Characteristics of Responsible Breeders

The following information comes from the Dalmatian Club of America website:

A contribution to the breed.

What are good breeders?

Good breeders carefully plan for and produce litters of purebred puppies with the specific intention of making a “contribution to the breed”, that is to say- their goal is to produce healthy, sound, stable and conformationaly correct dogs. They strive to produce dogs that are fine examples and representatives of the breed. Their goal is to produce dogs that are good ambassadors for their breed.

In doing this, good breeders are guardians of the breed- they protect it from unwanted change as well as promoting the betterment of the breed- they are advocates for their breed. It is their careful breeding practices that promote positive changes in the breed for years to come.


Good Breeder 101

Good breeders register their dogs with the American Kennel Club.

  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) is a registry that keeps track of the pedigrees of purebred dogs. It strives to ensure that each dog registered is a recognized, distinct breed of dog.

Good Breeders are members of their regional and national breed club.

  • Membership in a regional and national breed club helps a good breeder stay abreast of events and issues that may affect their breed.
  • Participating in breed club activities and events keeps a good breeder connected with other good breeders so important information can be shared, like information on health, nutrition, and training.

Good breeders follow their national breed club’s Code of Ethics (COE) and health testing guidelines.

  • A good breeder will test for certain genetic disorders and conditions like hip dysplasia and congenital deafness- a problem that all good  breeders are working hard to avoid and eradicate.
  • Good breeders make every possible effort to ensure that their dogs are healthy and free of genetic disorders before considering them for breeding.
  • The CHIC database is one tool a good breeder can use when researching a dam or sire for a particular breeding.

Good breeders show and title their dogs before breeding them.

  • Earning a championship in conformation by competing in dog shows is one way good breeders demonstrate a healthy dog is worthy of being bred.
  • A dog who earns his championship has correct conformation, has been socialized and can adapt well to crowds, noise, other dogs and being handled by strangers.
  • A commitment to the process of earning a championship also indicates a breeder’s level of belief and vested interest in an individual dog.
  • Many good breeders go on to compete in companion events as well, like obedience, agility, and rally.

Good breeders carefully consider which dogs to breed.

  • AKC registered, AKC championship earned and health screened with a CHIC number is just the beginning.
  • A good breeder carefully considers a dog’s strengths and weaknesses- which attributes to preserve and which might benefit from improvement.
  • A good breeder is always trying to improve the next generation and will seek out the best possible dam and sire combination with regard to pedigree, structure, type and temperament.

Good breeders dedicate themselves to raising healthy and well socialized pups.

  • Once the well planned litter is on the ground, a good breeder will leave nothing to chance. The care and socialization of pups becomes the good breeder’s raison d’être.

Good breeders interview and consider prospective new homes and owners very carefully.

  • A good breeder knows that the process of placing a pup with a new owner in exchange for a fee charged is not so much “selling” a puppy… it is really an adoption.
  • A good breeder will ask many questions about you, your activity level, your home and family.
  • A good breeder will want to get to know you a bit to determine if you and one of his or her pups will be a good fit.
  • A good breeder will have a contract that spells out certain assurances such as a puppy health guarantee and certain expectations like the requirement that a pet home neuter or spay the pup at the appropriate age.

Good breeders are there for you.

  • A good breeder remains in touch with you and is a valuable resource on issues like health, nutrition and training advice.
  • Good breeders always take back a pup for any reason.