The Reputable Breeder Checklist

The Reputable Breeder Checklist

  • Contact kennel clubs and breed registries in your area to locate reputable breeders. Veterinarians, training schools, groomers and pet supply outlets are also fantastic contacts to source ethical breeders. In addition, research publications that target specific breeds for further insight
  • Reputable breeders will be registered with an authorised breeding organisation such as:
    • The Kennel Union of Southern Africa (KUSA)
    • South African Canine Breed Registry (SACBR)
    • National Dog Breeders Council of South Africa (NDBC)
    • CanineSA
    • Breed-specific registries: Various breeds have registries that are exclusive to the breed concerned and are managed by breed societies.
  • Be sure to check their papers and credentials.
  • Ask to see the parents of the litter. The male, however, may often be off-site
  • Determine the temperament of both parents
  • Ask if the parents are shown competitively and establish the parents’ titles
  • Insist on seeing the pedigrees of both parents
  • A reputable breeder should show and explain the pedigree of the puppy to you. The explanation should include the bloodlines used as well as the desired qualities they wished to accomplish
  • Ensure the kennels are in a hygienic condition
  • Ensure a clean and safe environment for the pups is maintained
  • Establish whether the dogs are happy and healthy
  • Enquire about how much time the dogs spend in the kennel
  • Ensure that outdoor kennels lead to a climate-controlled area
  • Determine if the breeder interacts with the dogs both in and out of the kennel
  • Enquire about where the puppies were/are being raised on the premises – were they left outside and exposed to the harsh elements of nature or were they socialised and comforted by being allowed into the breeder’s home
  • Determine what breed clubs the breeder is involved in
  • A reputable breeder will be open about both the positive as well as the negative traits of the breed in question
  • Enquire about the genetic diseases or congenital defects that may affect the breed
  • Ensure the breeder takes steps to reduce the risk of common defects in their line Reputable breeders pre-screen both parents for genetic defects. Backyard breeders usually state that the puppy has been “checked over” by a vet but this is no guarantee of the puppy’s health. Genetic testing is a sure way to determine the health of a puppy and reputable breeders will invest in this method
  • Most reputable breeders provide a health guarantee for the puppy. If a disorder arises that is covered in the guarantee, a responsible breeder will act responsibly, by either providing a new puppy, a refund, or by helping the new owner with the problem
  • Insist on seeing (and making copies of) the paperwork for the parents’ tests on thyroid, hips, eyes and the like
  • Question the inoculations the puppies have had. If the answer is negative, ensure the puppies will have their first set of shots by the time they are homed
  • Insist on seeing (and making copies of) all paperwork from the breeder’s vet
  • Insist on having your own vet examination before committing to adopting the puppy
  • Research the guarantee and the contract
  • Insist on seeing (and making a copy of) the contract
  • Ensure the breeder runs through all the contract details
  • If the puppy develops a genetic disorder, ensure the contract includes terms and conditions that protect you in this instance
  • If the puppy dies or must be euthanized due to illness or disease, ensure the contract includes terms and conditions that protect you in this instance
  • Determine if there is a clause in the contract that covers the spay or neutering of the puppy
  • Many reputable breeders require a contract in which the buyer agrees to spay or neuter the puppy so to alleviate any chances of backyard breeding thus negatively affecting the breed
  • Ensure the breeder is able to explain in detail, the process, guidelines and requirements to follow if you decide to breed your dog in the future
  • If you are, for some reason, unable to keep the dog, the breeder should accept the puppy, or full-grown dog back
  • Request the names and contact numbers of the breeder’s previous puppy buyers and other references
  • Enquire about the number of litters the breeder produces annually and how many litters are currently on the premises. A reputable breeder will only produce as many litters as he can keep healthy, well socialised and happy
  • Enquire about what socialisation the puppies have had with humans, children and other dogs and animals. If they are younger than a month old, determine the breeder’s socialisation plans for the puppy going forward
  • Ask the breeder if they still communicate regularly with their previous buyers and if so, will they do so with you too? Reputable breeders should be aiming to improve the bloodline of the breed, so they will want to keep in touch with you to help regulate if there are no defects or temperament problems in the dog
  • Ask the breeder how long they have been breeding this breed for
  • Enquire about any other breeds they may have worked with
  • Determine how old the puppies will be at the time of placement. A reputable breeder will usually only allow the puppies to separate from their mother no earlier than 8 – 10 weeks old
  • Confirm that you can contact the breeder with any concerns and queries once the puppy has been homed with you
  • Ensure the breeder will inform you if any of the other puppies in the litter develop unexpected temperaments or disorders. Ensure the contract includes terms and conditions that protect you in this instance.
  • Take stock of the quality and amount of dog supplies and equipment on the premises. Reputable breeders will usually invest in puppy pens, whelping beds, crates, grooming supplies as well as high quality food
  • Insist on seeing the kennels. Reputable breeders will be more than happy to show you around the premises and give you a thorough explanation of the breeding process
  • Ensure the breeder knows the personality of each puppy and can identify each of the puppies’ traits and temperaments. They should have a progress report of each puppy from birth. In this way, the breeder can efficiently match a puppy to a buyer
  • A reputable breeder will also be able to distinguish between which dogs have the greatest potential for shows and those which will make better pets
  • Be cautious of breeders who charge significantly more for puppies with show potential than other breeders. Although show puppies are slightly more expensive, the price difference should not be substantial
  • Take heed of breeders who charge different prices for male and female dogs or who charge extra for a pedigree or a registration

Remember that a reputable breeder should be your greatest source of information, advice, and support. They should take long term responsibility of each litter they produce and support their buyers in any way, usually without expecting payment.

