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Step Two: Find A Breeder or Breed Club

Find a Preservation Breeder

Once you have completed your research and determined which breed best fits your lifestyle, it’s time to reach out to preservation breeders.

Preservation breeders produce a limited number of puppies to maintain the breed’s unique traits and features while protecting the health of a breed. They do not sell puppies/dogs to pet shops, puppy mills, or over the internet. Dedicated preservation breeders:

  • They are members of their National Breed Clubs, which have Ethical Breeding Requirements.

  • Often have reached the American Kennel Club’s “Breeder of Merit” status.

  • Pay for specialized, veterinary-conducted health screenings and appropriate DNA testing on their dogs before breeding them.

  • Pay for the entire litter to have proper veterinary care.

  • Properly raise and socialize their puppies before letting them go to their new family’s home.

  • Require that new owners spay /neuter pet dogs.

  • They are responsible for the puppies they bring into the world throughout the dog’s lifetime. If the new owners cannot keep the dog they purchased, the breeder takes it back into their home.

Remember, preservation breeders have a limited number of litters each year and therefore can have waitlists. A dog from a preservation breeder is worth the wait as it will have predictable traits and temperament, come from a healthy lineage, and be of sound mind. All features that make up a suitable family and community member.

Prefer to rescue?

Once you have determined the right breed for your lifestyle, reach out to that breed’s National Breed Club (e.g., Golden Retriever Club of America). Each National Breed Club conducts rescue efforts to help re-home dogs of their breed in need. The AKC Rescue Network is the largest network of dog rescue groups in the country.