Updated: Mar 31
1. You want to look for a Lagotto Breeder who raises each litter individually
A litter of puppies takes an incredible amount of work. To give your puppy the attention he needs during the early formative stages of development, your breder cannot raise more than a couple litters at a time
2. The Ability to meet the Puppies Parents
Ideally, you’ll really want to be able to see your pup’s parents. While the male may not be around, but be sure to ask about him. Your breeder should be more than willing to let you meet the parents if at all possible. Seeing the parents is the best way to determine what your puppy will turn out like.
3. Puppies Are Raised in Home.
You want your puppy to be familiar with a human environment. The sounds, smells, activity of a family home will better prepare your puppy for your own home. Exposure to kids, other pets, and household noises including vacuums or blenders will be better equipped to welcome such noises in the future. Early puppy socialization is really valuable, and this is best found by growing up alongside the breeder.
4. Early Neurological Stimulation
E.N.S. is key to awaking the puppies brain activity at a time when their eyes and ears are still sealed shut. ENS involves introducing young puppies to mild stress and produces adult dogs that are more adaptable and have lower heart rates in stressful situations. ENS is used by breeders who understand and want what is best for their puppies and who socialize their puppies extremely well from day 3 onwards.
5. Breeders Pick the Families
Your breeder wants to find the right home for every puppy. They knew each individual pup and pick out a puppy that is best matched to the energy level of the family that pup will live with. It can pay off with a perfect fit.
When you’re working with a breeder who asks detailed questions about your home, family members and lifestyle before selecting a puppy for you, you know you’re working with a breeder who cares and wants their dogs in only the best homes.
6. Parents have reached maturity: Over 2 Years Old
A good breeder is looking out for the best for their dogs. They will not breed until health testing is done. In order to keep the mother healthy, look parents who are at least two years old.
7. Puppies are not available Until 8 Weeks
Studies show that puppies removed from their parents and litter-mates too young are more likely to exhibit problem behaviors like fear or aggression towards other dogs. These are teaching times and the puppies (and mothers) need this time to teach each other how to behave. Responsible breeders won’t separate puppies from parents until at least 8 weeks.
8. Health Testing and Screening
Dogs should have an OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) hip, elbow, and patella orthopedic scores. Look for eye and ear testing as well and many breeders are now testing for cardiac performance. DNA testing is a given from any reputable breeder.
These results should be available and provided when asked. The breeder should provide vaccination records for the puppies and be able to show you documented evidence of vet visits and a clean bill of health.
9. Waiting Lists, High prices, & Deposits
Since good breeders invest so much in each litter, they also will likely have more customers than they have puppies. As a result of this investment in both time and health testing, good puppies are extremely expensive to produce. Do not be surprised by a price reaching well into thousands for your puppy. It’s worth it!
Expect to have to place a deposit and be required to wait on a list once you’ve found your breeder.
10. Good breeders welcome Questions
You want a breeder who is there for you, and can help you with all of your questions, not only before your puppy arrives but after you take him home. Ask breeders how long they’ve been breeding, how often do they feed, clean, and play with the dogs, and if they can provide references from past adopters.
Good breeders won’t have an issue with questions – in fact, some will be put off if you don’t have them.
11. Good breeders only breed a single breed
Most authentic breeders specialize in one breed. This way they know their specific breed better than someone who just breeds ‘dogs’.
12. Will your breeder Take a Puppy Back (If Need Be)
Good breeders recognize that things happen.
A family members health changes, a life event comes up suddenly, a relocation is required or the dog is not the right fit for the family. Hopefully you’ll never need to return your puppy, however, a good breeder will take the puppy back if need be.
13. Eager to Mentor and Provide Guidance
A knowledgeable breeder will be happy to sit down with you and discuss what you can expect in the breed, discuss its strengths and weaknesses, including any issues that might crop up later in life.
14. The Breeders goals in Breeding match your own.
If you want a truffle hunting dog, find a breeder who has a line of proven sniffing dogs. If you want a family pet, be sure that you breeder is looking for the right temperament in their breeding stock! You’ll want a breeder that specializes in producing family or working dogs. The energy levels, focus, and drive of a dog bred for work is too much for most families to handle.
Be realistic with yourself and your breeder about what you’re looking for and what you can provide for your puppy. They in turn should be honest about whether or not their dogs are a good fit for your needs.
15. The American Kennel Club Supports Pure Bred Dogs.
The AKC have established two programs to draw attention to breeders who go above and beyond: the Breeder of Merit and Bred with H.E.A.R.T Programs. AKC Breeders of Merit (BOM) are dedicated to preserving breed characteristics and producing healthy, well-socialized puppies. Learn more about the Breeder of Merit program. Bred with H.E.A.R.T. breeders have continued their education and have met specific health testing standards. Northwest Lagotto is a Bred with H.E.A.R.T. breeder.