A checklist for your next puppy

Puppy checklist

When making the decision to buy a new puppy it is good to be aware of a few things. It is a great idea when visiting the breeder to take a checklist with you. Behaviour and health are more important than how adorable they look. This will save you a lot of problems and frustration in the future. So, we’ve created a new puppy checklist for you to use when purchasing your next fur baby.

Is the mother present?
If not revisit when she is and/or ask why she isn’t. Pups are normally weaned at around 6 weeks of age and can be separated from the mother from 7 weeks or later.
Watch the interaction between mother and puppies.

Are there more litters at the same time with the breeder?
Remember looking after a litter takes time and effort. Puppies need time to be socialised.

Are the mother and puppies inside and living in a family home?
It is important for puppies to be in a domestic environment and be socialised well. Puppies need to be exposed to homely sounds and experiences. It would also be beneficial if they would be able to play in the garden and learn a bit about the big outside world.

Is the environment they live in clean?
This is not just important from a hygienic perspective but puppies will be better house trained when growing up in a clean environment.

Do the puppies respond in a relaxed way or are they nervous and scared?
A socialised puppy will be curious and not scared or startled by (normal) noises.

Are the puppies micro chipped and registered in the breeder’s name?

Do the puppies have a pet passport?
Did the puppies receive their first vaccination and are the dates of worming recorded?

Have the parents been tested for hereditary diseases?
Some Pedigree dogs are tested for hereditary diseases like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye problems and deafness.

National Code of Practice for Hereditary Diseases of the Australian National Council Club (ANKC)
Section 1 - Compliance
This Code of Practice has been developed to conform to the ANKC Code of Ethics by which all members of each controlling body are bound, and represents the commitment of all members to breed only for the purpose of improving the quality of the breed. This Code of Practice for hereditary diseases shall apply in addition to any code of ethics which is in force in each state.
Section 2 - Practical Application
(1) Members will take responsible action to reduce the incidence of hereditary diseases in their breeds.
(2) Where there is a control program, approved by the ANKC, covering a breed for disease(s) known or considered to be inherited, then breeders within the breed should participate in and comply with the requirements of the program.
(3) Where an hereditary disease is recognised by the ANKC in consultation with the official breed club(s) to be a designated problem in a breed, and where there is a screening procedure or test for that disease approved by the ANKC:-
(a) The owner of a stud dog should, before making the dog available for stud duty -
(i) have a current official evaluation or test result for the dog for such hereditary disease:
(ii) provide the official evaluation or test result to the owners of the bitch to be mated.
(b) The owner of a bitch should, before mating her to a dog -
(i) have a current official evaluation or test result for the bitch for such hereditary disease:
(ii) provide the official evaluation or test result to the owner of the stud dog
(4) The ANKC recognises that before approving a screening procedure or test for an hereditary disease that procedure should be:-
(a) scientifically validated
(b) reliable
(c) readily available
(d) cost effective
(5) Before any puppy or adult animal is sold, the prospective owners should be advised that the seller has taken all reasonable steps to comply with the Code of Practice.

Has the breeder provided you with clear information and asks you questions?
A good breeder would want the best for his/her puppies and give you a lot of information. Not just information about the breed but also tips on how make the transition to the new home as pleasant as possible.

He/she will discuss diet with you and will advise on taking some of the ‘old’ food home with you as to make the transition easier for the puppy. Are you allowed to call back for additional questions?

Are you allowed stay and watch for a while and can you visit more than once?
No good breeder would want you to make a decision on your first visit. It is recommended to have more than one visit.

Is there a clear and easy to understand purchase contract?
It is recommended to ask for a clear contract that shows you your rights. Is your puppy important for breeding in the Pedigree or do you want your puppy to be desexed? Make sure the contract is clear about such matters.

It is all about giving your puppy a good start in life and to avoid unnecessary disappointments.