Choosing A Breeder


Pet Store or Dealer

The worst possible choice. Puppies are poorly bred and raised. They are thought of as merchandise to be sold for a high profit. This high profit is possible because little has been put into the care of the puppies. Many are sickly. Pet shops rely heavily on impulse buying, which is no way to choose an addition to your family.

Backyard Breeder

Also a poor choice. This person owns a “pet quality” purebred dog and thinks having a litter would be fun or a good experience for the children. These pet owners believe this is a quick and easy way to make money. This type of breeding is done without consideration of their dog’s health, history, and conformation. They are unaware of their breed’s standard and possible genetic problems and concerns. Their pet has not been certified free of disorders. Often their dogs are not even regularly checked by a veterinarian. Their goal is to produce puppies and sell them quickly at a very young age.

Hobby Breeder

The best choice. The serious and dedicated hobby breeder is passionate about their dogs and their breed. The hobby breeder’s goal is to produce superior dogs. They do this by breeding only the very best animals, keeping in mind the AKC breed standard and the background of their dogs. They do not make a high profit on their puppies, the money earned is reinvested into their breeding program in their continuous quest to improve their breed. These breeders have an undeniable dedication to the breed and stand behind their dogs.

Your wisest decision in purchasing a puppy will be to buy from a hobby breeder. Poor quality puppies from pet shops and backyard breeders are usually sold for the same price and sometimes even more than those from a serious hobby breeder. All three types of breeders sell puppies with CKC papers, however, this is not an assurance of quality.


They should meet the following requirements, your breeder should:

Belong to a local all-breed club and their breed’s national club, this indicates participation and depth of involvement.  This also exposes the breeder to other points of view.  They keep up-to-date on  breeding practices, health considerations, other bloodlines, and general dog care. They breed in  accordance with the Club’s Code of Ethics.

Show their dogs.  This prevents the breeder from breeding in a vacuum.  The breeder who does not  show will have no idea how good or bad their dogs are.  They deprive themselves of the opportunity  to learn/share information and ideas with others.  Showing provides the competition which  encourages breeders to produce better dogs.  The breeder who shows wants to prove their dogs in  competition by putting their breeding program on the line.  They do not allow the pedigree alone to  indicate quality.  Even though you are not buying a show dog, you want and deserve a puppy that  resulted from a carefully planned litter, a puppy which has received the same care and attention as a  potential champion.  This breeder is very conscientious of their reputation and will be careful and  honest with you in selling you one of their puppies.

Allow you time to have the puppy examined by a veterinarian, usually 48 to 72 hours.  You  do this  as an assurance to  yourself that the puppy’s health is sound, even though the puppy has previously  been checked by the breeder’s veterinarian.  This way if any problems are found they can be resolved  quickly.

Give you written instructions on feeding, training, care, and grooming.  You  will receive a copy of  the puppy’s vaccine and health records.  The breeder should provide you with information and  resources about your puppies breed.

Show you proof that the sire and dam of your puppy have been x-rayed clear of hip dysplasia,  preferably with an OFA certification number.

Make it clear to you that they will be available to you after you leave with your new puppy.  Many  dedicated breeders will ask that the dog be returned to them or placed with new owners who meet  with their approval if you are unable to continue ownership.

Want to know what kind of dogs you have had in the past and what happened to them.

Ask questions of you.  They will make you aware of the negatives of owning a dog as well as the  positives.

Will have a clean environment, well socialized puppies and a dam with a good temperament—happy  and self-assured.

May be hesitant to sell you a puppy until they know more about you.  Will not pressure you into  deciding immediately, and encourage you to see other litters before making your final decision.

Provide you with a contract and or conditions of sale.

Require spaying or neutering of pet quality puppies.  Breeders spend a lot of time and effort planning  breeding programs designed to improve the breed.  They selectively carry on their programs with the  best quality available.  Pet quality puppies should be loved and enjoyed as pets.  Reputable breeders  do not want their dogs being used to just ‘make puppies,’ or have their bloodlines end up in a puppy  mill.  Therefore they will require your puppy to be spayed or neutered before being registered with  CKC.

If your breeder meets the above criteria you are in good hands.  If you have a negative response to any of the above, think twice.  Do not be impulsive and  ask questions.  Keep in mind you will pay for quality, whether you get it— is up to you.  Select your puppy’s breeder carefully!

What's so great about a good breeder?

    • they specialize in the breed and know its strengths and weaknesses
    • they research and strive to avoid genetic defects and diseases
    • they will offer advice and information whenever you need them
    • they take the time to properly care for and socialize their puppies
    • they can help you get started in conformation, obedience, carting, etc.
    • they put the welfare of the pups first–many lose money on a typical litter
    • they produce Bouvier because they love the breed and want to make it better

Some Final Advise?

Don’t be discouraged by waiting lists. The breed is rare, and demand is greater than the supply of quality puppies. Finding the right breeder should be far more important than finding an available puppy. You can always use the time to learn more about the breeder and the breed. And, when you finally bring home your little bundle of Bouvier love, it will be all the more special because you took the time to make the right decision.


No pet stores! No puppy mills or unknown sellers. No newspaper ads unless you thoroughly investigate the situation. When in doubt, get some advice before proceeding. Be smart!


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