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How do I find a breeder?

(44 Posts)
GreenieGables Sat 01-Oct-16 10:36:24

So we are in the very early stages of looking into getting a puppy. It has been crossing our minds back and forth for a few years but the timing hasn't been right with the DC's ages.

Youngest DC will be starting full time school next year, I'll only be working 10 hours a week.

We want to wait and don't want to rush into anything. I don't want to buy off an ad, I want one from a breeder.

But I don't know what breed to get, can anyone help if I list what qualities we are after?

- suitable with young children
- one DC has ASD so we would be looking for a dog who has a calming influence on her and can bond with her as a companion
- small/medium in size (definitely not a large breed as our house isn't huge and out garden is medium sized)
- easy to train and obedient

I know nothing about owning a dog which is why we aren't rushing into it and want to make sure we are 100% prepared. I will sign up to puppy training classes and make sure I dedicate my time to them.

I'm not naive, I know how much hard work it is and I'm prepared for that grin

So please, I want your help and advice so I can be fully informed.

stonecircle Sat 01-Oct-16 15:12:38

Please would you consider getting a rescue dog? There are lots of breed specific rescue organisations or the Dog's Trust crying out for homes for unwanted dogs. A reputable organisation would do a home visit and talk to you about the practicalities of owning a dog.

Whilst you don't see many young puppies in rescue centres, there are usually plenty from 6 months upwards (around the point when people get sick of them or realise they can't cope).

We have 2 rescue Labs both of whom came to us around 6 months of age. Whilst they still had their puppy cuteness, they were pretty much toilet trained and much more manageable than a young puppy.

Littlebee76 Sat 01-Oct-16 16:03:07

I second the rescue dog suggestion. We've just rescued a lab and she's the best dog anyone could wish for with the added bonus that she's already house trained and past the destructive stage.

Rescue dogs are so rewarding and they are all sitting there waiting and hoping to be given a second chance in a loving home.

There were loads of little dogs in the RSPCA centre we got ours from, plus some puppies.

Wolfiefan Sat 01-Oct-16 16:07:25

If you have no idea about breed perhaps visit discover dogs.
You can also do breed selector type quizes online. Consider grooming and exercise needs.
Easy to train and calming influence? Puppies generally aren't either of those things. Perhaps an older dog. There are breed specific rescues. I would aim for one that puts dogs in foster rather than kennels. That would allow you to get a realistic idea of character.
Greyhound? Lazy couch potatoes!!

LyndaNotLinda Sat 01-Oct-16 16:21:24

I'm a single parent with a child with ASD and I got a dog (a boston terrier) from a breeder. I thought about getting a rescue dog but I wanted to be as sure as I could be that I got a dog with a hugely predicable temperament.

I just didn't feel confident getting a rescue. I would now and in fact I'm actively looking for one but I think if you're new to dog ownership and you have children with SN, 'get a rescue' isn't always the right path.

Anyway - research breeds. Decide which factors are non-negotiable and which are nice to have. Find out about training classes. Have a look at the Kennel Club website and ring the breed standard people listed once you've decided.

Wolfiefan Sat 01-Oct-16 16:24:58

I wouldn't go through kennel club for breeders. I don't think their scheme is that great. I would contact a breed club and go to some shows and meet some people. Be aware it may take months to find a pup by going this route.

Sarahbcmc Sat 01-Oct-16 16:44:32

I would recommend finding a dogs show locally and heading down their for the day. You'll be able to see loads of breeds and lots of people happy to speak about them!

buckingfrolicks Sat 01-Oct-16 16:54:21

Cavalier King Charles. Make sure it has clear heart test. WATCH OUT for puppy farms as these are popular with them.

Myredrose Sat 01-Oct-16 16:57:59

Rescue, I have just done this and have a child with ASD. Pedigree is no guarantee of behaviour/character. Rescues aren't going to give you a dog/puppy that has known issues.

Too many beautiful dogs are needing homes for more to be bred.

stonecircle Sat 01-Oct-16 18:00:29

Most good rescue centres will tell you about a dog's temperament - from actual observation rather than speculation based on the nature of its parents. It's not in their interests to be untruthful about a dog's nature and let it go to an unsuitable home. A good rescue centre will also give advice and support after you've taken the dog on and will take the dog back if things don't work out.

There are just too many lovely dogs in need of good homes. The Dog's Trust have just released a survey which found that 3,462 strays, many of them healthy and happy, were put to sleep last year. That's just the ones dealt with by local authorities.

GreenieGables Sat 01-Oct-16 19:12:01

I'm definitely not ruling out a rescue dog, I've had a look at a few centres online and there's some lovely dogs out there wanting their forever home.

I just feel for us personally a puppy would be the way foward, I'd be too wary of a rescue dog not knowing it's past. If I didn't have DC or if they were much older I would 100% get a rescue. I'm not discounting it though.

I keep getting drawn to springers, my dad has one and so do 3 of my friends. We spent a lot of time with them and they are lovely dogs. We're an active family so excersizing them wouldn't be an issue.

Dog shows are a good idea, I'll have a look around.

Thank you all for you input, very helpful.

judey Sat 01-Oct-16 19:45:48

You can get puppies from rescues. You might have to wait a while but that will give you a chance to research and prepare. I second the Greyhound suggestion. They are easy dogs, not aggressive to people and require little walking. An ideal beginner's dog.
For a more active dog, a Labrador type cross should be a safe bet. Staffies have a reputation for being great around kids but I appreciate not to everyone's taste. Please don't buy a dog from a breeder when thousands of great dogs are killed every month because they don't have a home. An adult dog is sometimes a safer bet because you are more likely to know what you are getting and you can actually see how they cope with your kids. As awful as it would be, you can return then to the shelter if things don't work out.

