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Buying from a KC registered breeder

(35 Posts)
happyvalley74 Mon 12-Mar-18 11:46:40

Firstly, I have looked at rescue but I have three primary aged children and so many of the dogs can't be rehomed with children.

Secondly so many of them need specialist training which I am not equipped to provide. I have had a dog before but am no expert.

So the next option, in order to avoid backyard breeders seems to be to go for a KC registered breed and breeder. I have started off looking at the shih tzu breeders although any smaller breed who is good with children would be considered.

Is there anything I need to be wary of if I buy from a registered breeder? Once we've decided on a definite breed I suppose the next thing to do is research health problems and health scores?

coles85 Mon 12-Mar-18 12:07:25


How exciting getting a dog! One other thing you might want to consider is rescuing a puppy from abroad? I know you've said that you looked into rescuing (good for you! More people should!) and that your young kids are the block on that. We had paid a KC Breeder a deposit for a pup, but we were waiting a long time on a pregnancy that never happened. In the interim, I started looking at rescues (we have no kids so there were no issue like yours). However the barrier I came up against was UK rescues not wanting the dogs to go to a flat (which we lived in at the time) so I wrote it off. Then I discovered an AMAZING rescue charity that brings dogs over from countries in Europe. We got our dog through them and she's an absolute delight!
Yes - these older dogs can also have issues that make them unsuitable for kids, but one thing I found was the abundance of litters being born in shelters and the new pups looking for homes. If you were to get one of these pups, there would be v little difference in behaviour than with any new born puppy. Just something else for you to think about smile
With regard to the KC registered breeders - the biggest downside for us was cost. To get a KC dog we were quoted over £1k, our pup cost £250 from the charity and came neutered and with all jabs etc. And insuring a KC dog can be a lot more £ too due to the fact it is a pure breed.

Best of luck with whatever you get! Dogs are an absolute delight!

happyvalley74 Mon 12-Mar-18 12:09:41

Thanks for the reply coles, it is exciting!

What was the rescue that you used?

missbattenburg Mon 12-Mar-18 12:12:08

A KC registered breeder is not automatically a good breeder so use all the same common sense tests with them as you would with anyone else.

For me, when I got my pup that included:

- Looking up the breeder online. I could find a whole history of her breeding and judging life by piecing together what I found. For example, her Facebook pages had occasional posts on it from people who'd had puppies off her before. I could do a quick check that they looked like real profiles and also get a sense that people were delighted by the pups they had from her. I could find occasional mentions in random forums of her kennel name, all of which were complimentary.

- Getting the parents kennel names and looking up their health check results for myself on the KC website. KC also list all the relevant health tests for each breed so I could see for myself the parents had all checks. I also used champdogs to scroll back through their family trees to check all the dogs related to the litter I was interested in were as she said they were. I checked some of their health checks also.

- Talking to her about why she bred, how she chose to breed the two parents together, what she hoped for from the offspring, what experiences the puppies would have during their 8 weeks with her. For example, they were all house reared but in their last week or so she started to separate each puppy from the litter (first in pairs then on their own) for a few hours so that they were used to leaving their sibling before they suddenly had to go to a new home. She ensured they were gently handled by each of her grandchildren, meaning they were exposed to a range of kind children at multiple ages. She hoovered and hair dried during feeding time to get them used to those noises. That kind of thing.

- I looked at a draft of the sale contract upfront and with no pressure to proceed. She allowed me to see it immediately but not commit to a puppy until they were 7 weeks old - which meant I could really take my time. It contained all the things I expected such as a requirement that I must hand the dog back to her if I ever couldn't keep him (not resell him or hand him to a shelter). She was also very clear that if anything changed in my life and I couldn't keep the dog, she wanted him back to take care of. She also offered lifetime support and gave me her phone number, email etc and encouraged me to keep her updated as puppy grew up.

- I met the dam and saw her with the puppies and with me in the room and was allowed unlimited time with her to make sure she had a good temperament. I was also allowed the same with the sire (not all breeders will have dad there, which is ok) as well as two other dogs from the same lineage.

- During a visit to her home, I was allowed unlimited time with them all as well as talking to her. At no point did I feel rushed - I was there for about 90mins the first time. During that time I did not interact too much with the puppies but instead chose to focus all attention on the other dogs and on talking to her.

- It wasn't relevant to me but my breeder also said she had refused to sell puppies to families with children who she did not think were ready for a dog. She gave an example of a child who was overly friendly with one of her puppies during a visit and whose parents did not guide/stop him from doing so. She would not sell them a puppy. I mention it as it's worth spending time getting your children used to the correct way to interact with a dog (if they don't already know). I would expect most good breeders to expect to see the children with the puppies before sale.

