Buying a puppy is a big decision and finding the right puppy from the right breeder is very important.
You should do a fair bit of research before hand as a primary consideration should be about finding the right breed to fit the lifestyle of your whole family.
Going to visit the breeder is your first priority, as you can check out the overall facilities and see how the puppies are being raised.
Find out if they are in a comfortable home environment and Is the area where they live and roam clean and warm.
Is there a clean and tidy sleeping area which is free from faeces and urine and is it separate from an area where they can move and go to the toilet.Seeing the puppy with their mum will tell you many things about the litter.
If the mum is present and is interacting with the puppies, this is a real sign that she is their real mum - not one that has just been placed there to look like the real mum. You should see visible signs that she has been feeding the puppies and this will usually mean that she has large teats.
Puppies bred in puppy farm environments are more likely to be of poor health and could have timid or fearful temperaments. This is mainly due to poor socialisation and the fact that they have been removed from their dam to early.
Farmed puppies being sold in private homes will normally not have a dam with them, but if they have both (mum and her litter) check to see if the mum is fearful of loud noises or is showing signs of not being happy in a house environment. They may also not have clean fur, ears and eyes and have longer than normal nails.
Seeing the puppies with their mum gives you an indication of how the puppies are likely to develop. Although mum can be protective of her litter she should still be friendly when she is approached away from her litter.
If she acts fearful, growls or must be removed because of unfriendly behaviour, think carefully about purchasing a puppy from this litter as all of these traits could be inherited. Having the opportunity to see the temperament of the mum gives you an idea of the future characteristics of the puppies.
You want to see a happy and friendly dog who is happy to interact with people and tends to her puppies when she is required to do so. You can compare the personalities and temperament of the puppies to that of their mum and this will give you an idea of which will be more like mum. This will also give you a rough idea of the size potential the puppies when they reach full adulthood.Of course, there is a 50:50 chance they will be like their unseen stud.
You can also check mum to see if she is healthy and fit, as any health issues may mean that the puppies will not be as healthy as they should be throughout their lives.. You will be able to see if her ears and eyes are clean, her coat is shiny and she has no signs of ill health, including skin sores and a dirty bum. The puppies should all have clean eyes, ears and bum too.
Another thing to check is the age of the mum - making sure that she is neither too young or too old to be have a litter. Being the right age will mean her body is more able to give the correct nutrients to the puppies, which is essential in their growth and development.
You should be able to tell from mum's condition that she hasn't been over breed. If she looks too thin with overly large low hanging teats, this could mean that she has been purposely bred to have one litter after another. This could mean that she is not in the best of health, which could hinder the puppies health and development too.
Buying a Puppy from anyone who is over breeding for financial gain should be approached with extreme caution. If you buy a puppy from someone in this environment you run the risk of buying a dog that will have (or may develop) poor health issues. This will not only mean expensive vet bills but also heartache for you and the whole family.
Please note: To help you even more the lovely people at Sainsbury's sent us a new guide on 'preparing for a new dog' and you can download this very handy guide here.
Sammi J, snugglezzz