Once you have done your research and have chosen a breed which is best for you and your lifestyle, you need to find the right puppy for you. If you have looked for a rescue and decided this is not for you there are a few things to look out for and questions to ask.

Always try and see the parent dogs in their own home with the whole of the litter. This shows a few things such as the breeder is not part of a puppy farm and the environment is clean and safe. It also shows the temperament and health of all the dogs; asking to see this isn’t usually a problem and should raise concerns if it is.  Puppy farms will usually have more than one breed available at once, sometimes several. They will also illegally import puppies from abroad which usually have health issues so take your time to look over the puppies and if you are concerned about their health you should contact the RSPCA or local council.

Ask for a Contract of Sale! It is highly recommended that the breeder provides you with this; it should detail both the breeder’s and your responsibilities to the puppy, for example accepting the puppy back should you not be able to take care of the puppy. It should also list any official Kennel Club restrictions that the breeder has placed on the puppy’s records for example export or breeding.

Confirm which vaccinations your puppy has had and which ones they will need in future; also make sure whether they have received any other treatments such as worming and flea treatments.

If you puppy has been advertised a Kennel Club registered ensure you receive Kennel Club registration documents and must be signed on the back by your breeder. The registered ownership of your dog will remain in the breeders’ name until you register ownership of your puppy! Ask for any further documents such as health certificates from the Sire or Dame, it is important that you are aware of these conditions and know the right questions to ask of breeders before buying a puppy.

A good breeder will also question you and find out a bit more about you to ensure you are giving the puppy a good home; they should also give you information about the breed to make sure you are making an informed choice.

And lastly be prepared to walk away and say no! Bad breeders will use your emotions to encourage you to buy and if you have any doubts of the breeder following proper practices or suspect a puppy farm, don’t be afraid to report them to local council, RSPCA or police.

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