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What Makes a Great Breeder & How to Find One

There’s no question about it: purebred dogs are a way to guarantee a healthy and loving companion for life, which means that it’s essential to have access to a good breeder.

Whether you’re looking for a twhite lab — or any other kind of dog — a breeder is the best way to find puppies with a strong bloodline that are from a specific pedigree.

If you’re on the search for a purebred, that’s great — because you are in for a lifetime of fun and companionship!

The problem is that you might not know where to start when searching for a good breeder — but the good news is that there are plenty of ways to tell if you’ve found one.

What Makes A Good Breeder?

Simply put, a good breeder should not be breeding just for the profit.

The goal should be to produce healthy, sound, stable dogs for a specific breed that they are passionate about. This way, they can produce dogs that serve as excellent examples and representatives of the breed.

In a way, a good breeder is trying to preserve the traits that come with a specific breed by continuing the bloodline.

Since you won’t always know what a breeder’s intention is, there are a few ways you can gauge whether the person you’re considering is a good breeder. Here are eight things to look for when looking for a good breeder:

They Should Register Dogs With The American Kennel Club

The American Kennel Club keeps a registry that tracks the pedigrees of purebred dogs. They work alongside responsible breeders with goals to improve the breed they work with.

So one of the most essential things a serious breeder will do is to register each dog with the American Kennel Club.Every single puppy that is born in a breeder’s home should be registered.

When they are, the AKC will have successfully recognized the puppy as the distinct breed, verifying the breeders’ claims and reputation.

They Are Dedicated To Raising Healthy and Happy Dogs

As said before, the first thing that breeders should work towards is ensuring that the health and happiness of all dogs.

This means that each puppy will be dewormed, have its first round of vaccinations, kept on a nutritional diet, and micro-chipped. The puppy’s welfare is always the most important.

Ensuring each dog is healthy and happy also means that the dams and sires are, too. If somebody is over-breeding, then the welfare of the puppies and dams are more not being held as a priority. That means you can’t guarantee health or happiness.

They Are Careful About Breeding

A good breeder will always offer a full-replacement guarantee if there are any genetic defects with your English lab or dog of choice. Breeders are able to do this because they have done extensive genetic testing on their dams and sires.

These tests include OFA hip and elbow certifications, eye certifications, and full genetic panels. Genetic panels cover diseases such as CNM, CY, DM, EIC, HNPK, HUU, PKD, PRA-prcd, and SD2

This type of guarantee shows that the breeders are not only responsible but also confident in their dog’s health and lineage.

young girl playing with two white english lab puppies

They Will Interview Prospective Owners

When a puppy goes home with a new family, you don’t know what their life is going to be like — but by interviewing prospective owners and families, breeders can have a good sense of it.

Good breeders want to make sure their puppies are going to good homes. They should want to interview families to ensure safety and that the family knows what to expect.

Depending on availability, the breeder can also help match a family to a specific puppy — which provides further benefit that subpar breeders don’t always offer.

They Will Allow You To See Puppies and Parents

Potential owners who want to see what the dams and sires look like should be allowed to meet them. This helps them get an idea of what their personalities are and what their puppy may look and act like in the future.

And even if you can’t visit your puppy before adoption, it helps to learn about the dam or sire that parented them through your breeder’s website or digital presence.

If the breeder doesn’t want you to meet the parents, it could mean that they are hiding something, which could be a red flag.

Are they hiding defects? Living and breeding conditions? Are the parents not what they claim? All of these affect your puppy’s health and value, and the last thing you want is to be deceived.

You should not have to ask these kinds of questions when considering a breeder. They should be proud to show their dogs and puppies, because they should work hard to raise healthy animals that anyone can enjoy.

Their Puppies Are Raised In-Home

A good breeder won’t subject their dogs or puppies to live in a caged kennel. The animals should be able to live in a home-like environment with the owners and have access to a lot of space to run and play.

For instance, our White lab and English lab puppies get plenty of exercise by running and playing on 120 acres of property in the Ozark Mountains. The difference is noticeable.

Some breeders will also have other animals — like cats, small pets, or chickens — and children in the facility, which is very beneficial to raising family-friendly dogs.

But if a dog is raised in a crate or a kennel, then they will not know how to adapt to family life, which is very harmful to the dog and the potential owner. Make sure your breeder treats your puppy like family.

They Share Reviews

Breeders should have a review page on their website and a list of contacts that you may call with any questions or inquiries.

Reviews should be positive and happy, reflecting on their experience with the breeders, visiting the home (if possible), and the ease of going through the process. They should also focus on the puppy’s health and wellbeing upon adoption.

If there are any red flags — such as a defect where the breeder refused to take it back — then just remember that this problem could happen with you too.

Those who are just looking to make money will probably not take any puppies back, as they’ve already received payment. This could mean something fishy is going on.

You want to adopt a puppy from a breeder with a stellar reputation that has good intentions and isn’t just there to make a profit. A good breeder will help with any problems you might have, even after adoption.

They Encourage Spay/Neuter and only sell limited registration

English Labrador breeders and any other type of breeder will encourage you to spay or neuter, which puts breeding restrictions on the puppy you’re adopting. They also only sell limited (or pet) registration. The type of registration does not allow any potential puppies that the dog may have to be eligible for registration.

The reason for this is so that the breeder can help prevent irresponsible breeding, overpopulation, or unwanted puppies in the future.

It is part of the breeder’s responsibility to ensure the safety and health of each puppy that they sell, and a spay or neuter contract is an excellent way to guarantee that even after they’ve been adopted.

These contracts are also a way to prevent people from buying a puppy with sole intentions to become their own dog breeder. Becoming a breeder is not something you can just pick up, since it requires education and commitment. Responsible breeders help prevent this by requiring they get spayed or neutered.

How Do I Find A Good Breeder?

Whether there are breeders nearby or a couple of states over, finding where to start can be overwhelming. And when you tack on the list above, it becomes an even taller order.

Because of this, you might want to start with asking your vet — or any vet — for some advice. He or she might work with local breeders and can point you in the right direction. There is also a chance breeders have come to the vet and left cards or information to advertise their puppies.

You can also browse at your leisure by visiting the AKC website since most reputable breeders register there.


Purebred dogs are a way to guarantee the characteristics and personality traits in a given breed, which is great if you are looking for a specific type of dog.

The best way to find that kind of dog is through a breeder. But as stated before, finding a reputable breeder can be tricky. You have to make sure that anybody you’re considering can meet all of the qualifications above.

The good news is that finding a reputable breeder for English lab puppies is a walk in the park. Snowy Pines is one of the best English labrador breeders that comes to people’s minds when searching for white labs.

Contact us today to inquire about who’s available — or even if you’d just like to come down to our home and meet our current litter!

Besides, how could anybody say no to these adorable faces?

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About the Author


Tom Massey

Tom Massey has owned and operated Snowy Pines Labradors for over a decade. They have become the leaders in English Labradors in the US. He and his team serve customers all over the US and Europe. They house their "dog family" in a state of the art facility on a large farm in the Ozark Mountains. With an obsession for genetics and temperament they raise and train dogs known across the globe for health and personality. Tom serves the pet industry in many forms campaigning for ethical breeding, training, and pet ownership.


Calm Tempered, AKC Purebred, and Certified Genetics.