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What to look for: Some of these things may be readily posted on the Breeder's website. But, if not, feel free to shoot them a message. Reputable Breeders love what they do and they are devoted to producing the best a breed has to offer and will happily talk about their dogs. Though, they may ask you for an application to be filled out beforehand. This is nothing to be worried about because just as you want to know more about them, they want to know more about you and if you would be a wonderful home for one of their puppies. The first thing you are going to want to look for when you find a breeder you might like to get a puppy from is to go through their website and see if you can find any mention of health testing. For the Siberian, you are going to want a breeder who does hip (which can be done through OFA or Pennhip), elbow, and yearly eye testing. You will also want to make sure they do genetic screening if they are already posted on their website, great! If not, ask for them before agreeing to put a deposit before you see certificates. Ask to see a copy of their contracts. A contract protects you, the Breeder, and, most of all, the dog and is a vital piece of the equation. Make sure you give it a good read, and you want to look for the following things. What kind of registration are they offering? Partial or full? Partial registration is when you do not have breeding rights to the dog, and full registration gives you breeding rights. Partial registration can turn into full registration if specific terms are met, like titles or health testing. Is there anything in there that makes your contract void? Is there a health guarantee? If something happens and you can not keep the dog, will they take it back? What is their deposit structure like when and what do you have to pay? Is there a spay and neuter clause? If so, when does the dog need to be fixed? The next big thing you need to know about is the puppy's life while they are with the Breeder. You want a breeder who's puppies are born indoors. Even if they transition to outside or to a kennel later on in life, that is okay. But the first two weeks of their life should be indoors due to health risks. You will want a breeder who does some socialization and desensitization long before the puppy comes home, things like exposure to household objects, being around kids, being around other animals. It won't be anything significant as most puppies are vulnerable before six weeks of age when they get their first shots. But, there should be something of this in place. What sort of support does the breeder offer? Your Breeder should be one of your greatest resources. Ready and willing to answer questions, help you solve problems, or deal with issues if they arise. Find someone you like because you will want to develop a relationship with your Breeder over your dog's lifetime. Can you call or email them even when the dog is five years old?  What to avoid: Now that we have discussed the things you should be looking for, what are some of the things that you should be wary of?  Find out what age the Breeder starts breeding their dogs at; the closer to two years, the better. This gives the dog time to physically and mentally mature before dealing with such a massive physical and emotional drain. Also, how often they breed is essential. Contrary to common belief bitches can suffer from deadly pyometra, which is an infection in the uterus if they go into heat and are not bred. A breeder who does not breed on every cycle is actually risking their dog's life. It should be largely dependent on the bitch if that risk should be taken and how well she bounced back from her last litter. But, breeding on every heat should not be taken as a red flag as long as the Bitch is in good condition.  Ask if you can visit and meet the parents, or parent if only one is on sight. If you can't visit in person, ask to do a video call. If they don't allow you to do either, it could be a severe cause for suspicion.  What age do their puppies go home at? If it is before eight-weeks, you will want to look elsewhere. Sending dogs home before this age can be illegal in many places, and the puppy needs this time with mom and siblings to learn manners and good canine social skills for you to build on. Questions you need to ask: Here is a quick list of the most important questions to ask that we haven't covered above. Do their parents work? Or grandparents? Ask about the lines the Breeder works with- really pick their brain on it. Ask about longevity and temperaments of dogs within their lines as well.  Do they do any temperament testing? The most common being the Volhard's puppy aptitude test.  Do they do any early development exercises?  What do the parents eat? Does the bitch's diet change while pregnant? What do the puppies eat? This is important as you will also need to know what to feed the puppy when they come home before transitioning them to your food of choice.  Can you talk to other puppy buyers?  Have they ever had a dog returned? Why?  Are there any health issues with any past related litters? Even if they have a health test, you want to ask about this.  Are the puppies kept in a "puppy pen"? If so, what is it like? Ask for pictures. Some breeders don't use one at all. But if they do, you want to make sure there is a clear definition between the play, eat, sleep, and bathroom area of the pen to avoid getting a dog with a mentality of going to the bathroom where they live and can lead to difficulties potty training. 

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