Choosing A Puppy - Questions To Ask A Breeder
Questions To Ask A Breeder Before Getting A Puppy
So, you’ve decided to welcome an adoring ball of fluff into your life. Great news! You know just what breed you want but underneath all that excitement, you’ve probably got a million questions running through your head. Buying a puppy is serious business and you want to set off on the right paw. Luckily, this handy guide is here to show you just what questions you need to be asking the breeder before taking home your newly acquired furbaby.
Can you meet the parents?
So soon? But no, in all seriousness. Not being given the opportunity to view the pups parental unit is a red flag. When you do meet them, be on alert for a good health condition and monitor their temperament.
Do they seem well-adjusted?
You know what kind of pup you’re after so be on the lookout for shyness or an outgoing personality to suit your personal taste. Temperaments do tend to be inherited so watch out for aggressive tendencies. You don’t want to end up with a pooch whose bite is worse than their bark if you can help it.
Has the puppy been privy to any vaccinations or flea/worming treatments?
This one is super crucial because it will help you work out just how on top of things your breeder is. (Plus, worms? Nope.) Once the puppies are eight weeks old, they should receive the first of their two-stage vaccinations, alongside flea and worming checks and treatment. Ask for paperwork to back-up any given dates and you can start building your pet’s medical portfolio, right from the very first scratch.
What’s the social nature of the pups?
Has your pup been exposed to other pups? What about people? There’s no expectation for a young Fido to understand training commands, but these first 12 weeks are an influential stage in their lives and pave the way for their personalities to come bounding out. They should be used to people and all the normal household sounds, from doorbells to creaky floors and background noise (yes, that includes the occasional episode of TOWIE).They should also have experienced being handled. A good breeder should be using this time wisely, ensuring a good amount of socialising when it comes to rearing the pups
Have any health tests been carried out?
Certain breeds are known to suffer more from certain health conditions such as hip or heart problems. This usually means that these diseases are inherited from parent to puppy. It’s important to do your research but also ask the breeder if they know of any potential genetic issues. It’s also wise to find out if the breeder has had their dogs tested and in due course, certified to ensure they are disease free. Once you’ve taken Fido home, it’s good practise to book him in for a health check within 48 hours. If the vet does discover anything seriously wrong, a good breeder should offer to take back your pup.
What have the pups been chowing down on?
This is good to know in order to make the transition from one home to another run as smoothly as possible. Bringing your new pal home can be an overwhelming time for them and familiar things such as their food will help them to feel more settled once they set their paw in the door.
Finding out just what the puppies have been fed so far is a question you should ask when you are on the verge of making an offer on a puppy. A good breeder will even provide you with a few days worth of their favourite food. If you see a McDonalds bag, run.
Have any of the puppies been unwell?
It’s not unheard of. And it doesn’t have to spell the end of your search with the breeder, but if any of the puppies have been poorly, find out from the breeder what the symptoms and diagnosis were, and if relevant, what treatment was prescribed.
Do they have a licence to sell?
A person who ‘keeps a breeding establishment for dogs’ is required to obtain a licence, and this can include a private dwelling. If a breeder is producing 5 litters of more in a 12 month period, they will need to obtain a licence. It is against the law to breed a bitch more than six times in her lifetime.
Are you able to get a reference?
You know the deal. When you get a new job, you provide a reference. When you move house, a reference will be required. The same should be applied when Fido is involved. Ask the breeder for a few references of puppy owners that they have sold and try get ones from the last year. More importantly, make sure you actually ring them. You’ll soon find out if the breeder is honest and how they have handle any issues. And whether or not their purchased pup truly lights up their life.
Does your breeder offer a contract with Fido?
If so, what are the terms? If you’re unable to keep it for any reason, will they take him back?
When can you take him home?!
Most importantly, just when can your new family member come bounding through your front door??
Be mindful in this situation as there will be people under the pretence of a breeder when in actual fact, they’re dealers who have bought the dogs in. These dogs will likely be too young to leave their poorly mothers and will show signs of ill-health. As tempting as it can be to want to rush the process, make sure your baby pup has taken place with him mumma pup. A good breeder will know the right time and eight weeks is the accepted age, as a general rule of thumb but if there’s been any ill health or your little one has been a little slow to take, give it a little more time. He will be yours eventually.