The characteristics of a responsible breeder are easy to spot. You’ll find most of these characteristics are based on the general welfare of their purebred pup. Responsible breeders are protective of their pups and want to make sure they are placed with the appropriate pet parents. Responsible breeders are proud of their facility. They welcome visits and willingly give tours of all areas dedicated to the dogs. All areas are clean, well-maintained and spacious enough to comfortably meet the needs of the specific breed. The dogs in the facility do not shy away from human interaction. Only a few types of purebreds are bred at an ethical facility. When you are looking at breeds such as Beagles, Dachsund and Yorkies, keep in mind these are often the breeds most often raised in puppy mills. The breeder is highly knowledgeable regarding their breeds. They explain in detail potential health problems that may arise with your puppy and also provide records of the bloodline and medical evaluations. Because only a few dogs are bred at a time, there is not constant availability of puppies. A responsible breeder will recommend another ethical breeder or keep your information for the next time a litter becomes available. A caring breeder cares not only for the physical needs of their puppies, but also their psychological by socializing, exercising and playing with their young puppies. Because of the great care they provide their puppies, a responsible breeder has a strong relationship with their vet and has plenty of documentation of regular visits. Ethical breeders make themselves available to you through the duration of your puppy’s life. They provide guidance for care and training as well as references from current puppy owners. They provide you with a written contract and health guarantee. Responsible breeders want to make sure their puppies are going to responsible pup parents. The breeder is not the only person being evaluated when it comes to purchasing a purebred dog. You can expect to be questioned. The breeder will want you to explain why you want to own a dog and who will be the primary caregiver. They will want to know where the dog will spend most of its time and what kind of “rules” have been predetermined (ex: allowed on furniture). You may also be asked to provide proof that you are allowed to have a dog in your place of residence. You should be asked to sign a contract stating you will have your pet spayed or neutered. The contract will also state that you will return the dog to the breeder if for any reason you are unable to keep your dog at any point in his life.