Questions to ask a breeder

Questions to ask a breeder

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Read time: 2 mins

08 Apr 2021

By Team Butternut Box

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Having ticked all the boxes in our ‘should I get a puppy’ blog and you’ve done all your homework on types and know the breed that you’re after, then the fun starts and it’s time to start looking for your perfect pup.

If you’re after a pedigree pup, (that’s one with a certificate and a family tree to show its very posh lineage), the best place to start is the Kennel Club. They will have a list of accredited breeders who they’ve vetted. But if you’re after a cross breed like the ever popular Cavapoo or Cockapoo, these breeders can be more difficult to find, so do your research and you may find pages like this one helpful to help guide you.

Puppies are usually weaned and ready to leave their mum at around eight weeks and should come to you fully vaccinated and microchipped. Choose a good-sized pup with a shiny, clean coat and clear, bright eyes. They should be lively and interested in what’s going on. Buying from a reputable breeder usually means that you’ll be able to visit the litter and meet your new puppy’s parents, (the mum at least). This’ll help you to get a feel for their temperament and adult size and be reassured that your pup’s come from a good home.

You should expect to get asked a lot of questions when you contact a good breeder, but despite being a bit daunting this is actually a good sign, it means they care. You can in turn then ask them a lot of questions yourself, most importantly about any health screening tests that they have done (different breeds can be more at risk of certain inherited conditions). Conscientious breeders won’t mind you visiting and asking to have a look around.  

Puppy Farms

It’s very important to be wary that you don’t inadvertently get a puppy from a ‘puppy farm’. These are like factory farms for dogs, where pups are bred in horrific circumstances.  Such puppies are at greater risk of inherited diseases due to inbreeding, as well as to infections because of overcrowding and stress and frequently have behavioural problems due to a lack of socialization. Farmed puppies are often brought to the UK illegally and are commonly sold to dealers who then masquerade as breeders themselves and advertise pups online. So be very, very aware of puppy farms, especially given the high prices puppies demand currently. An expensive pup does not mean a healthy pup.

Thankfully, under Lucy's Law, from April 2020 all third-party sales of puppies six months or younger have been banned. This means that puppies have to be sold by the breeder, from the place they were born with their mum. 

Note: Due to the ongoing current local restrictions, potential buyers in England may well be unable to visit a breeder in person but you can do a lot of background checks online and over the phone and many breeders will offer a virtual tour of their litter.