Evaluating a breeder: Add up the points and see the results at the end of evaluation! Keep note of any negative points.

1. Advertising:
+2 Puppies are advertised directly by the breeder and the breeder often has a waiting list for their puppies.
+1 Puppies are advertised directly by the breeder, no waiting lists.
-1 Puppies are advertised through an intermediary like a pet store or a puppy broker. (These breeders do NOT care about what kind of homes or situations their puppies go into, and are likely to be equally uncaring about what kind of puppies they produced. )
2. Registration:
+1 Both parents are registered with one of the reputable clubs:
American Kennel Club (AKC)
United Kennel Club (UKC)
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
AND the resulting puppies can be registered with one of these clubs as well. Ask to see the paperwork or get the AKC number and look the dog up on the AKC website. Keep in mind though that registration is NOT a sign of quality!!! Just because a dog is AKC registered does NOT mean it will produce healthy beautiful even tempered puppies.
-1 One or both parents are registered at some other lesser-known registry, or not registered at all. Breeders whose dogs are registered at a lesser known registry are trying to fool unsuspecting puppy buyers. Many of these breeders have been kicked out of the reputable clubs for unethical practices or inhumane treatment of their dogs. It is recommended that you run from this situation!
3. Memberships:
+2 The breeder is a member of the National Breed Club and a Local Weimaraner Club. (While this is also NOT an indication of quality it is a step in the right direction.)
+1 The breeder is a member of a National or local breed club but not both.
-1 Breeder is not member of any sanctioned breed club.
4. Genetic testing:
+3 BOTH parents been OFA certified good or excellent or PENN HIP evaluated with acceptable ratings. Make sure to ask to see the paperwork ( breeders will lie!) Or you can get the AKC number of both parents and look up the information on the OFA website. The grandparents been OFA certified good or excellent or PENN HIP evaluated with acceptable ratings. Additional testing been done such as CERF, thyroid or elbows
+2 BOTH parents been OFA certified good or excellent or PENN HIP evaluated with acceptable ratings. The grandparents been OFA certified.
+1 BOTH parents been OFA certified good or excellent or PENN HIP evaluated with acceptable ratings.
-1 Only one parent has been OFA certified good or excellent or PENN HIP evaluated with acceptable ratings.
-2 Neither parent has been been OFA certified good or excellent or PENN HIP evaluated with acceptable ratings. (RUN FROM THIS SITUATION!! Hip dysplasia has not yet been eradicated from the breed and is a serious debilitating condition that no owners want to have to deal with.)
5. Coat Color:
+1 Litter contains all grey or silver puppies.
+0 A blue and a silver/grey was bred and the litter has a mix of blues. (USE extreme caution). Blues are a disqualification in the standard and may NOT compete in conformation events. Most breeders breeding to improve the breed show their dogs and therefore do not breed blues.
-1 Two silver/gry weimaraners were bred and the litter is a mix of blues and silver/greys. Genetically two silver or grey weimaraners can NOT produce a blue. You can get a "blue weimaraner" with a silver/grey weimaraner mix with another breed.
6. Buyer Screening
+2 Breeder has you complete a questionnaire, interviews you , and asks for references. This is a very caring breeder who is truly concerned about where their puppies go.
+1 Breeder has you complete a questionnaire and interviews you.
-1 Breeder does not have you complete a questionairre and asks few if any questions. This breeder will sell to anyone walking in the door with enough money. These breeders don't really care about the future of their pups. If the breeder doesn't care where their puppies go - what kind of care did they take in planning the litter? And what kind of care will they give you if your pup has problems?
7. Breed characteristics:
+1 Breeder is honest about the demands of owning a weimaraner, and the activity level. If the breeder does not feel the weimaraner is best suited to your lifestyle they will try and talk you out of getting a weimaraner or talk to you about other breeds that may be more suitable.
-1 Breeder does a hard sell and is not honest about the nature of the weimaraner.
8. Breeder's Mission, Background and Experience
+2 Breeder has bred several champions and are activly involved in competitions with their dogs. They have a written "mission statement" or set of "breeding goals". These are breeders who have thought long and hard about the direction they want their breeding program to take, and are dedicated to having their results evaluated by an outside objective source in the show ring or field trial.
+1 Breeder is activly involved in competitions with their dogs. Breeder also has a written "mission statement" or set of "breeding goals". These are breeders who have thought long and hard about the direction they want their breeding program to take. Breeder, though is new and has not yet bred any champions, but they are under mentorship from an experienced breeder (if this is the case get a reference from the mentor!).
-1 Breeder does NOT show or trial their own dogs even though they may have a "mission statement". Long time breeder that has never bred a champion.
-2 Breeder refuses to provide this information.
9. Purpose of the litter: Why was this litter bred? This is a fantastic question that should always be asked of any breeder.
+1 The breeder can answer with a detailed explaination that shows forthought, planning and specific goals that further the breed and their breeding program. "Because we were looking to produce pups with specific qualities such as..."
-1 Any breeder that gives any of these answers:
To get our money back out of her.
So the kids could see the miracle of birth.
To make money.
So that she'd be "fulfilled" before we spayed her. (Sometimes at an unenlightened vet's recommendation!!)
Because we thought it would be fun.
She has such a great personality. (shelters are full of puppies and dogs with great personalituies that are put to death daily because of a lack of homes).
(All these answers show a lack of forethought, planning and research. The actual breeding was probably pretty haphazard, as was the care of the pups.
10. Number of breeds bred: How many different breeds do you breed?
+1 One or two. Responsible breeders focus on breeding only one or two breeds in order to advance and improve that breed. This takes a lot of time effort and energy.
+0 Three
-1 Four or more.
11. Number of litters per year: How often do you breed?
+1 Once or twice a year. Most responsible breeders breed only once or twice a year...and focus on the resulting puppies as a way to improve the breed. They take the time to research and evaluate any potential breeding.
+0 Three times a year
-1 Four or more litters a year. Each litter requires tremendous amounts of time and energy to raise, socialize, and evaluate properly. These breeders are more likely puppy producers and less likely focused on the betterment of the breed.
12. How often has this bitch been bred?
+1 No more than once a year. A bitch should rarely if ever be bred more than once a year and NO MORE than 3 or 4 times in her lifetime. If she is bred two seasons in a row find out why...and how long of a break she had before these breedings.
-1 Every season. (This is hard on the bitch. And it shows an interest in puppy production over the care and welfare of the bitch.)
13. Are the breeder's dogs kept in a kennel or are they house dogs?
+1 Dogs are kept mainly as house dogs. (They may be crated occasionally).
-1 Dogs are kept in a kennel.
14. Champion parents: Are the parents champions or have they competed in any types of competition? Even if you only want a pet, champion parents greatly increase the odds that you will get a beautiful, healthy well adjusted puppy from a caring dedicated breeder.
+2 Both parents are champions.
+1 One parent is a champion and the other has competed and has points towards their championship or the other parents has a championship pedigree (more than 60% champions in the first 3 generations) but is not a champion due to some injury.
-1 Only one parent is a champion, other parent is not a champion and does not have at leaset 60% champions in the first three generations of their pedigree. In this situation question why the breeder has not shown the other parent...a champion dog bred to an inferior dog will produce inferior puppies!
-2 Neither parent is a champion and there are not at least 60% champions in the first three generations of the pedigrees.
15. Pedigree: Ask to see the pedigree of both parents.
+1 There are at least 60% champions on both the sire and dams pedigree in the first three generations. ( This shows the breeders concern for continuity of quality in the lines. ) Line breeding is ok but there should not be a brother sister or father daughter breeding!! (see our faq for more information on the differences between line breeding, outcrossing, and inbreeding).
-1 Pedigree has less than 60% champions on both pedigrees, or if only one pedigree has the champions. A champion dog bred to an inferior bitch produces inferior puppies.
-1 The breeder refuses to show the pedigree or tells you there are no pedigrees.
16. Care of puppies: Where are the puppies raised?
+2 Puppies are raised in the breeders home is an often used room.
+1 Puppies are raised in the basement of the breeder in an out of the way room.
-1 Puppies are raised in a barn or pen outside of the house
17. Socialization of the puppies: How often are the puppies handled?
+2 Puppies over 3 weeks old are handled several times every day and taken to different locations in the house and are exposed to different textures, sounds and situations
+1 Puppies are handled once or twice a day.
-1 Puppies are rarely if ever handled and seldom leave their pen
18. Visual inspection of the mom.
+1 Both parent's are nice representation of the breed and conforms to the standard. (ribs go down to elbow, feet are straight forward, no bow legs or cow hocks, no excessive white on chest or white any where else but the chest etc). Parent's are not overly shy or aggressive (keep in mind the mom may be protective of her puppies, and have a saggy belly after birth. This is normal). Try to at least meet the mother. If you cannot meet the dad, ask to see pictures!
