• Elise Finney

5 tips for pandemic puppy buying

It has come to my attention over the last few months, particularly during the search for my own new addition, the amount of scams that are happening at the moment. So for your protection here are a few tips to keep you safe on your search.

Tip #1

Never put down a deposit or pay anything without seeing the puppy in their current home first.

This is so important, especially with scammers taking advantage of lockdown and asking for deposits up front and then blocking buyers. I’ve seen so many horror stories and even more in the last few months.

While lockdown won’t allow meetings yet my biggest advice would be to hold off until this is possible. It is so important to be able to meet your puppy in person and see the living conditions they are being raised in along with the mother.

Tip #2

Don’t pay silly prices

I can appreciate breeders not wanting low prices to be exploited however don’t allow them to exploit you in the process. Dogs are so priceless when we have them yes, but a dog with health issues that already cost you £2000+ is a lot more then that and an expensive mistake to make.

The kennel club website is very useful in sharing what each breed should be health tested for. For your protection later down the line, take a look at what tests you should be looking at when screening litters.

Crossbreeds can be tricky, however there is still no excuse. Have a look at what tests each breed from the cross should have.

Tip #3

Don't get a puppy or a rescue dog just because they're cheaper

Contradicting my last tip, but be careful with what you're bringing home. Please don't buy a random dog just because they're cheap. While there are some success stories, it's important to consider the needs of the dog you are buying. If you're a busy family household it wouldn't be wise to buy a Malinois just because he or she didn't cost much. Instead take the time to decide on a breed that may suit you. The internet is a brilliant source these days and with many breed information websites and dedicated Facebook groups for owners it is very easy to find a breed that suits your lifestyle.

And equally, don't get a rescue just because you don't want to pay high prices. Rescue dogs often require a lot more time and effort depending on their background. I've seen a current trend in rehoming foreign street dogs. While they can become superb members of the family please consider the work these dogs will need to adapt to their new lifestyles. It can take months for rescues to settle in. Rescue dogs aren't for the fainthearted and will require just as much, if not more, training then a puppy.

Tip #4

If something doesn't feel right, don't purchase a puppy to 'save' it.

I seen all too often stories of owners visiting a puppy and feeling alarm bells ringing. If you feel a dog is in danger, report to the RSPCA. If you feel someone is farming puppies it is crucial to report, not fuel them more. When you buy a dog in a bid to 'rescue' them this only spurs puppy farmers on to breed more. While you may change one dogs life, you could potentially be influencing the misery for many more puppies and their poorly treated parents.

This also includes collecting a puppy before they reach 8 weeks old. It is against the law following new legislation for a puppy to leave their mother before they are 8 weeks old. These first 8 weeks are critical in the development of your dog. Anyone who makes an excuse for them to leave before this period is not reputable. There is no reason a dog should leave before this point, no matter how convincing the excuses may seem.

Tip #5

Be prepared to wait for the right dog

Puppy buying can be stressful and tiresome however, it is important to not rush into purchasing a dog. There are many brilliant breeders out there who will offer a lifetime of support and guidance. Because of this they may not breed often and will put everything into the dogs they raise. Waiting for these breeders may take longer then you would plan. But waiting for the right dog could save you a lot of heartache and money long term.

I am excited to announce I will now be offering a new service.

The pre-puppy package is a phone consultation providing you with all the necessary information when looking for your new companion.

Whether you would like:

- Guidance deciding on a breed to fit your lifestyle

-Help in finding a reputable breeder

-Advice for bringing home your new addition

Consultations are priced at £15 and will last 30 minutes. Pre-booking is required.

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