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Puppy buying advice(13 Posts)
We're looking to get a dog (posted before about the right breed for us), and yes, we have looked at rescues but it's just not happening for us.
So, we have decided to get a pedigree pup, but wondered if anyone could give a few pointers. For example, one breeder requires a £100 deposit to put us on her waiting list. Is this the norm? Should we ask if we can view her first? As I'm worried we might commit to spending the money, go to visit when the pups arrive and decide we don't like the set up.
Does anyone have any advice please?
First of all you need to approach the breed club.
Paying to go on a waiting list is dodgy.
Most breeders are commercial, puppy farmers or BYB.
Thanks Wolfie, I will do that. She is a KC assured breeder, but of a different breed. Obviously is commercial, but not I think a puppy farm. Hmmmm, off to contact the breed club now.....
I would not hand over any money unless you have seen the puppy in person. Nor should the breeders take any money before they have met you.
Go and speak to breeders find out more about your chosen breed and meet adult dogs.
Have a look at
It has great resources and things you need to consider. Responsible breeders should be happy to use a contract
KC reg means very little.
What’s the breed?
Good breeders tend to only have a litter when they want a pup to keep.
First off I'd recommend having a good read through the Puppy Contract site, it covers the basics pretty well.
Breed clubs can be a good starting point but that does depend somewhat on the breed in question. Whilst some clubs are very open and forwards thinking others can be rather economical with the truth when it comes to things like health issues and inbreeding levels within the breed.
Beyond the basics a lot comes down to personal preference, the exact specifics of what makes someone a good breeder will vary from person to person. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with as much information as possible and decide what it is you want in a breeder then look for someone who meets your requirements.
A good breeder will want to be absolutely sure her puppies are going to good, suitable homes. You also will want to be absolutely sure that you are dealing with bona fide people who come highly recommended. There should be an initial meeting where you are able to see the mother and preferably the father as well. If the bitch is pregnant you need to know due dates and when will be ready. The bitch and dog if there should be in tip top condition, happy and confident around you. The breeder may be able to provide checkable references from those who bought from a previous litter. The breeder should also be quietly trying to assess you at the same time. She will want to know your address and that your housing/garden is adequate for keeping a dog. Dogs are flesh and blood ...don't enter into a contract with just anybody op ...there are some charletons out there.
If you agree to go ahead the dog should come to you properly weaned, wormed and with first inoculations completed with evidence of these plus full vet check. Check documentation of pedigree thoroughly.
A good breeder should be happy for you to visit, meet the dogs and chat to you about the breed and what you can offer a dog regardless of whether they have a litter for sale or not. Highly sought after breeders may have a fee for a waiting list but they wouldn’t accept you on the list without having met you and would ask you to sign a detailed contract.
The last pup I bought was from a particularly decent breeder, as I was more educated about it all when I bought her. She advertised the litter before the dam was confirmed as in pup. She then sent photos etc after birth and gave us updates. No one was allowed to visit for a few weeks, but it was when you went to see the pups that you put a deposit down. £200 I think and pups were £950. Some breeders charge more for bitches too, but the better breeders usually charge the same price because they aren't selling them to be bred from.
My girl also has endorsements on her papers. Breeder knew I wanted to show and said if she had all health tests done etc she would be open to removing the endorsements, but we have always said we have no plans to breed her.
My breeder also bred so that she had a girl to keep. She has previously not kept a pup because she has bitches and had one litter with just dogs though, but that was fair enough in my view. She wanted to know all about us, our house, what our working patterns are like, experience with dogs etc. I already own another dog of the same breed which helped, and we lived 6+ hours away but I explained I was interested because of the lines on both sides etc.
You need to feel like you are being scrutinised, essentially!
Thanks all, I think what I was really trying to ascertain is whether it's reasonable to ask to visit the breeder before any pups are even due.
It seems most of you think this is reasonable.
I've joined a breed Facebook group and there's lots of breeders on there encouraging people to visit. Interestingly the breeder I'm researching isn't a member.
I've had quite a few back and forth messages with her, she seems very pleasant but she hasn't asked anything about us (though to be fair I have told her quite a bit) and she hasn't suggested I visit her. Hmmmmm......
I might ask her if we can visit and take it from there. Meanwhile, lots of links and reading for me to do!
Thank you very much everyone for the advice!
Meanwhile, lots of links and reading for me to do!
Just to add to those...
The Champdogs site has some quite good, concise information that might be useful. Their Guide to Buying a Puppy and accompanying list of questions to ask are both good. I'd also recommend reading their guide to interviewing potential puppy buyers, although it's aimed at breeders it gives you a good idea of the level of interest the breeder should be taking in you.
The Puppy Plan is another website worth a read through. Lots of advice on finding a breeder/buying a puppy recommends making sure the breeder is socialising them properly, that site will give you an idea of the basics the breeder should be doing.
Just one other thing, I promise it's the last!
Health testing is important and breeders absolutely should be making appropriate use of available tests and screening schemes, however it's not the be-all and end-all of producing healthy puppies. Nor is it a reliable indicator of how good a breeder is or how healthy overall the dogs they produce are.
Particularly with pedigree dogs genetic diversity (or lack of it) should also be a major concern, both of breeders and puppy buyers. Some breeds are in a much worse state than others but regardless of breed it's something breeders should be thinking about every bit as much as health testing, if not more so in some breeds.
The Institute of Canine Biology blog has lots of excellent posts but I'd particularly recommend the following three:
*Understanding the Coefficient of Inbreeding
*Why DNA Tests Won't Make Dogs Healthier
*Let's Kill the Breeder Myths!