At this time of year we cannot do enough to remind everyone of the dangers of buying a puppy on impulse, or buying from the wrong person. If you have planned to get a dog for some time, here are some important buying tips:
- Puppies, especially pedigree puppies, can be in great demand. A good breeder may well have a long waiting list for puppies. If you can buy a dog easily from someone with a large or ready supply, be VERY suspicious. Only puppy farms can make dogs available quickly, in different breeds, and in numbers. They may be supplying your contact.
- A good breeder will not release a puppy to anyone without knowing a lot about them. Expect detailed questions about your experience with dogs, and where and how your puppy will be living. If your "breeder" asks nothing about you or your circumstances, it is because he or she doesn't care - the hallmark of everything to do with the puppy farming industry.
- Breeders of pedigree puppies tend to specialise in their favourite breed. If you are offered puppies from a selection of different breeds BEWARE. There is a strong chance of puppy farm involvement.
- Always insist on seeing puppies with their mother. Never arrange to meet a so-called breeder away from his place of business. A responsible breeder would never arrange to meet you in a car park or similar, with a box of dogs!
- Puppies are very cute, and once they make an appearance it is easy to overlook some very obvious things. If you can see the pup is weak or sick, or there is something wrong with where it's living or how it is being treated, DO NOT BUY. Please report any cruelty to the RSPCA and/or your local council. We would also appreciate hearing this information by phone or email at Puppywatch.
- Please resist buying a puppy because you feel sorry for it. Although it's hard, leave it - or another will replace it very quickly. If no one bought a puppy from an irresponsible dealer, the puppy farming industry would die out very quickly.
- The Kennel Club can give you details of recommended Accredited pedigree breeders in your area, if you are specifically looking for a pedigree dog.
- Even better, why not adopt a puppy who needs rehoming?