Be sure to become familiar with the Breeder Guidelines (below), and do not be afraid to ask plenty of questions. A good breeder will appreciate this. There will be no such thing as a “stupid’” question. Look for a breeder that seems honest, and interested in the future and well being of the dog. If you have any doubt about the breeder go somewhere else. Do your best to visit the kennel. Is the facility clean? Do the dogs look happy and well cared for? A good breeder will ask the potential buyer some questions. He/she will want to know what you plan to do with the dog. With the WPG this is highly important because this is a breed that must have a job. The WPG must be exercised, and must have interaction with its human partners. Some breeders will not sell a dog to a home that does not hunt or show. The dogs that show and hunt still need off-season activity, as do family dogs. A breeder that is looking for a good home for the dogs will look for buyers that will make that necessary commitment to provide activity necessary to maintain the health and good nature of the WPG.
If a dog is being bred strictly for the show ring, and not for hunting, is too much emphasis put on breed standards without regard for the natural instincts? Good conformation, and adherence to breed standards, is necessary for soundness in the field. The WPG should be bred as a versatile dog that will do well in the show ring as well as in the field. There are other activities the WPG can excel in, such as agility, tracking, obedience/rally, and more.
There are lists on some websites that will show breeders of WPG’s. Check to see what criteria are used for a breeder to be listed. You should also realize that some good breeders do not find it necessary to be on these registries. Be aware that the size of the facility, nor the years of breeding, are not necessarily a measure of best breeder. Try to attend shows, hunt tests, agility trials, and NAVHDA tests. Talk to owners and handlers about their dogs. Griffon owners in general love to talk about their dogs. You will find that except at the NAVHDA tests, the small number of this breed is reflected in the numbers being exhibited.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has a fairly new Breeder of Merit Program. Learn more about this at: http://www.akc.org/breederofmerit/breederofmerit_list.cfm. There is a list of breeders, although not by breed. However, you can check this list when you are doing your research. As noted above, this is not at this time meant to be a list of only the best breeders, but the criteria to get on the list is specific, and rather stringent.
You will find that the WPG is not a common breed, and you may need to travel to find your dog. You also may need to get on a waiting list even before a mating is done.
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