- Do you belong to the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, a local Springer club, or an all-breed club?
- May I see the parent(s) of this litter? What factors influenced your decision to make this breeding?
- Do you show your dogs? In conformation? Field trials? Hunting tests? Obedience, tracking or agility events?
- Have all puppies in this litter had their eyes examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist? Have both parents’ eyes been certified as normal by a veterinary ophthalmologist within the last year? Are both parents’ hips x-rayed and read as normal? By what authority? Are there any known hereditary problems within this pedigree?
- May I see your kennel, and meet your other dogs?
- Will you provide me with vaccination/worming records, a 3 – 5 generation pedigree, a contract of sale, and an AKC individual registration form?
- Will you provide written instructions for feeding and care of my puppy or dog?
A reputable, responsible breeder will show you a clean environment, healthy, well socialized puppies, and a dam (and sire, if owned by the breeder) with good temperament. A Springer with good temperament should be friendly, easy-going, and relaxed. Be cautious about any breeder who must make excuses for the behavior of his/her dogs.
A reputable, conscientious breeder will not sell a puppy under seven weeks of age, as early separation from the dam and littermates can be very detrimental both psychologically and physically.
If a breeder meets these expectations and answers these questions fully and willingly, you should be in good hands. If you want to request references, a responsible breeder should readily supply you with the names of previous puppy buyers, and the names of other breeders, who can be called upon as references.
What will a reputable breeder expect of you?
A reputable, responsible breeder will have questions for you as well. He/she will want to know if you’ve owned Springers, or dogs of other breeds; whether you have a fenced yard; and whether the dog will be allowed to be a member of your family. Reputable breeders will want to know more about you, your interests, and your expectations before selling you a puppy.