top of page

Be a Smart Buyer

Dog Portrait

Help eliminate "puppy mills" by purchasing healthy, happy dogs from a reputable breeder.
Mass produced puppies frequently make their way into the marketplace, and as a caution to all potential buyers, The Canadian Kennel Club advises that you never buy on impulse and before purchasing your puppy, visit the breeder's kennel.

​ How to identify puppy mills and for profit rescues.

  • ​Most producers have puppies available right now, regularly and want to bring the puppy to you without seeing where they have been raised and meeting the parents. 

  • No proof of health testing will be provided and claims you don’t need titles because you "only want a pet". 

  • Allows you to choose the puppy without discussing what you hope to achieve with the puppy and insuring a good match between owner and dog.

  • Parents of the puppies usually seem untrained and unkept or you aren’t comfortable with how dogs are kept, trained or raised. 

  • No contract is offered or supplied when purchasing your puppy.

  • The producer will advertise puppies/ dogs without CKC/AKC registration.

  • Once the puppy is purchased and picked up the producer seems to disappear and no help is received going forward especially if there are health issues.

Breeders will…

  • Have health tests done for both parents, as well as health history going back generations.

  • Both parents have titles, conformation, working, and temperament.

  • Have a waiting list /approval process for puppies.

  • Have no issue with you meeting the parent(s) of your perspective puppy.

  • Have no issue with you viewing their home, where the dogs are raised.

  • Speak to you about what you hope to accomplish with your puppy.

  • Evaluate puppies and choose which one matches you and your family.

  • Have parents and puppies registered through a reputable registry.

  • Have a contract, will be involved going forward for the life of the puppy.

When you are purchasing a purebred puppy from a breeder, the breeder should show you copies of the registration certificate of the parents and the health clearances for the parents. When you are purchasing a purebred puppy, you are purchasing a puppy that should grow up to resemble a dog of the same breed 100 years ago. The parents will be registered with the Canadian Kennel Club. Sometimes the father of the puppy is from another country, so he would be registered with the American Kennel Club or another country and kennel club recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club.

Because the puppy is a purebred, the puppy and the puppy's family have a recorded history. The basic recorded history is the pedigree. Other part of their history can be found in health clearances. These clearances say the parents are clear of a possible genetic problem. Remember these conditions can skip generations, and as in life, there are no real guarantees. You have a better chance of avoiding a problem in a puppy, if the parents are clean of the problem.

Breeders issue papers under the auspices of Agriculture/Agrifood Canada. The federal Animal Pedigree Act states that any dog sold as purebred must be registered and papers provided by the seller at no additional cost to the buyer, within 6 months of the date of sale. 

Registration and Health Clearances are the only papers you will receive for a purebred puppy sold in Canada. All purebred puppies should be individually identified (microchip or tattoo) before leaving the breeder's residence.

Happy Puppy

Where can you find a reputable breeder?

The Canadian Kennel Club is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in Canada. Consider attending a few dog shows to meet breeders and learn more about the breed you are interested in.

​What can you see, who ca n you speak to and when?

​The dog show is like a zoo for dogs. You may see all sizes and shapes. A large part of the show is a beauty contest judged by people who have studied dogs for years. The judge is judging how close the dog comes to the Canadian Kennel Club breed standard. There are also obedience trials; a test of a dog's skills and sometimes unofficial events such as scent hurdling or agility.

If you are interested in a breed that you see in the ring ask if the exhibitor has time to speak to you after they have been judged, and always ask before you touch a dog.

​When you purchase a puppy from a CADF breeder, you are purchasing from a dedicated, conscientious breeder whose priority is to produce healthy specimens of their own breed.

All CADF member breeders have agreed to abide by our Code of Ethics. Our breeders screen their breeding stock for known hereditary problems, specific to their particular breed. This allows you to purchase your puppy with confidence, knowing that your breeder has taken all of the necessary steps to provide you with the healthiest puppy possible.

​The quality of animals being sold can vary significantly so "buyer beware". Find a reputable breeder, get a detailed receipt and make sure you understand the guarantee. "Making the Right Choice. Three Steps to Buying a Purebred Puppy" is a comprehensive purchasing guide produced by The Canadian Kennel Club and available on line at

bottom of page