1. CONTRACT: Sells by written contract. At the very least some sort of a handwritten agreement is strongly encouraged. Even a simple document that states the basics of the breeders intent of responsibility for the dog and all monetary aspects.
2. HEALTH STATEMENT: Sells puppies with a health statement & some promise if there is a problem down the road. Not all Breeders spell out exactly what they will promise in a document, some go on a case by case, but should have some basic health statement. In many contracts there are conditions such as, but not limited to: contract is null and void if you feed anything other than brand XXX feed. Or you allow your dog to be run on uneven ground. Written contracts are only as good as what is written, so be careful and read before signing. It is common to have high penalties listed for breaching the contract, thus make sure what you are agreeing to.
3. RETURN OF DOG: A good Breeder insists upon getting the dog back if the buyer is no longer able to keep the dog.
4. ENVIRONMENT: Does not have more litters than they can keep well groomed and well socialized, take into consideration if they have full or part time staff to help out.
5. MEDICAL TESTS: OFA tests completed & passed on all breeding stock for known hereditary diseases (hips/elbows/hearts/eyes for Goldens) & breeds with the aim of decreasing the incidence of such diseases. Does not breed affected animals, a bonus is if they do more than the required test. Only breeds mature animals (must be 2 to have OFA test completed so roughly 2-6 on females and 2- as long as able on males.
6. HEALTH/TEMPERMENT: Is very concerned with producing puppies with excellent temperaments, health & good socialization skills.
7. DEVELOPMENT: Can identify each puppy and chart its growth and development from birth.
8. EDUCATION & FOLLOW UP: Is willing to help educate you and answers questions about the breed and their individual dogs. Sends out kennel updates, and/or questionnaires. Or simply requests that you keep in contact. Remember a responsible reputable breeder is in high demand and while they are interested in a relationship, it might be up to you to make the contact. For every litter, a breeder can generate a hundred calls and each call expects their one on one time with that breeder. Not to mention calls from past litters on updates or info needed.
9. LIFE TIME FOLLOWING: Wants to be informed of any health or temperament issues puppies might develop through out the lifetime of each dog. As well as positive information.
10. HELP: Is available for help, advice, and education to the buyer throughout & past the life of the puppy/dog.
What you should be able to expect from any good breeder.