United Barbet Club
What to look for in a Breeder
You have decided you want to adopt a Barbet. You’ve done your homework and researched the breed on-line and in books. You may even have met the breed in person and fallen in love with them. The next step is deciding who you want to get your future puppy from.
It is the recommendation of the United Barbet Club that you contact several breeders and make a choice based on the bloodlines used in the breeding, how they care for and raise their dogs, their interest in the breed and a meshing of personalities. The UBC recommends that you select a breeder that is committed to health testing their dogs and sharing the results of those tests publicly. For more information on recommended health tests, please visit our Health page. Try not to make a decision that is based solely on convenience of location or availability of a puppy as the primary factors.
Just as you will interview the breeder, be prepared to be interviewed in return. Reputable breeders care deeply about the dogs they produce and they want to be sure they go to good homes. You should be concerned if they seem more interested in getting a deposit and making a sale then about you and why you are interested in acquiring a Barbet. A reputable breeder will want to be in touch with you for the dog’s lifetime and will always be willing to take back any dog they have bred if you are no longer able to care for your dog. A great breeder will always be interested in the lives of their puppies, and will serve as a mentor and a guide through the various training and grooming issues that may come up with your Barbet puppy.
Guidelines for helping you to choose a breeder:
1. Responsible breeders plan their litters well in advance and will usually not breed until they have a list of homes waiting for puppies. It might be cause for concern if the breeder is advertising on Craigslist and Kijiji as most breeders do not need to advertise in this manner.
2. Ask how many breeds they are actively breeding. A great deal of effort goes into learning as much as possible about a chosen breed. Reputable breeders are knowledgeable about their breed(s) of choice and the bloodlines of their dogs. If a breeder is breeding many different breeds this may be cause for concern as to whether or not they are educated about the dogs they are breeding and if they care enough about the welfare of their breed(s).
3. Ask how many litters they breed in a year. It takes an enormous amount of time and energy to properly raise a litter of puppies, and the breeder should not have litter after litter available. Most will often have waiting lists for their puppies.
4. If distance allows, make an appointment with the breeder to visit their dogs and meet the dam of the litter. Not all breeders will have the sire on the premises as many breeders choose to use studs owned by another breeder.
a. Pay attention to how the dogs behave. Are they friendly to visitors? Meet all of their dogs. If it’s not possible to meet them all ask why? How do the dogs interact with one another? How do they interact with the breeder?
b. Where does the breeder keep their dogs? Are the premises clean? Do they all live in the home or are they in a kennel? Ask to see where they are housed. When the breeder has a litter where is the litter raised?
c. What condition are the dogs in? All the dogs should be clean and matt free, not just one or two of them and not just the ones going to dog shows.
d. If the puppies are born and old enough to be visited with, observe what they are like. Are they sociable and alert? Are they in good health?
5. You may want to consider asking for references. A good breeder should be happy to provide you with the names of people who have purchased puppies from them in the past. No one will give you the name of someone who would give them a bad reference so if you feel concerned you may also want to garner references from colleagues at the breed or kennel clubs they belong to, or other breeders or trainers they have worked with.
6. What sort of lifestyle does the breeder live with their dogs? Do they train, show or compete with them? How are the dogs exercised? How does the breeder recommend you care for the mental and physical needs of your new puppy when it’s a puppy and later as an adult? Responsible breeders lead by example and live with and care for their dogs in a manner that they would want the homes that adopt their puppies to care for their new pups.
7. Ask to see copies of the health clearances that have been done on the sire and the dam of the litter. The breeder should be happy to show you this documentation. Check the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) website or the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), where you can look up the results on the dog by clicking on its name. You should see the results that have been shared publicly on the individual dog as well as it’s relatives.
8. Research the pedigree. The breeder should be knowledgeable about the dogs in the pedigree and happy to discuss them with you. They should be familiar with their dogs’ bloodlines. Ask about the health of the dogs, how long they lived, when they died and what from, the co-efficient of inbreeding (COI), the temperament of the dogs and, if you are interested in a show potential puppy, ask about show ring success of the dogs in the pedigree. You can look up the pedigree on Pawpeds, the Barbet database . Insert the dam’s registered name. When the pedigree for that dog appears select Test Mate and where it says Dog 2 select Add and insert the sire’s registered name. Pawpeds will also compute the COI on the pedigree.
9. Ask how they raise their puppies. What do they do to socialize them? Do they allow for visitors? Are there scheduled visitation days? What is included with the puppy when the pup goes home?
10. Ask whether the puppies will receive a health check from a veterinarian before going to their new homes. You should be given detailed information about any vaccinations your puppy may have received, any worming medication, the puppy’s weight at the time of the vet check.
11. Ask to see a copy of the contract and make sure you understand the obligations of the breeder and the purchaser. Does the breeder offer a health guarantee? Ask to see a copy of it. The contract should state that the dog you are purchasing is a purebred Barbet. In Canada the dog should be registered with the Canadian Kennel Club. It may also be registered with the United Kennel Club. By federal Canadian law, all dogs sold as purebred must be registered and the registration papers be provided at no additional charge. Your puppy must be uniquely and permanently identified, either by tattoo or by microchip, prior to leaving the breeder’s premises.
12. You may want to ask how the breeder is contributing to the preservation and betterment of the breed. Are they involved in a breed club? Do they attend shows, are they on the board, do they contribute to the newsletter? A good breeder shares the knowledge they gain from their experiences with others in the breed clubs that they belong to. They often write articles, organize and participate in club events and actively work to conscientiously promote the breed. They are not breeding with the sole goal of selling puppies for the pet market.
13. Does the breeder require a deposit? Because of the uncertain nature of dog breeding, you may not want to have money change hands until pups are on the ground. Both breeders and owners may change their mind about a puppy, and a legal battle will not be required.
The Barbet is a rare breed and it is typical to have to wait several months and even up to a year for a puppy. Be prepared to go on a waiting list. Stay in touch with the breeder while you are waiting for your puppy and if you are on more than one waiting list it is only fair to share this information with the breeder. The Barbet community is small and reputable breeders will not be impressed with you if they find out you have agreed to wait for a puppy from everyone else in addition to themselves. If you end up getting a puppy from someone else you should inform the breeder right away. They could be turning away other good homes because your name is on their list and they had agreed to reserve a puppy for you.
Take the time to choose a breeder that you would feel comfortable having a relationship with. They should always be willing to answer your questions and should be generous and forthcoming in sharing the knowledge that they have about the Breed, their dogs and about how you can best care for your new puppy.
© United Barbet Club