First you will have to study up on the garter snake sort you wish to acquire. This not only gives you an overview of what you need to look out for, it will also help narrow down your options and let you make an intelligent decision about which garter snake specie you want to take home with you.
You want to run, and run away fast, from breeders who are only concerned about your credit card going through online. You can’t trust a breeder who won’t allow you a visit to their facilities in order for you to check out the conditions their animals live in. If they do allow this, then make sure that you know what you are looking out for and that you are able to identify the signs that may or may not give indication of how the animals are treated.
You don’t want to deal with breeders who can’t answer basic questions like what sort of breeding methods were employed. You can’t trust anyone who can’t give you straight answers about the health of the lot of snakes. Nor can you take the word of someone who gives flowery, agreeable answers. This goes for those who give you dodgy answers to simple questions about what the snakes have been feeding on. And you most certainly don’t want to deal with anyone who cannot give you any sort of health guarantee.
A good breeder will be ready to give you honest answers and not empty promises. They would be able to upfront about their methods of breeding, how long they have been doing it, they would be happy to tell you of their failures and ultimate success. They wouldn’t have any qualms about sharing their failures and heartbreaks which ultimately taught them to be better and more effective breeders.
Breeders who have been traversing a constant path of learning would be able to give you sound advice about how to take care of a garter snake with confidence. They would be ready to receive and welcome you to their facilities so that you can check out the living conditions of the animals for yourself.
Good breeders would even be happy to have you take home stuff that the snake has been using like their enclosure, vitamins and whatnots. Good breeders would also be in the know about the gender of the snakes taking great care in the process of identification – this is not an easy procedure and could harm, hurt and injure the snake if done incorrectly.