Finding a good puppy breeder

If you've decided to buy from a dog breeder, you'll want to ensure that the puppy you're buying is healthy and happy and that you're not unwittingly funding the cruel puppy trade.

As well as tips for spotting a puppy dealers advert we've got some great tips on spotting a responsible breeder, or identifying a breeder who's only interest is profit.

Spotting a puppy breeder

A responsible breeder will:

  • Spend time chatting to you on the phone and will arrange a time for you to visit to meet their puppies, along with their mum and siblings, in the place where they were born and raised.
  • Be happy to have more than one meeting to ensure you and the puppy are compatible. 
  • Be happy to answer all of your questions and ask you just as many to make sure their puppies are going to a good home.
  • Be happy to use The Puppy Contract
  • Be happy to show you their Local Authority license if they are breeding and selling pets as a business (to make a profit).
  • Provide genuine paperwork/certificates for puppy vaccinations, microchipping (which is a legal requirement), worming and results for health test where relevant.

A responsible breeder won't:

  • Rush you into parting with cash in exchange for a puppy.
  • Try to fob you off by saying that the mother is at the vets, asleep or out for a walk. If mum isn't there, then the puppy wasn't bred there.
  • Offer to deliver a puppy to you or meet you somewhere random like a car park.
  • Say 'it's normal for the breed' about any health issues like snoring - all puppies should be born with the best chance of living happy, healthy lives whatever breed they are.
  • Use kennel club registration (or any other registration) as a guarantee of quality or health and happiness.

If anything seems suspicious, it means it is. Don't be caught out, be sure to take a look at more tips for spotting a puppy dealer.

Visiting the breeder and choosing your puppy

When it comes to choosing your puppy, try and look for a happy interactive puppy. And check out our top tips for spotting a healthy, happy puppy.

Spend plenty of time with the dog and don't feel rushed, they'll be your responsibility for many years to come. Don't buy on the first visit. To keep on track, use our Visiting a puppy checklist (PDF 1.66MB).

Use the puppy contract

If you're satisfied that the puppy you've chosen is healthy and happy, and you're confident you've chosen a good breeder it's now time to think about taking your puppy home.

There is one more thing you can do to help ensure that you're buying from a responsible breeder. Ask your chosen breeder to complete Puppy Information Pack and contract for the sale and purchase of a puppy. A good breeder should be happy to do this.

Remember If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. Although it's tempting to 'rescue' the puppy, you will be financially supporting the trade and sadly, another puppy will just take their place - instead, walk away and report your concerns to us immediately.

Alternatively, consider adopting an animal from us. Every dog comes vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered and has received a health check so you know you'll be getting a healthy, happy puppy.

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