Breeding a litter, whelping, raising & placing pups involves a tremendous amount of staying power, effort, education, money & knowledge of applied science. It is anything but a casual undertaking & the responsibility that comes with it is not taken lightly by us at Connemara.
A reputable breeder has great knowledge of their chosen breed and goes out of their way to learn everything they can about their breed. They dedicate most of their time to their dogs and most reputable breeders tend to be fanatical about their breed and their individual dogs. They screen new puppy owners and go out of their way to make sure each puppy goes to the right home. A breeder works very hard raising the best puppies they can and care deeply about each and every puppy. They try to teach every new puppy owner everything about the breed that they can. A good breeder is always there for their new owners to help out in any way. Good breeders back up their puppies with an extensive health guarantee against genetic defects. These are people who care about the breed and are willing to sacrifice almost anything to improve it. They breed for the best quality they can produce. They try to breed to the breed standards. They try to do the most genetic testing on their breed they can do. They study backgrounds and pedigrees to make sure that they are making the best matings they can. They ensure that the health of each puppy they produce is paramount.
How can I tell if I have found a decent, reputable breeder? And what does that even mean?
A good breeder backs their puppies. Meaning they are willing to replace a puppy if there is a serious life threatening disease or genetic defect. Beware the breeders that give a 1-2 year guarantee. Or ones that act offended when you ask for their guarantee in writing. These people are not the kind you want to be dealing with and if you come across them, you should run the other way.
They do a battery of health testing on their breeding dogs. And not just one or two token tests to say they health test. They should be worried about all illnesses associated with their breed. They should be up to date on the latest studies, tests and information pertaining to their breed of choice.
A top breeder will be very knowledgeable about their breed. They will sit down with you and teach you about the things you need to know to raise a pup. They do not apply pressure to people that are looking to buy and they go out of their way to make sure that you are getting the right puppy for you.
A good breeder will encourage you to ask many questions - They welcome questions. As I said, these breeders have nothing to hide.
Their integrity is obvious. A good breeder will be up front with you when asking about the parents and the puppies and not just shove a cute puppy in your face to make money. A good breeder should know their dogs and what they will produce.
A good breeder will always try to better themselves and their dogs. Good breeders attend ongoing-educational type classes, seminars and events. And they genuinely care about the quality of puppies they are producing and that a new puppy owner is happy with their pet.
A good breeder has another source of income. In other words; Paying their mortgage is not contingent upon them selling puppies. When ones very livelihood is on the line, they can be desperate to make their budget. They should be in it for the love of their breed, first and foremost. When all is said and done breeders who health test and do it right, do not make a lot of money on puppies. Most of the money made is put back into their dogs. There are vet bills, health testing, feeding costs, and more to take into consideration. It is not a cheap venture or a quick money making scheme... if a breeder is doing it right.
Top breeders will also…
...Stay awake with the litter or sleep nearby, checking puppies often for as many sleepless nights as necessary to insure that no puppy will fade or is lost or misplaced by the new mother.
...Handle each pup daily, and supplement pups if necessary to save excessive drain on the new mother. Closely monitor puppies, & identify each one, to keep track of each pups rate of gain, so one who is falling behind the others will be noticed and supplemented.
...Give the expectant mother a carefully prepared, hot, nutritious meal when requested, and sleep with her on a pillow, to reassure her she is special...Including staying home from work or canceling other plans, in order to help whelp the litter, and get the puppies off to a good start.
...Keep mother & pups comfortable, & give them a feeling of protection & safety. If the mother chooses to begin the whelping process at our feet, on our favorite comforter, we will understand her need to be in comfortable surroundings and will find ourselves, helping birth the puppies on this same blanket, right where the mother choose to have them and right next to her side during the entire process...just as the new mother wanted.
...Skillfully interview all applicants and provide new families with a healthy and well adjusted Jack Russell Terrier puppy.
...Have the courage and sensitivity to spot those that should not have one of our pups - And handle in a manner so as to not offend anyone but the end result is the same: They wait for the right families to come along.
...Follow up with the new families and be prepared to take a puppy or adult dog back into our home on a moments notice - for whatever reason. We will always save room enough to provide for an extra dog or two.
...Consider themselves responsible for all the puppies from conception to their last breath. The responsibility for bringing new puppies into the world includes making certain, to the extent possible, that our pups will go on to live happy lives, and never become homeless.