Do your research first
Welcoming a new puppy into your home is not only really exciting but is also a massive commitment, research your chosen breed fully and make sure you have the time and commitment necessary to care for your new addition to the family.
Confirm that the breeder is genuine
You should check this by arranging to visit the puppy in the breeders own home, if they make excuses or try to ask for money or a deposit without seeing the dog, or if the breeder attempts to deliver the puppies or meet you at any other location than their own home for example supermarket car parks then please do not agree to this. NEVER pay a deposit for any puppy from a picture/advert placed online.
Is the puppy over 8 Weeks of age?
Puppies must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned before they can leave their mothers. Most responsible sellers will keep their puppies longer than this before they let them go to new homes.
Can the puppies be viewed with their mother?
The breeder should ALWAYS let you see the puppies with their mother, and if at all possible should let you see the puppies father also. Not being able to see the puppies’ mother is a sign the puppies have not been bred by the advertiser and possibly imported. If the advertiser makes excuses why you cannot see the puppies with their mum, then please walk away.
Is the puppy or dog up to date with their vaccinations?
Puppies should receive 2 vaccinations, the first at around 8 to 10 weeks of age and the second, two weeks later at around 10 to 12 weeks of age. Older dogs require booster vaccinations as recommended by their Vet. Ask the breeder which vaccinations they have had and if not, why not. Puppies should have at least had their first set of vaccinations before they leave. If the seller has not started the puppies vaccinations, it will be your responsibility to make sure you arrange both vaccinations 7 days before letting your puppy go outside.
Have the puppies been treated for worms and fleas?
Puppies should really be wormed at around 2 weeks of age, and again at around 5 weeks of age, and finally just before they leave the breeder at 8 to 12 weeks of age.
Check the health of the puppy or dog
It can be difficult for the average person to check if a dog or puppy is healthy or not, so if you decide to adopt or buy the puppy, make sure that the seller agrees that you can return them within 48 hours for a full refund after taking the dog or puppy to a Vet of your choice for a health check. The breeder should be willing to let you do this. If the puppy has already been health checked by their own vet, make sure you get evidence for this in the form of vet records and phone their vet to confirm this.
Is the puppy/dog microchipped?
From April 6th 2016 it became law that all dogs over 8 weeks of age must be microchipped and that the keepers details registered against them are kept up to date. The breeder is responsible for microchipping the puppies and must have their details registered on the microchip database first. Please check to make sure you receive the microchip documentation with chip number and then arrange to transfer the microchip into your own name.
Ask questions about puppies mother
Ask how many litters the mother has had and how old she is, (just do this as general conversation) she should be at least 18 months old. Ask about her temperament. The breeder should want to tell you all about the puppies mother, dog owners like nothing more than talking about their dog.
Is the puppy registered with the kennel club?
If they are, then check to make sure you are given the correct kennel club documents BEFORE you decide to take the dog home. It may also be worth phoning the kennel club to check the information provided is correct.
Have the puppies been socialised?
Make sure that puppies have been socialised from a very early age and are raised in a home environment, have interacted with their litter mates and are used to people, children and general household life such as washing machines, hoovers and lawn mowers. Puppies that have not been raised in a home environment may develop behavioural issues, have temperamental problems, be difficult to house train and find adjusting to family life hard.
Once you have satisfied yourself that everything is in order you can safely choose your puppy with the knowledge that he or she has had the best start possible and will make the perfect pet to complete your home.