Huntsville Kennel Club, Inc.
Huntsville Alabama
Licensed by the American Kennel Club
Promoting the Sport of Purebred Dogs
in greater Huntsville since 1969!
Shows Finding The
Right Dog


The Huntsville Kennel Club offers, at no charge to the community a Breeder Referral Service. We encourage you to take advantage of this, and buy your puppy from a reputable breeder. Please call (256) 532-0515 for breeder referral and information. The AKC also offers a national breeder referral service. Call 900-407-PUPS ($1 per minute). The Huntsville Kennel Club wants you to find the right breed AND the right breeder! Before you make a decision to purchase a puppy, we recommend the following:

  1. Choose a Breed
  2. Find a Reputable Breeder
  3. Questions to ask
  4. Things to Avoid
Suggestions on how to choose a breed
  • Visit several dogs shows locally and meet the dogs and their owners. Ask questions! Most people are willing to talk for hours about their precious pooches, after they've finished in the ring. You can find out what's involved in keeping a Bearded Collie in show coat (hours and hours), whether you can keep a Samoyed white in our red mud, or whether a Silky Terrier would be a good dog with toddlers.
  • After deciding on a breed or breeds that you are interested in, visit and talk to as many breeders as you can. Investigate health and temperament problems in the breed of choice. The library will also have information.
  • Consider adopting an older dog through The ARK, Inc. (256) 882-6609 or another rescue program. Almost every AKC recognized breed club sponsors a rescue program. Generally the dogs available through rescue programs are housebroken, neutered or spayed adults, vet and temperament checked. Contacts or individual breed rescue programs are available though HKC Breeder Referral or the American Kennel Club Customer Service (919-233-9767).

Finding the right Breeder

Once you have decided which breed is for you, now comes the hard part--finding the right breeder and the right puppy! Chances are, the Golden Retriever puppies offered in the local newspaper bear no resemblance to the Golden Retriever you fell in love with when watching the Westminster Kennel Club show on television. The Huntsville Kennel Club offers the following advice:

  • Talk to and visit as many breeders as possible.
  • Are the premises clean?
  • Are the puppies clean and well cared for?
  • Ask to see the parents. They should be well groomed, friendly and should resemble the dog you saw on television at Westminster or at the dog show.

Generally, responsible, ethical breeders:

  1. Offer health and temperament guarantees on every puppy they sell.
  2. Carefully plan each litter to improve the breed.
  3. Test and screen all breeding stock for genetic problems.
  4. Require pet quality puppies to be spayed or neutered.
  5. Will be available to answer questions and help with problems throughout the puppy's life.
  6. Will give you the "third degree". A concerned, responsible breeder has put in a lot of time, effort and money to produce good quality dogs and wants to ensure the puppies well being.
  7. Compete with their dogs in conformation and/or performance events.
  8. Are members of their nationally regional breed club.

Questions to ask

Although the list is endless, here are some questions you can ask the breeder:

  • Are you a member of the XYZ Breed Club of America? If not, why not?
  • Why did you breed this litter?
  • Why did you choose to breed this particular sire to this particular dam?
  • Have the sire and dam been tested for all genetic problems in this breed?
  • Can you explain the pedigree to me? What do all these letters mean?
  • What are the terms of your sales contract?
  • What health and temperament guarantees are in your contract?
  • Are you keeping a puppy from this litter? If not, why not?
  • May I have names and numbers of persons who have purchased puppies from you in the past?

Things to Avoid

Indications that the breeder is someone you may NOT want to buy a puppy from:

  • "This breed/line doesn't have any genetic problems."
  • "We bred this litter so the kids could see the miracle of birth."
  • "Showing dogs is too political."
  • "The sire and dam are both very protective and we can't let you visit them."
  • "Those genetic tests are a rip off."'
  • "If you buy a bitch, you could breed her, sell the puppies and recoup your investment."
  • "Only snobs are members of XYZ Breed Club of America."
  • "Sure, you can show him, he doesn't have any disqualifying faults."

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