Jean Gauchat-Hargis and Joshua Hargis
Sacramento Animal Hospital
5701 H Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-3388


How can I find a good reputable breeder?


We would like to assist you in learning what to ask breeders before you buy a puppy. To that end, we have compiled this list of questions to ask as you make contact with the Keeshond/Collie Breeders.

The more items or “yes” answers you check off, the higher the probability you are working with an ethical, conscientious Keeshond or Collie Breeder.

You also might want to consider adopting a mature dog from a Keeshond or Collie group near you. You can find a list of dogs available at: http://www.keeshondrescue.org/ and http://www.calcollierescue.org/areacoor.htm

Please take time to read and learn about the Keeshond/Collie Breed, so that your puppy purchase is an informed one.


Some questions to get you started-

Before visiting in person, ask the following questions to open a dialogue with the breeder to determine if they are attempting to produce puppies of good quality. Then go and meet them and their Keeshonden or Collies.

- Are the parents of these puppies two years old?
- Do the parents have their final health clearances?
- Can you provide a copy of a 3 generation pedigree?
- Are your puppies sold on written contract?
- What is your policy about refunds and/or replacements if something goes wrong?
- Are you willing to take the puppy back for any reason?
- What would you do if I could no longer care for this dog?

Do you have copies of current health clearances from a board-certified veterinarian for:

- Sire- hips, elbows, eyes, patellas, PHPT (kees), thyroid, heart and epilepsy
- Dam- hips, elbows, eyes, patellas, PHPT (kees), thyroid, heart and epilepsy

Generally, eye clearances should be dated within the past 18 months. Standard practice is to test breeding stock yearly, though this may not be possible when frozen semen from a deceased Keeshond is utilized.

Ask the breeder for full AKC registered names or registration numbers of the sire and dam to verify the clearances yourself or ask to see copies of the reports. Some clearances can be found at www.offa.org.

The depth or multiple generation clearances of sire and dam do not guarantee a Keeshond or Collie will be without health issues, but it may reduce the risk of them.

Do you provide references and telephone numbers to puppy buyers of other owners who have purchased puppies from you?

Do you sell your puppies on AKC limited registrations, if they will not be shown in conformation events? Is this in your written contract?

Note: Dogs with limited registrations are eligible to show in obedience, agility and other performance events.

Why did you choose to breed this particular pair of dogs?

Please describe the health, temperament and longevity of the sire and dam’s pedigree for the three generations.

How much do you charge for your puppies?


Health Issues

Serious, conscientious breeders are aware of the health issues in their lines. They thoroughly research pedigrees, genetic forms of inheritance and the prospective breeding pair in an attempt to create well-structured, healthy animals.

Breeders who answer that there are no health issues in their lines may be new to the breed, unaware of ancestors’ health issues, not have tested their breeding stock , not kept track of their litters health clearances or may not be entirely honest with you. You may want to ask about the following health issues within three generations nothing the severity, number of affected and age at onset.

Do any relatives within three generations have any of the following conditions, and to what degree?

- Cancer, temperament issues, skin disorders, including allergies, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, orthopedic disorders


Co-ownership of your puppy should mutually benefit both parties. It’s prudent to enter this relationship with a contract that details where the dog lives and for how long, who pays veterinary costs and health screening tests, who pays event fees, who makes decisions, who does the whelping and puppy raising and when the co-ownership ends. An arrangement where the buyer pays all the expenses and the co-owner makes all the decisions is an example of a one-sided relationship and is one to avoid.

Bonus Points

- Are you a member of the Keeshond Club of America or Collie Club of America?
- Do you adhere to the KCA or CCA Code of Ethics?
- Are you an active member of your local club? ie; Nor-Cal Keeshond Club or Nor Cal District CCA?
- Do you show your dogs at AKC or other organized competitions? If yes, what areas?

All puppies are cute, but don’t buy a headache!

Turn about is fair play: Expect the breeder to question you.

It is a good sign if you are carefully screened by a breeder regarding how you intend to care for the puppy. A breeder who really care about their puppies will probably question your plans for exercise, housing, a fenced yard, training and how the puppy will be incorporated into your daily life.

A conscientious breeder is committed to placing the puppy he or she brought to life in a permanent home. The breeder will want to ask you many questions to be sure the puppy is a good match for you and your family.

Remember that conscientious breeders will be available to you for questions about your puppy for its entire lifetime.

Do your homework ahead of time so that you and your new puppy will have a lifetime of joy and pleasure. If you would like further information about finding a Keeshond or Collie please contact us via email: jean@summerwindcanines.com