1. [B]You have access to the entire life history of the puppy or dog.[/B] In many cases you have access to the life history of at least the mother of the puppy or dog as well. Not only will you know if there are no traumas in the puppy or dog's past, you will also know if there have been any developmental issues of which you should be aware.\n \n2. [B]A responsible breeder health tests the parents of any puppies that s/he breeds.[/B] Depending on the breed, s/he will spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars checking the status of the parents' eyes, ears, heart, blood clotting factors, thyroid, hips, knees, and elbows-\-at the very least.\n \n3. [B]Most breeders will take your puppy back if you can no longer afford to keep it, no matter how old the puppy or dog is when it must be placed.[/B] You may not get your money back, but you can be certain your dog has a place to go if something should prevent you from keeping it.\n \n4. [B]Your breeder has a great deal of knowledge about his or her chosen breed.[/B] A responsible breeder loves the breed that s/he has chosen so much that s/he wants to preserve it for future generations. Even if your dog's breeder does not know the answer to a particular question you may ask, s/he will probably know where you can find the answer.