So you’re sure you want a Vizsla? But how do you find a breeder, a great breeder that will support and help you throughout your pup’s lifetime? What IS a good breeder and what should you look for? These are all subjective of course, but here’s what I find important
- Communication is super high on my list. Do they respond to emails quickly and personally? Are they answering all your questions in detail, perhaps they are asking you lots of questions as well (which is great!). If you can, ask to jump on a phone call and ask them about their dogs, their experience, and what they are looking for in a potential client. VISIT if it’s at all possible, and see the living space, meet the parents if possible, and see how the puppies will be brought up.
- Testing for health is partially why you don’t just go to a rescue and pick up a dog (if it’s even possible). Make sure both parents have had their eyes, hips, elbows, and what is required in your area tested and the results are good or excellent. ASK about allergies, ask about anxieties, and if any previous puppies have had early deaths, seizures, or history of aggression in any manner.
- Dogs have been shown in the showring and/or tested for work (champions in the field). The purpose of this is that to ethically breed, there needs to a purpose, not just monetary to further the breed. There should be thought put into which dog to breed with, their genetics, and if the dogs meet a standard judged by a trained 3rd party. Also, the dog isn’t under the age of 2, or has been bred under the age of 2 (hip tests are generally done after 2).
- References from others have had dogs from the breeder, but mostly references from other breeders is key. If multiple reputable breeders respect and would recommend another breeder, that’s a really good sign. When you are rejected, or told that a waiting list is years long (this will happen!), ask the breeder whom they would recommend and why, and don’t forget to ask whom to avoid!
- Hard vetting, health guarantees, and contracts that insist the dog will go back the breeder should you not be able to keep the dog. When you approach a breeder, you’ll be asked loads of questions so they can be sure you’re an appropriate family and is a good fit for their dogs. It can seem excessive and I’ve been turned down over and over, but placing a puppy isn’t just a one time business transaction. A good breeder is responsible for all their puppies for their entire lifetimes. This is super important and makes sure that these dogs will never be found in a shelter or rescue. It also gives you recourse if your dog develops health issues early, or is delivered sick.
Whiskey’s breeder doesn’t breed anymore but her lines are from Akar in Quebec City. There are a couple breeders I’ve met in person in BC that I would recommended and a couple I’ve heard of from friends as well. We’ve been unlucky with some potential breeders (small litters, no litter, or male only litters) in the past so don’t expect a breeding to work out.
How to look for a breeder
Check your local clubs to start with a list. Join a Vizsla meetup to meet the breed and talk to owners. Head over to a local show, or field test day and meet the breeders. Email, call, talk and keep it up!