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Buying a puppy from a breeder. How far in advance do you need to register interest?

(15 Posts)
DogWoman123 Thu 15-Feb-18 11:19:26

We are thinking of getting our first puppy together as a family towards the end of the year, from a KC registered breeder. I'm just wondering when would be the best time to get in touch with a breeder? What is normally the process?

In case anyone is wondering, we are going for a puppy rather than rehoming a dog because we have two older cats and want to make it as easy for them as possible.

We are both experienced with dogs in general, so don't need advice on if its right for us, we've just not been through a breeder before smile

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Thu 15-Feb-18 13:42:46

Start now. Good breeders are likely to know already whether or not there is a chance of a litter.

I created a list of all breeders of the breed I was looking for and sent them a general email in Feb 17. I gave details of why I chose that breed, my experience with it, how I would expect to care for it (exercise, training, daily care) and gave an idea of timescales saying I was looking for a puppy ideally around September time and then giving my reasons why (moved and settled into new house, able to take considerable time off etc).

Many replied to say whether or not they were hopeful of litters later in the year. Those that were not planning any sometimes forwarded my email to breeders they know who were/might be planning litters.

Those that were planning litters I investigated further and created a short list of 4/5 breeders that I felt likely I would be comfortable getting a dog from.

I kept in touch with them, checking back every couple of months or so.

I picked my puppy up Sept last year and am totally happy with his health, temperament and the support from the breeder. When I sent the first email I thought I was contacting them all far too early but, in hindsight, I got very lucky finding a good breeder who was having a puppy right when I most wanted one.

p.s. I was also prepared to change my timings a bit to suit a good breeder - the fact that I didn't have to was sheer luck.

missbattenburg Thu 15-Feb-18 13:43:33

Just to add - it helped that I wanted a popular breeder (springer) so had a long list of breeders to initially contact. If I wanted something more rare I could have easily waited a couple of years.

tobee Fri 16-Feb-18 16:11:15

Sorry to butt in but did you offer all that detail in the first contact? Funnily enough I've just emailed a couple of breeders speculatively today but just asked the basic question so far.

WeAllHaveWings Fri 16-Feb-18 16:58:01

Sorry to butt in but did you offer all that detail in the first contact?

It doesn't hurt to add in a fair bit of detail, we did. Real reputable breeders are very fussy where their pups go and want it to be successful for the pup and the new owners and will take pups back if it doesn't work out.

They will have waiting lists of the right kind of homes and families they are looking for. If your breeder isn't asking you quite probing questions about what you have to offer their pup then walk away because if they don't care where their pup is going they wont care about other things like proper treatment and health tests etc either.

tobee Fri 16-Feb-18 17:06:37

I'm happy to give/be asked loads of advice info just didn't want to bombard them immediately I guess. But am thinking again that I maybe should!

tobee Fri 16-Feb-18 17:07:06

Not advice meant questions

DogWoman123 Fri 16-Feb-18 17:23:47

Thank you, sorry I posted and forgot I had. That's really helpful, thank you.

Can I ask as well how breeders feel about spaying/neutering? We would certainly be doing this as we don't want any puppies. Would that be something to mention or not?

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Fri 16-Feb-18 17:49:55

I did offer all that detail in the first email. I apologised at the end for "rambling on" but quite a few breeders replied to thank me for being so thorough saying it made a refreshing change to be emailed by someone who had thought everything through.

My email had no questions (I asked them all face to face later on) and so was just to show I was serious, to document exactly the kind of dog I was looking for and to reassure that I could offer a secure, happy, loving home. Now I think about it, I think I also mentioned things like garden size and security as well as who else was in the family (inc other pets).

I said I would be spaying/neutering in my email. I've since rethought based on the science and so am not sure I will - but my breeder was unconcerned either way. Her main concern was that I wouldn't breed/stud from the dog which is something I would never do so I was happy to sign up to that. I had made it very clear this dog was to be pet only and would never be used for breeding.

