What You Need to Know
When Buying a Puppy

So you are thinking of buying a puppy? Stop and think, this is possibly a 16-year commitment, do you have the time and the facilities? Think seriously about what breed you decide on, will it be a pedigree dog or a crossbreed? There is a breed for everyone, some people prefer a Great Dane, others a Chihuahua, some like long coats some like smooth coats, do you have the time and patience to cope?

Contrary to opinion crossbreeds are not healthier, all breeds have health indications. Insist that you see evidence of the relevant health tests for both parents. The fact people profess not to have problems with their dogs isn’t a guarantee of health, you will pay the same money for a well-bred dog from health-tested parents as you will for a lifelong problem, and although you may save £100 off the purchase price you may ultimately spend thousands throughout the dog’s life in the vets.

Stay clear of internet websites to look for a puppy, look on the Kennel Club website for ethical breeders, don’t be in too much of a rush, and be prepared to travel and wait for the right puppy.

Crossbreeding two separate breeds does not make the puppies healthy, both breeds can have issues so again, insist on the relevant health tests of both parents or you could end up with a puppy with double the amount of problems.

Insist on seeing the puppy with its mother, preferably having the occasional feed from her, puppy farmers are extremely clever, and just because there’s a bitch of the same breed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the mother.

Never buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it, these unscrupulous sellers rely on this. Your puppy should be beaming with health, with no fleas, no worms, no ear mites, and no sticky eyes. If you are in the slightest bit doubtful, walk away and report them to the RSPCA and the local authorities.

On the other hand, you may be considering a rescue, this too needs a lot of thought. Some dogs are in rescue because of bereavement, and some are in because they have severe behavioural issues. Do you have the time and patience to cope with that? And often the additional funds to work with a behaviourist?

Whatever you decide, take your time and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. No puppy asks to be born, but every single one deserves to go to a home where it is loved and has a home for life.

And finally, remember all breeds were bred for a purpose, collies will herd, hounds will chase and terriers will hunt. You will never train this out of them. Sadly some breeds were also bred to fight and that instinct will always be there. Research, research, and research some more before committing to any breed and subsequent puppy.