So you are ready to add a Manchester Terrier to your household...where do you begin? What do you look for when trying to find just the right breeder and puppy? Below are some questions that give you an idea of what you should be asking when trying to locate an ethical and reputable breeder...the main thing? Ask anything you feel the need to. A reputable breeder should be able to be up front with you no matter what you ask. Please, feel free to download and print out the WORD version of these questions so that you might have them at hand when visiting with various breeders.
Remember, a truly reputable and ethical breeder will only have one or possibly two litters a year and should not have multiple stud dogs or brood bitches in residence. An ethical and reputable breeder will not have multiple litters 'on the ground' at one time or several litters due within a short time frame. ALL manchester terriers, whether standard and toy variety, should be vWD (vonWilldebrand's Disease) tested to see if they are clear, carrier or affected (for information pertaining to vWD, click here). Some toy manchester breeders do not test for vWD believing it is not associated with the toy variety, so if you are considering a toy manchester, be sure you ask for official VetGen documentation of vWD testing of your puppy/dog. This information is a must when you neuter or spay your dog or have any surgical procedure done on your Manchester. Their dogs should not spend a majority of their life living in kennel buildings and kennel runs. Photos of a breeder's kennels and dogs, that you may see as your browse the internet, may look wonderful but ask yourself...how can so many dogs receive the love, attention and proper care they need and crave? How can so many dogs be well and properly socialized and have proper temperament? How can all of these dogs adjust to living in a home with adults and children around them? How do all of the dogs receive the 'one on one' attention they crave? Manchesters do not do well when raised in or living in a kennel situation. They are house and family oriented dogs. Manchesters truly are devoted 'people' dogs and they need to be with 'their people' as much as possible. They thrive on the love and attention given them by their family members. After all, isn't that why you are looking for a Manchester to share your life?
1) Do you belong to and are you a member in good standing with the breed's Parent Club? Why or why not?
2) Are you a member in good standing of other breed or dog related clubs? Why or why not?
3) Have you ever resigned from or been denied membership in a Breed Parent Club or other dog related club?
4) How did you become involved with this breed?
5) How many years have you been involved with this breed?
6) Why do you breed?
7) How many years have you been breeding Manchester Terriers?
8) How many litters do you produce or co-produce per year of any breed on your or your co-breeder's premises?
9) How many dogs (adults and puppies) reside with you? How many puppies/litters do you currently have? (VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION!)
10) How many stud dogs/brood bitches do you have on your premises? (VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION)
11) Are all of your dogs (standard or toy variety) vWD tested? (IMPORTANT QUESTION)
12) Do your dogs live in your home with you?
13) Are the puppies raised in your home so they can become accustomed to every day life?
14) Are the puppies raised in your home(s) among family members and/or other pets in your household(s) or in your basement(s) or in a kennel building(s)?
15) Are both parents on site? If not, will you supply photos and contact information for the stud dog owner in case I have questions?
16) Are the sire and dam health tested prior to being bred? If so, what tests are done?
17) Are the puppies socialized with other family members, friends and household pets during the crucial stages of their early life?
18) Are the puppies vet checked and vaccinated at the proper stages of their young life?
19) Is the puppy's health guaranteed? If so, what is your guarantee?
20) Will you take the puppy or matured dog back if it can't remain with its new family whether due to a health problem or any other reason? For a specified time period or during the life of the dog?
21) What are your beliefs regarding this breed and/or breeding your dogs?
22) Do I have to sign a contract in order to acquire one of your puppies/dogs? If so, why?
23) Do you require a co-ownership when I purchase one of your puppies as a show prospect or family companion? If so, why or why not?
24) Will you, the breeder(s) require certain stipulations before you will sign off as a co-owner(s)? Why or why not?
25) Is a deposit required to hold my puppy? If I change my mind is my deposit refunded? Why or why not?
26) Do I receive the AKC registration papers when I pick up the puppy or do you require proof of spay/neuter before you provide them?
27) Are most of the puppiess you breed bred to be shown or for companionship (this is a very important question so take note of the breeder's response)?
28) May I visit your home to see the parents, if both reside with you, of the puppies before they're born and then again to see the puppies after they are a few weeks old(another very important question to take note of the response)?
29) What is the most important thing to you where your dogs and puppies are concerned?
30) Is placing one of your puppies in a show home more important than placing them in a pet home as a family companion?
31) Will you provide references of other breeders having personal knowledge of you as a breeder/person?
32) Will the puppy be crate trained (used to being let alone in a proper dog crate with the door closed on the crate) prior to my getting him/her?
33) Will you, as breeder of my puppy/dog, be available for assistance should I have questions or concerns?
These are crucial questions you should ask the breeders you contact when trying to find a good quality Manchester puppy. If they don't have answers that you are comfortable with, look for another breeder and start the questioning all over again...you will be glad you took your time to find just the right breeder and puppy for you.
*IMPORTANT * - if a co-ownership contract is the only way you are able to acquire a puppy from a breeder, whether show prospect or family companion, make sure you are highly familiar with the breeder and their co-ownership practices and demands. Co-ownership can allow the other owner(s) to have rights where your puppy/dog is concerned. Make sure you understand every stipulation stated in your contract and get everything regarding your co-ownership in writing. Verbal co-ownership agreements are unadvisable.
In your quest to locate just the "right" breeder, your best option is to contact those persons that have been involved with a specific dog breed for several years whether they are currently breeding or not. They have the knowledge and expertise to answer any questions you might have and will be upfront with you concerning all aspects of the breed - positive and negative - since not all breeds are suitable for everyone's lifestyle. A reputable breeder will also help put you in touch with other breeders who they feel are devoted to the breed, if they have nothing available for you. Another option would be to contact the breed's Parent Club where you will be referred to club members that might have puppies/dogs available in your area.
* Remember, there are many "breeder websites" on the internet with hopes of swaying you into contacting them when you are ready to find and purchase a purebred dog. It can be quite difficult to distinguish whether or not they are reputable/ethical breeders. Although everyone has the right to make their own choice when contacting breeders, don't be overly influenced by websites professing to be a "top kennel" only producing champions (it can't be done); or by those containing malicious misinformation regarding other highly reputable Manchester Terrier breeders. These things do NOT portray a positive image of anyone professing true devotion, knowledge of or dedication to a breed, whether it be the Manchester Terrier or any other purebred dog.
If you come across breeder websites listing the name or names of specific breeders to stay away from, my advice to you is to contact those particular individuals being targeted in order to ensure you are given 'correct' and 'truthful' information. I'm sure the individual(s) would gladly provide you with references of others that have been or are involved with them to ensure you are given accurate information. Yes, there are those out there you do need to be made aware of as these are generally puppy mills - but by asking appropriate questions, contacting more than one breeder, or better yet, the Breed Parent Club, you should be able to distinguish between those that are not reputable and ethical vs. those that are. Indeed, buyer beware..beware of those professing absolute perfection regarding their breeding programs or anything else...there is no such thing.
Remember, do your research. Contact the Parent Club for breeder referrals and breed information. They will be able to put you in contact with reputable breeders and most of all...ASK QUESTIONS.