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Puppy buying advice needed please.(39 Posts)
Hi, dh and I have decided that we would like to buy a puppy. We've done a lot of research into breeds and have come to the decision that a labrador would fit into our family of 5 best.
We found a breeder on the Kennel Club find a breeder page so sent them a message and went to view the 2 available pups today. They are local authority registered. Dh thinks I'm being overly picky with these concerns that I raised on the way home.
1. We couldn't go into the house that we met the owner at, we could only see the 2 available puppies with their mum in the garden. The blinds were pulled down on all the windows so couldn't see inside to see if there was any evidence of the dogs actually living there.
2. Despite the mum being nearly 4 she didn't have any hip scores done, the dad does and his are average though no other screening was mentioned.
3. The breeder didn't have any paperwork with him, we didn't ask to see it but I would have thought he'd be more forthcoming with it.
4. The pups were interacting well with their mum and they were drinking from her but would have liked to have seen them with all of their litter mates.
5. He didn't ask for a deposit straightaway but did apply subtle pressure by telling us that someone else was visiting tomorrow to look at the pups.
They are KC registered though the breeder isn't an assured breeder. Dh thinks I'm just trying to find fault, he may be right as I am a very cautious person and struggle to buy so much as a pillow without worrying whether I'm making the right choice but it's point 1 which is the biggest concern to me.
I know it's not AIBU but am I or is dh?
That sounds a bit dodgy. KC registered pups usually come from hip scored mothers.
Did they tell you if she had previous litters ? And what their kennel name was ? If so you can look up on the Kennel Club site and see if there are reported problems.
Bear in mind labs are very common ( I have 2 so no insult intended) and there will be others. If in doubt, shop around.
I'd find that all rather odd. Also seeing labs with hip issues is horrific. Id only buy puppies from scored parents with decent results. Walk away. A decent breeder would be showing off their puppies, not only the available ones. Sounds odd
Even being generous and offering excuses for the other bits that gave you the wibbles, point two would be the biggie for me - evidence of hip, elbow and eye testing on both parents (and as many generations back as possible) or walk away.
Labradors are a popular breed, you will find a 'better' litter.
Thank you. It was just really odd that the dogs were brought to the garden from his truck when we got there, it wasn't even the case that he just let them out of his house. I thought puppies had to stay home until they'd had their 1st vaccine too? I'm going to convince dh that we need to walk away from these ones and continue looking.
It was the 1st litter for that particular dog, she is nearly 4 so there's been 3 years to get her hip and elbow scores done so not sure why he wouldn't have!
That's definitely very odd.
When we got our golden retriever the breeder invited us in, we got to see the litter several times before we took DDog home. The first time we met the pups we stayed for around 45 minutes chatting to the breeder as she was very selective who she sent pups home with. And all the pups had the relevant paperwork.
I would look for another breeder if I were you.
KC reg is guarantee of nothing.
Contact the breed club for the breed you want and be prepared to wait.
Expect to be grilled about your lifestyle and how you can provide for the dog. There may be a homecheck.
No hip scores? No excuse.
Vaccine - not necessarily. There's three or four brands of vaccines and a couple of different protocols for giving them, so if your own vet uses a different brand it can result in a restart or prolonging the course. I personally prefer to buy an unvaccinated puppy and start the course myself. I would still expect evidence of a vet check.
In terms of what has to be done before they leave - they are legally obliged to microchip, and be listed on the microchip database as the first registered keeper, and the puppies must be at least 8 weeks of age before sale.
The puppies were fetched from the car, not the house? With no reason given? Weird, weird, weird.
Those puppies don't live at that house. He's fronting for a puppy farm (at the very least). Walk away.
As a base line, anyone who has puppies immediatly available is pretty much certain to be dodgy.
Nope. Absolutely not. He is hiding something
Walk away from that breeder. Terrible.
Have a look on Champdogs, one or both parents have to be health tested to advertise litters. With lab litters, it is mostly both parents and you can see their health test results on there (you can double check some of them on the KC site too, also always make sure you see the paper versions in person if you visit the breeder).
The local authority licence means puppy farmer - someone who breeds 3 or more litters a year. No decent breeder has that many bitches.
