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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm hoping for some advice please, after reading the wealth of information on offer here to first time and would be vizsla owners!

I'm in the UK and I've found someone who seems to be a great breeder with 2 litters planned for the summer. The breeder has been breeding for 5 years, is kennel club registered, has her own kennel name, has all relevant health docs and generally seems great. But I have 3 concerns that I'm hoping for some advice with:

Should I be worried about temperament with her lines? - She has 5 dogs which she has to run in 2 separate packs as one of the bitches doesn't get on with her mother so she keeps each bitch separated. She thinks it started when last the mother was coming into heat so she separated them to reduce stress to the mother. Afterwards she tried to reintroduce them but she said it didn't work so on advice from her vet, she keeps them separate now. I could put my name down for a pup from either of these dogs. It would be the mother's 4th litter, or the girl's first. Both litters will have the same sire which she also owns having bought him in from a separate line, also with good health scores.

Do I worry she's only breeding for profit? - She doesn't plan to keep any dogs from this litter and won't be lifting endorsements under any circumstances (ie none of these dogs will be contributing to the vizsla gene pool) so seems to be planning these litters purely for the money.

Should I worry that she doesn't show or work her dogs? - she said it's too expensive and time consuming for her to do on her own with 5 dogs. I'm after a family pet so this doesn't bother me, but should it? I've read in various places that dogs should only be bought from demonstrated working or show lines.

She reluctantly said that she would be involved in any issues with needing to rehome any of her puppies, but thinking back, she didn't say that she'd take it back, just that it had never happened before with any of her past litters. I wasn't sure whether pressing her on the issue would make it seem that as a first time dog owner, I wanted her to be my backstop so I didn't keep on about it, but I had expected her to just say she absolutely would stand by them and move on from there.

I'm really keen to get one of her dogs as they seem great on paper and in pictures, but just wanted to check whether I'm being blinded by my desire to get a vizsla and ignoring things that should make me walk away before I'm even further emotionally invested. She said she's happy to put me in touch with owners from previous litters, but I'm conscious that she'll be selecting the references so I'm unlikely to hear anything particularly negative from that source...

Thank you for reading and for any advice!
 

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Does she have a contract, and have you been able to see it? It should list what health guarantees she covers, and for how many years. It should also say what happens to the pup, if you can no longer keep it.


( she said it's too expensive and time consuming for her to do on her own with 5 dogs)
That statement really bothers me.
Not because I care if a breeder makes money, breaks even, or loses money on a litter. I’m not the tax man, and that’s not any of my business.
But someone cutting cost, to ensure they make money, without putting in the time with the dogs does bother me.
I have no idea how much time, money and traveling I have done with my dogs. Its a lot, and I don’t breed.
As far as the two females that don’t get along, It happens. Females are more prone to rule the roost over the other dogs. Sounds like the younger female wants to be boss, and the other one is not ready to give up that title. If that’s the case, and the breeder did not try to see if it could be fixed. I would pass on getting a pup from the younger female. Even though it might not be her fault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does she have a contract, and have you been able to see it? It should list what health guarantees she covers, and for how many years. It should also say what happens to the pup, if you can no longer keep it.


( she said it's too expensive and time consuming for her to do on her own with 5 dogs)
That statement really bothers me.
Not because I care if a breeder makes money, breaks even, or loses money on a litter. I’m not the tax man, and that’s not any of my business.
But someone cutting cost, to ensure they make money, without putting in the time with the dogs does bother me.
I have no idea how much time, money and traveling I have done with my dogs. Its a lot, and I don’t breed.
As far as the two females that don’t get along, It happens. Females are more prone to rule the roost over the other dogs. Sounds like the younger female wants to be boss, and the other one is not ready to give up that title. If that’s the case, and the breeder did not try to see if it could be fixed. I would pass on getting a pup from the younger female. Even though it might not be her fault.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

She sent me one of her contracts from her last litter but it doesn't contain anything about multi-year health guarantees. It says:

"The seller has taken every care with the breeding, rearing and welfare of the puppy. The puppy has been checked by a veterinary surgeon prior to the sale.
The purchaser is advised to have the dog checked by a veterinarian of his/her choice at his/her expense within five days of collecting the dog, if at this point a significant health problem is diagnosed it should be documented by your veterinary surgeon.

