Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between a reputable breeder versus a breeder who's breeding for the wrong reasons.
The easiest way to see a reputable breeder is by the health
tests and clearances they perform on their dogs. Just saying "I've never seen a problem" is a terrible excuse! It's important to know what health conditions their dogs have and reputable breeders health test their dogs. You can look dogs up publicly on the
OFA website (www.offa.org). Make sure you can get proof that their dogs were tested - some people are dishonest enough to lie about it.
Be wary of breeders
who only do DNA tests through Embark or WisdomPanel. Although they "test for 200+ genetic diseases", malamutes are only prone to about 3-5 of them. It's good information to have, but it is NO substitute for actual evaluations such as hips, eyes, heart, etc.
- A responsible breeder will always take their dogs back. They will have a health warranty on their puppies.
- They also won't guilt you into keeping a dog by threatening to euthanize
your dog! There are breeders who offer to take a dog back but tell you they'll have the dog put to sleep. Barring any serious issues, that's a way to guilt trip you into not returning a dog.
- Responsible breeders don't breed often.
You'll be lucky if you find a litter just when you're looking for it. If a breeder that you like does not have puppies in the time that you are looking, ask for a reference to another reputable breeder.
- A reputable breeder has a reason behind every
breeding. They should be able to tell you why they picked those particular two dogs.
- A reputable breeder cares about where their puppies go. If a breeder's biggest concern is how you'll pay for the puppy, they are only in it for the money.
- Spoiler alert - if they have a link to Paypal or another payment service on their website, run far away.
- Reputable breeders keep their puppies until at least 8 weeks of age. Personally, I think 9-10
weeks is best so the puppies get optimal time with their littermates and mother.
- Not every reputable / responsible breeder participates in conformation shows, BUT claiming a dog has "champion bloodlines" is a crock. Malamutes have a very small gene pool compared to some other breeds.
*Every* malamute has champion bloodlines because they all go back to the same dogs!
- If there aren't dogs within the last 2 generations of the pedigree with some form of titles (either conformation, working, or
performance) ask the breeder what they do with their dogs. If they work their dogs in harness but don't compete, that's different than someone breeding two non-working, untitled dogs together. Having a dog occasionally work does not make it a working dog;
that makes it an active pet. With all the dogs in rescue, there is no need for two pet dogs to have puppies; they won't be contributing to better or preserve the breed.
- Reputable breeders have a contract on their dogs, because they
care about their future. They want to do whatever they can to ensure the dog will have a happy and healthy life with their new family.
Visit our friend's webpage
on Decoding Breeder Websites!