How the World Has Changed
Not long ago, it was easy to purchase a puppy. Before the public know about Puppy Mills, people would take a drive to their local pet store, choose a puppy and that was that!
Now, the majority of the public is very much aware that pet stores are supplied by Puppy Mills. And that Puppy Mills are factories which produce dogs in a very cold and ugly way.
Again, a lot has changed. Not long ago, spamming only involved silly emails that we just blocked with a quick click. Now, there are people who spend an enormous amount of effort to scam people out of money...and they have moved into the breeding world.
In many directories found online, anyone call themselves a Yorkie breeder. The sites have disclaimers stating that they are not responsible for who is listed. Therefor, they can say anything, make any claims, put up any photos..and they can do so even if the wording is misleading and even if the photos are not their own.
For thisreason, some unscrupulous people will:
- Steal photos from breeder's website and post them as "Puppies for Sale". They collect deposits on the puppies, based off of the cute photos and then the person (who did not ever truly have a puppy for sale) disappears with the money and the potential owner does not receive the expected puppy.
- Some will take this so far as to forge airplane tickets to "prove" that the puppy is scheduled to be shipped to the new owner. We know of professional breeders who have been scammed this way!
Aside from those who list themselves as Yorkie breeders with dogs who do not exist, there are other problems when trying to locate a great breeder. In the mix of the breeders you will see will be:
How to Find a Wonderful Yorkie Breeder
- Unethical breeders, more akin to puppy mills. You can not tell from a listing if a breeder has 5 dogs inside their home or 100 dogs in wire cages, in a kennel far out in the back yard.
- People who accidentally find themselves with a pregnant dog, many are unsure if the father is a purebred. The puppies will usually look like purebreds...and only 1 year later, as the dog matures with the new owners discover that their purebred is looking more like a Yorkiepoo !
- Those who decided to "become" breeders and have zero or close to zero experience.
First Things First
Take a look at the breeder's website. Remember that most breeders are not webmasters. Many may have very colorful websites with glitter and animated .gifs. However, you will be looking for:
- Does the website promote Teacup, TIny and Miniature Yorkies? Discussed in our Teacup Yorkie section, there is no such official breed. While there will be dogs who are smaller than average and it is acceptable for a breeder to refer to these smaller dogs as a Teacup Yorkie, you should steer away from those who market only for Teacups
- Is the breeder focused on this breed? Or do they have 10 different types of dog breeds. It is acceptable if a breeder focuses on perhaps 2 different breeds. Many who love a toy such as the Yorkie, will also love the Pom or the Chihuahua. However, steer clear of those who offer more than a few different types of dogs.
- If their contact information clear and complete? Look for a name, phone number and email address
The Initial Contact
- Read over the contract. This should be posted. If not, this is a red flag. The contract should contain a health guarantee against genetic defects. You will be asked to take the puppy to your own vet to confirm that the puppy is healthy. A nice touch is that the breeder asks that if for any reason you can no longer care for your Yorkie, they ask that the dog be returned to them. This shows that they put the love of the dog first.
Begin with a phone call. If you write an email, you will not have the benefit of knowing the personality of the breeder. If you must leave a message, do not leave a detailed message. Simple say "I was looking for "Susan", I am calling regarding your puppies" and leave your phone number. If you do not receive a phone call back within 48 hours, scratch that person off of your list.
Questions to ask on the phone and Answer that You Want to Hear
An ethical, loving breeder will be very open to speaking with you. If they seem rude, answer with very short sentences or if you get a bad vibe, thank them for their time and hang up. You will have a lot of questions, however be sure to ask these:
- When you contact the
breeder, do they answer in very short sentences, or do they take the
time to learn about you, ask you many questions and find out about what
type of puppy would best fit into your life?
Question: What made you get involved with this breed?
Good Answer: An answer from the heart. Many wonderful breeders grew up with Yorkshire Terriers or had a Yorkie that they purchased from an unethical breeder, saw the problems it created and decided to breed them so that loving people would have happy, healthy puppies.
Question: What is the youngest age that I can have a puppy?
Good Answer: 8 week. 12 weeks is even better. In just about every state in the US, it is illegal to sell a puppy under 8 weeks old and for good reason. You will have a puppy who is not properly weaned from the mama and can have a host of medical issues.
Question: Can you send me a photo of a puppy next to a _______. Fill in the blank with any object that the person could easily find around the home, but would not already have a photo of. This will prove that that Yorkie breeder truly does have puppies! You can ask for a photo of the puppy next to a coffee container, tall glass, DVD movie or just about anything.
Good Answer: Within 24 hours, you have an email of the photo that you requested.
Before You Buy
There is a bit more research to do ! Once you feel comfortable with someone and have proof that they are a true Yorkie breeder, you will want to:
- Ask for references and actually call them. A breeder who is proud of their puppies will supply you with their vet's phone number and telephone numbers of past buyers
- Visit the breeder with the intention of not buying a puppy that day. This visit will be for you to make sure that:
- The premises are very clean
- The dogs and puppies live inside the home and are not in any cages
- The dogs appear clean, groomed, sociable and happy
- Look at the puppies. For puppies over 4 weeks old, are their eyes clear and bright with no discharge? Is their breathing clear without being labored and with no rasping noises? Are the puppies alert? Do they come over to you to socialize and say hello?
For much more detailed information regarding exactly how to buy a Yorkie puppy, click here.
If You Are Planning on Having a Yorkie OR Have One Now, You Will Need This: