Please do not purchase an IG from a pet store, a puppy mill or a backyard breeder. None of these people do the research to produce dogs that improve the breed, which is the goal of a responsible breeder, and they seldom do the necessary legwork and testing to prevent passing on physical and temperament problems that may not be noticed for several years. Some of these problems may include: seizure disorders, thyroid disorders, luxated patellas, poor bone density (resulting in leg breaks), PRA, deafness, heart murmurs and other health issues. Repairing a gone luxated patella (a crippling, genetic knee disorder) costs around $1200, and the recovery is long and extensive, requiring physiotherapy, massage and scheduled walking. These dogs are 100% purchased from pet stores, backyard breeders and commercial breeders who sell puppies over the internet. Please do not purchase a puppy from this type of seller! There are many Internet websites that can help educate you on backyard breeders, pet stores, and puppy mills. There are far more people participating in random breeding, breeding for profit and irresponsible breeding than there are responsible breeders. If you have any question about whether an internet advertiser is a responsible breeder or a puppy mill or backyard breeder, look for these things:
Will they send a dog to you without meeting you?
Do they ask you for references?
Do they breed more than one or two litters a year?
Do they show their dogs and breed only to try and improve the breed, not for monetary gain?
Are they members in good standing with the Canine Council in their state or a local purebred breeders/show association?
Do they tell you that they will take the dog back - at any time during his lifetime -if you cannot keep him?
Do they guarantee the health of the dog?
Do they have available records indicating health clearances - eyes, knees - on both parents of the puppy?
A responsible breeder will ask you for references, interview you, assess your appropriateness for this breed, have records showing health clearances on breeding dogs, give you a guarantee and take the dog back at any time during his life. S/he will probably be a member in good standing with a local purebred breeders/show club.
S/he will be a small hobby breeder who successfully competes in dog shows with healthy, well-adjusted dogs, and does extensive research before breeding, to match bitches and dogs with excellent health, conformation, temperament, movement and performance ability.
S/he will not have a website with page after page of 'happy puppies' in their new homes, due to limited, educated breeding. S/he probably won't take charge cards, and will certainly not send a dog to you sight unseen after only an email and online payment.
Remember, if rescue has had to re-home his or her dogs, that person is not a responsible breeder. There are 'show mills' out there - people who actively compete with their dogs and pay big money for advertising - but they are still over-breeding and selling puppies as a business, rather than doing limited, educated, hobby breeding to improve the breed.
Nyx aged 8 weeks Nyx is from Shantiah Kennels in Sydney