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what questions should we ask the breeder?

(25 Posts)
mckenzie Wed 26-Nov-14 19:45:20

so, we've thought long and hard and finally decided the time is right (or at least as right as it's ever going to be).
We've done our research and chosen the breed.
We've sourced the web and found a breeder (she is registered with the Kennel Club, secretary of the Breeders Association) with puppies near enough to where we live.

Now what questions do i ask the breeder?
The pups are 10 weeks old. Is it ok to ask if they have starting toilet training by that age (do you call it toilet training for dogs?)? Where do the puppies sleep? Are they used to a crate?
Have they been taken anywhere in a car?

Any tips or advice gratefully received.

TIA

toboldlygo Wed 26-Nov-14 20:30:07

My first question would be why she still has the pups at 10 weeks old, unless they're a very tiny toy breed (chihuahua etc.)

My second would be to ask to see evidence of all relevant health testing for both parents.

mckenzie Wed 26-Nov-14 20:40:11

Thanks for the post. Is ten weeks quite old then to still be with the mum!

mckenzie Wed 26-Nov-14 20:41:10

Sorry, should have been ?

InkleWinkle Wed 26-Nov-14 20:44:19

Sorry, excuse me, I'm just placemat king..

InkleWinkle Wed 26-Nov-14 20:44:42

Or even place marking!!

tabulahrasa Wed 26-Nov-14 20:45:46

Health certificates first...

Then, yeah, why are they still there? (Unless they're a toy breed that's quite old and it's very unusual to find a good breeder with puppies that aren't already spoken for)

Why they bred them ( I'd be expecting them to be keeping a puppy for whatever activity they do with them)

Can you meet the stud they used (distance permitting)...if both parents belong to the breeder why did they use their own dog? (Other than just because it was handy, lol)

Do they follow a socialisation plan, if not, what have they exposed them to?

If they endorse the pedigrees (it should be a yes) if they take dogs back if they ever need to be rehomed (again should be a yes, in fact you want them to be insisting on it)

What worming protocol are they following, what food are they on (so you know but also so you can judge it, lol) have they had their first inoculations (by that age they should have really for you to socialise them quickly enough, but it can cause problems because vets use different brands)

Yes by all means ask about house training, they should have made a bit of a start on it, but it's hard with a whole litter and they're only young so I'd expect them not to have got it yet.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head really.

JustMe1990 Wed 26-Nov-14 20:53:44

10 weeks is a bit older than usual BUT my puppy was a few days off 10 weeks old when we bought her home.
She is a wonderful, friendly dog, I don't think the age is THAT concerning aslong as everything else seems okay.

tabulahrasa Wed 26-Nov-14 21:00:34

It's not that the age would cause you massive problems...it's just if they're bigger than toy sized, 8 weeks is normal and it's slightly concerning if nobody wanted them, in a, it reflects on the breeder type way.

If they're a toy breed, they're often kept until 12 weeks.

mckenzie Wed 26-Nov-14 21:14:39

Thank you for the posts. I really appreciate your input.
They are not a toy breed.
The first breeder I phoned said hers were all gone but pointed me to this lady whose pups are from the same dog (which belongs to the first lady. They live very close to each other so I've already been told I can meet the dog).
I've just checked and they are 9 weeks old. Some puppies left this weekend just gone and 2 more are leaving this week leaving just 2 more unsecured.
They are microchipped, KC registered, wormed, had their first injections, parents have both been DNA tested and eye tested and hip scored.
I'm going to ask now about the socialisation plan.
Thanks again everyone.

muttynutty Wed 26-Nov-14 21:16:33

Dont assume as a KC breeder all is good.

Find all the health tests that should be done on your breed

Ask to see contract of sale - kc breeders should all have one

Ask why she does not have buyers lined up - good breeders would usually have a waiting list so I would be worried that she has all of the puppies available at 10 weeks,

Ask re worming and vaccination of mum and puppies

Is this the first breeding - if not contact owners that have previous pups from other litters

Speak to or see the Dad

See Mum with the litter

Ask to see her socialisation plan - if she has keep the puppies for 10 weeks she should be using one - I would be looking for accurate documentation on this, not just random things she has done.

Pick up and handle all the puppies - if she is not happy for this walk away

Get copies of health checks carried out and research results do not just glance at them - make sure you understand them and what they mean.

