How to Know if a Dog Breeder is Reputable

Your new dog is a fur-ever member of your family from the minute you bring them home. However, their first family – the breeder and their parents – play a huge role in their long-term health and happiness. That’s why we’re digging into how to know if a dog breeder is reputable – to help all future puppy parents!

At Keystone Puppies, we’re a dog adoption agency that pairs puppies from high-quality breeders with loving families all across the country. We guarantee that any dog you find on our site comes from a 100% reputable breeder that meets our exceedingly high standards for dog health and happiness. If you’re ready to get started, meet some of our puppies right here. However, if you’d like to learn more about how to know if a dog breeder is reputable, keep reading!


7 Signs of a Bad Dog Breeder You Can’t Ignore

In a perfect world, every dog breeder would be fantastic, putting a sincere emphasis on dog health and welfare. Unfortunately, that’s not that case, and some breeders don’t treat their dogs properly and don’t sell healthy puppies. Not only is this wrong for their dogs, but you may end up spending a lot of money on a pet that isn’t healthy. These are the 7 signs of a bad dog breeder you need to watch out for:


You Aren’t Allowed to Come to Their Facility – This is a serious red flag that is often the sign of a puppy mill. In many cases, breeders do this because they don’t want you to see the conditions. You should have the chance to meet your puppy and see their home before you adopt. Oftentimes, breeders will insist they ship the puppy to you, even if you live fairly close by – this is a common tactic to keep you away. You should always have the option to pick your dog up in person. Of course, shipping a puppy is a great solution if you live far away – learn more about shipping puppies by air with us!

You Can’t Talk to the Breeder – Being able to have an open conversation is one of the ways to know if a dog breeder is reputable. However, some national puppy sellers go so far as to not let potential customers even talk to the breeders – let alone visit them. If your questions for a knowledgeable breeder are instead fielded by a slick salesman, you aren’t dealing with a transparent organization and you may be better off looking somewhere else.

Dogs Aren’t Clean – Of course, just because the breeder is happy to extend an invitation to see their operation is no guarantee that they are a reputable breeder. When meeting your potential puppy and their litter mates, you can learn a lot about the breeder. If you notice that all of the dogs are either unhealthy or extremely dirty, that is a red flag – and the breeder needs to offer an explanation!

You See Temperament Issues – When visiting your breeder, also pay close attention to the personality you see in the pups. In particular, if you notice that the dogs are skittish around you or seem downright afraid, that’s a sign of a bad dog breeder. At the very best, this means that the puppies have not been well-socialized with people – at the worst, it means they‘ve been mistreated. Learn more about the key signs of puppy health.

Not Knowledgeable about Parent or Puppy –A good breeder is the perfect person to talk to because nobody knows more than them. However, not being knowledgeable about the parent or the puppy is a sign of a bad breeder. If they can’t answer your key questions, that suggests that they either aren’t an expert – or that they are breeding far too many dogs at once provide individualized care.

Missing Health Documents – From a practical standpoint, having health documents that detail the vaccination and de-worming of the puppy is crucial information for you vet. However, it also can tell you a lot about the breeder. If a breeder doesn’t offer you these important documents, it may be that they haven’t protected the dog sufficiently. All of Keystone Puppies’ certified breeders will offer you full vaccination documents – guaranteed.

No Accreditations or Certifications – There is nothing reputable dog breeders dislike more than bad breeders who tarnish the good reputation of breeders overall. That’s why you’ll commonly see top-tier breeders proudly displaying independent certifications and accreditations, which prove their dedication to raising happy and healthy dogs. These certifications often are backed by extended health guarantees to make potential buyers feel even more comfortable. However, if the breeder only offers you state minimum guarantees, you can tell they have no desire to go above and beyond! Learn more about our accredited breeder program!


Trust Keystone Puppies’ Accredited Breeders

Cute puppy for sale from PA

Wondering how to know if a dog breeder is reputable? We have one more simple way – you found them here! At Keystone Puppies, we make it easy to guarantee you’re adopting a well-cared for and healthy dog from a great breeder. Every single one of our breeders meet our extremely high-standards, so that means you can feel completely safe to bring home the newest member of the family!

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