Call the breed club and ask them for recommendations of breeders. You may have to travel for a good one. Ours was almost 3 hours drive!
I wouldn't if the mum hasn't had relevant health tests. I'm a trainer and so many labs have hip dysplasia at a young age. Very preventable if parents were screened before breeding.
Also ask breeder how they have socialised pups as any reputable breeder would have a plan in place like ENS (early neurological stimulation). Qs to ask would be have they been introduced to children, hoovers, etc.
Don't fall for excuses for a lack of socialisation. Labs are ace dogs were raised properly. They make a great family dog 😊.
What @CMOTDibbler said definitely!! Stay away
Missed the bit that he got them from a truck. Walk away. Run actually, screaming bad breeder!!!
Agree re the vaccine thing. Lots of reputable breeders don’t do any vaccinations now. As a PP says, there a few regimens and if your local vet doesn’t offer the course that the breeder has started, they will have to start from scratch again and not only is that a waste of money but it’s also potentially overloading a young puppies system.
Yes to a vet check, evidence on headed paper. Follow it up. Phone the vets and ask them, look them up and phone them direct (just in case a stunt phone no has been used on the header so you get through to some dodgy bastard pretending to be the vet)
I wouldn't touch a Lab pup that hasn't got documents to show both parents have low hip scores. I would want to see the mother at least and I would have to have a really good vibe before I bought any puppy.
Labs have a relatively short lifespan and they are not without health issues. They are recognised to carry a gene that makes them want food constantly and this leads to a mass of elbow and hip problems as well as collapsing trachea if they gain weight.
There's a lot of 'pedigree' dogs I would buy without papers but hands down the one I would not is a Labrador. A Lab of unknown parentage and genetics will be a walking vet bill OP genuinely.
Listen to your intuition, if it doesn’t feel right, walk away.
As someone mentioned upthread. www.champdogs.co.uk. This site is for KC registered breeders. They have photos, list the parents with pedigree, state that the parents are health tested, and the results of hip/elbow/eye tests.
Please walk away from the guy you saw today. A puppy from breeders who care about their dna lines & breed with the healthiest dogs will have the best possible chance from a health & temperment perspective.
A decent breeder will welcome you, want to show you the litter. Most have waiting lists before the litter is born. They want to vet you! They want to know their precious pup is going to a forever home to be loved like a family member. Anything less is dubious. Save yourself some heartache & do it properly.
walk away from that.
you will be buying a problem!
With a lab there is no way I'd consider it if it both parents hadn't got below average hip and elbow scores
Walk away. The right pup is out there
There is a possibility they had the bitch x rated and the vet said the scores would be bad before they sent them off so they didn't send them. It happens. I've known someone (with a lab actually!) who did that! Still bred from the bitch, and the one pup I know at 1 yr old did not look sound
I don’t agree that anyone with a council licence is automatically a puppy farmer.
The breeder my dog came from has a number of bitches she breeds from (she also has all of her retired girls). Her girls have a max of 3 litters in their lives and have a litter every other year maximum. She tends to have a couple of litters a year. They are all health tested or are hereditary clear for all common in breed conditions. The hip and elbow scores are fantastic and she chooses sires with equally good (if not better) scores and complimentary traits in terms of temperament. Her girls ‘live in’ and are healthy, well socialised, happy family dogs.
Initial contact with the breeder was via email. I then spent 45 minutes on the telephone with her. I visited once to see the set up and meet the dogs, which the breeder was very receptive to. I then met her a few more times once the puppies were born. She kept a puppy from the litter to continue her line. We were also in telephone/email contact throughout.The puppy (very healthy, friendly, biddable, no neuroses) has been home now for a couple of months and we’re still in regular contact with the breeder, she takes a genuine interest in all of her dog’s progeny. She is still in contact with most of the families who have had puppies from her.
I spoke to lots of breeders, met a few of those and shortlisted even fewer. I narrowed it down to two, in the end. It is worth putting the leg work in finding the right breeder, right pairing, your persistence will pay off.
I didn't get passed your first point. That would be an absolute, no going back, cancel the sale, deal breaker for me.
I would run for the hills.