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What to look for when getting a new puppy

(37 Posts)
elphabadefiesgravity Mon 29-Aug-11 23:35:38

When we had our last dog he was quite an unusual breed and we didn't have much choice. We dropped lucky really, saw an ad in the paper, went to see him, he chose us and he turned out to be a beautiful dog with a lovely temperament.

We lost him around 6 weeks ago and dh and the children are trying to persuade me to get another. I am keen to get a responsibly bred dog but not bothered about kc registered.

Dh called three places today.

1. Family pets bred puppy 4 weeks old needs to be gone in 3 weeks as family are going on holiday. we discounted this one due to the young age and the fact that dh will be away in 3 weeks time and I have a lot on that weekend.

2. Breeder specialising in the breed, does not breed other breeds. Called and puppies all gone but have another litter whch will be ready next weekend. Talked about puppy care packs and info sheets/money back guarantee on the ad. However two litters within a week, must be a lot of dogs. Supposedly reared in hone alongside children. The most expensive. Woman said they had lots of enquiries.

3. Picture of dog being held up background was normal house. Called and they asked which dogs we were interested in as they have two litters at the moment (different breeds) dog being vet checked mid week, told to call back then.

Any obvious warning signs. And what shoudl we look for when we go to view. We discounted no 1 due to the dog only being 7 weeks and it being bad timing, we would want a calm settling in with dh and I both available. to be honest this week would be ideal as he is not at work until next Tuesday.

elphabadefiesgravity Mon 29-Aug-11 23:37:06

Forgot to say that the breed is now very common, I see them everywhere (which hasn't helped the last couple of months since we lost ours)

daisydotandgertie Mon 29-Aug-11 23:42:56

Possibly from no 2 - after a visit and lots of questions.

Def not 1 or 3. Neither sound like breeders who have bred the puppies with enough care to me.

I'd contact the breed society and ask who they'd recommend. I would also go for a kc reg because it at least ensures the breeder is committed enough to have completed the relevant health tests.

Have you checked out which health tests are recommended for the breed you're after? Vital imo.

tabulahrasa Mon 29-Aug-11 23:53:52

Um to be honest, none of them...

No 1's either unplanned or breeding without any actual thought to it, if it was planned responsibly you'd not book a holiday that close and then not have care in place to cover it so that you're trying to get rid of puppies before you go away

no 2 and 3 have more than one litter in a short period of time and no waiting list.

If you find a good breeder I'd expect them to have people lined up for any current litters and to be telling you about planned litters.

tabulahrasa Mon 29-Aug-11 23:54:33

What breed is it - just out of random nosiness

elphabadefiesgravity Mon 29-Aug-11 23:57:43

I really don't want to pay KC registered prices. It is a breed which requires expense (regular professional grooming for example) we just want a friendly family pet who is good with children.

elphabadefiesgravity Mon 29-Aug-11 23:58:03

bichon frise

tabulahrasa Tue 30-Aug-11 00:20:40

The thing is, while, yep the expense is offputting, KC registration means that you know the mother isn't too young or too old and is less likely to have been overbred.

They're not a working breed, so realistically breeders are either breeding to improve the breed and possibly show them or for money and either way - it's in their as well as your interests to be KC registered.

Bearing in mind that these are not people you know already so you know why they're not KC registered - I'd be suspicious about exactly why they aren't, what is it about how they're breeding that makes them avoid it?

I'd be slightly less suspicious if it was, oh I don't know working collies (off the top of my head it was the first I could think if though ideal famy pets not so much, lol) because they're for a purpose which isn't really related to the KC.

To me the extra cost involved would be worth it in a, I know they're concerned enough about the welfare to stick to KC rules, which actually aren't that stringent anyway but are at least better than how puppy farms treat their breeding dogs.

So if it was me I would keep looking to be honest, but I do appreciate that cost can be an issue. Have you thought about a rescue, as you say they're a fairly popular breed, I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a bichon frise rescue society.

daisydotandgertie Tue 30-Aug-11 08:16:50

And to just add the obvious - the dog is going to be expensive to run - insurance, food, jabs, flea/tick treatment, vets bills. If you're hesitating over the additional cost of a KC reg dog .....

