Take the Time to Know Your French Brittany Breeder.
If you send a breeder a list of questions, some breeders may not respond. With breeders of French Brittanys and known quality dogs with waiting lists for puppies, you may have to sell yourself as a puppy owner first. The best way to approach a breeder, in my opinion, is with an introduction about you. A brief description of who you are and why you have selected this breed, what traits of the breed are a good match for you and your lifestyle and what will make you an excellent home for one of their puppies. Once you have established a rapport with the breeder and they feel that you may be a suitable potential home for one of their puppies, they should be happy to answer your questions. The questions below are a guide to give you an idea of the things you may want to consider asking. It is not meant to be a comprehensive list.
1. How are your puppies raised and where? Puppies raised in the home with human interaction and contact are typically better adjusted and socialized. Does the breeder specifically expose the puppies to children and socialize them outside of the home or kennel?
2. What are your philosophies about raising puppies? Some quality breeders will do early puppy stimulation and will carefully interact with the puppies throughout their development.
3. What health and genetic testing do you do and why? Ask why they test for some things and not others. Ask for confirmation or copies of health clearance and genetic testing results from companies like Embark and ask the breeder to explain the meaning of the results to you. Double-check the meaning.
4. What health issues are you most concerned about in the breed? What health issues are you most concerned about in your dogs? If the breeders do not have any answers for this then you have to wonder how much they have been paying attention to health or how forthcoming they are being.
5. What are you doing to minimize the chance for these issues in your puppies/breedings?
6. Who are the parents of this litter and what did you like about them and this pair together?
7. Can I meet the dam and sire, or at least the dam? If not, why not? (Not being able to meet the dam is a red flag. The sire could legitimately be far away but they should be able to explain the circumstances.)
8. What shots do the puppies have and what will they need?
9. What are you feeding the puppies and what do you recommend? Why do you like this product/or feeding protocol?
10. Have they been wormed? Vet checked? Any health concerns?
11. Do you have a contract? What is required of me, you and what happens should there be something wrong with the puppy?
12. How will the puppy for me/my family be picked? Will I get to choose my puppy or will you? Many interactive breeder feel that they know the personality and qualities of the puppy and will feel strongly about telling you which puppy is most suited to your needs. Others, if you are buying a pet puppy, will give you the least show quality puppy of the litter.
13. What happens should I not be able to keep the puppy? There are certain breeders who will require you to return the puppy to them and will be there to take back the puppy or help to place it for the lifetime of the dog.
It is a good idea to try to communicate with people who have experience with the breed. There are many Facebook groups that are built around French Brittanys. Just be aware that not everyone on social media is the expert they claim to be. The breeders within the French Brittany breed are often in competition with one another, so do not necessarily expect them all to get along. Sometimes it is good to speak to individuals who are involved in the breed who do not breed to get a different perspective. If you repeatedly get negative feedback on the same breeder from multiple different sources, it may be safest to mark them off your list but that can be a tough call, not popular does not necessarily equal bad breeder. Sometimes the breeder is doing things differently or making noises about health issues that others would rather not acknowledge and this can make them unpopular.
The key in finding the right breeder of your puppy is to find a breeder who is trying to produce a puppy that coincides with your hopes and dreams for the future. For me, a healthy puppy/dog is the first priority for a full and happy life whatever the goals. Health issues are what dash hopes, dreams, plans, purpose for the dog and break people’s hearts.