Top 10 questions to ask a dog breeder

Posted by Betty. October 24th 2013.

When buying a dog it is important to know where you are buying them from. Many people today choose to buy their puppies from a breeder. However, within this trade there are some breeders to be cautious of. These breeders are raising puppies purely for profit, rather than for the welfare of the animals. To help tackle puppy farms, potential dog owners should educate themselves on how to recognise a reputable dog breeder.

To help you in this buying process we have come up with the top questions that every reputable dog breeder should be able to answer.

Dogs and puppies

1.    Will I be able to see the puppies with their mum?

It is important to be able to see the mother of the puppies to see if she is healthy. If you are not able to see this it is usually a clear sign that this is not a reputable dog breeder.

2.    How old is the mother?

You should check that the mother of the puppies is at least a year old, but not too old to have a litter.

3.    How many litters has the mother had?

It is illegal for a bitch to have more than 6 litters in a lifetime – any regular breeders should have a licence so this can be checked.

4.    Are the puppies 8 weeks old?

Remember to check the age of the puppies because if they haven’t reached 8 weeks they are not old enough to be sold.

5.    Have the puppies been weaned?

It is important to note that if the puppies have not yet been weaned they may not be old enough to be sold.

6.    Have the puppies had any medical treatments?

This should include anything such as worming or vaccinations. It is important to know what stage of vaccinations puppies are at so that you can continue the process once the puppy has been bought. Note that a reputable breeder should be able to provide you with all the health documentation you need to prove this.

7.    Is the puppy kennel club registered?

The advantage of this registration is identity and traceability.  However, regarding genetic health, there is no guarantee that KC registered puppies will be any healthier than those not registered. In fact the KC have a disclaimer to this effect on its website.

8.    What are the puppy’s dietary requirements?

All puppies will have been fed on a particular type of food by their breeder – it is important to find out what this is so you don’t upset your new puppy’s tummy.

9.    Ask to look at the facilities the breeder has.

Reputable breeders will expect to show potential buyers all of their facilities so this should not come as a surprise.

10.    Is the puppy being kept in a clean environment?

Make a judgement on the standard of living the puppy is in – if you are not convinced the puppy is being kept in a good environment you should contact your local pet authority.

How to make a sound judgement

If you receive acceptable answers from these questions then fantastic, you may have found a reputable dog breeder!

If not and you feel the welfare of the puppies is at risk then do not buy and contact your local pet authority. By doing this you will be helping towards getting rid of this horrific puppy farming crime.

Finally, have you considered the option of an older dog or a dog from a reputable rescue centre? There are plenty of puppies and young dogs in need of homes.

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