They should offer a lifetime guarantee to take back the puppy - not just help you to re-home it - make sure they will personally take responsibility for the puppy for life and have documentation that states this.

Make sure they are happy to support you via phone for the dogs life if needed - especially in the early days

Make sure the puppy has been raised in a house and preferably in a situation similar to yours eg with children or noise etc - not kept out in a kennel.

If she is local ask if she is happy for you to get a recommendation from her vet.

You should be offered free insurance for 4 - 6 weeks from date of purchase.

Try to look at more than one litter so you can compare

Expect to be grilled by the breeder, they may even seem rude and noisey but that is good - they must care where the dogs are going.

You can check with KC that the dogs are part of the breeder scheme.

Finally check out breed rescue to see if there is a dog available for rehoming (always worth a try)smile

mckenzie Wed 26-Nov-14 21:22:37

Thanks Mitty.
She has told me they come with 4 weeks instance and one weeks worth of the food they have been having. She's already told me that she gives a book specific to the breed with the puppies and also a hand made booklet with tips and helpful information and that she is always available via phone or e mail as to quote, "he's our baby too".
My gut feeling from our first phone Conversation was good. She did ask me what experience we had of dogs in general and of this breed and why/how we had come to the decision that the time was right to get a puppy.

JustMe1990 Wed 26-Nov-14 21:36:08

What breed is it? Just out of nosiness smile

mckenzie Wed 26-Nov-14 22:02:52

Tibetan Terrier

SqueakyChicken Wed 26-Nov-14 22:49:07

Assuming you see the health certificates and meet the mother, from the other information you've said this breeder sounds lovely.

Ideally breeders will have waiting lists but people are unreliable and drop out often, and it is not completely unusual to still have puppies available at this time, close to Christmas.

JustMe1990 Wed 26-Nov-14 22:51:58

Just did a Google, how adorable are they?!?!
So fluffy.

Make sure you teach the puppy straight away to tolerate having its..private bits.. Maintained.

No one told me when I got my puppy that a long haired dog, no matter how clean, WILL manage to get wee stuck in their hair, which unattended, will solidify into a lovely,sticky, smelly, solid glue painfully bonded to their mini...

MothershipG Wed 26-Nov-14 23:08:56

Do they make a lifelong commitment to every puppy they breed? An ethical breeder will want to make sure to the best of their ability that no dog they breeds ever adds to the number in rescue.

JoffreyBaratheon Thu 27-Nov-14 12:30:31

If they're local to you, I'd ask if there is puppy training class they recommend?

Socialisation? What's been done? (The window of opportunity for this is upto 16 weeks so you still have time on your side).

And if you've never had a terrier before... brace yourself. grin

mckenzie Thu 27-Nov-14 18:15:27

Thanks guys.
Interestingly when I e mailed the breeder to ask some of the questions that you'd suggested, she answered but also countered with a list of her own questions about me, our home and our intentions smile
That's a good sign yes?

MothershipG Thu 27-Nov-14 20:58:41

Absolutely! A good breeder wil want to know her pups are going to a good and suitable home. grin

LoathsomeDrab Thu 27-Nov-14 21:41:21

Definitely a good sign grin

When DH first rang the breeder of our whippets she gave him a very thorough grilling on the phone. Then when we went to visit them I was given a similar grilling before we were allowed anywhere near the pups.

We've now had three from her and have become good friends grin

LimeJellyHead Tue 02-Dec-14 19:36:33

The most important first question is "where's Mum?" and never be fobbed off until you see her.

PitchSlapped Tue 02-Dec-14 19:45:08

We have two TTs, one of which we got as a puppy. We were on the waiting list and got him at 10 weeks. The main problems with TTs are PLL and hip problems so as long as the parents are tested thats good.

TTs are hard work....get your recall sorted out asap as they can be stubborn and easily distracted. Socialise it very thoroughly with other dogs and get it used to being left alone.

Good luck they are fantastic dogs, proper clowns and into everything...you will never be bored with a TT!

PitchSlapped Tue 02-Dec-14 19:46:06

It would be interesting to know which lines the puppy is from but dont feel you have to say!

calmtulip Wed 03-Dec-14 13:41:06

You can also gauge how well she's looked after the puppies by how many questions she asks You! If she gives you the full inquisition you get rest assured that she has the puppies' best interests at heart. It is a very good sign if she's really interviewing you.

But if she's not that bothered who the puppy goes to, then that may also reflect on how she's treated the puppies.

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