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Finding a good, ethical breeder can be confusing and frustrating in today’s instant satisfaction culture.  Online multi-breed web sites abound, promising the world, willing to ship tomorrow and accepting a myriad of credit cards. Obtuse, hollow guarantees of health, love and loyalty pepper their pages. If it reads like a come on ad for used cars or miracle weight loss, it’s likely a puppy mill in disguise. The internet is a valuable source of information in your puppy search but is not a substitute for good old-fashioned, real-time, human connection.

AVOID BROKERS. GO LOCAL and DIRECT. You want a puppy DIRECTLY from a  breeder you have been able to develop a relationship with, who will work to get to know you so a successful match is most likely. You want a puppy whose relatives you have met, whose early environment you’ve seen with your own eyes and which feels like good preparation for life in yours. You want a puppy from a breeder willing to offer “tech support” whenever you have questions, problems or just a proud moment to share ( no one else cares as much!). You want, ideally, a puppy from a breeder within driving distance – even if you have to wait ( you know – good things come to those who wait!).

LOOK FOR A LIFETIME SAFETY NET.  You want  breeders so committed to their animals that in the unlikely event you can’t keep that pup, they’ll guarantee to provide a  home for the life of the pup. And since you’ve developed a relationship with them, that idea wouldn’t horrify you! No ethical breeder’s puppies should ever end up in a shelter.

You may want to check breeder’s directories on the web for a local, visit-able and ethical breeder. Visit the web sites that appeal to you, make phone calls – talking to someone always gives you the best sense about potential fit. Next, schedule visits to those breeders that you enjoyed connecting with and see how you feel the puppy’s first home may or may not prepare him/her for life with you. This all matters. Take your time.
Borrowed with permission from The Local Dog blog.

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