Personal recommendations for pug breeders in California?
September 24, 2009 7:59 AM   Subscribe

Personal recommendations for pug breeders in California? We are looking to add a pug puppy to our family (currently have one 5 year old female), and are having a heck of a time finding a breeder online. We live in Oakland but would probably be willing to drive anywhere in CA to pickup. Have you had personal experience with any pug breeders in California?

Online dog breeding seems to be a part of the commercial sector that has yet to move online. We've done plenty of googling, and either found a) sketchy craigslist-type ads, b) dead tripod/geocities sites and bad email addresses, or c) breeder "searches" that are behind pay-walls (which look to be the work of a single company, and most likely contain fake adverts).

What we're really looking for here is a word-of-mouth recommendation for a breeder. Hopefully they have at least a email address or a phone number (website is a big big plus, photos would be just about unbelievable!). I've tried emailing a few California pug clubs for breeder recommendations with no results (either bounced emails, or in one case was told to attend an upcoming event they were having, which we missed). We've been off-and-on googling for at least a year, and haven't found any breeders that look promising.

We've had some (mostly minor, but still emotionally and financially costly) health issues with our current pug and want to maximize our chances of having a healthy dog, so we're looking to get a dog from a breeder who knows what they're doing. To me, this means one that is breeding registered show dogs. We don't necessarily need to get the pick of the litter -- we'd be more than happy with a 'companion dog', but we don't want to buy a puppy from some dude on craigslist that found two pugs in an alley.

We're not considering rescue at this time, due to the aforementioned health issues that often afflict the type of pure-bred pugs you'll find at rescues, and we're not considering other breeds, thanks!

tl;dr: I am looking for recommendations for professional pug breeders in California that you or someone you know has had experience with. Due diligence has been done, so google results are unlikely to be useful to us (however, if you're a pug insider and have website recomendations, lay them on me!). We are not looking at rescues or other breeds.
posted by fishfucker to Pets & Animals (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Start with a referral from the national breed club. They will be able to tell you what health tests to look for and what questions to ask. They likely also have a list of code of ethics breeders.
posted by biscotti at 8:14 AM on September 24, 2009

I'm not sure what your time table is at all but you could travel to one of the major dog shows to see a variety of pug breeders and interview them and cross referral. My husband researched our border collie breeder for a year before making a decision. He asked who is the best and went from there. All breeders know each other and there is a lot of respect amongst the breeders for each other. While there is heavy competition and everyone wants you to buy from them, they also know who are the known puppy mill breeders who don't care about their dogs.

Good luck.
posted by stormpooper at 8:21 AM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ask your vet.
posted by BobbyDigital at 9:19 AM on September 24, 2009

Seconding referral from national breed club.
posted by HotToddy at 9:29 AM on September 24, 2009

Best answer: Definitely go to dog shows and talk to breeders (find conformation shows in your area here). A breeder should want to get to know you, should want to find out what you are looking for and why you feel a Pug is right for you, should want to educate you about what you might NOT like about the breed. Be prepared to have to wait for the right dog to come along. Buying a puppy just because there's a puppy available is rarely the right decision. And do not be surprised at the cost, Pugs are difficult and expensive to breed well.
posted by biscotti at 10:41 AM on September 24, 2009

Have you considered looking for a Pug "rescue group" in your area? Believe me, those little guys KNOW that they're being given a second chance at a "forever home" and appreciate it!
posted by Hanuman1960 at 9:58 AM on September 25, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers, guys! Looks like we do need to go to a conformation event. The AKC site linked by biscotti also has a breeder search, and there's a whole 3 breeders in CA, 4 or 5 on the Western seaboard. There's a promising one in Oregon that has a just-born litter of black pugs, but I'm not sure we want to drive 10 hours with a new puppy.

The next pug event is on Oct. 17th, so maybe we'll try that.

Again, we'd go rescue, but we're not really in a position to deal with the significant health problems that almost all pure-bred pug rescues in our area seem to have.
posted by fishfucker at 9:02 AM on September 26, 2009

I drove 11 hours home with both of my dogs and it was fine--when they're that young, they just sleep in your lap anyway. The travel time is insignificant compared to the next 12 or so years you'll be spending with this dog. It's worth it to find the best breeder.
posted by HotToddy at 11:43 AM on September 26, 2009

Just to clarify, the puppies were not in my lap while I was driving! Both times my husband drove while I sat in the passenger seat and mooned over a pink puppy belly the whole way home.
posted by HotToddy at 11:45 AM on September 26, 2009

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