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If the right decision for you and your family is to purchase a dog from a breeder, there are key pieces of information to collect and key steps to take before bringing that new puppy home for the first time. While the Kennel Club in your country likely won’t be able to recommend specific breeders, they should be able to provide you with a list of accredited breed clubs in your country who can. A responsible breeder shouldn’t be surprised by any of the following questions or have any trouble answering them or complying with them. These questions should help ensure that you are purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder and not from a puppy mill. Choosing a puppy can be difficult but finding the right breeder will make all the difference.
If the mother dog is aggressive (growling, snapping, snarling) or terrified (freezes in place) when you approach her or her puppies, do not buy- some behavior traits are inherited. Avoid breeders with multiple litters of puppies and those with multiple breeds of dogs being bred- these are the first signs of a "back yard breeder" or puppy mills in the making. If the breeder will not allow you to see the parent dogs (at least the mother, as they may not own the father, and he may not be present), do not buy from them.

As a addition to the above warning: Some breeders do breed mixed or "designer" breeds for a reason. Remember puppies (and dogs) are a lot of work and require time, effort, and money to care for properly. They should be well educated about the breed they work with, and honest about the pros and cons of the breed. The mother dog (the Dam), might be suspicious and watchful, but should not show aggression if approached when with her puppies.
The dogs should be able to exercise and engage with the breeder’s family as well as other dogs.
They should be registered by the AKC (in the USA), or other nationally recognized, organized purebred dog registry.
A responsible breeder carefully selects individuals that represent their breed well, with good health and stable, pleasant temperaments to breed and carry on those traits. What to watch out for is if they breed different kinds of mixed breeds, or if they have not been in the business for long.

They do not try to charge extra money for throwing a couple of dogs together and seeing what kind of cute name that pairing would make (i.e. Chinese Crested dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, etc) may not be common in your area and you may have to travel to find a good breeder.
A hot and humid location can be harder on an arctic breed (Husky, Malamute, etc), while Chihuahuas in cold locations will need extra care to keep warm.
Do not settle on a local breeder just because they are close- a long trip to a good breeder is worth every penny you spend on gas. Think about how much time and money you are willing to spend on: Training- smart breeds need to be challenged, slower breeds need extra time and patience to teach). Exercise- many dogs from the Sport, Herding, and Terrier groups need to spend over an hour outside running daily while some Hounds and Toy breeds will be happy with daily easy walks and more gentle play.

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