And they are a fairly popular breed at the moment - at least with KC reg you will be able to check that dam and sire aren't related and that the pups have been bred well by someone who knows what they're doing rather than a money spinning backyard breeder who doesn't know enough about the job to breed a dog with the correct temperament and so on.

elphabadefiesgravity Tue 30-Aug-11 09:42:50

Its a difference between paying £350 and paying £600. A KC registered dog is simply not an option.

The bichon rescue places won't consider you if you have young children and the majority are wanting to rehome dogs in families which already have another dog.

Our last dog was not KC registered, he was the offspring of two family pets. They are such a lovely breed and ideal for me with asthma. When we had him no-one had heard of bichons.

kaz4567 Tue 30-Aug-11 10:33:48

weve told our son we will buy a golden lab pup as part of birthday pres(was June,we've waited till after hols-any advice?

DooinMeCleanin Tue 30-Aug-11 10:42:04

None. All are BYB. KC reg means nothing.

Rescue is an option, Many Tears often have Bichons in and will consider you if you have children. However if you are struggling with initial outlay for a correctly bred dog are you sure you can afford one? They're not cheap to maintain. Mine cost a fortune in insurances and food. I'd love to keep my foster but cannot afford to.

Reputable breeders pay for health checks prior to breeding, quite often have stud fees to pay, plus worming and fleaing of bitch and pups and any vet care required. This is why their pups are so expensive, but worth every penny for the peace of mind imo. A reputable breeder will normally have a waiting list and will not breed very often.

tabulahrasa Tue 30-Aug-11 10:52:52

'When we had him no-one had heard of bichons.'

That makes a massive difference though, when breeds are popular - that's when you get overbreeding and careless breeding.

My big flashing warning sign is always that that they have puppies now, good breeders won't have - because people are willing to wait for their puppies...

anyway, for you and kaz here's a fairly comprehensive load of advice

elphabadefiesgravity Tue 30-Aug-11 11:01:28

However if you are struggling with initial outlay for a correctly bred dog are you sure you can afford one? They're not cheap to maintain. Mine cost a fortune in insurances and food. I'd love to keep my foster but cannot afford to.

We only just lost our much loved, cared for and insured bichon, nursing him through a heart condition in July so are well aware of the costs involved. In fact I must get around to cancelling the insurance. Havn't claimed for his death yet either sad

What is BYB?

elphabadefiesgravity Tue 30-Aug-11 11:02:45

I pay less for my hair cuts than I did for his

Booboostoo Tue 30-Aug-11 11:09:29

I would start again. First I would look at the main hereditary conditions that affect the breed (KC have a list on line) and ask any breeder I called whether the parents had been tested for these. Then I would find a breeder who breeds few litters and breeds for temperament as family pets. I understant what you say about the cost of KC registered breeders but on the other hand these breeders are more likely to be responsible and take more care not to breed from unfit or unhealthy parents, so you are taking a risk trying to find a good independent breeder (it's not that they don't exist, but rather that it may take a while to find them). I would expect a decent breeder to have the puppies all booked well before the birth so you may need to wait a while.

Cheria Tue 30-Aug-11 11:18:49

None of them. And I wonder what the first will do if they don't get rid of the poor pup before their holidays.

midori1999 Tue 30-Aug-11 11:22:31

KC registration doesn't guarantee anything very much. KC reg. alone is not a mark of quality, but one thing is for sure, for a breed that can be KC registered, you will not find a reputable breeder who doesn't KC register.

By not using a reputable breeder, not only may you be encouraging BYB's (back yard breeders, people who breed from their pet dogs with little or no knowledge of breeding or the breed, carelessly and with little thought or no thought for the bigger picture) and puppy farmers, but by doing so are contributing to the thousands of dogs being put to sleep in pounds every year, because the absolute vast majority of these dogs come from exactly these type of breeders.

