Great ! So you’ve decided to add a new member to your family, namely a dog / puppy. But before you go go out and get your puppy you should think a little about what to look out for when buying a dog. Hopefully our tips can help you avoid some of the most common mistakes by new owners.
What mistakes do new owners make ?
We would advise you to have some ideas of questions before you visit a breeder. If you don’t know what to look out for or what to ask, you may come away thinking that you’ve just bought a really great puppy when the reality is couldn’t be further away. We’ve heard horror stories of people buying sick puppies, ones that either have serious issues for the rest of their lives, or even die prematurely because of these issues. This might sound quite pessimistic, but we are providing this information in the hope that you take it seriously.
If you think about it, even if a puppy is IKC (Irish Kennel Club) registered, it’s not any guarantee that the dog will be healthy or that the breeder is a responsible one. A lot of the Kennel Club groups maintain lists of breeders that they might share with you. A sign of a good breeder would be one that has many years experience, has a great setting for both the puppies and other dogs. Often the best breeders will have waiting lists of a few months to a few years. When you think that you will have your dog for 12-15 years, waiting 6 months might be well worth it.
Most breeders will keep their puppies until 8 weeks old, some even prefer to hold them until 12 weeks. This feeding and bonding time for young puppies is important to ensure that they turn out to be well adjusted dogs.
You should aim to meet your puppy as soon as possible, and visit it a few times before you take the final collection of the dog. You should ask the breeder about the puppies mother, and ask about seeing them interact together. Dogs temperaments generally are a family trait, so seeing how she interacts with her pups will be a good indicator of what to expect in later life.
You should ask about the age of the mother, and how many other litters has she had. Bitches should be over a year old before they are used to breed, and depending on the dog type, they can be breed for about 6 years.
You should observe your puppy playing with the other pups in the litter, how does it interact with other puppies, is it of a similar size and have the same energy as the other puppies.
Collecting your puppy
As the breeder if the dogs are full weened or not. If they are not yet weened it is a clear indicator that the dogs are not ready to leave their mother.
It’s important the the dogs coat, eyes, ears and bum all look clean and healthy. Check to see if there are any marks or clumps of missing fur. If the puppy is or looks ill then it’s best to come back another day for collection.
A good breeder will also be able to advise you on what they are already feeding your puppy and what you should continue to feed it in the coming weeks.
- We would advise you never to buy your dog from a pet shop. These types of animals have the most issues, and are most likely to have a so called puppy farm behind them. Ads posted in pet shops are generally okay, we mean more the type of pet shops that have puppies stored in cages under terrible conditions.
- Breeders with many different types of dogs is generally a sign that they are purely into breeding for money, and may not have the dogs best interests at heart. We would also avoid such breeders. Legally any breeder with more than 6 females capable of breeding and over the age of 6 months is consider a Dog BreedingEstablishment. Such breeders need to have a special licence under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 (link)
- When in doubt, don’t buy. If you get the feeling that the breeder isn’t as knowledgable as you would like, then you are probably better off not buying that dog and to continue on your search.
We have listings for dogs for sale. All sellers are verified by SMS and all ads are visually checked. But you still keep in mind the advice we had above when it comes to buying a puppy.