There is no shortage of ways to acquire a dog but we recommend two: through a rescue group like Boxer Rescue Ontario or a reputable and ethical breeder. Breeding can be a pretty grey area, especially when the term ethical is used that leaves so much to interpretation. There are many people out there masquerading as ethical breeders who are in fact just running puppy mills or brokering puppy mill dogs. There are also a lot of great breeders out there who have a passion for helping to produce healthy, happy dogs, and matching them with equally great owners. We hope we can help you find a great breeder.
Signs of an Ethical Breeder
Treat the mothers well by not over working (typically spay after two or three litters)
Breed only one type of dog
Can trace their dogs' linage to minimize risks of genetic disorders or diseases
Ensure the right homes for all their dogs
Answer your questions openly and willingly and also ask you just as many questions to make sure you're providing a great home
Have an online presence - a community of their owners in a Facebook group, positive real comments when you Google them
Are registered with an official body like the Canadian Kennel Club
Have only the number of litters on the ground than they can effectively care for (this is usually two or maximum three)
Are transparent and let you see where the dogs live.
Are willing to incur higher costs which may be passed on to you (although many shady breeders are charging more for dogs riddled with health problems. Spending a little bit more upfront for a healthy dog goes a long way)
Provides guidance on how to be a good owner, from recommending products to diets to healthy treats like ours and maintain a relationship with you once the dog goes home with you.
Signs of unethical breeders, brokers, and puppy mills
Force their mothers to have litter after litter, usually the first heat
Won't show you where the dogs are kept - may make excuses
Breed more than one type of dog - this is common with smaller dogs like Yorkies, Maltese, and mixes like Labradoodles
Falsify registration papers, some will say CFC instead of CKC here in Canada
Don't breed on premise - this is a big sign of a broker working with an Amish puppy mill
Has more than one type of dog for sale in their advertising on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji
Is a pet store selling dogs for profit
Maintain no connection with buyers once dog goes home
Can't trace linage or doesn't test for conditions like degenerative myleopathy (this one is hard to tell as it is easy to lie about)
20 Questions for your next Breeder as you choose your next puppy