What To Look For In A Breeder Responsible Breeder • Puppies sold under contracts • Health Clearances/guarantees • Pedigrees • Long term relationship • Mentored through various clubs and knowledgeable breeders • Breed to better or improve their own breeding stock. Breed to fit the standard in structure as well as temperament and working ability. • AKC registered BYB (backyard breeder)/Pet Store/Puppy mill/Broker • No contract means no responsibility on their part, you are on your own • Possible unhealthy dogs being bred-genetic issues such as hips, elbows, eyes, cancer, patellas, OCD, as well as temperament. Temperament can include aggressive (dog or human), shy, or fear biter. • No idea of the pedigrees of the dogs they are breeding, no idea if they are “doubling” up on health or temperament problems. No known history of breeding stock. • Once you buy that puppy you will never hear from a BYB or Pet Store again. You are on your own to figure out what and how to do it. In a breed like Swissies there are many vets who have never seen one and may misdiagnose problems that are Swissy related. There is no one to call for a reference or second opinion. • No affiliation with any club or group. Operate on their own and have no long term breeders to chat with if there is a question. Most BYB in Swissies hardly even understand the breed or health issues related to the breed. • There are many breeders who are selling Swissies with registrations other than AKC. This is a clear sign that this breeder did not get their puppy from a reputable breeder. These are just some highlights as to why you want to purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder. Breeders show their dogs in conformation as well as obedience, weight pulling, carting, some even do herding. The reason is we are trying to “test” our dogs and breed only those who have qualities that will help further and better the breed. We also enjoy working with our dogs and having a strong bond with them. We get to know our dogs better through working with them and can see their faults as well as their strengths. This helps us find the right match for our bitches when we decide to breed. Most breeders try and improve on a variety of issues. This takes time and effort and lots of money. We get health clearances for all of our dogs that we breed. This is not just regular shots and annual check-ups. These are x-rays for hips, elbows, shoulders, patellas. We get the eyes checked out for any inherent diseases. We breed looking into the backgrounds of not just our immediate dogs, but grandparents and aunts and uncles so that we can try our best to avoid any health or temperament issues. We look to structurally improve our dogs so that they can move and function they way they were originally bred to. We want our Swissies to look like Swissies, and not some new form of the breed. We have many clubs that breeders are members of. This gives our breeders a place to converse and learn and better their breeding programs. It helps to have long term breeders to talk with and discuss both good and bad issues. In turn, we can talk to our puppy buyers about questions and concerns that they may have. The BYB (backyard breeder), puppy miller, pet store, and even broker have very little concern for testing or proving their breeding stock. They have even less care for health clearances. All these things cost money, and this group is about making money, not spending money. There are brokers out there who will be the liaison between the puppy miller or BYB and the pet store or an auction. There are some very nice, well intentioned people who breed because they like their dog and think it would make a great mom, or a neighbor wants a puppy. The problem is they are breeding dogs that may be dysplastic or have other issues and in turn furthering these problems. They may place a puppy with a friend who turns this puppy over to a shelter. The puppy may be too much for a family and it stays outside all day with no socialization or shelter. We can all agree that there are too many unwanted puppies and dogs out there. The reputable breeder will never forget a litter that he/she has bred. They will rescue or take back any puppy that they have produced regardless of age or problem. The reputable breeder actually protects their breed, and keeps the puppies out of shelters and running loose on the streets. When you look at all the facts, there really is no reason not to wait and purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder. You may have to drive far or fly out to get your new Swissy, but in the end a healthy, well bred puppy is worth the wait and trip.