Questions To Ask Breeders

One of our goals is to increase awareness, communication and transparency for people who are thinking about buying a puppy.  We know you have many breeders to consider and we'd like to earn your trust and confidence in our ability to provide a wonderful Vizsla.

We hope you do your homework and are delighted with whatever Vizsla you decide is right for you.  When considering various breeders, may we suggest asking a few questions to each one so you can make an educated choice.

Questions to ask any breeder.  
You can cut and paste this section below and email these to any breeders you are considering.  
We've provided our answers below this section and some info to consider as you get answers from any breeder.

What do you like about the sire/dam? Have they been bred before?
How old is the sire/dam?  Can you show a pedigree for each?
Have they had their hips checked through OFA?
How many times has this dam been bred?
How many puppies were born and how many died, either at birth or after and how did they die?
Does a vet check the puppies and when?
Did a vet dock the tails and dew claws?  If not, who?
What do you feed the puppies? What should we feed an adult Vizsla?
Will you send photos or a video of where the puppies are raised?
Who has access to the puppies while they are being raised?
Does a vet provide the vaccinations?
What do you use for a worming treatment and when is it used?
Do you provide a written health guarantee?
What's needed for us to be prepared to bring this puppy home?
What should I know about training this puppy?
Should we spay/neuter our Vizsla?  


Our answers and information regarding why we do what we do.

What do you like about the sire/dam? Have they been bred before?
 - Reason:  It's important to find complimentary breeding pairs.  The Vizsla is a wonderful breed and improving the breed should be a priority in pairing any male/female.  If they have been bred before, you can ask if the puppies have had any health problems later in life.
- Our Answer:  We love Daisy's Conformation to breed standard.  She has a beautiful head, deep rust color, strong frame, and a muscular build.  She displays a great temperament and personality.  We were excited to find Gus and his owner.  He also has a great build and is such an attractive male.  He is successful in the hunting field, but his owner reports he also is able to calm down and be a good family dog.  He has a great temperament.  This is Daisy's second litter, and the first time Gus has been bred.  One of Daisy's previous puppies seems to have a sensitivity to grains, otherwise they are reported to be healthy, happy, and well.

How old is the sire/dam?  
 - Reason:  Dams shouldn't be bred before 2 years of age and after 6 to 7 years of age.  Males are about the same, but can breed a little sooner and a little older in some cases.
- Our Answer: Daisy will be four years old this October.  Gus is two years old.

Can you show a pedigree for each?  Asking for a pedigree will allow you to verify a diverse genetic background and if some health tests were performed on predecessors.
- Our answer:  Yes, both dog's pedigrees can be seen on the "Meet the Crew" page.

Have they had their hips checked through OFA?
 - Reason:  In general, the Vizsla is a very healthy breed.  Having their hips checked after they are 2 years of age, and before they've been bred, will let you know if the breeder has a goal of improving the breed.  The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals reviews x-rays that have been performed by Vets.  They then give an evaluation of their findings from those x-rays.  This is important to be able to keep degenerative diseases to a minimum in Vizsla lines and to be able to avoid breeding poor genetic lines.
-Our Answer:  Yes, both Sire/Dam have passed their OFA scan on hips.

How many times has this dam been bred?
 - Reason:  Sadly, this is one of the reasons we are posting these questions.  We are aware of too many females being bred too many times per year.  A female shouldn't be bred until she is 2 years or older and only after she has been OFA certified.  Females have 2 cycles per year and are "capable" of having 2 litters per year, but this is very hard on her.  1 litter per year is much safer for the female.  The health of the female should determine the total number of litters she has.
-Our Answer:  We never breed a female more than 1 litter per year.  

How many puppies were born and how many died, either at birth or after and how did they die?
 - Reason:  This will give you an idea of how involved the breeder is with each litter.  While in some cases there is not much that can be done, and puppies do die...far too many puppies die from inadequate supervision during the whelping (birth) process.  Puppies also need to be watched over very carefully during their first few weeks. Far too many puppies die from inadequate facilities and lack of care during those first weeks
-Our Answer:  We always attend the whelping of our puppies, and are very involved in their growth and development.  They are kept at proper temperatures in sanitary circumstances.  They receive lots of love and care.  We see to it that they get early neurological stimulation, and are exposed to many new experiences to help with socialization.  

Does a vet check the puppies and when?
 - Reason:  Some breeders do everything themselves to save a few dollars.  It's important to have trained professionals involved from the very beginning to ensure the pups are handled properly and early intervention can begin if necessary
-Our Answer:  Our pups are taken to the vet at three or four days old for their tails and dewclaws to be done.  They are given a general checkup at this time.  They also go at six weeks to be vaccinated and examined.  Then again before going home.  At this point they are micro chipped and given a health certification examination.

