What to look for in selecting a breeder:

Buy from a responsible and well respected breeder.  Responsible breeders are concerned with the betterment of the breed and the health and welfare of the puppies.   They work on breeding out hereditary diseases that might affect their breed.   Screen the breeder by asking to see at least one parent of the puppy.  See how the dogs in the breeder's home interact with your breeder.  Are they friendly and outgoing or do they shy away?  Do the puppies appear healthy and friendly? Are the premises clean?  Does the breeder willingly share information and ideas about the care and training?  Will the breeder give you names of other puppy buyers as references?

Before you buy, make sure the breeder gives you a written sales agreement to be signed by both buyer and seller. Review the sales agreement before you sign it. The sales agreement should include the names of the sire and dam and their AKC registration numbers, and a brief description of the puppy (sex, color, pet or show quality puppy). It should also contain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the buyer and seller as well as some sort of guarantee regarding the puppy's health. The health guarantee should allow you to have the puppy checked by a veterinarian of your choice and should set forth terms and a reasonable time period for returning the puppy should there be a health problem. If there is a problem, notify the breeder immediately and follow it up in writing.

When an advance deposit is required by the breeder, be sure you understand the terms, including any refund policy or conditions. The deposit may be handled as a separate written agreement.

If you are buying a pet quality puppy, do understand a breeder's concern about requiring spaying and neutering of the puppy and cooperate accordingly. Ask the breeder about AKC's limited registration option which allows the breeder to reverse show or breeding restrictions if at a later date the puppy shows unusual promise. The responsible breeder will also be screening you, looking for the best home for each puppy.

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, a breeder should furnish you with an AKC litter paper for a puppy or an individual AKC registration paper for an older dog. You should receive at least a three-generation pedigree and a record of innoculations and wormings the animal has received. If you state to the breeder that you are interested in pet quality, please do not expect, at a later date, that this dog will be a good breeding specimen or show dog. Most breeders price their puppies according to whether they are show prospects or pet quality.

Many breeders of Silky Terriers have waiting lists for future pet buyers. You may find, as you search for your new family pet, that litter after litter is "spoken for". Please do not give up and do consider putting your own name on your chosen breeder's waiting list. It is seldom possible to start your search for a pup in May and take your pup home in June.

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