When purchasing a new puppy, where the puppy comes from is an important decision that can affect the health and happiness of your dog for the rest of his life. Not every breeder is trustworthy, and occasionally will perform unsafe breeding practices, such as inbreeding, for financial gain. When considering which breeders are reputable, the following guide can help you make the most informed decision.
Choose a breeder from a breeder referral program
National associations, such as the Siberian Husky Club of America and the American Kennel Club maintain breeder referral programs that can assist you in locating a reputable, ethical Siberian Husky breeder in your area. With the continuation of the breed as their primary goal, breeder referral programs can take a lot of guesswork out of your search.
Understand the code of ethics
The Siberian Husky Club of America has put forth a list of guidelines which ethical breeders should follow. If the breeder does not appear to adhere to these rules, an immediate red flag should be raised. For instance, a breeding should only occur for the sake of producing a better dog, not for the sake of making money. Any breeder who appears driven by profits likely is not partaking in safe and ethical practices.
Ask a lot of questions
Inquire with the breeder about the types of congenital defects common among Siberian Huskies. If he or she suggests the breed is free of fault, then the breeder is dishonest, as all breeds are prone to certain genetic ailments. Schedule a visit to the kennel and ask to meet at least one of the puppy’s parents. Look to see whether the facility seems clean and orderly, and that the animals are comfortable and not fearful of humans.
Ask for health certifications
Purebred Siberian Huskies are at risk for a number of hereditary diseases, such as progressive retinal atrophy and canine glaucoma. Ask about other dogs the breeder has produced, and what health problems they have had. Most importantly, ask to see the parent Husky’s Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certificates to rule out the chance of your puppy developing a hereditary eye condition, as well as the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certificates indicating the parent dogs are low risk for bone and joint disorders, such as hip dysplasia. Any breeder that cannot, or will not, produce these papers should not be trusted.
Expect to answer a lot of questions
Any reputable breeder will appear overly nosy and ask personal questions ranging from your home life, to your salary, to even performing a background or home check. A good breeder cares deeply about what is best for the puppies and will work hard to place them in the perfect homes. If you are able to walk in, pick out a puppy, and go home the same day without the breeder’s consideration for your lifestyle or the puppy’s temperament, the breeder may be only looking to make money.
While there are numerous responsible, ethical Siberian Husky breeders, there are occasional “bad apples” which not only hurt the breed, but can cause a lot of emotional pain and suffering when unethical practices lead to unhealthy dogs. By doing a little bit of research, a good breeder can be found!