Signed in as:
- Meet the Team
- Contact Us
- Our Dogs
- Breeding Program
- Training Philosophies
- Owner Trainer Resources
- Picking a Breed
- Puppy Raiser Resources
Signed in as:
You must first determine which breed will best help you with your disability and fit your lifestyle. Make a list of the tasks you need your service dog to perform for you before trying to choose a breed. Consider how your disability impacts your daily life and what tasks a dog can preform to benefit your needs. Always keep in mind “need over breed”. Choose a breed that fits you over what you think might be cuties or cooler.
Once you find a breed you feel is best suitable, begin reaching out to REPUTABLE breeders. This is a huge key in finding the right service dog as genetics can play a big role.
"Reputable breeders have one goal in mind: To produce healthy, physically and behaviorally stable dogs that meet the standard - the written description of the breed. Most would rather gnaw broken glass than purposefully breed for any trait that defies the requirements of the standard. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who is actively marketing puppies that deviate from the breed standard. This includes toy dog breeders who boast about their "teacups": These cleverly marketed runts are susceptible to a variety of health problems - starting with the inability to maintain their blood sugar levels - and are not a recognized size in any breed. Fad colors should also send you streaking for the exit. The only reason to intentionally perpetuate them is to cash in on the naiveté of buyers who are willing to pay top dollar because of their "rarity." -AKC
Purebreds have their own breed standard that has been created purposefully by breed clubs. Standards are the outline of what that breed should look like and act like. If the ultimate goal is to better the breed, which should be every breeder's goal, then the standard needs to be followed.
"There are two kinds of tests for breeding stock: Health screenings, such as hip X-rays and blood tests for thyroid levels, can confirm that a dog is free from disease; while that does not guarantee that the dog won't produce that defect in its offspring, it certainly decreases those chances. DNA or genetic tests can determine if a dog is a carrier for a particular disease or disorder; by knowing the genetic status of their dogs, the breeder can effectively prevent a disease from manifesting. (Paging Gregor Mendel: This doesn't mean breeders must remove carriers from their programs: Instead, in the case of recessive traits, which require "two to tango," breeders can simply breed carriers to non-carriers without any chance of disease manifesting.)
Organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, or OFA, maintain databases of the tests that breeders do on their dogs. Be sure to look not just for your potential puppy's parents, but their encompass many decades.)"- AKC
You want to see evidence of a long-established family of dogs with documented health testing that goes back for many generations. If a breeder does not do health testing on their dogs, we RUN! We also want to point out that a simple clean bill of health from a veterinarian does not mean a dog is health tested. For example, our goldens come from lines where they have their OFA hearts, eyes, hips, and elbows all done. We also want to make sure that both parents are tested. Some "breeders" will have a litter of puppies from two health tested parents and then think they don't need to health test that puppy before breeding them. Just like humans, things can happen with dogs and just because the parents both had good OFA testing, it doesn't automatically mean that the puppy will.
You also want to make sure the breeder has proven dogs. Look at what titles their dogs have or if they have produced successful service dogs in the past.
List of What We Look For In Breeders: