Choosing a puppy

Research carried out by the PDSA in 2018 stated that a quarter of pet owners did little or no research before purchasing a pet.

This blog gives a quick guide to the factors which should be considered before making such an important purchase.

What type of dog would you like?

Decide whether a pedigree or a cross breed is suitable and if so what type? Study the kennel club website for descriptions of breeds.

If a pedigree breed is considered find out all the health tests which are required. This can include hip and elbow scoring, annual eye tests and a large number of DNA tests.

Do not consider buying a puppy unless you are satisfied that the health tests are carried out with satisfactory results. These results are available on the kennel club website.

Cross breeds

The current popularity for cross breeds as opposed to the “mongrel” or true mixed breed means that the market is now flooded with puppies derived from two distinct pedigree breeds. In many cases, health testing is not performed on either parent due to the mistaken belief that a cross breed will not succumb to hereditary disease. These crosses are often produced by commercial puppy farms with very little after sales support provided.

Puppies from websites

If a puppy is sourced from some of the popular internet sites such as “gumtree“ and “preloved“ great care must be taken to establish the seller is actually the breeder of the puppy. Make sure the mother of the puppies is viewed interacting with them and the premises where they are reared needs to be seen too. It is not acceptable for a puppy to brought out of some back premises to be viewed along with the excuse that the “mum is out for a walk” or much more worrying “mum doesn’t like strangers”.

It is best if the purchaser visits several times while the puppies are growing and developing.

Beware deposits

Beware of sellers asking for large deposits particularly before a puppy has been viewed.

Good breeders often don’t ask for a deposit so that a purchaser feels that they can change their mind and of course the breeder can do likewise.