Updated: Sep 22, 2020
Finding a puppy from a good breeder is no easy task.
Earlier this year the UK Government passed new legislation regarding the sale of puppies and kittens. Breeders are now required to be licenced and follow tighter regulations which make them accountable for the puppies they breed. Despite this we’re still seeing news reports of poorly bred puppies dying days after arriving with their owners.
The hope was that this legislation would reduce the number of unreliable breeders and make it easier for potential owners to find well-bred puppies. But it’s still a minefield of secrets and crafty tactics with money-making at the centre.
There are many reports of puppies being sold at inflated prices, especially since Covid-19 when demand for puppies appears to have rocketed. Research the average price of the breed you’re looking at and avoid any breeders who are selling at much lower or higher prices. When money-making is the driving force behind breeding, the puppies are simply a commodity, bred for their sale-ability with little care for their health or temperament.
At the very least, you should see the puppies with their mother in a home environment, but this isn’t really enough. Even well-meaning breeders make mistakes or neglect some vital areas and there are so many aspects that must be considered when choosing a puppy.
The Key Ones
Health tests – different breeds are prone to different genetic conditions. Responsible breeders will be knowledgeable and open about potential health issues in their breed. They should be able to provide evidence of health testing and breeding from generations of dogs with clear histories. Certain breeds will be more prone to health issues so research thoroughly and be prepared for this if you choose a more susceptible breed. If you find a breeder who hasn't done all of the relevent health testing, you should be concerned about what other corners they are cutting
Health records – your puppy should have a record of vaccinations, flea and worm treatments, make sure the breeder is able to provide a history of this and all vet visits. Microchipping is now a legal requirement so never choose a puppy who hasn’t been chipped. And remember it’s illegal for puppies to leave the breeder before 8 weeks, a puppy being sold under this age is a huge red flag.