On receipt of this, plus the live puppy and registration papers the purchase price will be refunded in full or a suitable replacement puppy given where available and mutually agreeable."

Regarding rehoming the puppy, the contract says:

"The purchaser agrees not to sell, gift or loan the dog to any third party, if it becomes necessary to find a new home for the dog, the purchaser must first contact the seller to make arrangements, to find a new home. The seller will have first option, to take the dog back for rehoming, the seller will at their discretion refund 25% of the purchase price for puppies aged up to 16 weeks and after this time no refund will be given due to the difficulties in rehoming older dogs."

I guess it bothers me that there are only 5 days to report a health issue even though something may not show up for years. And it bothers me that it says she has first option to re-home the dog, rather than she will take it. Plus (especially after 16 weeks), there's more incentive for an unscrupulous buyer to sell the puppy on rather than return it to the breeder.

I'd assumed this kind of wording was standard, but if contracts ought to at least state multi-year health guarantees, then I'm assuming it isn't a standard contract... Seems I should walk away or at least see if she's willing to re-word the contract first. I'm assuming I can't be the first person to query her contract given she's had 4 or 5 litters so far.
 

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While you should always have your vet check any new puppy, that part is just being a good owner.
You should have at least a two year health guarantee, for a few things that are known problems in the breed. Some breeders even extend it for longer, due to Covid or a female being in heat. Plus congenital abnormalities, may not always be detected by the vet at the first visit.
One of my dogs has hip dysplasia. With Covid going on she was 26 months old when her hips were xrayed. So 2 months past the 2 year guarantee. The breeder had already put in writing, she would extend the health guarantee for as long as I needed.
When X-rays were rated that she had hip dysplasia. The breeder said she would do whatever I wanted to rectify the situation.
I thought about it for a few days. We love and decided to keep Shine. So I just asked her breeder to refund the purchase price. Shine would stay with us, and we would take care of whatever she needed. Her breeder said she absolutely would agree to this, and stood by her word. Keep in mind both of Shine’s parents have good hips.

As far as returning a puppy.
it should read that the puppy/dog has to be returned to the breeder. That it can not be rehomed, or sold without the breeders consent.
But don’t expect to receive your money back.
Good breeders are willing to take back a dog, if it’s 12 weeks, or 12 years. They stand behind the dogs they breed for the life of the dog
 

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Hi all, I'm hoping for some advice please, after reading the wealth of information on offer here to first time and would be vizsla owners!

I'm in the UK and I've found someone who seems to be a great breeder with 2 litters planned for the summer. The breeder has been breeding for 5 years, is kennel club registered, has her own kennel name, has all relevant health docs and generally seems great. But I have 3 concerns that I'm hoping for some advice with:

Should I be worried about temperament with her lines? - She has 5 dogs which she has to run in 2 separate packs as one of the bitches doesn't get on with her mother so she keeps each bitch separated. She thinks it started when last the mother was coming into heat so she separated them to reduce stress to the mother. Afterwards she tried to reintroduce them but she said it didn't work so on advice from her vet, she keeps them separate now. I could put my name down for a pup from either of these dogs. It would be the mother's 4th litter, or the girl's first. Both litters will have the same sire which she also owns having bought him in from a separate line, also with good health scores.

Do I worry she's only breeding for profit? - She doesn't plan to keep any dogs from this litter and won't be lifting endorsements under any circumstances (ie none of these dogs will be contributing to the vizsla gene pool) so seems to be planning these litters purely for the money.

Should I worry that she doesn't show or work her dogs? - she said it's too expensive and time consuming for her to do on her own with 5 dogs. I'm after a family pet so this doesn't bother me, but should it? I've read in various places that dogs should only be bought from demonstrated working or show lines.

