10 ways to spot a good breeder


16 September 2016
  1. Is the breeder happy to show you the puppy with its mother in the breeding environment? They should be. If you see the environment and suspect the conditions are not right, do not buy the pup, no matter how tempting it may be to ‘save' it – you will just be making room for another.
  2. The breeder should be asking you as many questions as you ask them – a responsible breeder will want to know they are selling a puppy to a good home and that you will be suitable as an owner.
  3. Can the breeder produce relevant health test results for the puppy's parents? You can find which health tests are relevant to a breed on the Kennel Club website.
  4. Speak to a breed club or look at the Kennel Club website for a list of Kennel Club Assured Breeders, who are monitored by the Kennel Club and have to adhere to a certain set of standards.
  5. Be prepared to be put on a waiting list – buying a puppy is rarely an instant thing and a healthy puppy is worth waiting for.
  6. Ask if you can return the puppy if for some reason things do not work out – a responsible breeder will always say yes.
  7. A responsible breeder will never offer to deliver the puppy to you at a neutral location such as a service station or car park – this is a classic technique used by puppy farmers. They may say things such as they are trying to make things easier for you, or that that they've experience attempted burglaries after puppy buyers have visited their home before etc.
  8. Unless you are sure of their credentials, be wary of breeders who are selling multiple breeds.
  9. When visiting the puppy with its mother in the breeding environment, the puppies should appear to be in good health. Whilst this can sometimes be difficult to assess unless you're a vet, pups should appear visibly healthy – bright and clear eyes, clean ears and nose free from discharge, clean and glossy coat and generally bright and active.
  10. Passion – a good breeder will care deeply about their dogs and their breed and this will show. They'll also have the knowledge to answer all your questions and will leave you feeling confident that you're buying a puppy from someone who really cares for dogs.
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