He has a KC endorsement on him which states I cannot
a) register any offspring with the KC
b) export him oversees
without the endorsement being lifted by the breeder first. I think this is pretty usual.

missbattenburg Fri 16-Feb-18 18:00:14

Just thinking on this I thought it might be useful to document the full process, though obs other breeders might do things differently.

When one of my shortlisted breeders contacted me to say her bitch had been confirmed in whelp I let the other breeders know this litter was my main interest (so they could make plans for their own).

When the pups were born the breeder let me know and confirmed how many/colours/sex. We arranged for me to visit four weeks later to see the puppies and talk further - note, it still wasn't 100% I would be offered or accept a dog.

I visited and spent about 90mins talking to the breeder and observing puppies and mum and dad. During that time we both asked each other tons of questions and I described exactly the character of dog I wanted and what his/her life would be like. Whilst it might have been easy to be distracted by the puppies, the main focus of the visit was to meet the breeder and mum. She gave me a draft copy of her contract that I could take away and review to check I was comfortable with it.

I did not choose my puppy. After that visit we both confirmed we were happy to continue. The breeder had a policy to match puppy to owner. I had no sex/colour preference and so simply asked her to 'pick me a good one'. Having described the kind of dog I was looking for, I felt confident that the breeder was in a much better position to recognise which pup was closest to my wishes than I could so in just a single visit.

She confirmed when the puppies were about 6.5 weeks old which one she would recommend for me and I accepted her choice.

I picked the dog up at 8.5 weeks old and signed all the paperwork etc then.

She has since checked in with us both to make sure everything is going fine and each time we have spoken she has stressed that I can call anytime with any questions - throughout the entire life of the dog.

KarmaStar Fri 16-Feb-18 18:04:06

Have a look at DOGSBLOG you can put in the 0 to3 months age group in the filter.these are all rescue dogs desperate for a new home,all sizes,cross and pure breeds.🐕

WeeMadArthur Fri 16-Feb-18 18:11:54

Contact them now as they will have future litters planned already, or if they don’t they may be able to point you at another breeder who will have a litter at the time you are expecting to get a puppy. Breeders talk amongst themselves a lot, and you might find that going to the breed club gets you contacts of good breeders who have litters coming up.

It doesn’t hurt to put in a bit of background about your family circumstances, a good breeder will ask for details about working hours, exercise, other pets anyway.

Lots of decent breeders will insist that you agree to neuter as they don’t want an uncontrolled pairing taking place.

Not sure a puppy would be easier on your cats than a rescue though, at least with a rescue you can introduce the cats at the Centre and see if they get along first, puppies are little balls of enthusiasm and teeth and not much judgement!

WeAllHaveWings Sat 17-Feb-18 20:05:00

Can I ask as well how breeders feel about spaying/neutering?

Most breeders want to be assured their pups are not going to be bred from by farms/backstreet breeders/amateurs/idiots who don't know what they are doing. Generally if a bitch isn't going to be bred from it is best spay for her health, but neutering has mixed opinions. You could ask the breeder for their advice when you meet face to face.

Wolfiefan Sat 17-Feb-18 20:09:44

A lot of it depends on the breed. KC reg means very little. I went through the breed group. Visited shows to meet people and ask questions and get my face known. I spent over two years on lists!
Nearly 9/10 puppies bought in the UK are from unscrupulous breeders.
Our breeder only breeds a litter when she wants a pup to take her lines into the next generation. So very rarely. We stay in touch with the breeder and also with other owners. That's been lovely.
My girl is also endorsed. No KC reg of progeny etc. I'm sure the breeder would consider removing those endorsements but it means their puppies can't be bred from (and KC reg) without the breeder knowing.

LadyinCement Mon 19-Feb-18 15:12:53

I contacted the breed society of my dog, who put me in touch with a reputable stud lady (or rather had stud dogs!).

She was very helpful and guided me towards future expectant mothers/breeders. Doing it that way round meant that I knew a bit about the dad as well as the mum.

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