You have made it to this page because you are considering that maybe you wish to purchase a puppy instead of adopt a rescue.
We understand, we know that puppies are fun and adorable — and wonderful! Dachshund puppies are often what makes us weak in the knees too!
Rescues are wonderful and we do caution you that if you are seeking a puppy merely because you do not think you can bond with a rescued dachshund the way you would a puppy, you are terribly wrong.
It's also important to be aware of the issues from buying from an ill-reputable breeder. Please read Penny's Story and educate yourself--and friends!--about what can happen if you don't research the breeder you buy from.
If you truly just wish to have a puppy and are seeking help in locating a breeder, we hope you will keep the below Breeder Checklist in mind so you're able to better recognize a reputable breeder.
1. Puppies — especially small breed puppies — should never be separated from their litters or mothers prior to 10-12 weeks of age. Puppy socialization is extremely important and when taken too early from their litter they can develop behavior issues as adults that directly relates to not getting good social structure as a puppy. Puppies also still need their litters for health purposes. Their immune systems are developing and being stressed in a new home as a tiny puppy can make them more susceptible to illness. A reputable breeder would never allow a puppy to leave before 10-12 weeks of age.
2. Health guarantees are an important part of the contract to purchase a new puppy. Puppies are susceptible to illnesses including Parvo Virus and Distemper. These are extremely dangerous and often fatal for puppies. A reputable breeder will properly vaccinate and protect their litters from exposure. In addition, a reputable breeder will know the genetic background of the dame and sire so they will be able to guarantee that no congenital health defects are present or known. This is a buyer protection as well as a protection for the puppy. You should receive all vetting records and health evaluation forms when you purchase your puppy. Vaccinations for puppies should begin somewhere around 6 weeks of age as well as deworming and puppy checkups by a veterinarian. A reputable breeder would provide a health guarantee and vet records for your new puppy.
3. Breed knowledge is important when you are breeding to better the confirmation of your own breed. A reputable breeder will specialize in no more than 2 breeds, and will be breeding for both confirmation and temperament. Breeders breeding several breeds are not breeding to better their own breed (or breeds) — they are a puppy mill lending to the pet overpopulation problems that plague our country. Showing their dogs in the confirmation ring prior to breeding reflects that the breeder is committed to breeding good confirmation and bettering the breed standards. A reputable breeder will show their parent dogs in the show ring for breed confirmation and breed no more than 2 breeds.
4. Meeting the parents is extremely important. Never meet a breeder at an off-site location or at someone else’s home. Often times puppy brokers will have many reasons why you cannot come to their home — this is a big red flag. The site of a puppy mill or backyard breeder is often horrific as parents live almost their entire lives in cages being used to breed every heat cycle. A reputable breeder will not breed a female before the age of two and will not breed her more than once every other year — and will retire the female after 3 litters at most. Ask to see both the mother and the father at the home where they are kept. A reputable breeder will allow you to see the entire litter and the parents.
5. AKC and CKC are simply classifications and do not indicate that the breeder is subject to any kind of inspections or certifications by either organization. The USDA is the governing agency nationwide for breeder regulations but often the inspections fall on the state department of agriculture. Reputable breeders will provide a pedigree of at least 5 generations for your new puppy. Many will provide health testing for the parents and grandparents of your new puppy to display that they are breeding healthy puppies that come from parents found to be free of congenital health conditions. A reputable breeder will provide at least a 5 generation pedigree for your new puppy.
6. Spaying and neutering pets is important. There is significant research to show that delayed spaying and neutering after 12-18 months is beneficial for the health of the pet. A reputable breeder will require a contract that will state the purchased puppy will be required to be spayed or neutered by a certain time (and proof of the surgery will be required or a deposit will be held until the surgery is complete). A reputable breeder will require purchasers to spay and neuter the puppy.
7. Lifetime returns are a sign of a reputable breeder. Breeders should take full responsibility for their puppies for their entire lives. If the purchaser cannot keep the puppy at any time during the life of that puppy, the breeder should require that it be returned to them for rehoming. A reputable breeder would never burden rescue with their offspring and would take responsibility for rehoming their own puppies.
Reputable breeders should want to know about you and your home life. They might ask your questions about your home, your family and even request a vet reference for any of your current animals. Breeding responsibly is more of a hobby versus a way to make money however you should expect to pay a fair amount because breeding responsibly is expensive. Oftentimes reputable breeders will even first “reserve” puppies prior too breeding a pair of their dogs to ensure homes for the puppies prior to even planning the litter.
Had Penny’s family been aware of this information it is highly likely they would not have spent $1,000 on a puppy that came from a breeder that did not do any of these things. It is important that we share this information and learn from it so that we can prevent disreputable breeding and the suffering of so many animals. Puppies are so fun but it is important to make sure your life and home are prepared to give a forever home for the next 18 years to the puppy you purchase! Do not be afraid to ask questions and get to know the breeder — after all, the responsibility of making sure you are purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder falls on your shoulders. Please research and only support reputable breeders — please do it for sweet Penny so that others do not have to suffer like she did!