Spend some time talking to breeders of the breed you are interested in. Dog shows are a great place to talk to several breeders at one time; however, please wait until they are finished showing their dog in the ring. Ask for the names of breeders that they would recommend. Also ask what genetic testing and medical certifications should be undertaken for that breed. The breeders’ list maintained by Vizsla Canada is an additional resource you may use to begin researching reputable Vizsla breeders.
The following information will help you better understand what to look for when researching reputable breeders. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Reputable breeders are passionate about their breeds, will be forthcoming with information, and pleased to answer all of your questions.
Focus Most reputable breeders are specialists focusing on one or two breeds. Ask how many dogs they have and what breeds they are involved in. If the breeder has multiple breeds, ask them how (and why) they got involved in more than one breed.
Motivation A reputable breeder should be able to tell you why they are breeding in general and more specifically, why they are breeding a particular litter. Responsible breeders’ primary focus is to improve upon the breed, not just to produce puppies. Reputable breeders will be knowledgeable and willing to share pedigree information.
Experience Most reputable breeders will be actively involved with the breed for many years before making the decision to start breeding. Additionally, it is commonplace for reputable breeders that are just beginning their breeding programs to have a more experienced mentor providing support.
Breeding Program Ask how many litters they have per year and whether or not they breed only to their own stud dogs. A reputable breeder rarely owns both the Sire and Dam. If they do, ask why they have chosen to breed to that pair. A reputable breeder will have a specific purpose for choosing a breeding pair that does not include the convenience or cost effectiveness of ownership.
Affiliations Reputable breeders will be registered with the Canadian and/or American Kennel Clubs, ensuring the pedigree of your dog; however, please understand that this alone does not guarantee a responsible breeder. Reputable breeders will also be active members of breed-specific clubs and societies, many of which have breeding code of ethics that members must adhere to.
Activities What breed- and/or dog-specific activities is the breeder involved in. Titles serve a purpose, proving that a breeder is seeking an outside opinion of their breeding program, and that their breeding program is successful in achieving what they have set out to accomplish. Breeders have invested significant time, energy and money to achieve those titles – look for the initials before and after the dogs’ names and ask what they mean.
Facilities Reputable breeders are happy to have you meet all their dogs and are proud of the excellent care and facilities they are housed in (usually their own home). If they will not allow you access to all their dogs or bring dogs out to you from an off limits area, head out the door and do not look back!
Health Tests Reputable breeders will share all their health testing and provide proof. Not just vaccine records and health clearances from their vet. Ask and expect to receive both the Dam and Sire’s Canine Health Information Centre (CHIC) numbers, enabling you to review current health test information. Reputable Vizsla breeders will have undertaken hip, elbow, thyroid, cardiac and eye testing and will have the certifications to prove it.
Placements A reputable breeder does not advertise in newspapers, sell to pet stores, brokers or feed stores. Reputable breeders undertake evaluation testing of their puppies that includes, at a minimum, temperament testing to ensure successful matching of puppies in their forever homes. Additional testing may include conformation evaluations and field ability tests.
Guarantees Reputable breeders will have a contract and provide a warranty. They will provide lifetime support and, in the event you are unable to care for your dog, will always take back a dog regardless of the age or circumstance. Ask to see their contract.
References Reputable breeders will provide references that you can contact and speak with personally. Ask for several.
Interview Expect the third degree, a reputable breeder asks you many questions. They want to know what kind of home their puppy will have, ensuring a successful match between your home and the puppy, for a lifetime of security and happiness.