Top Tips on Breeders

Responsible dog ownership falls on your shoulders as soon as you bring your gorgeous bundle of fur into your home and you then have the perfect opportunity to have the dog of your dreams, it’s really that simple… well, yes and no! Yes, because as a puppy parent your awareness of the huge responsibility you have in those all important first few weeks has a huge impact on your dog's ability to cope with the world around them, but let's rewind a bit back from that fabulous day when you pick up your bundle of fur.

The breeder, it’s so important to understand their role in your puppy’s life. They have already spent a great deal of time with your puppy and their responsibility is to understand the importance of those weeks and speak with confidence about the puppy, from the personalities to their toilet habits. This will show you how much time the breeder is spending with the puppies. The breeders knowledge of the puppy should be a huge indication to you as to how your puppy will already be progressing and how the puppy perceives the world around them.

There is a huge campaign to promote responsible breeding due to the increase of these ghastly puppy farms; there are some key tell-tail signs that you could be dealing with a puppy farm. Here are some top tips on the Do’s and Don'ts.


  • Ask to see the puppy’s mother, which should be present.
  • See the puppy in its breeding environment and ask to look at the kennelling conditions (if they were not raised within the breeder’s house). If you suspect the conditions are not right, then do not buy the puppy.
  • For a pedigree puppy always go to a reliable and reputable Kennel Club Assured Breeder. If you want to find breeders currently with puppies visit the Kennel Club’s Find a Puppy website. Assured breeders will appear at the top of the search with purple scheme logos next to their name. Visit the Kennel Club website for more information on the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme or call 0844 463 3980.
  • Be prepared to be put on a waiting list – a healthy puppy is well worth waiting for.
  • Ask if you can return the puppy if things don’t work out. Responsible and reputable breeders will always say yes.
  • Be suspicious of a breeder selling more than one (maximum two) breeds, unless you are sure of their credentials.
  • Consider alternatives to buying a pedigree puppy, like getting a rescue dog or pup. Visit the Kennel Club website to find a breed rescue puppy.


  • Buy a puppy from a pet shop – these have often come from puppy farms.
  • Pick your puppy up from a ‘neutral location’, such as a car park or motorway service station. This is a common tactic used by puppy farm dealers.
  • Buy a puppy because you feel like you’re rescuing it. You’ll only be making space available for another poorly pup to fill.
  • Be fooled by a Kennel Club pedigree certificate. These are often faked by puppy farmers who are already operating illegally and have no qualms about forging paperwork. The majority of puppy farmers will not register their litters with the Kennel Club. If in doubt check with the Kennel Club.

A good breeder will have already considered a dog's health and temperament before breeding, to make sure the puppies are healthy and well socialised by the time they go to a new home.

When visiting the breeder check that the puppies are raised indoors, so they are used to the sights and sounds of everyday life, otherwise this can be yet another thing you are going to have to de-sensitise the puppy to once living in a family home. Look for evidence that they spend time in the house, such as toys, water bowls and bedding, and observe them as they move around the home and garden. Are they cautious or do they run around exploring? Watch how they react to household noises. A puppy that jumps when the phone rings or a door slams shut is not used to being in a home environment.

Probably the most important thing a breeder can do for a puppy is to socialise it with people of all ages. Ask for details about how this has been done, especially around men and children. Watch carefully how the puppies react as a well-adjusted puppy approaches happily, climbing up to get closer to your face; a puppy that flattens itself and is reluctant to come towards you may not have been socialised properly or at all.

If the mother isn't kept with the litter find out why. Ask to see her and check her temperament and overall health. Remember her genes have been passed on to the puppies.

Observe what toilet training procedure is in place for the puppies as this can help you once you get puppy home.

A good breeder will know the personalities her puppies have, if they do then be guided by them as to which puppy will be best for your home. Choosing a puppy from a litter is less important than choosing a good breeder who has done everything correctly.

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