Test Questions for Rating Breeders

Are you a member of a Scottie club?
Quality breeders join Scottie clubs to learn more about the breed and to establish friendships with owners working for the welfare of Scotties.

Do you sell other breeds besides Scotties?
Ideal breeders breed only Scotties. Breeders of multiple breeds are usually commercial producers who are less knowledgeable about Scotties.

What problems can I expect from Scotties?
If a breeder doesn’t point out undesirable characteristics, you know you are talking to someone eager (or desperate) to sell dogs to the first comer.

Do you offer a trial period?
Many responsible breeders do and also offer to take the Scottie back at any time in its life. Responsible breeders want the buyer to have the “right” Scottie, and will stand by that Scottie for a lifetime.

Do you require spay or neuter?
Many responsible breeders require their puppies be spayed and neutered. Some offer refunds upon proof of spay/neuter. These breeders want to prevent descendants of their puppies from misuse by puppymills or backyard breeders. They also realize that spaying and neutering reduces the risk of various cancers.

Do you own both parents?
Veteran breeders sometimes own both parents, but more usually do not. Rather, they choose a male with qualities to complement their female, even if that male lives 1,000 miles away.

Do your Scotties have skin problems?
If a breeder answers “no,” ask him what he knows about the parents, grandparents and siblings of his breeding stock. Most casual breeders know nothing about the health of their dog’s relatives. Skin problems are hereditary and will be a 10-15 year pain and expense for you and your Scottie.

Have the sire and dam been DNA-tested “clear” of the vWD gene?
If the answer is “yes” for the parents, you guarantee your Scottie will not have vonWillebrand’s Disease, a devastating bleeding disorder. Most commercial breeders are unaware of the vWD DNA test, or do not want to spend the money.

What can you tell me about Scottie Cramp, CMO and vWD?
If a breeder can’t tell you lots about these diseases, they will know nothing about other Scottie health problems. You are playing Russian roulette if you buy from this kind of breeder.

May I see your sales agreement?
Responsible breeders use sales agreements in which they outline their own responsibilities to the buyer, and what they require of the buyer (terms like spay/neuter and right of “first refusal” if the buyer later does not want the dog). A simple bill of sale is not a sales agreement.

Copyright © 1999 Carole Fry Owen. All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article to be reprinted without author’s permission