10 key questions to ask a breeder

1. Can I see both parents?
No mum (dad often isn’t around) to see, don’t take a puppy, even with all the excuses in world just walk away.
2. Where are the pups being raised?
We want puppies that have been raised in a home environment. Not a shed in the garden…

3. Have all the relevant tests been carried out on the mothers and the pups? This will take a bit of research on your part but it is really important to know, it may reduce the cost of any future medical treatments!

4. What socialisation has been carried out on the pups? Although the mother will do lots of the care to begin with it is important that the puppies have been exposed to mild stress and to new and novel situations. This is also why we want the pups reared in the home environment not in a shed.

5. Have the puppies been to the vets? What vaccinations have been carried out?

6. Are the puppies microchipped? By law puppies must be microchipped by 8 weeks of age. It will be your responsibility to make sure that the details are changed when you take your puppy home.

7. Have any of the puppies been sick?

8.  What guarantees do the breeders give? If there are problems will they take the puppy back? We do not want breeders that are happy to sell you a puppy but want nothing more to do with them

9. What help do they offer?

10. Recommendations? Can you speak to people who have puppies from that breeder before making a decision?

How to pick the perfect puppy...

It is thought that as many as 1 in 4 puppies bought in the UK come from a puppy farm. Puppy farmed dogs have a multitude of health and behavioural problems and many don't live to see 6 months old.

I often get asked what to look for when picking a puppy so I thought I would put a post together to give you the best things to look for when picking a new member of your family.


  • Ensure you see the puppies mum, the mum should be present and should be happy to see you. If you can't see mum walk away!

  • Ask to have a look around the breeding environment and where the puppies are currently living, if anything doesn't look or feel right to you don't buy a puppy.

  • Be prepared to add your name to a waiting list. 

  • If you are buying a pedigree puppy always have a look at the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme.

  • Ask if you can return the puppy if things don't work out, a reputable breeder will always take back their puppies for whatever reason, many will insist that the puppies are returned to them rather than being sent to a shelter.

  • Breeders normally specialise in one or two breeds, be suspicious if they are selling numerous breeds.

  • Speak to local rescue centres, they may have a more suitable older dog or sometimes they have puppies needing rehoming too.

  • Specifically ask what the breeder has done to help the development of the puppy.


  • Buy a puppy from a pet shop, these have, more often than not, come from a puppy farm.

  • Collect the puppy from a public location such as a service station car park. This is a common way that puppy farmers pass over their puppies and it means you cannot see where the puppy has been developing or meet the puppies mum.

  • Buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it. If you go to see a litter of puppies whose living conditions are less than ideal, do not feel you have to purchase one to 'rescue it', this just encourages the 'breeder' to breed further puppies in the same conditions.

If you are unsure about how to know whether you are buying the right puppy for you from the right breeder please get in touch and we can chat through your options.

Why do we go on and on about socialising your puppy???

You've probably heard the term "socialisation" multiple times especially if you have had a puppy come into your life recently...

But what does it really mean and why is it so important?

When puppies are born they are not born with all the social skills that they require. Puppies are born naturally curious and we need to embrace this curiosity to help them learn what they do and do not need to be fearful of.

Socialisation means exposing the puppy to as many different situations as possible during the first 16 weeks of their life. This exposure then sets the puppy up with key skills they require throughout their life.

Socialisation helps puppies to become happy and confident in various situations that they may need to experience.

We ask a lot of our canine companions so that they can live alongside us in our lives and it's important that we give them every opportunity to achieve this. 

When your new puppy arrives it's important to plan as much into their first few weeks with you as possible. You have until they are 16 weeks old to take them out and about to meet new people and experience new places - not just ones they will see when they are a puppy but for the rest of their life!

To understand more about how to socialise your puppy see our next post!

Socialisation: it isn’t all puppy play

It is important to understand that;

  • Socialising your puppy does not mean that you throw your puppy into a number of new situations and hoping that they cope!

  • Socialising is m more than just attending a couple of puppy parties at the local vets.

  • Even if you have another dog, your puppy needs to be introduced to as many other dogs as possible too.

Instead, socialising your puppy should involve gradual introductions in as many new situations as possible in a positive and fun manner.

You need to expose your puppy to as many different environments, people and dogs as possible. 

Puppies parties are a great starting point for this; your puppy will be exposed to many different puppies and people. However, puppies need to meet older dogs too - especially in that critical first 16 weeks so if you know any calm, friendly, fully vaccinated older dogs it is worth getting your new puppy to meet them too.

Introductions to other dogs need to be carried out in a calm manner, keeping your puppy on a lead and letting them sniff the older dog. This is an appropriate way for puppies to meet another dog. Many people advocate "letting the dogs sort it out for themselves" but such an approach can cause your puppy to become wary or fearful of older dogs - not the result we are aiming for!

The most important part of socialising your puppy is to introduce them to as many new things as possible in the first 16 weeks of your puppies life and to make these introductions as positive and fun as possible! Try for 100 new things in the first 100 days of their life!

If you puppy is showing nervousness or fear when exposed to new experiences it might be worth speaking with a qualified dog trainer to help coach you through this time with your puppy!