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Spotting a Reputable Breeder

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With Lucy’s Law coming into action in October 2018, the importance of buying a puppy from a reputable breeder is at a all time high. See below our top tips to finding and spotting a reputable breeder:

Word of Mouth

Have you been recommended the breeder by a friend? Or has this breeder been mentioned positively, multiple times on forums? More often than not, the best way to find a reputable breeder is to ask around! There are now multiple forums with fellow dog enthusiasts who are more than happy to recommend good breeders. The Kennel club also runs an Assured Breeders Scheme- find out more here.

The Reputable Breeder

Great! Now you have found the breeder, and have arranged an appointment to view your next potential puppy. Does the breeder take interest in where the puppy will call its new home? Do they ask lots of questions, but also happy to answer yours? A reputable breeder wants to know that they are selling their puppy to a good home with suitable owners. They should also have the knowledge to answer any questions you may have. If the breeder seems ‘pushy’ and persuasive, you should be suspicious.

The Breeders Environment or Home

The home should be clean and inviting. If this is the case, the breeder will be more than happy to take you to show you the puppies. Ask to be taken to them, not have them bought to you in a single room. If they insist to bring the puppy to you, start to be wary. If the environment is dirty and feels overcrowded, back away now, as these are the signs of puppy farming.

The Puppies

The breeder should now take you through to see the puppies – how exciting! The puppies should be bright and alert. They should look healthy with bright clear eyes, clean ears and nose & glossy coats. Watch how the litter interacts with each other, they should be active and playful. A reputable breeder will also let you see the puppy more than once and keep you updated with their progress. They want you to bond with the puppy, before collection happens. If you are shown a puppy with a dull coat, and very lethargic, as hard as it may be, walk away.

The Mother

The most important rule when viewing puppies is to see them with their mother. See how the mother interacts with them. Is she relaxed and with a good temperament? This is a good indicator of how the puppies will turn out to be. Is the mum herself in good condition, happy with her puppies, but also have a good relationship with the breeder? If you see the mum in poor health, looking sad, sore and swollen, these are big warning signs.


So you have picked your puppy, but does the breeder have the correct documentation? A reputable breeder will make sure all their litters are vaccinated, de-flead and de-wormed before sending them out into the big wide world – but this also includes having the documentation to show for it. You should be given a receipt for your puppy, as well as any relevant information that may be necessary for the breed.

Finding the Right Puppy

Getting a puppy needs to be a well thought out process and not a instant decision. The sign of a good breeder is that they have a waiting list of potential owners – so be prepared that you may be put on that list – but a happy healthy puppy is worth waiting for. If the breeder has lots of litters available, be wary a this is another sign of puppy farming.

Future Assurances

There are some instances that the puppy you take home may not be the one. Does the breeder have a contingency plan in place if this was to happen. Are they happy to take the puppy back or even help find its forever home? Ask these questions when you go to view the puppy.


Signs of a Puppy Farm

  • The breeder is ‘pushy’ and persuades you to buy the puppy there and then
  • The breeder is more interested in the sale, rather then the home the puppy is going to
  • The environment is dirty, overcrowded and doesn’t feel right
  • The puppy is bought to you instead of being taken to where they are kept
  • The puppy isn’t seen with its litter or mother
  • When you see the puppy, they seem dull and lethargic
  • If you do see the mother, they are sad, swollen and sore
  • No documentation provided with the puppy
  • Multiple litters available for sale at any one time
  • Offer to give you the puppy in a neutral location – car park or service station

No matter how tempting is is to save a puppy from the above, do not buy the pup, as this is only making room for another litter to suffer. Instead report the breeder. Local Councils, animal health officers and the police have the power to enforce the law. If you suspect somebody is a puppy farmer report them to the RSPCA, the police, or your Local Authority.

As part of being a responsible pet owner, having puppy insurance in place for your new family member is advisable. Remember not all puppy insurance is the same so look and different polices may offer your puppy different benefits. Our most popular lifetime cover protects your puppy for any ongoing conditions that may arise. And once you have the right puppy insurance in place to cover the cost of any unexpected veterinary fees you can concentrate on getting to know your new puppy!



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