She reluctantly said that she would be involved in any issues with needing to rehome any of her puppies, but thinking back, she didn't say that she'd take it back, just that it had never happened before with any of her past litters. I wasn't sure whether pressing her on the issue would make it seem that as a first time dog owner, I wanted her to be my backstop so I didn't keep on about it, but I had expected her to just say she absolutely would stand by them and move on from there.

I'm really keen to get one of her dogs as they seem great on paper and in pictures, but just wanted to check whether I'm being blinded by my desire to get a vizsla and ignoring things that should make me walk away before I'm even further emotionally invested. She said she's happy to put me in touch with owners from previous litters, but I'm conscious that she'll be selecting the references so I'm unlikely to hear anything particularly negative from that source...

Thank you for reading and for any advice!
I'm afraid that I don't have the experience to help with your questions. But texasred and gunnr do, they are very knowledgeable, and you can absolutely trust their advice.

I do want to say that your questions are very well thought out and I'm sure that you will make the very best decision possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok many thanks and I hope Shine is able to live a long and full life with her condition.

I had hoped to go forward with this breeder as I've contacted everyone within a 2 hour drive from me (so it would be feasible to visit a few times before the litter/taking the pup home) and she was the only one who I had a good conversation with.

I'll ask her whether she's open to amending the wording on her contract to strengthen the health guarantee and rehoming and then take it from there, but I'll also widen my search radius in the meantime.

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm afraid that I don't have the experience to help with your questions. But texasred and gunnr do, they are very knowledgeable, and you can absolutely trust their advice.

I do want to say that your questions are very well thought out and I'm sure that you will make the very best decision possible.
Thanks so much Bob, really appreciate the compliment! Owning a dog has been a dream of mine since I was a child, so I want to make sure I'm making the best decision I can with what new life to add to my home and don't end up getting it wrong in my eagerness to clear the final hurdle.

Plus, having a forum like this where we're able to tap in to such expertise is an incredible opportunity for novices like me to learn, so I want to make sure I use it wisely 😄
 

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Shine is doing great. Most people would not even realize she has hip dysplasia.
But we do a lot of things to keep her pain free, and out in the fields having fun.
 

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Does your area have any vizsla clubs, that offer breeder referrals? A lot of us in the US use them to help screen breeders.
 

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If you just want a good family dog, I don't think it's a problem that the breeder isn't showing or working their dogs. Nor is doing it for profit a problem. If you visit the kennel and you get a good feel for how the place is run, then I wouldn't be concerned over things like "doesn't show/work the dogs" or "does it for profit" or "churns out a lot of puppies." I don't see those as red flags at all, if the breeder is otherwise responsible. I think the "only buy from a show/working line" thing might have more to do with knowing lineages and therefore less likely to have inbreeding and therefore better genetic diversity and health (since the V gene pool isn't super diverse after passing through a bottleneck when Vs almost went extinct).

I just got a Vizsla puppy last month. I'd looked around for breeders for several months, first going through the local metro area Vizsla club for breeders. But those had 1- to 2-year waiting lists and had really long questionnaires. I was more than happy to fill out questionnaires, but then it turned out they wanted non-refundable deposits for a pup that might not be available for two years. Finally, I found a breeder an hour away. He doesn't show or work his dogs, as far as I know, and he produces quite a lot of puppies (GSPs, Vs, and hounds), so maybe some people would frown upon it, but he seems to be managing it pretty well and producing healthy dogs. He also definitely profits from it. Bc demand for Vs is through the roof, he was able to charge a lot more than he had been charging in the past. I was willing to pay it.
 

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so, for the love of pure bred dogs... i do see a lot of red flag with what you are describing and the number 1 for me is not showing and / or working the dogs. every responsible breeder will admit that not all dogs they breed is show quality, and when it comes to what they have been originally created for, like versatile hunting dogs in our case, there will be here and there some which may not be the best fit for the breed standard. so they may have some pet quality popping up, but a good breeder is not breeding for that purpose. and breeding without any of these qualities in mind for me equals puppy mills. and also raises the question, why to have a pure bred dog and not a rescue?
the other thing i would look into what health screening does this breeder do and see in an official database the results for those. that is a time consuming research but it can be very telling.
there has been a raising concern since covid about puppy mill like breeders multiplying, and the signs are usually what you have described above in your original post.
 

