Mustard Seed Meadows
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Choosing a Quality Breeder

How do we know we have found a “Quality Breeder”???

Show Breeders, Backyard Breeders, Hobby Breeders, Pet Shoppes, High Volume Breeders (aka puppy mills)……… Where…Where….Where….Do we find quality puppies? We hope the following information will be helpful to you.

1. Does the breeder breed for the improvement of the breed?

2. Is the breeder knowledgeable about health issues for their breed?

3. Is the breeder providing an easily understood contract/health guarantee and are they honest and ethical?

4. Do you feel comfortable with the breeder?

If you can answer yes to the above questions, you have a much better chance of making the right choice for a breeder. The following information will help you answer these questions.

“Does the breeder breed for improvement of the breed?”

Breeding for improvement of the breed…What does that really mean??   Simply put, the breeder chooses dogs that are the picture of the breed standard for their breeding program. They will not use unhealthy dogs, dogs with physical problems, dogs with poor temperaments or any animal that does not enhance the picture of the breed. The goal of a quality breeder should be to produce puppies that are healthy, sound of body and mind (even tempered) and a joy to add to your family or a positive addition to your breeding program.  

The Mustard Seed Meadows goal is as follows.  We begin with the definition of the breed standard which is used as a judging guideline. Show breeders must breed to the standard.  It is essentially their life blood.  We are not currently showing and have a little more latitude. Our dogs weigh from 3 to 7 pounds and our colors include blue and tan, black and gold and black and tan. The AKC standard for Yorkshire terriers was last revised in 1966. These revisions usually occur with petitions for recognition and in time will again change. We as breeders must continue as the protectors of the breed.

Is the Yorkshire Terrier Breeder Knowledgeable about breed health issues, able to evaluate the quality of the Yorkshire terrier, and are they honest and ethical??

WOW!!!! If every breeder could answer yes to this, buying a dog would be a piece of cake and the dog industry would be a wonderful place!! UNFORTUNATELY, that is not always the case.

Many people rely on the breeder to inform them about the quality of the puppy they are looking at and any potential health issues. Some breeders have a problem with that.  Quality can be described as a degree of excellence. In order to do that you must compare one dog to another. You must find the “Best of your dogs” and compare them to the “Best dogs of other breeders.” You must be willing to accept your best may be of lesser quality than someone else’s best and make appropriate changes in your lines and thus, the continuous improvement of the breed. Constant comparisons are needed to assure quality is produced.

The ethical, honest breeder will be happy to help and educate you. They will show you puppies and adults. They will point out proper conformation, coat quality, proper bites, etc. They will happily answer your questions and proudly tell you about health certifications and achievements. They will ask you many questions, including lifestyle, time commitments and what your plans are for your puppy.  You will know they care where their puppies go and the life their puppies will have. This will show you that for that breeder it is not just about making a quick buck.

Contract and health Guarantee

What should be included?? You and the breeder should each have a signed copy of the document. You should be able to understand everything in the contract. ALL questions and concerns should be addressed and answered prior to any decisions or signatures. In my opinion, the contract should always include the following.

1. If the puppy must be returned due to chronic or congenital health issues, the customer has the right to a refund or a new puppy of equal value.

2. If the customer chooses the refund option, a time specification for return of funds should be given (10 to 30 days is usual and considered timely).


If you can answer yes to the first three questions and DO NOT feel comfortable with the breeder, I strongly suggest you keep looking. If you are comfortable with the breeder and feel the first three are questionable…….Just keep looking. Remember, don’t get in a hurry.  Do your homework and research. Make visits to breeders, attend shows, and ask LOTS of Questions.  Remember also, getting a puppy is a lot of work and is a big commitment.


  Now think about the sex, do I pick a male or a female?