Dogcharmer: Finding a breeder

Plenty of communication and back-and-forth will lead to the right breeder for you.

Before adopting a puppy online, be sure it is from a legitimate breeder, and not a scam. — Courtesy Tom Shelby

Hi Tom,

How do I really know I’ve found a good breeder? There are alot of scams out there with slick websites and darling puppy photos.


Dear Eleanor,

This is an important question for those who are intent on acquiring a specific breed, especially in today’s world consumed with artificial intelligence and its ability to be convincing in its dishonesty. To me the answer revolves around one word, communication. I’m talking about talking, really talking as opposed to texting or emailing.

The breeder, to insure your suitability as prospective dog owners, should question you to the point of it feeling like you’ve been interrogated. The prospective puppy buyers need to do their own interrogating until they’re satisfied that the breeder did all the right stuff raising the pups for the crucial first two months of life. With plenty of back-and-forth probing, the breeder and buyers should begin to feel like real friends. Many of my clients have stayed in close contact with their breeders for years, and for generations of their dogs. For first time buyers not sure of what to ask a breeder, I would once again suggest they read, “So Your Bitch Is Pregnant: Raising Your First Litter of Puppies From Pregnancy to Placement” by Eleanor Winters.

Happy looking,

The Dog Charmer

Have a question for the Dogcharmer? Write him at Find him on Instagram at Dog Trainer Diaries.


  1. Dear sir,
    Why would anyone buy a dog?? That is so irresponsible considering that there are millions of animals kille din shelters every year, simply because they are unwanted by humans.

    The last thing that this world needs is to bring more dogs into the world. Its a pretty selfish thing to do. Please, encourage people to adopt a homeless animal. They are already on this earth and deserve a family to love them and to give them a good home.

    Are you a ‘purebred’? I’m not. nothing is less important. how could anyone look in the eyes of a homeless animal and say “Sorry, we have to euthanize you. If you were a purebred then your life would have value.”

    Thank you.

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