GreenieGables Sat 01-Oct-16 20:30:53

I've always been put of greyhounds, just because they are ugly blush But having just read a few pages on them, they are just lovely.

What are the restrictions about them being off lead though?

Hmmm, food for thought definitely. Thank you.

GreenieGables Sat 01-Oct-16 21:04:24

After more reading I think a greyhound would be perfect for us. I don't think we'd be a good family for a greyhound though sad. They prefer quiet, calm houses. That we are not, ASD meltdowns are not quiet!! And we also have a cat. So maybe not such a good match. A bit gutted, they're amazing creatures.

judey Sat 01-Oct-16 21:24:12

So glad you've changed your mind on greyhounds, and even the fact that you would consider giving one a home (or another rescue dog), has made my day. Thank you.
In terms of off lead, it depends on the dog. Many are fine. If they've been 'trained' to chase small animals, you would need to be careful. However, you can just muzzle them off lead to avoid the risk of them catching anything. A good shelter will be tell you whether they are safe with small animals.
Good luck.

judey Sat 01-Oct-16 21:27:04

Cross posted- you've got a cat!
Ok, not an ex-racer, but some are ok. Or another rescue dog? Again a shelter will tell you whether the dog is ok with cats, and a busy house!

dontwannapullahammie Sat 01-Oct-16 21:32:43

For God's sake...if you want a dog from a breeder you can get one! If you want to check for upcoming shows in your area to walk round and meet some showers you can have a look on "dog show central" and click on show list.

Discover dogs is on at crufts and you can meet every breed and speak to people passionate about their breeds. Alternatively you could try going through a breed rescue, they tend to be smaller, Foster the dogs out rather than keeping them in kennels. We got one of ours from a breed rescue and it was a much better experience than the one we had to return to dogs trust

Myredrose Sat 01-Oct-16 23:17:24

Yes, it's crazy to consider rescuing a dog and drifts is well known for its stance on animal welfare 🙄. Put the very thought out of your mind.

Myredrose Sat 01-Oct-16 23:17:47

*crufts

Northernlurker Sat 01-Oct-16 23:21:29

There is a springer specific breed rescue however I wouldn't call them a calm dog.

Wolfiefan Sat 01-Oct-16 23:23:38

Some greyhounds are ok with cats. You may have to wait a while but they certainly come up.

Littlebee76 Sun 02-Oct-16 00:04:31

All breeds plus cross breeds are at rescue centres.
All types of dogs are there. Calm ones, loving ones, gentle ones, boisterous ones, energetic ones, young ones, old ones. All desperate for a new home. All are assessed for a period of time for all circumstances before they are even put up for adoption. Even though it's a charity the rspca are very thorough.

Don't put a category on a breed, the lab I have now (from a rescue) is the quietest gentlest dog I've ever had. An absolute joy! The lab I owned 15 years ago was the most boisterous naughtiest uncalm dog ever and never calmed down even through age (through a breeder!)

I'll always encourage rescuing. Why keep breading dogs when there's thousands in kennels desperate for a home because owners have either mistreated or got bored or other.

No brainer to me but each to their own.

Good luck.

bluetongue Sun 02-Oct-16 00:28:17

Greyhounds are amazing creatures. They tend to get all lumped in together as having the same temperament but they actually vary enormously. Yes, some are shy, retiring types but the one I fostered recently was a real extrovert who greeted strangers enthusiastically and loved getting out and about to new locations.

BagelGoesWalking Sun 02-Oct-16 00:54:53

Sorry, I'm going to be a bit blunt... (And it's not meant to be personal, it's just something that's said so often and gets my goat a bit!) It's quite naive to say "oh, I don't want a rescue because I don't know it's background" Actually, you won't know the background of a puppy, unless you strike lucky and find a decent breeder, which is really hard!

So many "breeders" are doing it simply for the money, they're not actually breeding the best of their lines, they don't care too much if the dog/bitch has a dodgy temperament. They're breeding to make the cutest looking dogs as they know these will sell well (never mind the health of the mother dog after countless pregnancies).

Smaller rescues in particular, usually have dogs in foster homes, often with other dogs, cats and children. They have been assessed in a situation which mirrors yours. They will have been socialised, taken on walks, seen buses, cars and bicycles. Sorry, but breeders pups can be very under socialised. They can actually be from puppy farms, the family you meet are just a front to give you the impression of a cosy home.

Rescues have puppies too! Not often and get rehomed very quickly but it does happen. When it does, they get the best of care, usually in a foster home.

Many younger children find puppies extremely hard, they jump, they nip, they tear clothes, they chase. Yes, of course, you can train them not to do all these things but it takes time and patience (of the whole family).

Look at FB group Pups Not Profit for an eye opener. I know not all rescues are good, some are pretty bad but have a look, get on their FB groups, see how they interact with their "audience" then decide.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, but you should be as critical of any breeder as you would be of any rescue.

FoxesSitOnBoxes Sun 02-Oct-16 01:09:12

How calm does the dog need to be? It's just that puppies are completely crazy for quite a while, would DS be ok with this?
We have a cocker who is really gentle and great with children. We got her from a breeder who was only having one litter. They owned both parents as family pets and had the pups in the house with cats and children. They let us pop round whenever we wanted to see her and sent us photos in between. They've kept in touch and like to hear how she's getting on. We were really worried about getting it right and think we did. I think you just have to go into it with your eyes open and be prepared to walk away at the slightest hint of it not being right

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