If you've bought a dog that's sick, you can't help but wonder what the conditions were like at the breeder's place. I've been there with 2 of my dogs (we got them home to find out they had Giardia - finally after lots of medicine and TLC, they were nursed back to health).
There's legislation in the works to license those who sell more than 25 dogs a year.
For now though, if you're planning on buying a puppy or dog, YOU need to take some steps to protect yourself:
- Always see the breeders home. If the home/kennel isn't clean, leave.
- If possible ask to see both parents. You want to see that they're healthy and also their dispositions are good.
- Ask for a written contract. It should contain all guarantees, AKC papers, pedigree, health records.
If you're looking for a reputable breeder, a good starting place is your local kennel club, breed rescue groups or the AKC Breeder Referral guide.