When deciding what breed of dog is best for you, it is very important to consider what sort of lifestyle you have. Things like, where you live, how much time you have to spend with the pup, what you would like the pup for, i.e. companion, gundog work etc, what age are any children who would come into contact with the pup? The Kennel Club website has a lot of info to help you decide.
Once you have decided on a breed, get as much information on the breed of your choice as possible and ask as many questions as you can. Before you contact a breeder you need to think about what sex you would prefer, what colour would you like, and what size of dog do you want? Do you want to work your dog and if so what sort of work will you require your dog to do? What sort of temperament are you looking for, would you want to breed a litter yourself in the future? These are all questions that a breeder will need to know to select a puppy that is best suited to you.
When deciding where to get your puppy from, buy directly from a reputable breeder who has done their best to ensure the litter they are producing is as healthy as possible. Breeders who have working Gundogs may have more than one breed and often rear their litters outside in kennels, but their puppies should still be brought into the home to socialize and get used to all the day to day noises in a family or home environment. We are a working kennel, but All our puppies are reared indoors in our family home.
Don’t be tempted to buy from the first breeder you meet. Speak to as many breeders as possible to get a good idea of what the breed is like to live or work with. Always expect to meet mum, you should always without fail be able to meet her, unless she has been lost during whelping. If this is the case and it does happen, their vet should be able to backup their claims. A genuine breeder will not mind you asking, it shows you care about the puppy you intend to buy! Never take the excuse “We are shooting today so mum is out working” If it is a shoot day they should arrange for you to visit when mum can be seen. You will be surprised what lengths some breeders will go to if the mum of the litter has an unsuitable temperament or doesn’t belong to them!
Often the litter Sire may not be around as breeders sometimes have to travel a long way to use a dog that is compatible with their bitch. You could ask to see any pictures of him that the breeder may have or you may wish to contact his owners and speak to them to ask if you can visit him. If this isn’t possible expect to be given as much information about him as you would about the Dam of the litter. Ask about the temperament and working ability of both parents as this is very important if you are looking for a working dog. It is important to see the pedigrees of the Dam & Sire. They should not be too closely related, as this can cause health problems further down the line. Always ask to see the health test results of the parents, and if possible close relatives. It is always advisable to buy your puppy from breeders who health test their breeding dogs. You can’t guarantee your puppy will be 100% healthy but you will have more of an idea than if you buy from un-tested parents and leave it to pot luck!
Do not expect to have a puppy immediately; a lot of breeders have a waiting list of people wanting a puppy so you may have to wait for a time when there is a puppy available. You should not expect to have the pick of the litter, there may be several people who have been waiting longer than you and they will most probably be able to select their puppy first. Remember a well bred, happy, healthy puppy is worth waiting for. Most breeders will not be happy for anybody to visit their puppies until they are at least six weeks old. The risk of infection to the puppies we feel is just too high. Also it is not a good idea to visit different breeders on the same day as you could spread any possible infection from one kennel to another.When viewing a litter, the puppies should be bold and happy to meet you. They should smell clean and have bright eyes free from any discharge. Their eyelids should fit correctly, not rolling in or outwards. Their coats should be free from scurf or any sign of fleas. You should ask to check the puppy's mouth which should have the top row of teeth closely overlapping the bottom set. If you are having a dog puppy check that both testicles can be felt.
When choosing shape and size of puppy look for the proportions you would consider pleasing in an adult dog and reduce it to puppy size. The temperament and character of puppies at five to eight weeks will not yet have had a chance to have fully developed because of still being with the litter. Once you get your puppy home it will be up to you to help that character develop, and how you do this will determine what your puppy will grow into, good or bad!
Most breeders register their puppies with the UK KC and if this is the case you should expect to receive the puppy's registration certificate when you pick up your puppy, or have a receipt to say it will be sent on to you if it has not arrived back from the KC at that time. Our puppies always go to their new homes with their registration papers, pedigree, worming program details, vaccination record, care and advice sheet, a copy of our Puppy sales Agreement, microchip registration form, bag of puppy food, insurance, and full breeder support, which will continue for the lifetime of the dog.