Choosing an Ethical Dog Breeder – A Breeder’s Own Words

I have wanted to do an article on what to look for when you choose a dog breeder for a while, but have been looking for a perspective directly from a breeder. 

Whatever we might think about the millions of dogs in rescue shelters and centres, there always will be a market for puppies.  And therefore a demand for breeders.  The challenge for us as dog lovers is to make sure that

  • whatever choice a new owner makes is the right one, and
  • whatever breeder they go to is ethical, responsible and supportive.

Today I wanted to showcase comments from my friend Gabriel Valdez of Da Vinci Kennels.  Gaby lives in Bogota, Colombia.  I first came across him back in 2006.  At that time I was considering an Azawakh puppy and had news that he might have youngsters available. Gaby replied that he had a pregnant azawakh but was also really quite ill at the time and felt overstretched by the impending litter. 

True to form, I stepped in and persuaded him to let me help.  I paid £3,000 to buy Dari and ship her to Kel Simoon Azawakhs for the puppies’ birth.  We found the all puppies and Dari superb forever homes.  The puppy I was going to keep went to a home in Washington, and I didn’t make back what I spent. 

But that’s the point.  It’s not about the money.  I think Gaby’s comments beautifully sum up what being an ethical breeder is all about:

I am a breeder.

I spend a lifetime learning pedigrees, going over dogs, talking and learning from those in my breed and those outside it.

I raise each litter as if I gave birth to them and spend an equal amount of time finding them loving forever homes.

I only put puppies on this planet that I think will be the healthiest (mentally and physically) and nicest examples of their breed.

I support each…… family who choses one of my puppies and let them know they are now a part of our extended family.

I am there if one needs to come back and will aggressively pursue the return of one of my dogs if its in the wrong place.

I support my breed in rescue and education. I hold them when they arrive and leave this world, not only my own, but my brethren in the fancy.

I share my knowledge and socialize my dogs so that they will be the advertisement for my dedication.

I don’t keep track of the money and time I put in to my love of dogs, it would not be true measure of how I feel. 

The price I charge for my puppies is never profit, but investment in the next generation.

I will not be ashamed of who I am, I work hard at being a good dog person and encouraging others to be the same. I am a breeder and I am proud of it.

If people want to choose a puppy, then THIS is what they need to look for.  If a breeder can’t say this about themselves, with passion and truth, then find one who can.  Choose a dog breeder well and you will get the dog your desire and all the support you could ever wish for.

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