How to find a puppy

(23 Posts)
Grumpbum123 Sat 28-Mar-20 17:14:35

We are a household of two adults a 5 and 9 yr old been thinking for sometime about getting a dog. Small breed preferably no pugs etc
How do you go about finding a reputable breeder?

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motherofgod2 Sat 28-Mar-20 17:22:07

This will go well grin
I got my last dog from a local breeder. Heard he was having a litter through word of mouth (small village everyone knows everyone )

If you decided on a breed Kennel Club is your best bet. They have a breeder page that says if they're due to have a litter. My neighbour got a puppy from SSPCA also. And there's ads on Pets4 homes or Gumtree.

Grumpbum123 Sat 28-Mar-20 17:27:15

Thank you not sure why you think this will go badly I’m asking a genuine question as o don’t want to buy from a puppy farm or online. After recently losing 4K on a mis sold horse I’m ultra careful. Would it help to say I’m at home or at the stables where it can come with me, H and I had dogs whilst younger and we have a large secure garden

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VetOnCall Sat 28-Mar-20 18:51:13

I posted the below on another thread yesterday, just copying and pasting. Do you have any breeds in mind that might suit your lifestyle? You mention something small and also horses - maybe a Border Terrier? Great family pets, very hardy and robust, will walk as much as you want but don't demand tons of exercise, generally very nice natured and very popular with horse owners in my experience so could be a good match for you.

This is what I wrote on the other thread:

The best way to find a reputable breeder of almost any breed is via the breed club (exceptions being some working-bred dogs where you might go to field trial or working societies instead). There will be a 'parent club' made up of breed enthusiasts e.g. and there may also be smaller regional clubs.

Contact the breed club - usually via the Secretary - and they should be able to recommend reputable breeders that you can speak to who breed good examples of their breed with all relevant health testing etc. Attending some shows is also an excellent way to meet breeders - and lots of dogs of course - so you can see what good examples of your chosen breed are like and which breeding lines you might prefer more than others.

You still need to carry out your own due diligence - check that health tests have been done and are up to date etc. and you will likely have to wait for a puppy from a reputable breeder, most of them will have waiting lists well in advance of every litter, but it is absolutely worth waiting for the right puppy. Be prepared for them to grill you as to why you want a puppy, why that breed, your circumstances and lifestyle etc. too!

OnlyToWin Sat 28-Mar-20 18:55:13

Second via breed club. I got in touch and got chatting to one breeder who did not have any litters. However, they then put me in touch with a breeder who had a lovely litter. Our dog has been great.

VetOnCall Sat 28-Mar-20 18:56:15

Avoid adverts on the likes of Pets4Homes and especially Gumtree at all costs. This is absolutely not a good way to find a puppy. These types of websites are rife with puppy farmers/dealers who act as a front for puppy farms, people churning out litters for money and clueless types who throw any two dogs together because 'aww cute puppies' with zero consideration for health testing or breed type.

OnlyToWin Sat 28-Mar-20 18:56:53

I did feel like I was being vetted during our phone calls and was happy to be vetted. I was happy that these breeders were so dedicated to their dogs that they would not allow them to be sold to whoever had the cash.


Grumpbum123 Sat 28-Mar-20 19:00:16

Thank you

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carly2803 Sat 28-Mar-20 19:04:19

avoid gumtree, pets4home and theres a puppysuperstore (or was?) in manchester and leeds - puppy farm

also douglas hall farm and kellys kennels are puppy farmers.

carly2803 Sat 28-Mar-20 19:04:19

avoid gumtree, pets4home and theres a puppysuperstore (or was?) in manchester and leeds - puppy farm

also douglas hall farm and kellys kennels are puppy farmers.

carly2803 Sat 28-Mar-20 19:04:19

avoid gumtree, pets4home and theres a puppysuperstore (or was?) in manchester and leeds - puppy farm

also douglas hall farm and kellys kennels are puppy farmers.

DeathByPuppy Sat 28-Mar-20 19:09:09

If pedigree

Breed club
Kennel Club Assured
Champdogs website

Cross check everything. These places are generally a better bet but they are not a guarantee and you still need to do some due diligence.

