Breeders vs. Dog sellers


Responsible Breeder

Dog maker

Knows well the breed with all advantages and disadvantages, and speaks openly about them to visitors. Knows breed-specific health problems. His/her dogs are all tested and free of breed-specific hereditary diseases, stud dogs are selected on health requirements as well.

Does not really know the breed. Frequenlty, has no idea about breed-specific health/genetic problems, so stud dogs are not selected based on them.

Takes precautions, is careful to avoid diseases at puppies so visitors must take off their shoes, wash hands etc. before meeting the pups. If the puppies can go outside, visitors might be asked not to enter into their area.

No precautions at all, would give the pups in our hands.

The price of a pup differ by breed of course, and a breed in fashion is more expensive. A (leonberger) puppy from a well known kennel with show/breeding quality might be even 150-300 thousand Forint (~600-1200 EUR). In general, under 120-130 thHUF (~480-520 EUR) we cannot expect a (leonberger) quality puppy. Just think about it: a good breeder would spend a lot of money on the mother dog (dam), her show career, tests, breeding test, and would travel 1500-2000 kms for a selected stud male, paying a lot for the mating. Then feeds the mother dog with premium food, the puppies get maximal treatment after their birth, the breeder would not spare on them, plus the veterinary treatments, tatoo/chip, pedigree and pet passport. In Hungary, leonberger breeding is not specifically regulated, it is handled by the general breeding rules of MEOE Hungarian Kennel Club. MEOE general rules are not identical with internationally recognized German type breeding regulations and expectations of the Leonberger Union. Actual costs occurring when breeding leonbergers (based on previous litters’ average data of a litter of 8 puppies, on 2005 year prices): Costs of parents: – Parents’ breeding test: 5000 HUF (20 EUR) + travel costs (German type breeding test ZTP is proposed for the same price in Hungary) – Parents’ show results: in Hungary, 3-7000 HUF/dog/show (12-28 EUR), abroad: 40-70 EUR/show/dog + travel costs – Health examinations and tests: HD (hip dysplasia), elbow, and shoulder test, eyes tests, heart scanning: 18.000 HUF (72 EUR) – German type Dentition document (documenting the number and status of teeth by 3 different special judges (complete, correct scissor byte is best)): 1000 HUF (4 EUR) Mating costs: – In Hungary: 80.000-150.000 HUF (320-600 EUR) – Abroad: travel costs + 50-500 EUR/mating + 50-80 EUR/puppies born alive Veterinary costs of the dam (mother dog) at birth: – Vet check: 5000 HUF (20 EUR) – If complications: up to 20.000 HUF (80 EUR) Food and vitamins for the dam from mating till the age of 8 weeks of the pups (total 4 months): minimum 50-80.000 HUF (200-320 EUR) For a dog maker, the only objective is to produce a litter at minimal costs, even by overcharging the mum dog. In these kennels a (leonberger) puppy can be bought at about 50-90 thHUF (~200-360 EUR).

Ask questions to potential future owners. Is interested where and how the puppy will live, who will take care of it, who will go out with it etc.

Does not ask questions concerning the puppy’s future, thosw who have the money can take the pup.

Gives advises to visitors concerning best methods to house training, training, socialization, healthcare etc. Has extended knowledge on dog- and breed-related topics.

Has his/her own opinion on topics not necessarily converging to expert’s opinions. Does not read articles, does not train him/herself on dog-related issues.

Can give references if we ask.

Cannot give references, does not even know where his/her puppies are.

Is ready to show the puppy’s parents, if the sire does not live in the yard, shows photos about him.

Would not or is unwilling to show the parents. If we can see the parents, they are too agressive or too shy.

Dogs are well socialized, friendly, it can be seen that people spend time with them.

Dogs are shy, maybe agressive, they are not trained.

(S)he breeds to have better and better dogs, to improve the bloodline and the breed

(S)he breeds to purely make money.

