You’ve weighed up all the pro’s and cons and decided you are going to add a puppy to your family. Great choice, now is the hard part, finding your right puppy.
Puppy farming is a huge problem at the moment. With demand rising, especially for certain breeds, puppy farming is becoming more of an issue.
Puppy farming is when an unlicensed breeder breeds dogs for profit, with no consideration to the mother or potential puppies welfare.
The dogs used for breeding in puppy farms are just that, puppy machines. The females are bred after each litter, usually on their very next season. They are kept in horrendous conditions, more often then not tiny unsanitary cages, covered in their own excrement, forced to breed, then left to birth alone without any veterinary care. In cases where the birth goes wrong, both the mother and pups are left to die.
Any surviving puppies are quickly removed from their mother and put into their own unsanitary conditions. With no healthcare many will have been born in a very poor state. They have no human interaction and if they survive will have behavioural issues later on. The mother is then used again to reproduce another litter.
Inbreeding is a common issue and puppies will be born with genetic health conditions. These can range from deadly infections such as Parvovirus to musculoskeletal deformities.
The puppies are then sold at high price to anyone who wants them. Unsuspecting puppy parents then end up buying a puppy who will soon be in need of urgent veterinary care as they would never have been health checked, flead, or wormed.
The only way you can guarantee you are in the safest hands and can be confident you are buying a healthy puppy, who has been raised and treated correctly is to use a Kennel Club Accredited breeder. (Link at the bottom)
KC reg breeders are licensed dog breeders who have been registered by the Kennel Club. Of course a few bad apples do sneak through the registration process.
Any notable breeder will be proud of their achievements, they will show their previous litters and most now use social media. By checking out their pages you can see how often they breed each dog, how successful their previous litters have been and most people remain in contact with their breeder so you will see updates. Signs like this show you you are using a credible breeder.
Many breeders will have waiting lists. If they have no puppies available they will give you an estimated time frame for their next expected litter.
If possible get in touch with people who already have used that breeder. If people receive a positive experience from a breeder they likely want to share that experience.
Once you have decided on a breed, draw up a shortlist of potential breeders and do your research on them.
When you find someone you like initiate contact. You should then be invited to meet the puppies.
When you go to meet the puppies ensure the mother is with them. If there are just puppies with no parents walk away. By meeting the puppies mother you will get an idea of her temperament, how well she has been cared for. The puppies should be lively and look happy depending on their age.
Good breeders will ask you lot’s of questions. Don’t be put off, they are checking to see if there puppies are going to responsible people. Take this opportunity to ask the breeder any questions you have.
The breeder will be happy to answer all of your questions, will tell you about the puppies and the mother.
If you find your puppy you will be expected to put down a deposit. You then pay the remainder when you collect your puppy. You will be shown copies of the Kennel club registration, a pedigree (family tree) of your puppy. Some breeders even include this in your puppy pack. If not you can always ask to see it.
Before you bring your puppy home it will have been vet checked and you will receive a health certificate of this visit. You will have copies of all of the worming and flea treatment dates and dates the next treatment is due. Sometimes your puppy will already of had its first vaccinations, however some vets prefer to do a full course so if your puppy is not vaccinated but has all other health documents do not be alarmed. You can always start vaccinations when you bring your puppy home.
If when you visit something doesn’t seem right then do not feel pressured into putting down any deposits.
Once we had decided on a Labrador puppy we set out to find potential breeders. We searched extensively online and came up with a shortlist of three KC reg breeders. The first one we got in touch with we didn’t like the sound of.
The second one we made contact with invited us to meet the puppies. We went the very next day. When we arrived the puppies were all sleeping together with their Mother. They were 5 weeks old and as soon as we walked in they all woke up. The mother came up to us and sniffed us out. I’m sure she was checking we was worthy of her babies.
We were shown the two remaining puppies available to reserve as the rest were already reserved.
When I picked up the first puppy she was lovely, but she didn’t feel like my puppy. I then picked up the other one, the tiny tail was wagging, she licked my face and wanted cuddles. I knew she had chosen me. The breeder asked us lot’s of questions on our previous dogs, what breed they were, how they died etc. She then asked us about our home and lifestyle. We was happy to hear she was interested and we were confident we had found a reputable breeder. The mother and puppies were all in the breeders home and also present was the puppies auntie.
We got such a good feeling from this breeder and her dogs that we were happy we had made the right choice.
We put down a deposit and was given a receipt.
For the next few weeks our breeder stayed in touch, giving us updates on how the puppies were doing as well as the mother.
When the puppies were 8 weeks old we was invited back to collect her.
When we went to collect her we signed a puppy contract, paid the remaining fee and was given the healthcare certificates and records of worming and flea treatments. As part of our contract we had to get our own vet to give her a health check within 48hrs of her going home.
We was given a sample of food that the puppies had been eating and was told to get in touch if we had any questions.
Phoenix was a fit and healthy puppy and we have never encountered any issues with her at all.
To find a reputable KC registered breeder and any available litters follow this link https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/search/find-a-puppy/