I am on a few dog groups on WhatApp, and recently on one of these groups there was a discussion around dog breeders in Nigeria; on if we really have good dog breeders here. A couple of optimists argued that there are actually several responsible dog breeders, while other people were of the opinion that we merely have ‘dog reproducers’ who are disguising themselves as breeders. The discussion got me to think about the things that make a person a good breeder?’

Who is a good breeder?

First, a breeder is someone who breeds carefully selected mates to reproduce offspring with specific, replicable qualities and characteristics.

A good breeder is somebody who breeds in order to improve the breed, breeds only superior stock, and isn’t in it solely for the money.

If you are looking to get a quality dog from a breeder here are some things to watch out for.

A good breeder is likely to specialize in only one breed or at most two breeds of dogs at a period in time: Studying a breed takes a lot of time and effort- it involves understanding the heritage, needs, requirements, temperament and health of the dog breed. Specializing in multiple breeds at a time causes some level of distraction. Backyard breeders are more likely to breed any random dog breed they think has good market value and will sell well.

A quality breeder provides a written health record of your puppy: A good breeder will provide a written health record for your puppy. This should include the date of whelping, any health problems he has had, the date and kind of each shot he got, and the dates of de-worming and drug that was used.

A breeder must provide documentation of a puppy’s lineage. In a case where the pure breed dog is imported, the breeder must provide the dog’s passport as well. There are some associations in Nigeria like the Boerboel Alliance affiliated with international bodies that help with breed registration amongst other things.

A quality breeder will invite you to their home or place of business: In Lagos there are people who go as far as selling dogs by the road side, it is best not to buy a dog from these kind of people. Getting a dog from a good breeder allows you the liberty to ask questions about the dog’s lineage and health, you also get the chance to visit the breeder; see the environment in which his dogs are kept, possibly see one of the puppy’s parents, talk about the litter and watch the puppies in the litter to see which one has the behavior, temperament or physical attributes that suits what you are looking for.

What are the qualities that you think make a good breeder? Please share below.