The best rule of thumb is...
When possible, MEET the breeder, SEE the mother and SEE THE CONDITIONS under which the puppy has been raised.
Beware of ...
- Claims such as, "Wheatens don't have hip dysplasia," or, "My lines are clear of hip dysplasia." Demand to see OFA or PennHip certification. Be wary of the seller who does not do regular eye examinations and cannot provide current eye registry numbers. Beware of such claims as, clear of inherited disease, proven clear, or guaranteed clear of inherited diseases. There is no way to prove these claims and most genetic diseases do not appear on a dog under two years of age.
- The term champion lines. The presence of a few champions in a pedigree means little since every Wheaten bred in the US will have at least one or two in his family tree. (Pedigrees of pups from quality breeders are typically filled with champion dogs.)
- Claims of home raised or privately bred unless you can see for yourself where the pups were born and raised.
- Sellers who claim to be selling a litter for a friend or relative. Commercial breeders frequently send litter lots of pups on consignment to middlemen who, in turn, sell them from their homes.
- Anyone selling pups who will only identify him or herself by a first name; one who is unwilling to give the registered names and AKC numbers of the sire and dam; one who is unwilling to provide the name and address of the breeder of the pups or will provide them only after purchase.
- Sellers who do not have a copy of the puppy's pedigree for your inspection prior to buying the puppy.
A quality puppy is worth the wait.