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Hi, I'm new to this board, but not to JM. I'm Kim, DH and I have 3 dds and 1 dog (Earl, 9.5 yo Pomeranian). We are seriously considering getting a Pom puppy in the spring. Where is the best place to look for a breeder? I looked around on the internet, and I found a few places that said their puppies are usually sold online before they are ready to go home...is this normal?? When we got Earl there were places that let you see/play with the litter and let you pick your pup. Are there still places like that around? I want to be able to check out the temperment and such before I buy a pup.
Honestly, having kids, I'd HIGHLY recommend a Pom specific rescue and a dog that is 12-18 months old. As puppies their personalities have not formed yet, and there's really no way to tell what their personality will be when they are full grown. Getting one that is already 12-18 months old their personalities are already formed, you know if they're good with kids, other dogs, cats, adults, men, women, etc and a reputable rescue will test them with all of these things and typically have them living in a foster home (ie with a real family) so they can tell you basically anything you want to know about them. I have a child as well and 3 of my 4 dogs have come from rescue plus I foster for a Boxer rescue and we've never had an issue. AND you get to save a life!
Now to answer your question, NO online "breeders" are backyard breeders or puppy mills and you will probably end up with a pup that has more problems than it knows what to do with. Even a breeder that you can go see the pup you run a huge risk of them being a backyard breeder.
When looking for a puppy, typically the breeder will NOT own both dam and sire, both dam and sire should not only have been in the show ring but have won at least one conformation title, both should have been health tested for ailments that plague poms, typically heart holtered, hips, eyes, stuff that requires specialists and multiple certificates that is more than just from a regular vet, both sire and dam should have had temperament testing, puppy should come with AT LEAST a 3 year health guarantee (many come with a 5), and if it is a pet quality pup then there should be a spay/neuter claus in the contract. There is typically a waiting list as well. The breeder will meet you, you should be able to go to their home, the breeder should ask you questions, the breeder should also typically pick the pup for you that they feel would be a better fit for you. For the medical and testing if ALL of those are not present, then they are a backyard breeder plain and simple. The other stuff, some things wouldn't raise a red flag for me, but for the most part if all of the things I listed are not present then they are a form of a backyard breeder or a puppy mill. Also, a reputable breeder will NEVER EVER EVER under ANY circumstances allow their puppies to leave mother and siblings before 8 weeks of age, and many are going for 10-12 weeks now.
Your best bet would be to contact the American Pomeranian Club, here is their link:
They can help you find a reputable breeder in your area. I will also say, be ready to pay $1,000 or more for one. If they're less than $1,000, you're typically looking at a backyard breeder...not all of the time, but 99% of the time.
But again, I would HIGHLY recommend rescue, you will be past the puppy part of potty training and getting up in the middle of the night with a puppy for 3-4 months, the 1 year old may come with some basic obidience training, etc and it tends to make life a whole lot easier, especially when you already have children.
i would suggest a local newspaper or call your local vet offices. I know in my area, vet offices have advertisements for pure bred pups and kitties. Also, you can call groomers and pet supply locations, they might have information for you as well.
Feel free to PM me with any questions. My first Boxer was a rescue from the Southern Mississippi Boxer Rescue when we lived in Louisiana (unfortunately they closed their doors a couple of years ago), our second Boxer was a rescue from the Southern Arizona Boxer Rescue, and our first German Shepherd was from a non breed specific rescue here in Arizona. And I foster for a Boxer rescue here in Arizona and have never had an issue. Been dealing with either my own or foster rescue dogs (and big ones, Boxers and German Shepherds), for a little over 10 years now, so feel free to PM me with any questions. I also educate folks in my area on choosing responsible breeders in an effort to stomp out backyard breeders and puppy mills.
Keep in mind as well, if you go through rescue, the dogs are always vaccinated and spayed/neutered and most of the time they are microchipped as well which is included in an adoption fee that is FAR less than you'd pay a breeder (which you then have to pay for vaccinations, spay/neuter, and a microchip).