You’ve landed on the Biewer Terrier AKC Parent Club website because you’re considering bringing a Biewer Terrier, the 197th AKC recognized dog breed, into your family as a pet or as a show and breeding prospect. How do you differentiate reliable, ethical Biewer Terrier Breeders from nefarious puppy mills, backyard breeders, or even scams that display Biewer puppies that don’t exist?
Here are some tips to help you find Biewer Terrier breeders and how to weed out the bad apples you should be cautious of.
Finding Exceptional Biewer Terrier Breeders
The Biewer Terrier Club of America (BTCA), the AKC Parent Club, lists their members, many of whom are breeders. Visit the Biewer Terrier Breeder Page to search for breeders by state. BTCA members are held to high standards and vetted by the parent club.
Also, check the AKC website for Breeder of Merit breeders. These breeders meet rigorous requirements to earn this designation.
Visit the Better Business Bureau (BBB), YELP, Facebook, and other social media, and other consumer review sites to determine if there have been complaints against a breeder.
Biewer Breeders to Avoid
Puppy mills, scam artists, and unethical backyard breeders are located throughout the United States and abroad. Although they may have a professional-looking online presence in the form of a Facebook page and/or website, you should identify red flags and listen to your gut. We know the puppies are adorable, but the heartbreak of getting a Biewer Terrier that is either sick or has some types of inferior and genetic defects is something you will live with for the life of your dog.
Exercise Caution Dealing With a USDA Breeder
Be cautious of breeders who claim that the USDA inspects their kennel. The USDA is responsible for enforcing a law referred to as the Animal Welfare Act, which monitors commercial breeding facilities. This law does not require every commercial breeder to obtain a license; moreover, the USDA only requires bare minimum care protocols while upholding this code. USDA licensed breeders must give their dogs food and water, though the quality of food and water isn’t regulated. They must provide shelter but aren’t required to socialize the puppies nor designate open spaces for exercise from confined cages. Numerous USDA breeders operate under horrible circumstances while violating the AWA.
Say No to Teacups
Be wary of any breeder who uses the term “teacup.” The Biewer Terrier standard is 4-8 lbs. While some healthy dogs will fall outside these weight parameters, a responsible breeder should not be trying to breed dogs smaller than 4 lbs.
No Online Shopping Carts or Constant Supply of Puppies
Suppose a breeder claims to have puppies available constantly or allows online purchasing of a puppy without screening the buyer. In that case, this is not an ethical breeder and should be avoided. Breeders who only text are likewise a red flag, as they may turn out to be a scam or a puppy mill. Be patient. Do not expect to meet a breeder and take home a puppy right away. Biewer Terriers typically have small litters, and you may have to wait for a puppy after finding a breeder.
Meeting the Breeder
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. You will have a long-standing relationship with your breeder, and they should be your mentor and source of information throughout your Biewer Terrier’s life.
A breeder should be happy to answer all your questions and open to building a relationship with you. Also remember, they get these questions quite frequently so be patient with them.
The First Question You Ask Should Not Be, “How Much?”
As important as finances are, your priority should be finding an ethical breeder. If the price-point is your most important factor, and you are looking for the cheapest puppy, you are putting yourself in a situation that leads you down the path of puppy mills and backyard breeders only looking for monetary gain. An initial question of “How much?” can lead an excellent breeder to believe your priority isn’t a healthy, excellently bred Biewer.
Take the time to introduce yourself and say hello and let the Biewer breeder know a little bit about yourself and what you’re looking for, and then discuss cost. Breeders are very invested in their puppies and want them to go to the best of homes so they would like to get to know you. The cost of a Biewer Terrier puppy can vary greatly as Biewer puppies are still rare and are typically priced at $2000 and up, depending on qualities, pet or show home, co-ownership, and other factors.
Questions for Breeders
Find out how long they have been breeding and where the puppy’s parents came from. Have the parents been DNA tested to prove that they are purebred Biewer Terriers? Are they AKC registered? Can you see or meet the parents? What is the breeder’s goal for their puppies? How many litters a year do they breed? Are their dogs participating in AKC events like agility or conformation show ring?
What Does Having “Papers” Mean? Why It’s Important.
In the US, purebred dogs’ pedigrees are documented through AKC registration. AKC registration is your proof that your puppy is a purebred Biewer Terrier and not a mixed breed dog. The breeder will transfer the ownership to you after you purchase your puppy. Sometimes the registration is not transferred until the spay/neuter terms of the contract have been met. Be wary of other registries that do not have stringent requirements for documenting pedigrees.
If possible, meet the breeder and visit their home. It is clean? Are the dogs raised inside the house? Are the dogs happy and the puppies friendly to strangers? See the pup’s parents if they are at the breeder’s home. There is no better way to see how your dog will grow up than by looking at his parents! It will give you a sense of your dog’s temperament, size, and appearance.
Ask what the breeder does to socialize the puppy. Do they use a formalized program such as Puppy Culture? Proper early socialization can have a significant influence on a dog’s temperament. Does your breeder keep the puppies with their mother for at least 10-12 weeks?
Visit AKC dog shows. While COVID-19 has made this more difficult, going to an AKC dog show is a great way to meet breeders and to see their dogs in the ring.
Find a Breeder That Health Tests the Parents
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has worked with the Biewer Terrier Club of America to determine the recommended health screening tests for all Biewer Terriers who will be bred. Dogs meeting these basic health screenings are issued a Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) number. For puppy buyers, CHIC certified parents are a good sign that the breeder is making responsible choices in choosing breeding stock. The list of recommended tests is not all-encompassing. There may be other health concerns that cannot be tested for. Ask your breeder to provide the CHIC number and full health history for your puppy.
Some breeders participate in the AKC Bred with HEART Program (Health, Education, Accountability, Responsibility, Tradition). These breeders must comply with health testing of their breeding stock, comply with AKC Care and Conditions Policy, and complete AKC approved continuing education annually. Ask your breeder if they are a Bred with HEART approved breeder.
Pet or Show Dog Contract
Reputable Biewer Terrier breeders will require new dog owners to sign a contract. A contract is a binding, enforceable document, and the terms are part of a legally binding agreement between breeder and purchaser. Contracts will specify information about the dog’s parents and the dog’s AKC registration information. A purchase contract will specify if the dog is offered as a pet or a show prospect. Pet contracts do not allow breeding rights and typically detail the spay/neuter requirements. Show potential contracts may include additional conditions and expectations, including possible co-ownerships.
Heath guarantees should be stated in the contract. Some breeders guarantee against all or some genetic defects up to a certain age. While reputable breeders will do everything they can to breed the healthiest puppies possible, Mother Nature sometimes has a mind of her own, and unexpected things can happen.
Expect to see a “Return to Breeder” clause. Your breeder has most likely spent years developing his or her breeding program, and they care deeply for what happens to their dogs. A Return to Breeder clause keeps dogs from ending up in shelters or inappropriate homes.
A Biewer Terrier puppy’s irresistible charm is difficult to overlook, but the best advice is not to sign any document that you do not fully understand or have no intention of honoring. Not only because you might get sued, but simply because it’s the proper thing to do.
Owning a Biewer Terrier is a huge commitment, one that makes you responsible for a living being for the next sixteen years, so take your search seriously until you find the right Biewer Breeder that works with you.
Keep these things in mind:
- Take your time
- Do your homework
- Talk to different breeders
- Have realistic expectations
- Ask lots of questions
- And enjoy your new furever family member