• Tammy Bashore

8 Questions to Ask Your Breeder Before Getting a Puppy

After you find a dog breeder for the type of puppy you are looking for, there are 8 fairly standard questions you should be asking before making the final decision to purchase. These questions could work for any someone looking to get any breed, but I will be specifically referring to German Shorthaired Pointers, or GSPs, as they are so often referred.

Let's dive right in!


Question #1 :: Are the puppies purebred?

Having a purebred German Shorthaired Pointer is important to us. We love the personalities and capabilities that can only be found in a purebred GSP. Asking this question up fronts, eliminates the possibility that these puppies could be a mix of GSP and Weim, or Lab, or Vizsla, or any other breed mix.


Question #2 :: How much do the puppies cost?

GSP puppies come in a wide price range. I have seen them cost thousands of dollars. If that is in your budget, then go for it! But for us, we needed something a little bit more budget friendly. We weren't looking for the perfect show dog, but just a good family dog that we can take hunting during the season. We spent approximately $600 for Bentley (Registered with papers) and $300 for Berkley (Purebred, but no papers).


Question #3 :: Do you have males or females available?

By the time we selected either of our puppies, there were only males left. Luckily for us, we didn't have a preference either way. But had we wanted to get a female the 2nd time, to go with our male so we could breed them, it would have definitely changed the course of when and where we got our 2nd GSP from.


Question #4 :: Can I see photos of the parents and puppies (if born)?

We selected our puppies purely off of photos that were emailed to us. I wanted to see the parents so I had an idea of what the puppies would like when they were older. If the puppies are already born - which in my case they were - then I would ask for photos of each of the available pups as well. Then I would select based on those photos. With Bentley, he was the only liver and roan coat left, the rest were all solid liver. He also looked like he had dark brown fun on his legs that looked like boots. I thought it was cute, so we decided to go with him! Here is Bentley before and after so you can see how he has changed since this photo!

Question #5 :: What is they color of their coats?

GSPs come in many different color combinations. Most commonly you will see solid black, solid liver, liver and roan, and liver and white. But you can also find variations of each of these as well - some with more ticking than others, or larger solid patches. Both of our dogs are liver and roan.

Question #6 :: When will they be ready to go home?

You will want to make sure your puppy is ready to come home at a time that is convenient for you. We got Bentley, our oldest, in November. This was a time when my husband's fishing schedule was coming to a close and he would be working from home over the winter. This meant he would have lots of time to devote to training a new puppy from farm living to house living. When we got Berkley, it was June, and since I was a Professor at the time, I was home for the summer and ready to spend time training him to live in a house. Knowing when you will be able to devote the time that a puppy needs, is very important. Finding a puppy that fits into that timeline is equally as important!


Question #7 :: Where are you located? Do you deliver or do we need to pick up? Both of our shorthairs came from the same breeder in North Dakota. With Bentley, the breeder was already on his way down to where we live in South Dakota, so he was able to drop him off right at our house. However, with Berkley that was not the case. Which meant we had to make the 4-5 hour drive to North Dakota to pick him up. Planning ahead to ensure we had the time to do this was imperative.


Question #8 :: Are they registered?

Whether or not the puppies are registered may not matter to you. If not, you can skip this questions. But if so, you will want to include this question for sure! In fact, it may be further up your list of importance. If a puppy is registered, that basically means that they meet the standards of that breed's physical traits, behavior, temperament, etc. Being registered does not guarantee they are purebred, unfortunately. And on the flip side, there are some purebred puppies that are not be registered - which is the case with our youngest GSP. Only you can decide what is important for you and your family.


Hopefully this list of questions helps you get started talking to the breeder about your next best friend! What questions would you add to the list?


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