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@rsarvis
(thing might have more to do with knowing lineage)
It’s exactly knowing the lineage, but for the most part it’s for a totally different reason. Knowing the health, temperature, body structure. Basically knowing all the good, or bad qualities first hand for multiple generations in their bloodlines.

There is a big difference in someone that’s just breeding two registered dogs, than some one that is always working towards improving the breed. Does tons of research to match dogs correctly. Only breed titled dogs with good temperament, and health clearances. It’s those reasons that make the breeders have a long wait list.
The just breeding to breed people always have puppies, and a lot of us long time Vizslas owners do not buy from them.

All of us have these dogs as companions first, and whatever venue we choose to do with them comes second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Does your area have any vizsla clubs, that offer breeder referrals? A lot of us in the US use them to help screen breeders.
Yes there are a couple, so I'd gone through and contacted the listed breeders that were relatively local to me on there too. I've expanded the search radius so will see if I hear back from further afield as it seems I've just chosen a bad time to get responses or on to waiting lists around where I am.
I'm happy to wait for the right litter/ not rush into bringing a puppy home, it's just the uncertainty of finding the right breeder at the right time that's a bit frustrating.
Thanks again for taking the time to think of alternatives and respond!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
so, for the love of pure bred dogs... i do see a lot of red flag with what you are describing and the number 1 for me is not showing and / or working the dogs. every responsible breeder will admit that not all dogs they breed is show quality, and when it comes to what they have been originally created for, like versatile hunting dogs in our case, there will be here and there some which may not be the best fit for the breed standard. so they may have some pet quality popping up, but a good breeder is not breeding for that purpose. and breeding without any of these qualities in mind for me equals puppy mills. and also raises the question, why to have a pure bred dog and not a rescue?
the other thing i would look into what health screening does this breeder do and see in an official database the results for those. that is a time consuming research but it can be very telling.
there has been a raising concern since covid about puppy mill like breeders multiplying, and the signs are usually what you have described above in your original post.
Thanks for this, I agree there are some red flags which I'll see if I can work through. I've been sent photos of all the original health paperwork but was told there was a backlog in getting some of the most recent test results uploaded to the KC register.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you just want a good family dog, I don't think it's a problem that the breeder isn't showing or working their dogs. Nor is doing it for profit a problem. If you visit the kennel and you get a good feel for how the place is run, then I wouldn't be concerned over things like "doesn't show/work the dogs" or "does it for profit" or "churns out a lot of puppies." I don't see those as red flags at all, if the breeder is otherwise responsible. I think the "only buy from a show/working line" thing might have more to do with knowing lineages and therefore less likely to have inbreeding and therefore better genetic diversity and health (since the V gene pool isn't super diverse after passing through a bottleneck when Vs almost went extinct).

I just got a Vizsla puppy last month. I'd looked around for breeders for several months, first going through the local metro area Vizsla club for breeders. But those had 1- to 2-year waiting lists and had really long questionnaires. I was more than happy to fill out questionnaires, but then it turned out they wanted non-refundable deposits for a pup that might not be available for two years. Finally, I found a breeder an hour away. He doesn't show or work his dogs, as far as I know, and he produces quite a lot of puppies (GSPs, Vs, and hounds), so maybe some people would frown upon it, but he seems to be managing it pretty well and producing healthy dogs. He also definitely profits from it. Bc demand for Vs is through the roof, he was able to charge a lot more than he had been charging in the past. I was willing to pay it.
Great to hear you were able to get a puppy you were happy with! Yes prices really have gone crazy which adds another hurdle when trying to find the right puppy to bring home
 