Make sure they have all the paperwork (pedigrees, vet checks, council licensing etc), check the health results for both parents (the KC website allows you to cross check some schemes like hips, eyes and elbows). Meet the breeder
Meet the mum (how does she look? What’s her temperament like? How do she and the breeder interact with each other?)
See where the mum will whelp and the litter will be raised. Is it clean, is it warm, is it safe?
What sort of socialisation do the puppies get in their early weeks?
How many bitches are there?
How many litters do the bitches have?
How many litters has your bitch had? How did they go? Normal deliveries?
Why are they breeding?
Is there a waiting list? Good breeders generally do have a waiting list BEFORE their bitch even goes into season.

If all of those questions are answered to your satisfaction, listen to your gut. If even after all of those things are ok it still feels ‘off’, walk away. Try to remain as neutral as possible, the minute you fall in love it’s all over. Treat it as a business transaction first.

DeathByPuppy Sat 28-Mar-20 19:17:12

First though, do your research as to what kind of dog you want. Look at breed profiles and behavioural traits health profiles for that breed. Is it what you want? It might have the looks but does it fit in with your wants/needs?

Most breed clubs do have puppy lists but ime they’re often not great at getting back to you.

SutterCane Sat 28-Mar-20 19:19:12

I'm also going to copy and paste some posts I've done in the past because I'm lazy grin Apologies though as it's going to be a bit of an essay!

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.

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.

Health testing is important and breeders absolutely should be making appropriate use of available tests and screening schemes (this site is good for finding out what tests are available for different breeds and the KC also lists recommended tests under 'Health Information' on their page for each breed), 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!

DeathByPuppy Sat 28-Mar-20 19:23:29

Also, how many other breeds do they breed? Multiple breeds is generally a red flag.

Avoid big superstore/sheds type places like ‘Dogs4Us’ where they have every type of puppy in every colour available as they are usually always supplied by puppy farmers. No reputable, ethical breeder in their right mind would let a single puppy go to that environment, never mind litter after litter. Most reputable breeders grill you as much as you grill them. They care about their progeny and their reputation and do everything they can to home their dogs in safe, loving homes.

DeathByPuppy Sat 28-Mar-20 19:28:18

CoI is really important. You can’t find your breed’s annual average on the KC website, you want your litter to be below that, ideally. Some breeds are insanely inbred, especially if you chose a show line version. Working line versions of breeds tend to have have healthier/lower risk CoI percentages.

SutterCane Sat 28-Mar-20 20:09:21

It's worth noting that the KC's COI calculator is only a measure of recent inbreeding, the actual level of inbreeding of any dog will pretty much always be higher (often much higher) than the calculator suggests.

The KC's pedigree data doesn't actually go back very far and as that's all the information they have for their calculator only inbreeding that occurred within those generations will be represented in the result. This is an issue regardless of breed but it's particularly so when a genetic bottleneck happened prior to the KC's pedigree information or when the breed goes back to a small number of founders.

COIs calculated pedigrees (even if they use far more generations than the KC) are somewhat limited in their usefulness, this blog post explains why really well.

Ideally breeders would be using DNA testing to minimise inbreeding inbreeding levels as much as possible but unfortunately I think those that do are vanishingly rare.

motherofgod2 Sun 29-Mar-20 13:16:52

14Grumpbum123 I wasn't being snide just these types of threads normally end with the OP being told how selfish and evil it is to get a puppy (I disagree with that sentiment ) and that they should get a rescue but that doesn't suit everyone.

I didn't know that about puppy superstores that's disgusting how can it be legal ?

SutterCane Sun 29-Mar-20 14:01:08

I didn't know that about puppy superstores that's disgusting how can it be legal ?

Thankfully as of the 6th of April it won't be anymore. There's a new law coming in which prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens under six months of age by anyone other than their breeder.

Puppy farms will unfortunately still be able to operate as long as they're selling from their own premises but places like Dogs4Us and other pet shops will no longer be able to carry on as they are.

Veterinari Sun 29-Mar-20 14:10:31


You've been given some good advice but it's also worth considering that in a pandemic travelling to a breeder/see a pup is not essential and vet practices are operating for emergencies only so won't be providing vaccinations, workers etc.

Veterinari Sun 29-Mar-20 14:10:47

* workers

motherofgod2 Sun 29-Mar-20 15:08:38

@SutterCane that's good to hear

Grumpbum123 Sun 29-Mar-20 19:38:38

Oh we are researching whilst we have time most definitely not going to be going to see any until this is all over

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