Avoiding Scams and Finding a Good Breeder
  I hear from people so many times about how they or someone they know were scammed or how they are worried about being scammed. Too many times people are cheated out of their hard earned money or disappointed when the puppy they thought they had adopted never arrives or does arrive and is significantly different than what they bought. In order to help people be aware of scams and how to prevent them I came up with this webpage. I'm also including some ideas to help you identify a good ethical breeder and avoid the people who are not.

  The best thing is to visit in person or have someone you trust visit the breeder to make sure they are on the up and up. Sometimes just walking into a person's house gives you a "sixth sense" if you should trust them or not. If you have a bad feeling at any time please listen to yourself. However if you live too far away to visit (like many people do), I have several suggestions, you can do any one of these suggestions or all of them.

  1.  Talk with the breeder on the phone, don't just email them. If you are looking at their website call the phone number posted on the website and any number they give you by email to make sure they are the same person. Sometimes you can do a reverse phone number lookup on the internet to make sure the name matches the phone number. This doesn't work if the person's phone number is unlisted. (for example, my number is unlisted).
  2.  Not all good breeders have a website but most of them do in this day and age. If you are looking at their website look at the counters. Websites with higher counters show they have been breeding long enough that if they were scamming they would have been caught.
  3.  When looking at the website look for a professional looking website. It doesn't have to be fancy but should be clean and well organized. The website shouldn't have lots of typo's or poor grammar. Check out the backgrounds in the pictures on the website. You don't have to be a professional photographer to take decent pictures and there should never be junk, trash, dog cages, etc in the backgrounds of the pictures. If someone doesn't take care to show their puppies in the best possible light how can you be sure they cared enough to take care of the puppies as they should?
  4.  Be aware of questionable claims. The old saying "If something sounds too good to be true it usually is" really does apply here. No reputable breeder will advertise a puppy that weighs 7 oz at 11 weeks and then show a picture of a 2 week old puppy. If the price for the puppy is way below the usual price of a Yorkie puppy question the breeder as to why. Especially if it is way lower or they are only asking for "shipping fees".
  5.  Ask for (and call or email) references. Ask for their vet's phone number and previous puppy buyers. Any reputable breeder will be glad to give out their vet's number. I can understand with privacy concerns if they don't want to give out puppy buyers phone numbers but frequently the good breeders have several puppy families who have agreed to give references for them. You can also check out their guest book on the website for comments from previous puppy buyers, click on their email addresses and ask for references.
  6.  If there is a particular puppy you are interested in ask the breeder to take another picture for you and include a specific item. I like to ask for a comb or brush, or even something unusual like a flashlight or toothbrush. This helps to make sure the breeder actually has the puppy being advertised and hasn't stolen the picture off the web. (Don't ask for a coffee cup, dollar bill, a soda can, or a can of soup-those are done too often in pictures.) You can also get a good idea of the size of the puppy when compared to the item you ask for.
  7.  As an alternative to # 6 ask the breeder to take a picture of the puppy with a piece of paper that has your name printed on it. If the "breeder" makes an excuse why they can't give out their vet's phone number or can't or won't take a picture that you requested please run the other way. (other than they don't have the item to put in the picture, you can always request another item.) If they say they can't take the picture because their camera is broken or they don't have one be very suspicious.
  8.  Of course a good breeder will usually only have one or two breeds that they raise. I would recommend that you not buy from a breeder who has multiple breeds. I would much rather adopt a puppy from a Yorkie Specialist than from someone who raises seven different breeds.
  9. Be cautious about adopting a puppy from another country. Usually the US and Canada are pretty safe but overseas or third world puppy adoptions are very suspicious, especially if the price is very low. This is where a lot of people get scammed.

If at any time you have concerns that aren't eased by talking with the breeder please look elsewhere for your puppy. There are too many good, ethical breeders who will be glad to assist you in finding the newest member of your family.

  If you are interested in checking me out my vet's name is Dr. Art Bryant, his phone number is 573-765-5911. His wife Nancy is his receptionist and his assistant and either of them can vouch for me. It's a small office and if they are busy (or working on the farm or out on farm calls) you may have to leave a message or call back. I also have a reference page set up on my website, if you click on either the reference page button or my guestbook button there are previous puppy buyers who would be glad to email you back and give you a reference. (I just recently re-did my website and lost the last 3 years of comments on the guest book, so it's pretty slim right now). My number is 573-480-0161. Please check out the additional pages I have on my website's puppy page for more information about Yorkies and let me know if you have any questions or more ideas about how to avoid scammers. I would love to add more ideas to this page.


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