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@rsarvis
There is a big difference in someone that’s just breeding two registered dogs, than some one that is always working towards improving the breed. Does tons of research to match dogs correctly. Only breed titled dogs with good temperament, and health clearances. It’s those reasons that make the breeders have a long wait list.
The just breeding to breed people always have puppies, and a lot of us long time Vizslas owners do not buy from them.
Yea, sure, but you're kind of assuming your conclusion by offering up the best and worst of breeders for comparison. Sure there's a huge gap between the best and worst, but there's a much narrower gap (well, not a gap even, but rather overlap) between responsible breeders who do and don't show/work their dogs. There's a lot of self-serving assumptions made by the fancy breeders about how superior they are that I'm pretty sure aren't justified. One of the fancy show-dog breeders with a waiting list that I was recommended has a website listing some lineages of their dogs and it seemed pretty clear after looking at it for a while that there was some inbreeding that had happened in the past. Just as you can't assume a non-showing/-working breeder is bad, you can't assume the showing/working breeders are particularly good. But EVEN IF all breeders were well-intentioned and responsible, if they are too homogeneous in what they consider "improving the breed" and too restrictive in who should be allowed to breed, they could unintentionally reduce genetic diversity of the breed in unintentionally deleterious ways. There are breeds this has happened to.

I'm not defending any particular breeder nor questioning any particular breeder. And certainly I'm against unscrupulous or irresponsible breeding as much as the next person. I'm just questioning the gatekeeping rationales that don't sound very convincing...
 

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Not sure if you are considering linebreeding, and inbreeding the same. Or if you have found a accidental breeding in a bloodline. It can and does happen. Not often, but I’ve seen a breeder have a accidental litter after 20 years of never having one.
As far a bloodlines, I always want to know more than what can be found on paper, or the internet.
I have grandkids, and foster dogs in and out of my house. My dogs are around a lot of other people, and dogs in the field. They travel with me, and stay in hotels. I do not want a nasty temperament from generations back, to show up in one of my dogs. The more I’m around the breed, the pickier I get on who I would buy a pup from. My preference is big running, high prey drive dogs with tons of style on point. That also narrows down breeders even farther.

So while I’ll agree, the right breeder for me, may not be the correct one for you. I will never agree, that breeders that do not put their dogs in a lot of different situations, know how their breeding stock would handle it. Nor do some of them know the dogs bloodlines, other than what can be found on the internet.
 
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Two things caught my attention. This breeder has been breeding for 5 years and the older bitch has been bred 4 times. That is a lot of litters out of one bitch. How old was she each time she was bred? Is she getting much of a break between litters? How old is the younger bitch who is going to be bred? I would definitely want a better health guarantee and it sounds like she probably wouldn't take the dog back if for any reason you ever had to give it up. Health issues in all breeds is a concern and they seem to be increasing, some in part, I think, due to environmental issues and breeders who breed dogs/bitches with health issues. As for the two bitches both trying to be the alpha bitch, I have the same issue with one of my Vizsla's and my 5 lb. Russian Toy. They are together in the house, but I do have to keep an eye on them and the Russian Toy who will literally grab any of my Vizslas or Wirehaired Vizslas and hang from their shoulders where she has latched on. The Russian Toy wants to be alpha and is dog aggressive. My dogs all have to live together. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Two things caught my attention. This breeder has been breeding for 5 years and the older bitch has been bred 4 times. That is a lot of litters out of one bitch. How old was she each time she was bred? Is she getting much of a break between litters? How old is the younger bitch who is going to be bred? I would definitely want a better health guarantee and it sounds like she probably wouldn't take the dog back if for any reason you ever had to give it up. Health issues in all breeds is a concern and they seem to be increasing, some in part, I think, due to environmental issues and breeders who breed dogs/bitches with health issues. As for the two bitches both trying to be the alpha bitch, I have the same issue with one of my Vizsla's and my 5 lb. Russian Toy. They are together in the house, but I do have to keep an eye on them and the Russian Toy who will literally grab any of my Vizslas or Wirehaired Vizslas and hang from their shoulders where she has latched on. The Russian Toy wants to be alpha and is dog aggressive. My dogs all have to live together. Good luck!
Apologies as I didn't see your reply before, but yes, I decided it wasn't a situation I was comfortable with, so I've walked away from the breeder and will continue my search for the right breeder with the right dogs at the right time - the stars have to align eventually!
 
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