How to Identify a responsible breeder vs a puppy mill/ agent/ backyard breeder

by | Aug 30, 2022


  • A responsible breeder has a rich expertise involving one or two breeds, and has been breeding for over a decade, at least.
  • Ask whether the pups or the parent dogs have been shown In Championship Shows. If yes, what are their winnings?
  • The breeder will show KCI pedigrees for both parents, mentioning the breed and the lineage. You can see the breeder’s name and other relevant details on these documents. If not, then that is not a reputable breeder.
  • The breeder will invite you home or kennel to see the dogs and will want to interact with you and your family to understand if the breed/pup is a perfect match. If not, then that is not a responsible breeder.
  • The breeder will interview and counsel you before selling a pup. If not, then that is not a responsible breeder.
  • A responsible breeder will ask you to stay in touch and state that they will take back their pup if there are any diagnosed genetic health issues. If not, then that is not an ethical breeder.
  • An ethical breeder will not permit more than two litters or fewer in a year. In a rare breed, even one litter per year or less is more common. If not, then that is not an ethical breeder.
  • A responsible breeder will put you on a waiting list for the next litter. This isn’t a mandatory requirement, but it shows that the breeder is permitting mating as per specific demand rather than producing puppies just because they can.

Trust your instinct. If you get a good feeling when you speak with the breeder, then she/ he is most likely a good breeder.


  • Sells puppies on shopping websites at low prices and uses stock images to lure the novice first time owner. Responsible breeders will have detailed info about their dogs on their sites and build connections in-person and through their network.
  • Prices for puppies vary based on cities/ towns/ kennel certification colour/ gender.
  • They mention that they will verify the background and authenticate the breed/ pup. They are no authority that will authenticate.
  • Providing a KCI certificate that mentions ‘unknown’ pedigree for the pup. Beware! You are being cheated into owning a mixed-breed pup.
  • Having the option of doorstep delivery or allowing you to buy a puppy directly from their website. For all you know, you will be charged air shipment for a pup from your own city.
  • Be asked to put in a deposit while they search for a puppy. You may end up with no pup or even lose the deposit.
  • Claim that they sell from reputed breeders, which in most cases are puppy mills. Get a friend or relative to physically go and check the breeder’s premises. If the seller you have contacted is genuine, they will not withhold any location or breeder information.
  • Will hesitate to share names and phone numbers of other buyers if you wish to contact them before you put in a deposit. A reputable breeder stays in touch with each buyer for the dog’s lifetime.


Now that you know the difference between ethical breeding and puppy mills, the real question is – are YOU really going to take the time and trouble to find an ethical, responsible breeder, and be willing to wait months or even a year for a pup? If not, then YOU are a big part of the backyard/ puppy mill breeding problem!

Remember, it takes time, money and effort to raise a high quality Havanese puppy. If you are not that passionate about the breed to study it and to procure good bloodlines, then how does it matter whether your pet is purebred or mixed/random bred? Explore the internet. Take your time. Haste, ignorance and desperation will only fill the pockets of someone not worthy of it and you have just added one more puppy sold from puppy mills.