Choosing the right puppy


Where should I look?

  • If you are willing to rescue an unwanted puppy contact local rescue centres and charities such as Battersea Dogs Home. If you are set on getting a pedigree puppy contact the Kennel Club or breed societies for lists of registered breeders.
  • Gumtree and other online sites provide no guarantee on whether the sellers are telling the truth. They can be used as an intermediate for people from puppy farms or illegally importing animals that are passed off as something else.


What should I speak to the breeder about?

  • It should be a two way process when speaking to the breeder. They should be keen to ask you questions about your ability to look after the puppy. A reputable breeder will want to make sure all their puppies are going to a good home

 Where should I collect them from?

  • Always see the puppy with the mother and preferably the other puppies. Never get the puppy delivered or collect them half way as you will want to make sure the puppy has been raised in clean well socialised environment.

Suspicious documents?

  • Be aware that puppies cannot travel abroad before 14 weeks, so any puppy that has come from abroad that is younger than this age may have been illegally imported. This means they could be at risk of having rabies.

What should have been done when I collect them?

  • Ideally worming and flea treatment. Some breeders will sell the puppies with their first vaccinations, microchipping and insurance already started.

Which puppy to choose?

  • It is best to choose a bright, lively and confident puppy. The smallest and quietest of the litter may be cute but this could be an indication that the puppy has not grown as well as the others. Any signs of coughing or sneezing or vomiting or diarrhoea could be an indication of a sick puppy and possible vets bills in the future.


 Should I get a dog at all?

  • Are you out for long periods every day?
  • Are you prepared to take your dog out for a walk every day even in the cold and wind?
  • Have you got the financial means to cover hundreds of pounds in vet’s fees if your pet became ill?
  • If you are unsure about the answers to any of these questions postpone getting a puppy until the time is right.


Written by Veterinary Surgeon – Adam Harrop

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