What are good breeders?
Good breeders carefully plan for and produce litters of purebred puppies with the specific intention of making a “contribution to the breed”, that is to say- their goal is to produce healthy, sound, stable and conformationaly correct dogs.
They strive to produce dogs that are fine examples and representatives of the breed. Their goal is to produce dogs that are good ambassadors for their breed.
In doing this, good breeders are guardians of the breed- they protect it from unwanted change as well as promoting the betterment of the breed- they are advocates for their breed.
It is their careful breeding practices that promote positive changes in the breed for years to come.
Good Breeder 101
Good breeders register their dogs with the Canadian Kennel Club. In Canada any dog sold as purebred, they buyer is required to receive (within six months) a CKC Certificate of Registration at no additional cost-- THIS IS THE LAW! as required under the Animal Pedigree Act. The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) is a registry that keeps track of the pedigrees of purebred dogs.
Good Breeders are members of their regional and national breed club.Membership in a regional and national breed club helps a good breeder stay abreast of events and issues that may affect their breed. Participating in breed club activities and events keeps a good breeder connected with other good breeders so important information can be shared, like information on health, nutrition, and training.
Good breeders follow their national breed club’s Code of Ethics (COE) and health testing guidelines.
Good breeders do NOT breed dogs that do not conform to the Canadian Kennel Club breed standards. (i.e. Dalmatians born with a patch, or with an aggressive temperament)
A good breeder will test for certain genetic disorders and conditions like hip dysplasia, eye diseases, thyroid diseases and congenital deafness. All these are inherited problems in the breed that all good Dalmatian breeders are working hard to avoid and eradicate.
Good breeders make every possible effort to ensure that their dogs are healthy and free of genetic disorders before considering them for breeding.
Good breeders submit health testing results to the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OFA) and to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), a database that keeps track of health testing. All results both normal and abnormal are posted there. By doing this all breeding stock obtain CHIC numbers for further reference in a breeding program. For more information go to: www.caninehealthinfo.org and
The CHIC database is one tool a good breeder can use when researching a dam or sire for a particular breeding.
Good breeders show and title their dogs before breeding them.
Earning a championship in conformation by competing in dog shows is one way good breeders demonstrate a healthy dog is worthy of being bred. A dog who earns his championship has correct conformation, has been socialized and can adapt well to crowds, noise, other dogs and being handled by strangers. A commitment to the process of earning a championship also indicates a breeder’s level of belief and vested interest in an individual dog.
Many good breeders go on to compete in companion events as well, like obedience, agility, tracking and, with the Dalmatian- road trials which test the Dalmatian’s coaching ability- working obediently amongst horses and endurance- his ability to travel at a steady pace with the rider or carriage.
Good breeders carefully consider which dogs to breed. CKC registered, CKC championship earned and health screened and results submitted to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) with a CHIC ( Canine Health Information Center) number is just the beginning.
A good breeder carefully considers a dog’s strengths and weaknesses- which attributes to preserve and which might benefit from improvement.
A good breeder is always trying to improve the next generation and will seek out the best possible dam and sire combination with regard to pedigree, structure, type and temperament.
Good breeders dedicate themselves to raising healthy and well socialized pups. Once the well planned litter is on the ground, a good breeder will leave nothing to chance. The care and socialization of pups becomes the good breeder’s reasons for breeding .
Good breeders interview and consider prospective new homes and owners very carefully.
A good breeder knows that the process of placing a pup with a new owner in exchange for a fee charged is not so much “selling” a puppy… it is really an adoption.
A good breeder will ask many questions about you, your activity level, your home and family.
A good breeder will want to get to know you a bit to determine if you and one of his or her pups will be a good fit.
A good breeder will have a contract that spells out certain assurances such as a puppy health guarantee and certain expectations like the requirement that a pet home neuter or spay the pup at the appropriate age.
Good breeders are there for you.
A good breeder remains in touch with you and is a valuable resource on issues like health, nutrition and training advice.
Good breeders always take back a pup for any reason
*The above information, slightly modified for Canada, is used with permission from the Dalmatian Club of America
Questions to ask a Breeder…
After deciding to buy a pure bred puppy, the next big question is “Where do I get one?” The answer is “From a good breeder.” Information on how to identify good breeders can be found on the Dalmatian Club of Canada Website from the “Find a Dalmatian” button. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the qualities of a dedicated and knowledgeable dog breeder. Once you begin to inquire about puppies, and find one you want to know more about and meet, it will be important to know what questions to ask the breeder to determine whether your future puppy has been carefully bred and cared for. The following are some questions to ask, a little information about why the questions are important and answers good breeders are likely to give.
How old are the parents?
It is important to give a dog time to mature into young adulthood, both physically and mentally, in order to determine whether or not it should be part of a breeding program. A bitch should not be bred until she is 18 months old and a dog should not be used at stud until he is 12 months old. Puppies should not be having puppies.
Do both dam and sire have a CHIC number?
Will you provide me with copies of the dam and sire’s health clearances?
It is very important to breed only those dogs who are healthy and have been screened for, and deemed free of, certain genetic disorders. After the appropriate (breed specific) health screenings are done and the results are submitted to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, a number is issued. A good breeder will be able to provide you with the results of the health tests performed. Many good breeders test for other conditions as well. Results can be viewed by anyone on the CHIC website www.caninehealthinfo.org
Do both dam and sire have a conformation title? If not, why?
A breeding dog should have a conformation title- a championship (CH) in conformation. A dog considered for breeding should be a sound, stable and structurally correct representative of its breed capable of easily being amongst and around strangers, noise, crowds and other dogs. Earning a CH (by competing in dog shows) is one way a dog will demonstrate it has these important qualities and should be considered for a breeding program. On occasion, there can be exceptions to the rule. If either dam or sire does not have a CH title, or if you notice a dog or two in the pedigree without a CH before its name, ask why the breeder did not “finish” or earn a CH title, before the breeding. A good breeder will have a good reason.
Why did you decide upon this particular breeding?
The decision to breed should never be taken lightly. There are many dogs in this world. It is very important for a breeder to have a goal in mind when deciding to produce a litter. A good breeder is always trying to improve on his or her current generation and produce pups that are better than their parents.
The following responses indicate you are not dealing with a good breeder:
“We thought it would be a great experience to raise a litter”
“We love our dog and just wanted one of his/her babies”
“We did not plan on the litter, our intact male got to our young female by mistake”
“Our friend/neighbor knows a lot about dogs, he/she owns the father/mother of the litter”
We bought our dogs from (another country) and there was a problem with the Registration papers and so we can not register the puppies with the Canadian Kennel Club”
“Our female just loves being a mom and produces the cutest puppies”