Litters are made only from time to time, breeding is not a business, quality is more important than quantity.

Puppies are available continuously, frequently produces litters for dog dealers (proudly says if we ask that pups go to Italy or The Netherlands)

Only qualified dogs are used for breeding that meet the breed standard.

Dogs bred rarely meet breed standard and/or prescribed health tests.

Only balanced dogs are used for breeding with good nervous system.

Parent dogs are frequently shy or agressive.

Only dogs after their 2 years can be bred, litters are limited..

Even young dogs are bred, using consequent heat periods.

Stud dogs are selected based on quality, the breeder is ready to go to the other end of the country or abroad to bring the mum dog to the stud dog, spending time, money and energy (even if the breeder has stud dog at home, would use it from time to time only).

Stud dogs are selected based on comfort and spenditure minimalization (should be cheap and close, (s)he would use own males at home).

Necessary tests are all done (may differ by breed, mostly hip dysplasia and eye tests)

Tests are not done (they are expensive), may breed with (latently) sick dogs.

Potential puppy owners get on a waiting list.

Puppies are advertised after birth in local newspaper. In Hungary, in the “Dog” monthly newspaper we can see many suspicious ads. Beware of expressions like “continuously available” or “puppy for electronic article” etc.

A contract has to be signed, sometimes we get guarantee (with usually a higher price).

No paperwork needed, we don’t even have to say our name – no matter where the pup will go, just pay the price.

Keeps as many dogs as much time and money (s)he has – and most importantly as many (s)he can love. Dogs are clean, seemingly healthy and with a good mood.

Kennels are usually overhelmed, dogs are neglected. Dogs are frequently ill, they seem sad..

Gives good/premium quality food for puppies and adults.

Gives cheap, low quality food to the dogs, even the pups get adult food.

Puppies are left with their mum till the age of minimum 8-10 weeks. During this period, puppies learn a lot from their mum and siblings..

As early as 6 weeks of age, puppies can be taken and the dog maker assures us “they eat independently”.

Pup socialization is important, puppies are frequently in human hands, they know different objects and sounds. They are used to get brushed/cleaned, teeth are checked, sometimes show training has started.

Apart from feeding and cleaning the pups, (s)he would not spend time with them. Many times pups are afraid and run away of unkown people and sounds.

Would not give two pups at a time to a newby (beginner) dog owner.

“Two at a time” – that’s the easiest.

Goes to dogshows, dog training school, other dog-related events.

Does not go to dog school nor show or breeding tests.

Is a member of a dog organisation, kennel club.

Is not really interested in “dog world.”

The quality of his/her dogs is proven by show and breeding test results, (in case of working dogs) their aptitude for work.

Even if the dogs are pure-bred, their quality is questionable since it has never been tested.

There are many champion (or working) ancestors on the puppy’s pedigree, the breeder would never breed nor sell puppies without pedigree.

There are hardly any champions on the puppy’s pedigree – if the puppy has pedigree at all.

Supports dog refuges/homes, is aware of his/her own activities to create more dogs this is why is rigorous in selecting future owners

Believes that by selling all pups, (s)he would not increase the number of dogs in dog homes.

Is continuously interested in the wellbeing of the dogs from his/her kennel, collects information on health problems, is in contact with the new owner.

After selling, is not interested in the puppy anymore.

Offers his/her help and gives advice any time for those who ask.

The maximum is a “Good bye” or maybe “Good luck”.

Rarely repeats litters (with the same sire and dam, only for reach extremely good quality again)

Rarely repeats litters (with the same sire and dam, only for reach extremely good quality again)

We hope the above gives you help to decide which kennel you buy your puppy from. Think about it: you’re buying a partner not for a couple of weeks but, hopefully, for a decade or more. Be demanding! Wish you all success! This text is based on the work of Teodora Nagy Zajanes’ at “Of Nordica” Siberian Husky Kennel and from the pages and love for dogs of Andeea at