The process of searching for a new four-legged member of the family can be exciting and overwhelming as you scroll through pages of information and cute puppy pictures. Before deciding on which pup is the cutest, there are a few things you should consider first.
Are you buying from a Registered Dog Breeder and why does it matter?
What is the difference between someone who is registered with State Bodies over someone who is not?
What should I expect from a pup that comes from a Registered Dog Breeder?
When you read through different advertisements and websites of breeders, all Registered Breeders will have clear indicators that they are members of a State Body, for example their membership number, prefix name (ours is LAGERFELDT), logos of the State Body they are associated with and the offering of Pedigree Papers with each puppy.
The process of becoming a Registered Breeder has different stages and includes studying, testing and passing a premises inspection before you can even think about breeding. This is to equip Registered Breeders with the knowledge and understanding of what it takes to breed dogs and properly care for them at all stages of life.
Our journey to becoming Registered Breeders with Dogs NSW took 1.5 years, as we carefully studied anatomy, nutrition, welfare, soundness, balance and gait, code of ethics, genetics, hereditary diseases, first aid, mating, whelping, dogs and the law and the Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding Dogs & Cats.
Ultimately, it matters to support Registered Breeders because of the Code of Ethics they are governed by, the careful consideration that goes into each mating and the testing and schemes that they undergo to ensure each dog they use within their breeding program is only going to better the breed itself.
Registered Breeders with German Shepherds, for example, need to have their hips and elbows x-rayed and scored prior to mating. If they do not pass the scoring, the dog will not be used in the breeding program. Similarly, Registered Breeders will not mate Shepherds prior to 18 months of age.
Most Registered Breeders will also DNA test their dogs to ensure there are no risks of passing on genetic diseases into the litters they breed.
There are regulations around the mating of a female dog, and limits on how many litters they can have during their lifetime as well as how often they can fall pregnant on a year by year basis. Someone who is simply breeding from two dogs does not have to do any kind of testing or health checks and often breed their dogs whenever they are on heat.
When you buy a pup from a Registered Breeder you can be sure they have done everything possible to produce a healthy, sound pup for you. You will receive Pedigree Papers outlining the puppies lineage and often Registered Breeders will provide a puppy pack with information about feeding, worming, vaccinations, etc... with some toys for the trip home.
We've only skimmed the surface of what goes into Breeding as a Registered Breeders, but we hope this information helps you understand the difference, and distinguish between, a Registered Breeder and someone often referred to as a "backyard breeder".