Finding the best reputable breeder and puppy

You have done your research and decided on a breed. The next big step is to find a reputable breeder. The best way is to find a  reputable and registered breeder is with the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme here.  Being a part of this scheme makes sure all the correct guidelines are followed and that puppies are happy, healthy, vaccinated and wormed and socialisation has already started before leaving the litter for their new home.

Don’t be put off if you find a breeder that has been rearing his puppies in a kennel or barn outside. It does not mean they have been neglected. Most good reputable breeders will keep the mum and her litter indoors for the first couple of weeks and then transfer them to a safe area outside where they will have more space to romp around. As long as they receive plenty of socialising and they are kept in a clean environment, the puppies will be perfectly well raised. You will find that most gun dog breeders always keep their puppies and dogs kennelled outside. However, if pups whether kept indoors or outside, are shut away and only getting basic care, they will not be ideal puppies to buy as they will not have had any essential socialisation and life experiences.

It is unfortunate that there are so many shady so called ‘breeders’ and back street dealings with puppies. There are some that will buy in puppies to sell on and the ‘mother’ dog you may be shown has nothing to do with them. Always ask to see the puppies with the mother while they are very young and see how they interact. This will also give you a good indication of how they will look as adults. Whilst some bitches will be quite happy for you to have interaction with their pups, up to 5 weeks old the mother will be very protective of her young and some may not be very happy to have visitors around. Some can get quite distressed or even snappy and if that is the case and the pups have to be separated for your visit, this does not mean the bitch has a bad temperament as some of the sweetest bitches can get very protective whilst pups are so young. If the breeder does show the pups and mother to you separately and then when you have left the litter, allows the mum to rejoin her pups so you can see she is the real mother, you can be assured that this is a good breeder who is considerate of the mum’s needs as well as yours. Don’t expect to see the father with the puppies as they are often separated from the litter as most usually the bitch will not want any adult dog near her young.

Choosing the puppy

When looking at a litter, a well socialised litter of pups will come bounding up to check you out and bounce around. If you are looking for a bold dog, the first one to approach you may be the one for you. But bold dogs don’t always fit with everyone and you will need the pup to fit in with the family. There may be one pup that will stay a little longer to interact with you on its own and often this is the one that has chosen you and the one you should go home with.

The pup who is sitting apart from the rest of the litter and observing you from a distance, may not be as shy as it appears. Often these are the more intelligent pups and maybe a good fit for someone that is looking for a close one to one bond and able to spend time to develop it. This pup may not be good for a big noisy family. The shy type or ‘thinkers’ can be demanding to train, but still make good dogs, so don’t dismiss this one if you can manage a clever dog.

However, a pup that runs and cowers and appears nervous of human contact, could be a difficult one to raise and perhaps better avoided unless you are up for a challenge and a skilled dog handler.

The saying goes ‘never choose the last pup’, but don’t worry, process of elimination means there will always be one left! That doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice, it just may not have been the right colour, temperament or whatever, for the other families. If you like the last pup and it likes you, don’t be put off because the other pups have gone first.

Good breeders spend a lot of time with their puppies and get to know each one well, so sometimes they will direct you towards a pup they think will fit well with your family.

For the first few weeks or until your pup has had all it’s vaccinations and the all clear from the vet to start the big experience outside, all you will need as a start is a crate, a nice comfy bed and blanket and a simple collar and lead. Don’t forget the toys, pups love to play and training can start straight away through playing and teaching them to sit, stay and fetch.

Most of all, enjoy your puppy, show him everything in the big wide outdoors – good socialisation is the key. They grow up so fast and it is such a fun time and the basis for a good all round happy adult dog.

If you require any other support or assistance in choosing your next puppy please contact us

Choosing the perfect puppy for you

One of the secrets of enjoying a successful and happy relationship with your dog is to make sure you have done your research and chosen the right breed of puppy for you, your lifestyle and family.

Would you believe, there are over 200 pure breeds of dog in the UK and many designer breeds that are also very popular. Each of these breeds will be very different to live with, have differing needs and energy levels. You need to research which breed, as best you can,  will fit with your idea of dog ownership and what you are prepared to do every day for the next 12/15 years or so, come rain, shine, snow, wind – get the picture!

People tend to forget that dogs cost money and they are not cheap. They need feeding, grooming, training and regular vet check-ups. A recent survey estimated that owners spent on average a minimum of £1,000 a year on their dogs. Vet fees are ridiculously expensive so getting insurance is definitely a requirement and some breeds have higher health issues, so make sure you research that as well. In addition, don’t forget all the dog beds you will get through during the chewing period which could last a couple of years!!

So assuming you can afford it, do you have the time to give this bundle of energy and fun? Dogs do not have on and off switches. There is lots to consider. Whatever the weather, they need to be exercised; there are training needs to build up a good relationship and you need to understand each other to make your life together relatively stress free and most of all, you need to enjoy being with your dog.

Having the time to exercise your dog is the biggest commitment. Some dogs will be happy with 20 minutes or so twice a day, but some high energy breeds and dogs bred to work, may need a good 3 hours a day off lead exercise, especially as a young dog with loads of energy and enthusiasm to explore the great outdoor wilderness of rabbits and birds. Breeds such as herding dogs, gun dogs, spaniels and some terriers will need lots of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and relaxed at home.

Then there’s the hair!

Would you be able to cope with a long haired double coated dog that will require daily brushing or costly grooming bills. Not forgetting the shedding or ‘coat blow’ two or three times a year. Can you put up with that in the house?! Short haired dogs are a lot easier to look after and probably only need a weekly brush, however, they still shed hair and it should not be under estimated how much that can be! The long haired coat also gets matted and will need attention every time it gets wet. Silky coated dogs can get matted coats as well, especially Spaniels who love to get into undergrowth and water emerging with grass seeds, burrs and twigs stuck in their coat! Non shedding breeds such as poodle type coats will need to be clipped. Whatever breed you choose, some amount of grooming is part and parcel of dog ownership – it just depends on how much time you have to give to keep them looking good.

Having said all that, owning a dog is wonderful. It’s therapeutic, gets you out of the house to keep you exercising and that four legged mischief maker will give you unconditional loyalty and love. There is nothing like having a dog in your life – just be prepared for what you are getting!