you that they are a member of AKC.  The American Kennel Club is merely a registry, and  assures only that the dogs registered are purebred.   Breeders cannot be members.  Having AKC registered dogs is no guarantee of quality.
  • Will never expect you to purchase a puppy, sight unseen.  A reputable breeder will want to meet you and your family to learn which puppy will fit into your home best.
  • Will not ask for a deposit to reserve a puppy who is not yet born.  Breeding is an uncertain thing.  There can be no guarantee that a litter will be born healthy or that there will be any definite number of puppies in that litter.   Some puppies die soon after birth, so those with reservations may expect to be disappointed. 
  • Will not request a deposit without meeting you and your family. 
    By meeting you and your family, a breeder can see the way each member interacts with the dogs, and develop a clearer idea of which puppy will fit best into your home and within your lifestyle, and  how any puppy's personality will mesh with your family. 
  • Will not sell you an intact female to allow your children to experience "the Miracle of Birth."  Birth is a messy, painful and unpleasant process.  The females may scream, snap and have been known to accidentally kill their puppies when they were in pain.  It's not for the faint of heart or inexperienced, and certainly not for young children.
  • Will never refuse to allow you to visit their kennel.  How else will you be able to determine if your puppy has been cared for properly, in clean, loving surroundings;  or meet their parents, siblings and extended family?  There are many poor excuses used for this, such as:  "I'll be in your area and can bring the puppy with me."  or  "We don't want the puppies exposed to germs."  or other such foolishness.  Please don't be taken in by this.
  • Will gladly show you their dogs and their facilities, including the mother of the puppies and their father, if possible.  Certainly, other members of their family.  It is usual for breeders to use males from other kennels in their breeding programs in order to make the best match with the female and so, produce the highest quality puppies.
  • Will always provide you with the AKC registration forms at no additional cost.  This is an AKC requirement and not an option.  There are other registries, but AKC is the most reputable.  Some others allow mixed breed (designer) dogs to be registered.
  • Will perform health and genetic testing on all dogs before they are bred, and refuse to use any whose test results are not normal.  This helps to assure you that your puppy will be healthy and sound.  Some breeders will tell you they don't need to test because they have no health problems.  How can they know this if they refuse to test?  Test results are your only assurance that the parents of your puppy are healthy, and should be provided to you on request.
  • Will offer a health guarantee for your puppy.  Even the most reputable breeders can place a puppy who is believed to be healthy, only to discover that there is a problem that was not apparent at their vet check.
  • Will ask you many questions about your family, home and lifestyle.  That will allow them to choose a puppy for you who will become a pleasure and a delight for you.  Puppies personalities vary and the right choice for you will be based upon such things as your preferences in a pet (activity level, playfulness, and other personality traits), the age of your children, other pets in your home, as well as your daily schedule.  They may also request pictures of your home and yard, or ask to visit your home to examine your preparations for the puppy's arrival.
  • Will ask you for references from your veterinarian or dog trainer, and will offer you the same.
  • Will provide you with a pedigree for your puppy, showing a minimum of three generations of its family tree.  This will give you information on the number of Champions in your puppy's immediate family; a reflection of its quality.  Again, this is a requirement of the American Kennel Club and should be provided you at no additional cost.
  • Will assure that your puppy has received all age-appropriate vaccinations and health care before it goes to your home.  Reputable breeders provide their puppies with appropriate vaccinations at the recommended age, and many will also have conducted health testing on your puppy as well.  NOTE:  There are some breeders who believe strongly in holistic practices, who may regard vaccinations sceptically.  You will have to decide if this is a choice with which you are comfortable.  Puppies should also be wormed before joining your family, and should have received monthly heartworm preventative if they are over twelve weeks of age.
  • Will refer you elsewhere if they have nothing suitable for you at that time.  It's unreasonable to expect a family to wait until the next litter has been born and raised to receive their puppy.  Most breeders will know of others who may have a puppy available, or can refer you to their breed club's breeder referral service.
  • Will provide a contract which lists your responsibilities toward your dog and its breeder, and also your breeder's responsibilities to you.  This document is intended to protect you, your dog, and the breeder, equally, and to assure that there are no misunderstandings or confusions about your agreement.

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