A reputable breeder will provide the written health test results for both the sire and dam of any puppy sold.
At Foxwyn Cavaliers this includes:
Once a dog has passed these 4 health tests, the breeder mails the test results into the OFA, and then CHIC issues a number for the dog.
A reputable breeder will not post their puppies for sale on a website, pictured along with a price. A reputable breeder does not accept a credit card number/Paypal and then agree to ship a young pup to a person they have never met. A reputable breeder will want to meet you in-person, and will invite you to their home to see the litter, and to meet at least the mother of the litter, and to see how their dogs are generally kept. The definition of a backyard breeder (BYB) is someone who breeds dogs solely for the purpose of making money. BYB's won't waste their money on health testing or exhibiting their dogs. Any buyer with cash will do, and it goes right into the BYB's pockets.
We will only breed adult dogs over the age of 2 1/2 years old, and we follow our club breeding guidelines. Puppies are generally placed in their new homes at 12-14 weeks old. We do not ship puppies. Many BYB's start breeding their dogs before 2 years of age, and will ship out tender young 8-week old puppies to their new homes.
A reputable breeder will only register their Cavaliers with the AKC and the CKCSC-USA. Many breeders will register their dogs with both clubs. Each club has a strict code of ethics which the breeder must follow. We have always dual-registered our Cavaliers.
A reputable breeder shows their dogs or trains their dogs for performance events, and sometimes both. Showing dogs is the primary way that breeders receive peer review, and it is an opportunity for good breeders to show the public what their breeding program is producing. Although you may "only" be looking for a family pet, it is still very important to select a breeder who actively exhibits their dogs. This is something you can easily verify by Googling on the breeder's name. Good breeders are breeding a new litter in order to get their next Champion, and will typically keep one or more of the pups from the litter for their showing/breeding program. We are personally invested in each breeding and litter, seeking out the very best lines available.
A reputable breeder is a valuable resource for the lifetime of your dog, and beyond. Good breeders sincerely want to know how their puppies mature and grow, as it provides valuable information about their lines and their breeding program over the long-run. We love to get updates and photos from our puppy families. Any puppy bred by Foxwyn Cavaliers has a lifetime home with us. We love our babies.
So that's it, enough to get you started. DO research any breed you are interested in, BUY from a reputable breeder that has the breed's best interest at heart and who does all the health-testing. ASK questions, and be prepared to be asked questions, as well. Most breeders are very particular about who buys their puppies, and that's a good thing.