If you wish to buy a pedigree puppy that has the appropriate Kennel Club registration and the paperwork to prove it, your choices will be narrowed down to people who breed only pedigree pups of certain breeds or types. These can range from professional breeders whose whole or main income is provided by the breeding, selling and showing of their dogs, or smaller-scale or one-off endeavours undertaken by the owners of a pedigree dog that wish to breed from it, and that have decided that this is a good idea.
Excellent puppies can be produced by both of these types of endeavours, and whether you choose a professional or a hobbyist breeder is largely down to your own personal preference. While many people prefer to buy from a professional breeder with a proven track record in the show ring and lots of background paperwork and information on their bloodlines, often owning several generations of the family of dogs, other people would rather buy from a smaller breeder whose dogs are treated like their own family, and for whom the pups’ suitability as pets is the main consideration.
Either way, before you even get as far as viewing a litter and picking your pup of choice, there are still likely to be a few different breeders offering what you are looking for, and you will need to narrow these down to the most suitable for your own family before you go and view the pups. While there are some things that you won’t be able to find out with any certainty until you actually go and visit, there are five very good and yet often overlooked questions that all potential puppy buyers should ask breeders, and use the responses that they get to help with the elimination process.
In this article, we will look at what these questions are, and what the answers should be too! Read on to learn about the five pertinent questions that every puppy buyer should ask the breeders that they are considering.
All breeders should know in detail about the health of the parent dogs that they breed from, and also, at least one generation back as well. Your breeder should know if any of the dogs within their litter’s bloodlines have suffered from any health issues at any point in their lives, and be open and transparent about this, with the paperwork to prove their claims of good health, and detailed information on any previous problems.
Virtually every pedigree dog breed has their own breed-specific health challenges and in some cases, hereditary predispositions to certain diseases, and if the breed you are considering is one that is covered by an independent pre-breeding testing scheme, you should ask to see the results of this too.
If your breeder’s answer is that they feel that every female dog has the right to have a litter, or that they wanted to enjoy seeing the puppies, or that breeding is their source of income, this is far from an ideal response! The answers that you may receive to this question will vary a lot from breeder to breeder, but some good answers could include wanting to help to sustain a rare or uncommon breed like the Welsh Corgi, having good quality parent dogs that will produce good examples of the breed, and having researched the likely market of suitable homes for the litter. Examples of pedigree breeds that have a high propensity to hereditary health defects but that the parent dogs have been tested as clear of are also good choices for responsible breeding, as this helps to strengthen the gene pool of the breed as a whole.
For obvious reasons, breeders will be keen to tell you what is great about their litters in terms of the quality of the puppies, their health and temperaments, but good breeders will also be happy to tell you about the challenges that the dogs can pose to their owners too, and will be happy to help you out when it comes to ensuring that your eyes are wide open when it comes to finding out what you are getting yourself in to!
Ask about factors such as the energy levels and exercise requirements of the breed, how much grooming they need, how tolerant they are of other dogs, if they are friendly or speculative, and what particular challenges ownership of such dogs can generate.
There can be a considerable amount of variation when it comes to the cost of puppies from the same breed, and in some cases, you may even find that pups from within the same litter may be different prices!
When you are browsing adverts for puppies for sale, you will usually soon be able to recognise an approximate average in terms of the cost of puppies of the breed, and if you spot an advert that is significantly higher or lower than this, it is important to find out why. More expensive puppies might be health tested and show quality, but on the other hand, there might be no obvious explicable reason for why the breeder has priced them above the cost of the competition.
Cheaper dogs may simply be offerings from one-off litters from family homes, bred without the ultimate monetary return as a priority, but they may also mean that the breeder knows that their own dogs are not the best examples of the breed, do not have the appropriate breed paperwork, or may suffer from hereditary health problems.
Variations on the price of individual puppies within the same litter will usually come down to the perceived quality of each pup, and possibly, their potential as future breeding stock or showing dogs.
It can be interesting and also informative to find out what dogs from previous litters or dogs that are related to the litter in question have done since they left the breeder, in terms of what sort of homes they went to (working roles, showing homes or as family pets), if they showed a particular aptitude for canine sport or work, and if any of them have been successful in the show ring!
Most breeders will follow the progress of their sold puppies to some extent, and this information can give you a valuable insight into the blood line and potential traits that your puppy will display, and help you to see if their potential will match up with your future plans for them.