Don’t buy a puppy until you have read this

As animal lovers, we know how hard it is when you have set your heart on a new puppy for the family. You see one, make the call and the breeder says ‘No problem, we can meet you half way or even, we will deliver the new puppy to you.  You know inside this isn’t right, so you ask some more questions, maybe about Mum and the other puppies - you are reassured that Mum is well, but is currently staying with their sister near the sea and that all the other puppies have gone to new homes - they are so popular! DON’T BELIEVE IT - you are probably being conned!

Time to engage your head and not your heart - Here are some suggestions we hope will help you make the right decision


Ask to see the puppy’s mother, which should be present.

See the puppy in it's breeding environment and ask to look at the kennelling conditions if they were not raised within the breeder’s house. If you suspect the conditions are not right, then do not buy the puppy.

For a pedigree puppy always go to reliable and reputable Kennel Club Assured Breeders. If you want to find breeders currently with puppies visit the Kennel Club's Find a Puppy website. Assured Breeders will appear at the top of the search with purple scheme logos next to their name.

Be prepared to be put on a waiting list – a healthy puppy is well-worth waiting for.

Ask if you can return the puppy if things don’t work out. Responsible and reputable breeders will always say yes.

Be suspicious of a breeder selling more than one (maximum two) breeds, unless you are sure of their credentials.

Consider alternatives to buying a pedigree puppy like getting a rescue dog or pup. 


Buy a puppy from a pet shop – these have often come from puppy farms.

Pick your puppy up from a ‘neutral location’ such as a car park or motorway service station. This is a common tactic used by puppy farm dealers.

Buy a puppy because you feel like you’re rescuing it. You’ll only be making space available for another poorly pup to fill.

Be fooled by a Kennel Club pedigree certificate. These are often faked by puppy farmers who are already operating illegally and have no qualms about forging paperwork. The majority of puppy farmers will not register their litters with the Kennel Club. If in doubt check with the Kennel Club.

Buy from a rescue or a registered breeder and always make sure ‘mum’ is there when you see the puppy. Mum will be confident with her pups and will not be nervous around them.  

If you have any doubts about the breeder - NEVER - agree to purchase the puppy and REPORT them. By buying the puppy, you are simply fuelling the trade. Better to report the incident directly to your local authority or Consumer Direct on 08454 040506