Deciding to get a puppy and what to ask a breeder


“Is it the right time for us?”

Deciding to get a new puppy is extremely exciting but its also a decision that needs to be thoroughly thought out. Before deciding to get a puppy ask yourself – “Is this the right time for all of us?” , puppies are hard work and require lots of training and attention, for the first few weeks (at least!) its important the puppy isn’t left alone for long periods of time. Good things to consider are :-

  • Who wants the puppy and who will be doing the main bulk of the walks, training, feeds, middle of the night toilet breaks? ( If the answer to this is the children , its a good idea to make sure you are able/want to do these things too if they are not as committed as you think they might be, children love puppies and dogs but they also have school, hobbies and their social events to attend which could mean they dont have as much time or motivation to look after the puppy as you may think. )
  • What are your long term plans? Hopefully you’ll have your lovely new puppy for at least the next 10 years so what are your plans during this time? If you’re going to have children in that time how will you ensure you have time for the dog? Do you want to go off travelling the world or go to university? Are you going to be moving , if so will the dog be able to come? Will your job mean you need to travel?
  • Are you able to financially support a dog? Dogs can be very expensive,after the initial cost of buying a dog consider the cost per month for insurance, worming, flea treatments, food, dog walker/daycare if needed,training, beds, toys etc.

“What type of dog is right for you and your lifestyle?”

So you’ve decided its the right time to get a dog , now what sort of dog is right for you? A good place to start is thinking of

  • What size dog you’d like ( Will it be appropriate for the living space, car etc?)
  • What you hoping to do with the dog ( go out running , walking holidays, cuddles on the sofa?) , although every individual dog is different ( You may find a springer spaniel that is happy to sleep all day or a basset hound who loves going on long runs) its still important to consider what the breed was bred to do and their daily requirements because of that.
  • What potential health and behaviour issues does the breed you might like have and what health tests are available to check these? (This is not to say that dog will have these problems)
  • What diet does that breed require?
  • What exercise does the breed require and how much time have you realistically got to offer this? Can a dog walker or daycare help with this?
  • Would you like a dog or a bitch?

Finding a breeder

Finding the correct breeder is obviously extremely important –

Its important to have an initial conversation with a potential breeder to find out some background information on them, some questions to ask are :-

  • What is their licence number if applicable (if they breed more than 3 litters in a 12 month period and sell at least 1 of these puppies they will require a licence)
  • How many years have they been breeding and how many litters have they bred?
  • When is their next planned litter and is there a waiting list?
  • What do they consider when pairing two dogs to mate? ( Is it based on temperaments, health, construction, sporting ability?)
  • Where will the puppies be raised for the 8 weeks and the bitch kept during her pregnancy?
  • What will the puppies be doing for the 8 weeks whilst with the breeder?
    • Will they see different people/animals
    • Will they be socialised with different stimuli – Noises, smells, textures etc
    • Will the breeder start to encourage toilet training in later weeks?
    • Will they be health tested , microchipped and will they have any immunizations done by the breeder?
  • Do they offer long term support after you have your puppy? Although it will hopefully never be needed, good breeders will have a contract with you that states among other things that you cannot breed the dog/bitch without their permission and that if the dog needs to be rehomed, it will be returned directly to the breeder.

These are good examples of questions to ask on an initial phonecall/meet, you should always find out as much information as possible and a good breeder will want to do the same to you!

For more information or help with your puppy contact Cambridgeshire Canine Academy.

Nikki Hopkin IMDT