QUESTIONS TO ASK – Preparing for your discussion with a breeder should include what you would like to ask. As we have shared throughout our website and various links provided, this is a long term commitment you are considering. A responsible breeder will appreciate your thoughtfulness in making your decision and will be willing to help you with your questions. Each individual may have their own areas of particular interest that they will want to discuss with a breeder. However, here are some suggestions on items to consider including in your discussion:
Am I able to come to where you live and meet the puppies and their mother?
Will I have access to you after placement of a puppy if I have questions or need assistance?
Are you involved in showing your dogs in the breed ring and/or the performance rings?
Can you tell me about the sire of this litter, such as why you chose him?
I know prices for pups are established by the individual breeder and may vary. Can you talk with me about your puppy prices?
Do you belong to the West Highland White Terrier Club of America or to the regional Westie club for your state?
AVAILABILITY – Remember that a breeder should be your best friend when you are looking to bring a Westie into your home. They have spent many hours in the breeding, whelping, and care of their puppies. They should interview you every bit as stringently as you should interview them. Be prepared for this process. Our member/breeders are contacted by many people wanting puppies. The more informed and prepared you are when you begin your search for a puppy, the more receptive they will be to your inquiry.
Please keep in mind that locating a pup from a responsible breeder may take a while. Quite unlike the broker or pet shop, getting a pup from a responsible breeder takes time. Conscientious breeders to not breed for money; they breed for the improvement of the breed, for show, and for themselves. Consequently, they may only have one or two litters a year. So, it is up to you to begin your search by making contacts, developing relationships with breeders, and possibly getting on their waiting list for a puppy.
PRICE -- Puppy pricing varies from breeder to breeder, situation to situation. You will also find that the price varies from one region of the country to another. Price is not an arbitrary amount but rather one which can be based on factors such as the value of the pedigree, the reputation of the breeder, the qualities of the dam/sire, etc. Unlike the ads for a low priced Westie found in the newspaper or on the Internet, reputable breeders are highly selective in deciding which two Westies to breed to further improve their line and the breed as a whole. You are paying for that expertise and experience. Puppies from responsible breeders will cost more, but you will be saving money in the long run when compared to the health risks one may encounter when purchasing from venues that charge much less. Keep in mind that anything of quality is worth the price. Breeders who are breeding to better our Westies always take into consideration health, temperament, and conformation – not profit.