How to Choose A Responsible Breeder

  I'm often asked this question by folks who have been running the gamut from Craigslist, local newspapers, internet search engines, etc. So, I decided to create a checklist of sorts, that I would use if I were searching for a puppy...of any breed.  Here are some things to consider:


**Will NOT sell you a puppy without meeting you and/or contacting your referrals


**Is a member in good standing with AKC the Parent Club for their breed (Basset Hound Club of America/BHCA)


**Raises their dogs/pups as part of the family and does not keep them locked outside in a kennel/cage/run or tied/chained in the yard


**Encourages you to have a look around their establishment and shows you where the dogs are kept/raised


**Encourages you to spend time with the pups and their mother (the father/stud is usually brought in from another breeder & after breeding is performed he is sent back to their home)


**The breeder’s dogs are happy to see/greet people . . . no shying away, trembling or aggressive behavior


**Shows you paperwork (certificates) regarding all vet visits/vaccinations for the puppies and the mother; knows the mother's past and present medical history; examples:*all breeds require different types of tests, if you are unsure of the type of testing that is required for the breed that you are interested in, best to contact your local veterinarian & ask what tests should be performed by the breeder.


**Proof of genetic DNA swab


**Gives you specific details regarding how old the mother is and how many litters she has had. The mother should be at least 2.5 -3 years old before she has her first litter; with a maximum of having 2 -3 litters in her entire life time.


**Does not allow you to adopt your new puppy before 12- 14 weeks old . . . depending on breed.


**Requires that they are identified with a microchip or tattoo.


**Explains/outlines any problems specific to the breed of the pup (e.g. hip dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, etc.); every breed has specific genetic predispositions


**Informs you of any specific care requirement for the breed - grooming necessities/guidelines for long hair breeds such as the Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, Maltese etc.


**Offers recommendations and/or information regarding training, socializing, and integrating your new member into your family


**Feeds their dogs/pups a high-quality diet; explains the diet the pup(s) have been on and how to integrate it into your home/lifestyle (e.g. if dogs/pups have been raised on a raw diet)


**Maintains the highest standards of cleanliness, care, and canine health.


**Ask you questions such as why do you want a dog, do you have the time and basic requirements (fenced backyard) to own a dog, who will be the main caregiver and why did you choose this particular breed


**Is extremely knowledgeable about their particular breed, the temperament of the breed, the basic exercise/grooming requirements etc.


**Does not sell their puppies to pet stores ( or out of the trunk of their car/van in the walmart parking lot!!!)


**Has you sign a contract with the following conditions:


you will spay/neuter the pup unless you plan on showing it (show quality dogs only)


the pup will be returned to the breeder at any point in the dog's life if there is any problem with keeping it (the pup will never be taken to a shelter)


These are just a few of things to consider in your journey to acquire a healthy, happy Basset Hound puppy.  Remember, you get what you pay for!

Absinthe Basset Hounds

"I don't want a show dog; I just want a pet"

This is one of the most pervasive sentiments that I hear from puppy buyers, (especially families) express when they're looking for a dog. What they really mean, of course, is that they don't want a show BREEDER-don't want to pay the high price they think show breeders charge, don't want to go through the often-invasive interview process, and think that they're getting a better deal or a real bargain because they can get a Lab for $300 or a Shepard for $150.

I want you to change your mind. I want you to not only realize the benefits of buying a show-bred dog, I want you to INSIST on a show-bred dog. And I want you to realize that the cheap dog is really the one that's a rip-off. Then I want you to go be obnoxious and, when your workmate says she's getting a puppy because her neighbor, who raises them, will give her one for free, or when your brother-in-law announces that they're buying a goldendoodle for the kids, I want you to launch yourself into their solar plexus and steal their wallets and their car keys!!! Here's Why:


If I ask you why you want a Maltese, or a Lab, or a Leonberger, or a Cardigan, I would bet you're not going to talk about how much you like their color. You're going to tell me things about their personality, ability (to perform specific task), relationships with other animals, or humans, size, coat, temperament, and so on. You'll describe playing ball, or how affectionate you've heard that they are, or how well they get along with kids.

The things you will be looking for aren't the things that describe just "dog"; they'll be the things that make this particular breed unique and unlike other breeds.

That's where people have made the right initial decision- they've taken the time and made the effort to understand that there are differences between breeds and that they should get one that at least comes close to matching their picture of what they want a dog to be.

Their next step, tragically, is that they go out and find a dog of that breed for as little money and with as much ease as possible.

You need to realize that when you do this, it is as if you're going to a used car dealership, WATCHING them pry the "Audi" plate off a new car, observing them as they use Bondo to stick it on a '98 Corolla, and then writing them a check and feeling smug that you got an Audi for so little. It is no bargain!!!


Those things that distinguish the breed you want from the generic world of "dog" are only there because somebody worked really hard to get them there. And as soon as that work ceases, the dog, no matter how purebred, begins to revert to the generic. That doesn't mean you won't get a good dog- the magic and the blessing of dogs is that they are so hard to mess up, in their good souls and minds, that even the most hideously bred one can still be a great dog- but it will not be a good Shepherd, or good Puli, or good Basset Hound. You will not get the specialized abilities, tendencies, or talents of the breed.


If you don't NEED those special abilities or the predictability of a particular breed, you should not be buying a dog at all. You should go rescue one. That way you're saving a life and not putting money in pockets where it does not belong.


If you want a purebred and you know that a rescue is not going to fit the bill, the absolute WORST thing you can do is assume that a name equals anything. They really are nothing more than names on plates of cars. What matters is whether the engineering and design and service department back up the name plate, so you have some expectation that you're walking away with more than a label.

Keeping a group of dogs looking and acting like their breed is hard, HARD work. If you do not get the impression that the breeder you're considering is working that hard, is that dedicated to the breed, is struggling to produce dogs that are more than a breed name, you are getting no bargain; you are only getting ripped off.

Absinthe Basset Hounds
Sunday 12-Jan-2020 12:37