Dorsetdog - Puppy buying advice

What to consider when looking for a family pet - Scroll down to see advice from Puppy Love Campaigns

Please also read about the Breed health issues at

But first - One caring breeder told Dorsetdog

" As for unscrupulous breeders!

Firstly (and most importantly) When I sell puppies, they will be KC registered. To do that I have to be the legal owner of their mum, and she will be registered in my name with the kennel club. I also will have a signed copy (or authorisation from the owner of the stud dog I used + all his registration details) so I can register the litter. So if the pups are KC registered and you as a buyer are given the certificate, then in all probability they are genuine. Though it's not foolproof.

As for health certificates, if genuine, they will have KC Reg number and micro-chip number on them

It is possible that an unscrupulous breeder could wave a piece of paper around and pretend it's a certificate? who knows? and a potential buyer could be fooled.

A few well-chosen questions would get the breeder on the wrong foot straight away. Mainly because they wouldn't have a clue about health testing in the first place, wouldn't know who did the health tests, or what centres ran MRI scans. So on this count it's useful as a buyer to find out as much as possible, Speaking with any of the puppy register coordinators would pay dividends. But in the end it's like anything, you would need to know what questions to ask."

So search for online forums of your chosen breed, and ask the breeders there what questions you should ask when buying that breed.

Now for that buying advice from Puppy Love Campaign

Buying a puppy is a serious commitment and should not be taken lightly. Before making that decision consider whether you have the time and money to care for a dog properly and the commitment to do so for the rest of its life, which could be 15 years.

If you decide to get a dog why not consider giving a home to a rescue dog? Animal shelters up and down the country are full of dogs needing a home. Rescue dogs make wonderful companions and desperately need our help since thousands are abandoned every year, in many cases through no fault of the dog. Many thousands are put to sleep simply because they don't have a home; so when you give a shelter dog a home, you're literally giving them a second chance at life.

If you have a particular breed in mind you could also consider adopting from one of the many breed rescues but always do your homework and checkout the people who run the rescue are reputable.

Never buy a puppy from a pet shop, most pet shop pups are from puppy farms. This has been proven time and time again.

Never buy from anyone who advertises with only a mobile telephone number, as this indicates they do not want you to know what area they are in and often want to arrange to meet you somewhere rather than you going to their home. Buying over the Internet is also very risky, breeders and puppy dealers web sites look good, but can be very deceiving. Never buy from anyone who breeds multiple breeds, or who has pups for sale on a regular basis.

If you do decide to get a puppy from a breeder, you should first research which breed of dog will best suit your lifestyle. Buy your puppy from a responsible breeder, raised in a home environment so puppies are socialized. Make sure you see the mother with her puppies and check she appears healthy, with good temperament and that her puppies are fit and healthy. Never buy a puppy less than 8 weeks old. Ask to see proof of health testing for the parents of the breed you have chosen, to ensure the chances of genetic diseases, which are common in pure bred dogs, have been minimized. A good breeder will ask you lots of questions will welcome questions from you and should offer full support when you take your puppy home. He/she will agree to take the pup back if things don't work out.

Whist it is hard, if you are ushered in to a separate room by the breeder and then a puppy is brought in to you covered in its own waste - then walk away. This is a sales trick used by some puppy farmers to make the buyer feel that they are rescuing something, which in reality probably has numerous health defects. By buying the dog, the farmer/breeder is encouraged to continue breeding and selling in this way.

Good luck in your search and please make sure that you do not contribute to the cruelty that dog breeding has become.

Enjoy your new dog, and train him well