Did a vet dock the tails and dew claws?  If not, who?
 - Reason:  Some breeders handle this themselves.  Clipping the dew claws and tails are normal and customary, but it is also uncomfortable for the puppy and having an experienced hand can really decrease potential painful complications with these procedures.  
- Our Answer:  Our puppies are taken to our vet to have these procedures professionally done. This also ensures a desirable appearance.

What do you feed the puppies? What should we feed an adult Vizsla?
 - Reason:  Good puppy food is a huge factor in the development of your dog for years to come.  This is an area we are constantly learning about.  There's so much information and it's hard to wade through what's legitimate.  We've found a lot of helpful details and have posted it on our Recommended Foods Page.
- Our Answer:  Our puppies are fed a mix of several high quality "puppy" or "all stages" dry kibbles.  We avoid feeding grains, as dogs really don't digest them well.  We also feed our puppies a raw meal.  We alternate this with the kibble, and they definitely prefer it over the kibble.  This consists of ground raw meat and bone, as well as organ meat and raw egg.  This is all mixed together into a delicious and nutritious meal for the puppies.  When your dog is grown, we highly encourage that at a minimum you avoid feeding grains, and select a kibble from our list of better foods.  If you so choose raw feeding can be an excellent option, IF done CORRECTLY.  Let us know if you would like more info on that.  For dogs fed a food from our list, we offer a three year health guarantee.  However, you are welcome to make your own selection and a one year guarantee is available for every puppy we sell.

Will you send photos or a video of where the puppies are raised?
 - Reason:  Seeing where and how your puppy is raised will tell you so much about a breeder and their interest in caring for your puppy.
- Our Answer:  Absolutely!  We feel it is very important to be open and honest with our buyers.  On this site you can see pictures and video of where your puppy lives, and how they are treated.  We also welcome visitors to come and see in person.  However, to limit the exposure to illnesses, this is only for serious buyers who have had an application approved.  

Who has access to the puppies while they are being raised?
 - Reason:  Puppies don't have strong immune systems.  Being handled by too many people can sometimes infect an otherwise healthy litter.
-Our Answer:  We do make efforts to protect our puppies, however they still get the benefit of socialization.  We have six children who love to spend time with the puppies, in addition to ourselves.  Serious buyers are also welcome to visit.  However, we make efforts to not just become an entertainment to anyone who thinks a puppy is "so cute".  They ARE "so cute", but they are also vulnerable.  By limiting their exposure to "outside" people, we help to protect the health of the litter.

Does a vet provide the vaccinations?
 - Reason:  This is possible for many breeders to do themselves, without a terrible amount of risk.  However, it's nice to have the Vet interact with the puppies again and give them another check up.
- Our Answer:  Yes, our puppies are vaccinated by our professional veterinarian.

What do you use for a worming treatment and when is it used?
 - Reason:  Worms can infect many puppies/adult dogs at different stages.  This can be especially bad for the puppies and a good worming treatment should be a priority.
- Our Answer:  There are 2 styles of worming treatments.  One style is a Chemical based medicine and the other style is more of a natural style.  There is new controversy surrounding the long term effects of chemical treatments and we have chosen to offer the more natural method of deworming that has proven results without the negative side effects.  New puppy families can choose whatever style they prefer once they receive the puppy.

Do you provide a written health guarantee?
 - Reason:  This is a protection for both the puppy owner and the breeder.  It helps to educate buyers and also to keep breeders honest in their business.
-Our Answer:  Yes, we do.  We have either a one or three year guarantee, based on your personal preferences in the raising of your puppy.  More details on that can be found here on the website.

What's needed for us to be prepared to bring this puppy home?
 - Reason:  Any breeder should become a resource for a new puppy's owners.  The breeder has the experience that a new owner may need in addressing issues, should they arise.
- Our Answer:  We feel it is very important to support our puppy buyers on their adventure.  Browse the site to find lots of info on being ready for your puppy.  We also are happy to answer questions both before and after your puppy goes home.  In addition we offer a training program.

What should I know about training this puppy?
 - Reason:  Many well bred puppies don't live up to their potential with out the proper training techniques that are specific to each breed.
-Our Answer:  Training is critical!  Even the best bred dog needs to be trained, both dog and owner will be so much happier if they are.  We are happy to offer an included training program with our puppies..

Should we spay/neuter our Vizsla?
 - Reason:  There is strong scientific evidence suggesting altering your puppy too soon may increase their risk for some health conditions later in life.  We suggest waiting to alter your dog until 3 years of age if you plan to alter.  You can alter your dog sooner, but do your research so you know what to look out for.
- Our Answer:  While the typical procedure is to alter at six months, we personally don't feel this is the best option.  Altering at such a young age impacts hormone levels, that then impacts growth and development.  Early altering can actually lead to a host of degenerative diseases and hip dysplasia.  While we allow buyers to make this choice for themselves, the three year health guarantee is available only for dogs left intact for the three years.  We are still happy to offer a one year guarantee should you decide to alter your puppy prior to this timeframe..