It was brought to my attention that I should also speak about WHERE to find a reputable breeder.
It is usually recommended to start with a local breed club. Sometimes this can be in your town, sometimes this can be five towns over. Even if the club isn’t exactly ‘local’ they should always be willing to help you and lead you in the right direction. Here is an example of a local breed club. This is the club I am a member of. Breed clubs sanctioned by the AKC will throw puppy matches and breed specialties. There will be lots of members that are involved in lots of different dog sports. There are also the national breed clubs. So your local breed clubs are kind of like the city, the national breed clubs like the state, and the AKC like Washington DC. Now, there are ethical breeders that do UKC, and some breeds are not recognized by the AKC, and you will have to do the same amount of work to find a reputable breeder through them also.
Usually the breed clubs will recommend you check out a dog show. I think these are great places to meet and learn about the breed you’re interested in! It can seem very intimidating walking into a place with people and dogs running around, but really, you’re just another person there to watch. As long as you don’t interrupt someone while they’re preparing to go in the ring, they’re generally very kind! Who doesn’t love to talk about their favorite breed. You can see the dog’s behavior both in and out of the ring. People can give you advice and answer any questions you have. A lot of people there are also breeders and so they can give you their websites or business cards and you can go snooping to see if they are really a good breeder by your new standards.
I think for most reputable breeders, you will find out about them through word of mouth or stumbling across their websites. They don’t advertise their puppies on craigslist, kijiji, etc. They don’t post their puppies on puppy sale websites. They don’t hang fliers on the corner of the most busy street of the city. A good reputable breeder has good puppies and people want them. They don’t need to beg with signs or posts for people to buy their puppies because half the time most of them are already on a waiting list before they’re born.
Take the time to look for a good breeder and to get to know them before you take one of their puppies. You want to be confident you’re going home with a good, healthy, even tempered dog.
If anyone else wants to add on to where to find a reputable breeder, please feel free to comment below!