Do’s and Don’t’s of Puppy Buying
Assuming that you have done your research and are sure
that you know which breed is right for you and your lifestyle (see how
to live with...) the next step is to locate reputable breeders. The
best way to do this is to contact the relevant breed society or club for
that breed, as they will be able to guide you toward suitable breeders
and most will hold puppy lists. Word of mouth i.e. recommendation from
someone who already has one of your selected breed is also a good way
to be introduced to a breeder.
It is advisable to start looking in plenty of time as
most breeders will have waiting lists and the availability of pups is
often seasonal. Be prepared to look at several litters, and if possible
meet the breeders and their dogs prior to putting your name on a list.
Be prepared to wait, not to rush and buy the first available pup, as the
right pup is worth the wait.
Be prepared to be thoroughly grilled by the breeder about
all aspects of your life as they will want be quite sure that you and
your home and lifestyle are right, so allow several hours for your visit!
How will you know that the breeder is reputable? A good
breeder will demonstrate sound knowledge of the breed, they will supply
as minimum a diet sheet, information about the breed, a guide to looking
after your puppy, relevant health screening for the parents, and the pups
will have been wormed, de-flea ed etc. They will want to keep in touch
as the pup grows and will be prepared to take a pup back if circumstances
Meet the parents if possible, although it may not always
be feasible to see the father it must always be ok to meet the mother.
Any excuse not to meet her might indicate a problem. e.g. poor temperament,
and remember the pups will be a mix of both parents genes so the parents
will give a good indication of how the pups will be when grown up.
A healthy puppy will be lively, have a shiny coat, clear
eyes and nose, a clean bottom, clean ears and have that lovely “puppy
“ smell. There should be no signs of fleas or other parasites. It
is advisable to check for umbilical hernias, but this needn't be a reason
for not buying that pup unless you intend to show or breed.
It is not advisable to buy from a pet shop or commercial
puppy farm as there is no guarantee that the parents or pups will have
had the relevant health checks, it is also likely that the pups will not
have been properly socialised which can lead to severe temperament issues
as they grow up.
The above remarks also apply to buying from the free
ads, reputable breeders do not need to advertise their pups!!
Don’t let your heart rule your head, it is very
easy to see a litter of pups and fall for one because it is small or sickly,
be sensible and realise that this could lead to major problems later on!
Don’t be fooled into paying extortionate prices
for the pup. As a guide, the following chart displays a reasonable price
to pay for the following breeds. The higher prices will be charged for
pups from a breeder with many years experience in the breed who have achieved
top honours in either the show ring or field ( maybe both) consistently.