Choosing a suitable Breeder

Assured breeders can be found on the Kennel Club Website here. Sometimes there is a wait list for puppies and/or there will be no litters available at the precise time you are looking. Of course, there are other breeders that are not registered with the kennel club. Kennel club does not recognise crossbreed breeders; some crossbreed breeders are breeding from parents of different breeds that are pure bred and Kennel Club assured.

Please remember that just because someone is an assured breeder does not mean they are compliant with standards or adhering to guidelines. However, what it does mean is that if you visit a breeder and things seem sub-standard, there is an organisation to “fall back on”, thus it is important to report any issues of concern to the Kennel Club or even the RSPCA.

It is vital that you do not get a puppy from a puppy farm/mill or a backyard breeder. Back yard breeders are those that breed dogs irresponsibly with little or no knowledge, planning preparation or care. They breed without considering appropriate genetic matches, and fail to have dogs registered with the appropriate governing bodies. In addition, for the aforementioned reasons, those who have had accidental litters or are breeding “one time just for fun” or as a “hobby” are also not recommended.

Please see here for more information on puppy farms/mills. Please see here for breeding regulations throughout the UK.

It is a good idea to find a breeder that breeds for temperament; however, a breeder that breeds solely for temperament may not be Kennel Club Registered or Assured. Although we cannot directly recommend specific breeders, recommendations from previous clients who have used the breeder’s pups in a therapeutic or assistance capacity is helpful. In addition, following any guidelines we suggest and asking the questions listed below should be useful in determining suitability.

A breeder that vets you fully; in other words, asks you a lot of questions about your lifestyle, family, routine, where you live, and/or what you do is being vigilant. This is a good sign because they care and are choosing the right home for their puppy. Moreover, when you ask questions, the breeder should be happy and willing to answer as you are being cautious and wanting to do the best by your new puppy.

Questions to Ask the Breeder

We have devised a list of some good questions to ask the breeder as well as things to look out for. Of course, you will have your own questions to ask as well.

How long have you been breeding dogs?

The more experience the better

Do you have a license? (ask to see)

This is a requirement if the breeder is breeding three or more litters in a 12-month period and/or anyone that breeds dogs and advertises a business that sells dogs.

If it does not work out will you take the puppy back?
A good breeder will readily take a puppy back if something does not work out. How old is the Dam (mother)?

Ideally the Dam should be a minimum of 2 years old and under 8. This is in order to give the Dam time mature emotionally, mentally, and physically, in turn improving her chances of becoming a better mother.

How far apart are the litters?

18 months to two years is a good rule of thumb for health of pups and Dam

If this is not her first litter how old was she when she had her first litter?

Minimum 2 years old

If this is the first how many litters are you planning on having?

The less the better!

How many visits can we do prior to bringing the dog home?

What age can we bring the puppy home?
We recommend 8 weeks

Will we be able to meet the mum?
It is important you meet the mum in order to assess her temperament

Is she friendly/shy/vocal?

Where are the puppies kept?

What will you be exposing the puppies to in terms of noises and living areas in the home?

Puppies being part of the household and within the living areas of the home is important. This is because they become habituated to the noises of the home. For example, appliance and general hustle and bustle

How active are the Dam and Stud?

If the puppies are already born or when the pups are born, ask how active/laid back (depending on your requirements)

What information do you have on the Stud (father)?

Can we meet him?

Do you stay in touch with the new owners of the puppies?

Do you have a WhatsApp group for all the littermates?

Do you have a Facebook Group with all previous and current litters to join?

These questions demonstrate transparency and illustrate best practice. A breeder who stays in touch and puts people in touch with one another has nothing to hide.

We also strongly recommend you research your chosen breed and what weaknesses and health issues they may suffer from; ask detailed questions regarding this. You should include questions about the Dam and Sire’s health and also discuss any testing that will be done prior to adoption. Feel free to ask to see any tests the Sire and or Dam may have been through and copies of any possible testing done on the pups.