Finding the right dog breeder
Seek out responsible dog breeders such as Kennel Club Assured Breeders The Kennel Club operates an Assured Breeder Scheme.
Kennel Club Assured Breeders sign up to follow recommended breeding guidelines. They make use of health screening schemes, such as testing for hip problems and eye conditions, which will help owners to predict the future health of their puppy. They will ensure the puppy is seen with its mother if possible, to give an indication of how the puppy is likely to turn out. Any responsible dog breeder should be prepared to answer your questions about the breed. Will be there as a point of contact throughout the puppy’s life to ensure that the dog and owner have a happy and fulfilling relationship. If a breeder doesn’t follow these guidelines and if the puppies do not appear happy and are not kept in good conditions, then look elsewhere.
Breed Club The Puppy co-ordinator will also recommend dog breeders to you.
What to expect from a breeder
The breeder should give you the opportunity to see the puppy with the rest of litter, also see the mother. This is very important because it will not only give you an opportunity to see the temperament of the mother, but may also give you an idea of the future characteristics and size of the puppy.
- Have the opportunity to see all the puppies and be able to handle them, rather than just seeing the puppy being offered to you.
- It is the responsibility of the breeder(s) to register the litter with the Kennel Club and each puppy in the litter will initially be registered in the breeder(s)’ name(s). The breeder(s) chooses the official Kennel Club names for all the puppies.
- Under normal circumstances, litter registration with the Kennel Club takes about 14 days, after which time the breeder(s) will receive the registration certificates for all the puppies in the litter. If there is a query with the application the Kennel Club will contact the breeder to resolve and further action may be required which may delay the registration process.
- If the dog is advertised as Kennel Club registered, you should ensure that you take receipt of the Kennel Club Registration Certificate. You must then proceed to apply to the Kennel Club to transfer your dog into your own name. Please be aware that you will require the signature of the breeder(s) to complete this. If the registrations certificate is not available at the time of purchase, ensure that you receive an undertaking in writing from the breeder that this will be sent to you when available.
What information to ask the breeder for
- A Contract of Sale - it is recommended that the breeder provide you with this. Amongst other things this should detail both the breeder(s)’ and your responsibility to the puppy. The contract should also list any official Kennel Club endorsements (restrictions) that the breeder has placed on the puppy’s records, and in particular on what basis the breeder may be prepared to remove the endorsement. Endorsements the breeder may place on your puppy include not for breeding and not for export. Before or at the time of sale, you must give a signed acknowledgement of any endorsement placed.
- Written advice on training, feeding, exercise, worming and immunisation.
- A pedigree detailing your dog’s ancestry – this could either be hand-written or a printed pedigree from either the breeder or an official one from the Kennel Club.
- Copies of any additional health certificates for the sire and dam.
- Just like humans, some breeds of dogs can be affected by inherited conditions. The Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association offer three canine health schemes, which aim to detect and monitor certain inherited conditions. It is important that you are aware of these conditions and know the right questions to ask of breeders before buying a puppy. There are also some DNA tests now available for certain breeds.
- Ask which vaccinations your puppy has had and which ones are still required.
Where NOT to buy a puppy or a dog
Never go to a pet shop as their breeding stock may have come from puppy farmers – breeders out to make a quick profit often at the expense of the health and welfare of the puppies.