There are good breeders and there are poor breeders. So how do you find a
quality breeder and how do you know when you've found one?
Firstly, we strongly recommend that you choose a breeder who is a member
of both the
Victorian Canine Association Inc. (VCA) and the Siberian Husky Club of Victoria Inc.,
which is the official affiliated breed club to the VCA.
You can find out if a breeder is a member of the VCA by contacting their office on
(03) 9788 2500. The Siberian Husky Club of Victoria Inc. maintains a
public listing of breeders who are financial with
that Club and have held continuous membership for 12+ months.
You can meet several breeders at the one time by attending dog shows
or other events conducted by the Siberian Husky Club of Victoria Inc. and a wide variety of
other canine clubs.
When seeking a new puppy, be vigilant when speaking to breeders. You will have to make
a decision as to whether any particular breeder is a suitable choice to make a purchase
from - this isn't necessarily an easy decision so we've armed you with a set of questions
& tips that you may want to use as a starting point.
Experience with the breed
- How long has the breeder been involved in this breed?
- What do they do with their dogs, ie show, race, obedience, agility, endurance
- If relatively new, where did their original dogs come from? Contact these
breeders for references.
- Does the breeder have a good relationship with the dogs he/she owns
Motivation and purpose for breeding
- Why are these people breeding?
- How many litters does the breeder have per year?
- Did they have a specific purpose in mind when breeding for a particular
litter? (other than just having the puppies for sale)
- Why did they choose this particular dog and bitch to breed from?
- How old are the sire and the dam?
- Does the breeder own the sire or did they use an outside stud dog? Why?
- Is there any genetic history of eye, hip, knee or other health problems?
Socialisation and temperament
- Does the breeder encourage prospective puppy buyers to visit and see their stock?
- Can you see the breeder's dogs socialize together?
- What does the breeder know about the temperaments of their lines?
- Can you meet the parents, other close relatives, previous offspring etc?
- Will the breeder provide references from other (previous) puppy buyers?
- Is the breeder away from the pups all day working?
- Have the pups been given the opportunity of a wide range of experiences
& socialisation during their time being raised by the breeder?
- Has there been ongoing opportunity for interaction between the pups and
the dam and other mature dogs owned by the breeder, plus with people of all
ages including children, and a wide variety of situations and stimuli?
- Impressions made on young pups count for life - if left in a yard and mostly
ignored when very young then the pups have missed a vital opportunity for
healthy early development.
The Rule of Sevens
By the time a puppy is seven weeks old, it should have:
- Been on 7 different surfaces: Carpet, Concrete, Wood, Vinyl, Grass,
Dirt, Gravel, Wood Chips, Newspaper, etc.
- Played with 7 different types of objects: Big Balls, Small Balls,
Soft Fabric Toys, Fuzzy Balls, Squeaky Toys Metal Items, Wooden Items,
Paper/Cardboard Items, Milk/Soft drink Bottles, etc.
- Been in 7 different locations: Front Yard, Back Yard, Basement, Kitchen,
Car, Garage, Laundry Room, Bathroom, Crate, Kennel, etc.
- Been exposed to 7 challenges: Climbed a box, Climbed off a box, Go
through a tunnel, Climbed up steps, Climbed down steps, Climbed over
obstacles, Played hide & seek, Go in & out of doorways with steps, etc.
- Eaten from 7 different containers: Metal, Plastic, Cardboard, Paper,
China, Pie Plate, Frying pan, etc.
- Eaten in 7 different locations: Dog crate, Yard, Kitchen, Basement,
Laundry room, Bathroom, Puppy pen, etc.
- Met and Played with 7 new people: including children & the elderly
Registration (pedigree) papers
- Is the breeder providing you with registration (ie. pedigree) papers?
- In Victoria there are two sorts - blue (main register) and orange (limited
register). The difference is that the orange papers deny ongoing breeding
rights, and they can be transferred to a non-member of the Victorian Canine
Association (VCA). More information here.
- f the breeder won't supply either of these papers then then they probably
haven't registered the pups which may mean that the sire or dam isn't registered
either. You can contact the VCA office at (03) 9788 2500 to find out if the
breeder is a member or not.
- VCA members are required, as a condition of membership, to provide a
signed registration certificate to the purchaser within 14 days of the sale
of a dog.
- What sort of after-sales support will the breeder provide you?
- Does the puppy come with information on worming, feeding and required
- Will the breeder be available to help you as the puppy grows?
- Are you or they bound to any terms by a legal contract of sale?
- Does the breeder offer a guarantee? If so, can you read it before buying
the pup? What does the guarantee cover?
- If for some unforsesable reason you aren't able to keep the dog in future,
will the breeder help you to find another home?
- Does the breeder have some hold on the puppy after you buy it? Agreements
on breeding and stud arrangements should be discussed and understood by both
- Watch out for any undue sales pressure from the breeder.
- A good breeder will put their dogs first and will take time to find them
the right home rather than the first dubious one which comes along. For this
reason you can expect a good breeder to ask you a lot of questions to ensure
that you are sufficiently prepared and able to look after the dog and that
you are 'going in with your eyes wide open.'
- Be very cautious if you are offered to take a dog home on the spot - good
breeders want you to make a considered decision to buy their pups, not a rushed
one you may come to regret later.
Age of the puppies
- Pups must be at least eight weeks old when sold - this is both a requirement
of the Victorian Canine Association and of State legislation.
Beware of price comparisons
- Cut-price rates probably mean a lower quality dog or poor ongoing support.
Consider the up-front purchase price is a very small part of the overall cost
of your pup over its life time. Food, housing, vet costs, and home renovations
(that is, ensuring your fences are adequate; repairing the damage when they
chew things up or dig your garden into a moonscape) will pay for the dog many
times over in a 12-14 year life span. So don't skimp on the up-front cost
and regret it for the rest of its life.
- Incidentally as of 2005, a typical pet quality Siberian Husky will cost
you approx $500-$800 (while for a quality show/breeding dog you can expect
to pay $1000+ and the sky is the limit when it comes to imported and/or proven
show winning lines.)
- The total cost of ownership of your Siberian Husky over its lifetime will
easily exceed $10,000, so at the end of the day, the up-front purchase price
really shouldn't be all that large a consideration.