7 Questions to Ask Dog Breeders Before Adopting a New Best Friend

Posted by Tiffany Brenner

Congrats on your decision to adopt a puppy. You're adding to your family in a way that should give you years of delight. To make a good decision about your new family member and best friend, take the time to ask dog breeders the right questions and make certain you understand the answers.


Avid dog lovers founded the American Kennel Club back in the 1880s and have run it ever since. Because of their long history and dedication to their pets, they know plenty about puppies. This section highlights topics of the top questions the American Kennel Club suggests asking dog breeders about puppies.

1. Ask about the puppy's parents

Ask to meet the parents. Typically, the appearance and behavior of parents can give you a good idea about what to expect from your puppy as an adult dog. Also, find out about any health or genetic tests performed on the parents to ensure they're healthy or if there's a risk for any genetic medical conditions.

2. Find out about the puppy's health

Naturally, you should find out if the pup's already had vaccinations. If so, the breeder should give you records that you can take to your vet to stay on schedule. Also, it's fair to ask what happens in case you find out the puppy has a serious, undiscovered medical issue that you can't care for. If so, how long will the breeder guarantee that they will take the puppy back?

3. Check out the breeder's experience

Find out how long the breeder has worked with the breed you're interested in and what their other interests are in dogs. For instance, many breeders also raise their own show or sport dogs. They'll probably volunteer information about the breed's strengths, but also query them about potential weaknesses.

4. Ask for guidance on socializing and training puppies

Even though you can find plenty of books on training, nobody hands new parents -- even puppy parents -- a training manual set in stone. Use the opportunity to get guidance from experienced dog breeders and dog trainers about the best way to socialize and train new puppies to avoid possible behavior problems.

5. Learn when you can pick up your puppy

Good breeders generally won't let you take puppies home until they're at least eight or twelve weeks old. Young puppies need time to get weaned and learn some socialization lessons from their littermates and parents. Remain wary of breeders who will let you pick up younger puppies.

6. Ask if you can communicate after taking the puppy home

Great breeders will provide great resources as you raise your dogs, and many will offer to let you contact them throughout your dog's life. They should provide you with an email address or phone number and a reasonably prompt response to questions. In fact, you may want to test that out before you pick up your dog.

7. Find out about the breeder's standards for adoptive pup parents

The best breeders will also have high standards for the homes they send their puppies to. Be prepared to answer some questions from breeders. Unless you already know the breeder well, you might feel concerned if they don't have anything to ask you.


Since picking out the right puppy from the right breeder can make all the difference in a long-term relationship with a furry family member, don't be shy about asking plenty of questions in advance.

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