Finding a good breeder gives you a resource, a friend, and support should anything ever happen to your Weimaraner throughout his or her lifetime. Anyone who has ever owned a Weim knows that the initial price is not the price point that you should be worried about. These dogs can and probably will cost thousands of dollars even when they are healthy. They are into everything, will put anything in their mouths, and are just BAD! They are the equivalent of a human toddler until they are well into adulthood — seven, eight, NINE years old.
A good breeder can give you the history of the parents, grandparents, etc. and can give you a good guess about the temperament and traits of their puppies based on history, observation, experience and temperament testing. They have lived with YOUR dog (and his mother and maybe even several generations before that), tested YOUR dog, and know the temperament and traits of YOUR dog. They have invested great amounts of time, money, energy, and love — and would do it again in an instant!
You are “buying” the breeder and her expertise as much as you are buying the puppy. Don’t buy a dog from someone you aren’t comfortable with and wouldn’t want to keep in touch with throughout thedog’s life. If you have a bad feeling, go elsewhere. Your dog is going to be with you for 12+ years, so waiting for the one that feels right both in your head and heart is probably worth waiting for. But please don’t take this to mean that I would advise making a rash decision. Think about the research you do when you buy a car or TV… you can do a lot of the same with dogs, and for a “thing” that is far more important to us than a car of TV, it is worth scrutinizing breeding practices.
But I “Just” Want a Pet!
(or, What’s So Wrong with “Backyard Breeders”?)
All breeders need an occasional reminder that these dogs, regardless of titles and pedigree, will be someone’s lovey couch potato that keeps them warm at night and amazes them daily. I feel that Weim breeders as a whole can tend to come off awfully holier-than-thou, but I understand both perspectives well, both as someone who was turned away by some of the “reputable breeders” because I only wanted a pet — and as someone who competes in multiple venues with her well-bred dogs.
I personally think that buying a puppy from a “well-bred” dog with a super pedigree doesn’t ensure that the dog will be healthy, won’t be psycho, or will be easy to train. But buying from a backyard breeder doesn’t ensure any of these things either. Getting a dog from reputable breeder means you stack the deck in your favor. Many of us have fond memories of that pound dog that could do it all and lived to be 18, as well as that “well bred” pup that was a walking genetic disaster. You need to be careful either way.
That said, why wouldn’t you want the best, most well-adjusted and healthy pet you could find, that embodied what attracted you to the Weimaraner in the first place? What you are looking for can be created by accident, but the best ones are usually created by research, time and care. Maybe “best” isn’t what you are looking for. Maybe you think “best” is for people with large egos (you know, like breeders :)) Everyone can love a dog that is not the best, and you just want a Weim to love for goodness sake…. but if breeders aren’t striving for the best Weim they can breed, they will be breeding mediocrity. Weims are not supposed to be “mediocre” dogs; they are versatile dogs and companions, expected to a jack of all trades and an excellent companion in the home — all this does not happen through breeding mediocrity, or even worse breeding without any kind of goal at all.
And at the end of the day, owners and breeders all want the same thing, a healthy, temperamentally sound companion that brings their owners years and years of joy and companionship. The breeder is looking for other traits as well, and those extras are what makes going to a good breeder worth it. Good breeders agonize about every decision they make with their dogs when breeding. Similar to a work of art, puppies are the next generation in what is often a grand master plan. Each breeding hopefully a step in the right direction.
Eight Signs of a Good Breeder
- Demonstrates knowledge about the breed and may suggest another breeder or even a different breed.
- Can describe the common Weimaraner health problems including those in their own dogs and will provide copies of health certifications.
- Raises puppies that are friendly, active and healthy.
- Raises puppies in the home so that they can recommend the right puppy for your personality and lifestyle.
- Offers a substantial health guarantee and is willing to explain why they offer it.
- Offers explanations about why they think the dogs they are breeding complement each other.
- Shows signs of being a good mentor such as participating in breed club activities and explains why these things are important to their breeding program.
- Will take back a dog from their breeding program at any time and for any reason.