This is a pretty awkward topic to bring up, but my husband and I have been involved in professional dog breeding and AKC Labrador shows for the past four decades with our local kennel club, consulting on dog legislation with our local representative, and several kennel clubs. .
During this time, because we breed Labradors, we really never went through a “recession” and people came from all over the country to get our puppies. One of the embarrassing things that I have observed and received evidence from our state is that there are more (shockingly high!) people applying for kennel licenses than ever before. It seems that many people see dollar signs, but do not understand breeding to a standard of quality and conformance to tolerance for health and temperament. They see a way to make money and pay off a credit card. When people start kennels for purely financial reasons, I know for a fact that the dogs suffer and so do the potential buyers. Our state kennel clubs have confirmed that there has been a HUGE number of applications for kennel licenses from 2021 onwards. With the development of the recession, their number increased exponentially.
My advice to you, if you are looking for a puppy online, be sure to ask the breeder how long they have been exhibiting and breeding the breed, and ask them specific questions about the breed to see what their knowledge is. Ask if they show their dogs (which makes them accountable to AKC judges and exhibitors) and if they belong to a local AKC kennel club (which gives them local accountability). Ask them about their health insurance, it’s a rarity these days and people are happy to take your money and then cry poor thing when things go wrong. Be sure to ask about the health guarantee, as well as their policy on what they do if, god forbid, you have a problem with your puppy. A lot of breeders I know just don’t give guarantees anymore. nothing you should ask why. Some won’t even take the puppy back.
The best qualifying question for a breeder is, “Why do you breed the breed you do?” If they answer anything other than, “I am perfecting the AKC breed standard for this breed and have dedicated my life to it,” then you may want to look for a breeder with more history and understanding of the breed to help you with that. future and give you breed-specific recommendations throughout your dog‘s life.
Make sure your breeder or kennel has a kennel license and can provide you with a NUMBER. If not, they are not inspected and may have unsanitary or inhumane conditions — meaning the state regularly inspects them to make sure they are operating to optimal standards.