Your breeder is a very important relationship in your life.
It is essential that you find a good "fit" for you. Like your doctor, you must feel comfortable with your breeder as a person. This is a relationship you will have for years to come. You must know and appreciate their values, their knowledge, their integrity.
LCA Breeders adhere to strict breeding standards and ethical code. They are supported by the network of other LCA breeders, some with years and years of experience with Leonbergers.
Even with experience, breeding dogs is as much art as science. There are no "perfect" leonbergers (or people, or dogs, or horses, or...). Doing your research and working with a reputable breeder is your best chance for getting a healthy, sound leonberger with great temperament.
A good breeder will have several questions for you as well, to ensure their precious puppies will be going to excellent homes. Many will send you a questionnaire to fill out telling them more about yourself.
Some Questions to Ask A Breeder:
- Have both parents passed OFA hip and elbow xrays?
- Have both parents passed a CERF eye exam?
- Have both parents had thyroid and von Willebrand testing done?
- What is the age of the female and how many litters has she had?
- What are the temperaments of both parents like?
- Where are the puppies whelped and raised?
- What kind of socialization experiences are the puppies provided during the first eight weeks of their lives?
- What kind of health guarantee does the breeder provide?
- Does the breeder keep in touch with previous puppy buyers?
- Is he/she available for help to you throughout the puppy's lifetime?
- What is the breeder specifically hoping to achieve from this particular mating/breeding?
- What can the breeder tell you about the health, longevity, temperament, and structure of the parents, grandparents, and littermates of each parent?
- What food does the breeder feed the puppies?
- Was there any irregularities with the pregnancy or the whelping?