-1 One or both parents have serious faults and/or has a bad temperment. (take the time to read over the standard!)
19. Condition of the puppy pen:
+1 Breeder takes care to regularly clean the puppy pen
-1 The pen is dirty and smelly and shows signs it has not been cleaned in a long while.
20. Picking Pups:
+1 The breeder completes thourough written evaluations of the pups, consults with other breeders, and picks your puppy for you based on your preferences and situation. (After all, no one knows the litter and the individual personalities and potentials as well as the breeder.) Make sure you ask the breeder about how they evaluate the litter and their experience in picking/matching puppies.
+0 The breeeder completes written evaluations, but lets you pick your own puppy.
-1 The breeder lets you pick your own puppy without informed information on the puppies. In general their attitude is that all puppies are alike, so what does it matter. It is very hard if not impossible to evaluate a puppy by spending just 15-30 minutes with the puppy. Puppies need to be evaluated over several days in several circumstances. Hunting instincts need to be evaluated with specific tests, and conformation needs to be evaluated with pictures and by extremely knowledgable experienced breeders.
21. Contracts: Good breeders will have a contract that protects you, the puppy and the seller. Make sure you ask to see the contract before you agree to purchase a puppy from the breeder!! Calculate a point for every item the contract includes:
+1 The contact has a good health guarantee against diseases of proven genetic cause, a two year health guarantee against hip dysplasia (it can't be truly diagnosed before then except in the worst cases). The breeder agrees to cover vet bills up to at least half the purchase price of the pup if a genetically related health problem is found or offers a replacement puppy (your choice of options). Do not expect the breeder to cover health problems that do not have a genetic component. Special Note: Do not accept a genetic health guarantee of less than two years. (A favorite ploy of many breeders!!) Many genetic disorders can't be diagnosed until two years or later. Do not accept a health guarantee that requires the return of the pup if something is found. Come on, who's kidding who? You're going to love this dog and be very unwilling to send it back if something is found. You're going to want to keep the dog and make the best of it. And the breeder knows this. This kind of clause is basically an "out" for the breeder should something go wrong. They know it's unlikely it will ever actually happen.
+1 The Contract gives you a specific vaccine schedule to follow specific to the weimaraner breed. Immuno Deficiency problems in the Weimaraner have been linked to the standard protocol of puppy shots. For this reason, a different protocol has been established for the Weimaraner. The breeders may void their health guarantee if the special protocol is not followed.
+1 The contract guarantees the pup is suitable for the use for which you purchased it. If you purchased a show quality pup - that means the dog will grow to have no disqualifying faults. If you purchased for hunting - that means the pup will have hips sound enough to run on, and instincts that can be developed.
+1 The contract has a lifetime return policy so that if at any time for any reason you cannot keep the puppy the breeder is willing to take it back. (This shows a truly responsible breeder that is truly concerned for their puppies and wants to make sure none of their puppies ever ends up in a shelter or rescue). This part of a contract is a MUST!!
+1 The contract includes a spay neuter agreement for any puppy not sold as a future breeding prospect and a co-ownership contract for any puppy sold as a future breeding prospect. Non breeding prospects should ONLY be sold on a limited registration. Beware of any breeder that sells all their puppies on full registrations!!
-? Subtract a point for any missing items, a less that agreeable health guarantee, or any breeder who refuses to put anything in writing.
22. Information:
+1 Breeder will give you a packet of information on training and caring for your new puppy, and will be available for you if any questions or problems arise. Make sure you feel comfortable and LIKE the breeder so that you will use them as a resource!!
-1 Breeder gives a packet of information, but you do not feel comfortable with the breeder, or feel that the breeder will be a resource for you.
-2 Breeder does NOT give any information about care of your puppy and is not available as a resource for you.
Total your points! Take note if you had ANY negative points.

Calculating points: If you had any negative point for ANY category you should seriously consider NOT going with this breeder.
33-35 points - A truly wonderful, responsible caring breeder willing to go the extra mile for the breed!
30-32 - A very good responsible breeder.
26-29 - be very cautions...consider looking elsewhere
25 or less - run the other direction as fast as you can !!

DO not be shy about asking for references on any breeder you are considering, but unsure about. Breeders should be willing to give other breeders as references.


copyright Adonai's Weimaraners Kathy Gray 2005