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

Exotic animals in Gauteng: Pretty, but seriously risky

(Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)

If the pets themselves don’t get you, their parasites just might.

Thousands of Gauteng suburban dwellers are gambling with their safety and health by keeping exotic or wild animals on their properties.

Owners of large cats, such as tigers and lions, run the risk of getting attacked by them, and some of the animals carry diseases and parasites that pose serious health risks to humans and other animals.

They are feeding a multimillion-rand illegal animal trade industry which imports, exports and distributes animals most people have only seen in nature reserves and the wild.

The Citizen is aware of at least six homes in Joburg alone where tigers, lions, meerkats, tortoises, vervet monkeys, caracals, mongoose and African rock pythons are kept as pets.

A white lion cub bought on the black market could set you back R50 000, according to sources in the booming industry, while a Bengal tiger can cost R20 000.

An animal trader, who did not want to be named, told The Citizen that vervet monkeys were one of the most popular wild animals for Joburg’s elite, selling for about R4 000 for a “baby”.

“Usually it’s people with lodges and people who can’t have kids because they are a lot like children. Then you also get a lot of gay couples who approach me.”

The animals are popular in the underground trade, despite it being illegal to keep one as a pet. Keeping wild animals as pets in residential areas is not only a safety hazard but a public health risk, according to experts.

The CEO of the Captured Africa Foundation, Drew Abrahamson, said the growing acceptance of people living with exotic and wild animals was symptomatic of the country’s lack of capacity to effectively deal with wild animal populations.

“There are more than 8 000 lions in captivity in this country alone. The 270 breeding farms form part of this figure as well as animal sanctuaries and other conservation facilities. There are only a handful of good sanctuaries and they only get issued with permits for a limited number of lions and, unfortunately, they can’t go over that limit.”

Keeping wild animals as pets poses a danger to humans.

“Cats have so many parasites that can make you gravely ill. They are often riddled with worms, so if you take your kids to go and pet cubs, they run a heavy risk of contracting tapeworms that can burrow into your intestines and literally eat you from the inside out.”

Smaragda Louw, of animal rights lobby group Ban Animal Trading, said the scale at which wild animals from South Africa were being sold locally and overseas was threatening several endangered and indigenous animals.

She said South Africa was the largest exporter of exotic animals such as the African grey parrot and was known as a source of lion cubs for other African countries, such as Libya.

Martie Rossouw, manager of the wildlife unit at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said: “Our biggest concern is for the welfare of these animals. Most often these animals are bought on a whim and their owners have no idea how to care for them. Wild animals are highly sensitive to stress.”

She said incorrect diet, handling and husbandry by inexperienced and unknowledgeable owners often led to the animals’ welfare and mental and physical wellbeing being severely compromised.

Source: The Citizen

Sounds great, but can I bring my dog?

SA hospitality industry evolves to meet ever-increasing demand for pet-friendly hotels.
Radisson RED Minneapolis is one of the hotels that accommodates pets.


A recent global study has found that over half of people (57%) internationally have at least one pet – a statistic that appears to be gradually tracking upwards over time. Amongst these pet owners, there is also a noticeable shift in the way people care for their furry friends, as owners become increasingly more willing to pamper pets with tailored diets, advanced vet care and specialty services.

In line with this trend, travelling pet owners are increasingly hesitant to leave their beloved companions at home and, as such, are demanding pet-friendly accommodation and facilities. Dale Simpson, Curator of Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, says that as the market of devoted pet owners continues to expand, the hospitality industry can either evolve to cater to it, or forego a growing number of potential guests as a result.

“Not so long ago, traveling with your pet wasn’t really a viable option – logistically. However, as airlines, cruise ships and doggy-car-seats continue to make it progressively easier to travel with pets, more and more pet-parents are insisting that their fur-children be allowed to vacation too. There is also the growing consensus among this market that bringing their pet along will actually enhance their holiday, as it eradicates the overwhelming guilt that is commonly experienced by having to leave them behind in a kennel.”

Simpson says that while the international hospitality industry has been fairly quick to cater to this growing market, South African establishments don’t appear to be adapting as swiftly. “According to, a booking platform that offers the choice of hundreds of thousands of hotels in more than 60 countries, one-third of the hotels listed on their site now welcome guests with pets. In South Africa, however, options remain fairly limited when looking for pet-friendly accommodation – particularly luxury accommodation.”

This is why Simpson says the soon-to-launch Cape Town Radisson RED hotel maintains a liberal pet policy. “RED’s mascot is a Boston Terrier named Baxter, and Baxter insists that guests’ four-legged friends be invited to the party – so long as they adhere to his pet policy! This policy allows friendly dogs and cats that weigh under 8kg – no more than two per room – to join their parents on vacation, granted they book a pet-friendly room and are kept on a leash or in a carrier when outside the room.”

As a lifestyle select brand that connects with an ageless millennial mindset, Simpson says that Radisson RED caters to the lifestyles of all guests. “We understand that for many people, their pets are part of the family, and we believe they should be treated as such. RED’s pet programme even includes a bandana, bed, food and water dish for our furry guests’ use during their stay. This may not be the norm, but neither are we.”

Source: IOL