If you can afford to keep a dog, you can afford a properly bred, KC registered one. It might mean you need to save for a few months, but it means you can get a dog from health tested parents and drastically decrease the risk of that puppy having hereditary diseases that could have been prevented. Conditions which may not be covered by insurance in some cases.

multipoodles Tue 30-Aug-11 11:25:57

Choosing a non kc registered puppy means you will only be able to select from puppy farms, back yard breeders and numpties breeding for the satisfaction of it. That is not to say kc registration doesn't include these breeders but non kc excludes the very breeder you should be looking at.. an experienced Bichon breeder who has shown, health tested, breeds for temperement (they aren't all sweet)gives lifetime support and probably only breeds to keep a puppy to show.. beware when a breeder is breeding but not to keep a pup for showing!

This is not a working breed so in my opinion should only be breed by knowledable people wanting to contribute to the breed and enhance the breed - NOT for money!

As with horses (been there, done that) it costs the same to keep a good one as a bad one if not more.. so a little extra outlay at the beginning soon pales in comparison to a lifetime of vet bills!

elphabadefiesgravity Tue 30-Aug-11 11:27:32

The main thing with bichons is they are prone to skin conditions there are also some that have a problem with their joints (Knees I think) and things like cataracts when they are older.

The big thing with them is the grooming it is quite a commitment.

This is the advert for no 2:

Bred to very high standards from years of knowledge, you will not find different breeds listed to me as i only specialize in bichons. Please come and view them with no obligation, before you commit yourself to buying a lesser quality puppy. These non molting small dogs make the ideal all round family pet. They are fantastic with children and other animals, and due to their unique non molting coats are great for people with allergies who love dogs but never thought they could own one. Pups come with a 3 generation pedigree and are pure breed but not k.c reg as being homed as family pets not show dogs. They have had their health check, first six in one injection, flea treatment and wormed to date, which is all recorded on a vets card. They are being raised in a family home with children and other pets so are very sociable. They leave with a fact sheet on feeding and caring for your new puppy, a food pack to help maintain their diet, this will help you and them with their transition into their new homes. I am confident in the quality of my puppies to offer you a money back guarantee and any additional help is only a phone call away. Please call if possible as emails don't always get delivered. I am flexible with viewing times, I look forward to hearing from potential owners of these beautiful little bundles of fluff

As I said when we rang the dogs had gone, they wanted to take our details for another litter not ready yet.

BehindLockNumberNine Tue 30-Aug-11 11:35:04

The thing is, they offered you a pup from another litter not ready yet - but already born?

When we chose our Cocker Spaniel pup 7 years ago I was told that a good breeder will have waiting lists for pups not yet born, and will not breed many litters.
In deed, we met with our breeder, underwent extensive questioning before being placed on a waiting list for a pup from a litter not even conceived yet.

I would be wary of option 2 having available puppies at short notice...

tabulahrasa Tue 30-Aug-11 11:43:14

Completely irrelevant really, but it would bug me that they've spelled moulting wrong, rofl.

I know KC registration seems like a waste of time and they could still be dodgy breeders without it - but it costs £12? (could be £13, I don't know without looking it up) to register a puppy, why would you not do that unless you're doing something that would stop them being registered? The kind of things that would stop them being registered are overbreeding a bitch, breeding her too young or old or to a close relative - all of which could have implications for a puppy.

Scuttlebutter Tue 30-Aug-11 11:56:38

Hi OP, the organisation Bichon Friends supports Bichons in rescues all around the UK. Although they do not home Bichons themselves, they have a very useful facility of a list of Bichons across the country who need homes via rescues. I've just had a look at the list and there are Bichons on there who are described as being great with children - see here for full list. Having children is not an automatic barrier to adopting a Bichon. Have a look at Louie, who is a 10 month old male who loves children.

Scuttlebutter Tue 30-Aug-11 12:10:26

OP, some further considerations. I've looked at advert no 2 - the seller is advertising on both Epupz and Pets4Homes. Both of these are regularly used by puppy farmers and BYBs. What I found particularly worrying is that the same litter of 6 pups is for sale on Epupz at £350 dogs, £395 bitches and on Pets 4 Homes at £400 dogs and £425 bitches. NO reputable breeder is going to be using these sites or selling pups at different prices.

DooLallyDally Tue 30-Aug-11 12:33:43

We were on a waiting list for over a year when we brought our pup, well worth the wait though smile

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