Breeding and Sale of Dogs Act
The Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 requires anyone who breeds more than 5 litters a year to be licensed by their Local Authority, so make sure you ask to see the licence from the breeder that is supplying your puppy. An independent vet will inspect the premises annually. There are many restrictions including the banning on sales of pups aged less than 8 weeks old and the mating of bitches under 12 months old and on consecutive seasons.
What age to buy?
If the breeder is not licensed (breeds 5 or less litters a year) they can sell puppies younger than 8 weeks old, however it is important to remember that a puppy’s essential learning period (learning how to behave like a dog and interacting with siblings), and moving to a new home is very challenging for a young pup. Therefore, buying a pup that is too young will result in it missing out on a majority of its learning process, and buying one that’s too old will mean neglecting its ‘critical’ socialisation period (between 4 and 14 weeks of age).
You are what you eat
For your pup to have a good, healthy start to life the pup should have been fed a good quality, nutritious diet before and during pregnancy and while lactating. Also enquire about the pups’ diet during weaning and what solid food they currently being fed.
Check out the puppy
The pups should be thoroughly checked to ensure they don’t have any discharge from their nose, ears, eyes, and rear end. Skin checks should be carried out to make sure it is not dry or flaky, and their coats should be clean. Make sure the puppies and dam have been wormed and the dam and sire are up to date with their inoculations.
If your chosen pup is registered with the Kennel Club then remember to take a receipt of purchase upon collection, along with the pup’s Pedigree, a diet sheet and some food, and finally an insurance policy that covers the health of your pup for 6 weeks.
Some people decide to purchase two pups from the same litter. This is not recommended as, unless you are an experienced owner or trainer, looking after and training one puppy can be difficult enough without having the hassle of two. Pups from the same litter can form a very strong bond to the point where they cannot be separated from one another, and this may also give you difficulties in trying to get them to pay attention to you.