I will also add that puppies are easily as hard work as rescue dogs and you will still need to do plenty of research on dog behaviour to make sure you are ready. They can develop all kinds of odd little behaviours as they mature they will need help to get through (e.g. many young dogs go through a resource guarding phase or some relapsed on toilet training during adolesence).

Behavioural science has made real progress over the last 15 ears or so (esp. related to dog behaviour) and so if you haven't had a dog in a while I urge you to get acquainted with some of the latest thinking. Pippa Mattinson's Happy Puppy Handbook is a great place to start.

coles85 Mon 12-Mar-18 12:20:34

The rescue I used was called Silver Fox Rescue (and actually the lady in Romania who physically saved my dog from the street has a litter of puppies just now looking for homes!). They were so so helpful at pairing us up with a dog that suited our needs and lifestyle.

But a good friend of mine rescued at the same time (from Cyprus) and her beautiful puppy was from a charity called Wild at Heart Foundation and she has only good things to say about them.

All dogs need good homes, so whatever you do I'm sure it will be one lucky doggy!

BuzzKillington Tue 13-Mar-18 15:19:06

We bought our dog from a (recommended) KC registered breeder.

I think you'd apply the same caveats as with any puppy purchase. See them in the home with their mother, ask lots of questions, check the parents' health history and make sure the puppies have had the relevant checks for their breed.

Tinkobell Tue 13-Mar-18 20:22:03

Champ Dogs and the breed society is far better than just KC. There are some right cowboys on KC who are not even approved.

MoonWeaver Tue 13-Mar-18 20:47:15

Research the breed first abd learn about its common diseases. Off the top of my head, I remember Shih Tzus can have bad patellas (like all small dogs). There are strong indicators the causes are genetic, so ask about the testing the breeder does on their dogs. OFA has a great list of diseases each breed should be tested for.

Does the breeder show their dogs? Showing is a fantastic way of knowing if a dog meets the breed standard.

I personally would not buy from a breeder who has a kennel, because I think having the dogs home is the least one should do.

Another personal preference is no brachycephalic breeds, as it can lead to multiple respiratory issues. The Lhasa Apso is a very, very similar dog to the Shih tzu (in fact, one of the breeds used to create it) without the respiratory issues. (The Lhasa in the pic is my 12 year old; she looks much better when groomed!).

happyvalley74 Wed 14-Mar-18 08:34:43

Thanks for the replies.

Sorry if it's a dim question but if you do all the breeder checks etc even on a KC registered breeder, why then not use a non KC registered breeder? If you can see the dogs at home, check the health issues etc, is it ok to use someone who just breeds the dogs at home because they enjoy it and aren't KC registered?

happyvalley74 Wed 14-Mar-18 08:35:41

Oh and I wasn't aware that Shih Tzus have breathing difficulties - are Lhasas generally healthier?

ThisIsTheFirstStep Wed 14-Mar-18 08:42:23

If you’re interested in rescuing from abroad, Korea is a great place to rescue from too. So many dogs here with no hope of being rescued because people only want ‘brand new’ stuff and the problem is only getting worse as pet ownership becomes more popular.

A good person to contact is Leo Mendoza via the Shindogs website or Emily Doran via the Domo’s Friends facebook group.

Most of the dogs are purebred since that’s what Koreans are after, and I know Emily in particular does a lot of socialisation with the dogs before they leave her.

happyvalley74 Wed 14-Mar-18 09:05:10

Thanks This the very first photo on Domo's Friends FB site is a shih tzu!!

tabulahrasa Wed 14-Mar-18 09:10:05

“Sorry if it's a dim question but if you do all the breeder checks etc even on a KC registered breeder, why then not use a non KC registered breeder?“

Depends whether you mean KC registered dogs or breeders that are part of the assured breeders scheme.

If you just mean KC registered dogs... there’s no good reasons not to register a litter, so if they haven’t it means they’re not good breeders, but, anyone can register an eligible litter so it doesn’t mean everyone left is automatically a good breeder.

With the assured breeders scheme you’re still double checking everything because it would be stupid not to, not everyone is honest.

happyvalley74 Wed 14-Mar-18 09:30:52

I'm thinking of the types of litters you get on Pets4Homes or similar. I would avoid as backyard breeders generally, but the previous comment made me think that if you do all these checks on a P4H breeder, and the puppies are registered..... is that ok?

BiteyShark Wed 14-Mar-18 09:33:28

I think you will get various opinions on what is ok or not.

