Where to find the right breeder?
After deciding what breed is right for you, you need to start to look for the right breeder.
To ensure that you will be getting a puppy that has been reared correctly and will be a healthy happy puppy it is always best to choose a Kennel Club Assured Breeder or a breeder who you know has an excellent reputation.
The Kennel Club have strict regulations that must be adhered to. Points that need to be considered include health testing, temperament, breed type and characteristics.
Health tests will include hip and elbow scores. Eye testing is also an important test. Other tests may also have been carried out in order for the breeder to be registered with the Kennel Club.
This information about which tests have been undertaken will be available on the Kennel Club website. You can also ask the breeder to show you documentation.
Champdogs is another great website for looking for reputable breeders. They will list what health tests have been done on the breeding parents.
Now that you have found a breeder for your future pup. It’s a great idea to make contact with them to talk to them.
Find out lots of information about the sire and dam.
Go and visit them. Meet the dam. See what her temperament is like. If you have children it is a great idea if the breeder has children or grandchildren that the puppies can be exposed to from a young age as this will make the transition from the breeders home into yours much easier. Take your children with you. Don’t just go on what the breeder says. See how the bitch interacts with you and the children.
If they don’t have the sire ask lots of questions about him. The same health tests should apply to the sire. The breeder should provide details of the owner of the sire.
Some behaviour traits can be passed down from the parents. It is essential that they are not aggressive or fearful as this trait can be passed to the puppies.
Find out if the puppies will be reared in the home or outside in a kennel.
If your puppy is going to live in your home it is better if you have a puppy that has been reared in the breeders home.
Your breeder should start the habituation process with the puppies from 3 weeks of age – when the puppies eyes and ears open and they start learning about their environment.
The more your breeder has done with the puppies to help them to adapt to living in a home the easier it will be for your puppy to adjust to living with you.
This habituation must then continue when you have your puppy home.
A good breeder won’t sell two or more puppies from the same litter to one family. This can be really difficult for the puppies when they are rehomed together and can cause multiple problems for the new owner. See our blog about sibling puppies.
The breeder should provide you with a contract.
This is really important. Some breeders will put endorsements and conditions in the contract.
The endorsements may prevent you from breeding your puppy.
The conditions could include if you are unable to keep the puppy at any point during the dogs life that you must make contact with the breeder before rehoming.
A good breeder will be happy to take the puppy back no matter what the circumstances are and to find them another suitable home.
Some breeders will tell you if they feel you are suitable to have one of their puppies. They may have a waiting list. Be prepared to wait until a puppy is available.
When the bitch has had her pups. You will be notified by the breeder if there is a puppy available for you. You will be invited to go and visit the puppies with the mother. You should see them together. Try and visit a few times before you are going to bring your puppy home.
Leave something with the breeder that has your scent on. A t-shirt or teddy. The breeder will give this back to you when you collect your puppy, It will help the transition of your puppy settle into their new home a little easier.
The puppies will be a minimum of 8 weeks when they can join your family.
By this time they will have had their microchip and usually their 1st vaccination. Your breeder will provide you with the information within your puppy pack of how you can change the ownership on the microchip and will also give you your puppy’s vaccination card. You will need to give this to your vet when you take your puppy for their 2nd vaccination.
Puppy Farms and Irresponsible Breeders
How to tell if you are buying from a puppy farm or an irresponsible breeder?
A puppy farm isn’t a “farm”. It is a term that is used for when puppies aren’t bred from responsible breeders. Some people will buy litters of puppies and sell them on to people who aren’t aware of the risks. The bitch often isn’t present. The seller will make an excuse, for example, “she’s been taken for a walk as she needs a break from the puppies”. “She’s at the vets or groomers”.
The bitch MUST always be present when you are buying a puppy. You should see her with the pups. You should see the puppies together. There are times when this may not be possible if there is a puppy that is last to go in the litter. However if you have been in contact with the breeder before the litter has been born you should be able to see all the siblings.