I bought my puppy from a 'family' breeder but I was happy with what I saw and the parents had been dna tested for the genetic conditions I was concerned about.

happyvalley74 Wed 14-Mar-18 09:36:23

I have spoken to Emily and she has pointed out that with the pet passport system in the UK it's actually really hard to import a dog. Dammit.

happyvalley74 Wed 14-Mar-18 09:37:12

My last dog was from a family breeder and he was healthy and fine. A bit of a handful but then he was a spaniel and just wanted to run forever....!

happyvalley74 Wed 14-Mar-18 10:01:30

Emily has been very helpful but sadly I think Leo Mendoza's operation has closed down

ThisIsTheFirstStep Wed 14-Mar-18 10:30:45

happy It is harder to import a dog to the UK than to eg the US but def not impossible. It costs a fair bit and you’d have to cover that yourself, and they need a lot of vaccinations and stuff.

Leo doesn’t own a shelter any more but he does still rescue dogs from pounds to rehome. could be tricky to do to the UK through him though.

happyvalley74 Wed 14-Mar-18 10:34:13

Thanks This I'm jut waiting for some more information from Emily. Shes seems very nice and the dogs on the fb site are just lovely

ThisIsTheFirstStep Wed 14-Mar-18 10:41:19

happy Sadly almost all the rescue dogs in Korea are pedigrees - people buy them from pet shops thinking they’ll be a living doll basically - they don’t really get that it’s a living creature that needs care and attention (of course not all people but many.)

The pounds are full here and they get put down after 10 days. There are a few privately run shelthers but most Koreans don’t want a ‘second hand’ dog. It’s a really desperate situation.

happyvalley74 Wed 14-Mar-18 10:43:09

Its so sad

tabulahrasa Wed 14-Mar-18 12:04:09

There are two issues with what people would call home breeders, the first is ethics, why someone is breeding their dog... that’s pretty much a personal decision.

The other is a lack of knowledge - take shitzus, do they actually know enough about confirmation to avoid common health issues that can’t be tested for, like luxating patella?

Or just general, are they going to know the breed well enough to know that there’s a dog further back in the pedigree known to have an aggression issue, or that certain lines are prone to something like resource guarding.

Whitney168 Wed 14-Mar-18 15:10:42

Congratulations on choosing a dog for your family, hope it brings you many years of joy!

To try and clear up a few bits ...

There is really no such thing as a 'KC Registered Breeder'. There are Assured Breeders, and there are KC registered puppies. In both those categories, there are good and bad! It is a minefield, unfortunately.

There are many KC registered litters that are excellent, with attention to health scores, temperament and breed type. There are many with attention to little but producing puppies to make money, and as a puppy buyer it can be difficult to tell the difference.

My advice is always to find a breeder, and then wait for a puppy (obviously not for years, but find someone you are comfortable with who has plans for litters in a reasonable timeframe).

A good breeder should grill you as much as you grill them. They should want to know your experience with dogs (even if this is your first, and you can just demonstrate that you have researched and planned properly). They should want to meet ALL your family. They will want to see how your children behave around dogs, to ensure that their puppy will be safe.

I know it doesn't always meet with approval on here, but for me I would find someone who shows dogs (to demonstrate that they have a serious interest in the breed) and who does the health tests appropriate for your breed.

* We had paid a KC Breeder a deposit for a pup, but we were waiting a long time on a pregnancy that never happened.*

As an aside, NO decent breeder would ever take a deposit on a puppy that wasn't on the ground and of an age where it could be considered viable, and many are loathe to take deposits even then. If you come across a breeder who wants a deposit for an unborn puppy, or a puppy less than at least 4 weeks old, or who will take a deposit without meeting you - personally I would run a mile.

Whitney168 Wed 14-Mar-18 15:15:29

Sorry if it's a dim question but if you do all the breeder checks etc even on a KC registered breeder, why then not use a non KC registered breeder? If you can see the dogs at home, check the health issues etc, is it ok to use someone who just breeds the dogs at home because they enjoy it and aren't KC registered?

Despite what some breeders will tell you, there are no good reasons not to register a pedigree litter, but there are many bad ones which may include:

- Bitch is too young or too old for breeding
- Bitch has already had too many litters
- Breeder has had too many litters and wants to avoid licensing
- Dog/bitch have an endorsed pedigree, which could be for health reasons
- Dog/bitch are stolen and have no papers available
- Dog/bitch are not even pedigree (nowt wrong with mongrels, as long as they are not being mis-sold).

For the uninitiated trying to find a puppy, I think it is far safer to assume that a Licensed Breeder is a bad thing. Yes, there are some that are fine, but there are far more that are puppy farmers.

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