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Buying a Puppy

Finding your perfect puppy from a breeder 


The Pet Advertising Advisory Group has excellent advice about buying a dog - please click here to view it
Different breeds of dog


Great breeders give puppies the best start in life. If you are thinking of buying a puppy from a breeder, please make sure you do plenty of research and consider the following:

Breed Suitability

There are 222 different pedigree breeds of dog. Their size and characteristics vary widely. Please choose a breed that fits in with your lifestyle. If you need help choosing a breed please view our breed selector


Veterinary charity the PDSA have calculated the costs of owning a dog could be between £6,500 and £17,000 in it’s lifetime, depending on the breed/size of the dog.

In addition to the purchase costs, you need to consider how much it will cost for food, vet bills, insurance, and accessories such as bedding, collars, leads & toys.

Exercise Requirements

Exercise needs vary greatly by breed of dog. All will need at least two exercise sessions of 30 minutes per day, some need over two hours per day to maintain their mental and physical health.

Breed Health

Dogs inherit specific characteristics through their genes. Some breeds are linked to certain health problems due to the way some characteristics have been developed.

DNA and clinical health tests are available for the potential parent dogs to check whether a litter is likely to develop breed related health problems.

All litters advertised on Puppy Choices have the health test status for each parent listed. We recommend you check the detailed health information for the breed to find out which are the essential and recommended tests for that breed which are regularly reviewed by the Kennel Club.

Puppy Suitability

Once you have chosen a breed, it is essential to find a reputable breeder. Find out about planned matings and ask to be added to your chosen breeders waiting lists. To find a breeder please view our breeder directory

Breeder Credentials

A puppy learns a great deal in its first few weeks which influences how the brain develops and the behaviours they show. Make sure the breeder can provide lots of information about the puppy, its behaviour, how it has been socialised, and its experiences to date. They should also be knowledgeable about the breed and be able to offer you long term guidance.

  • Please ensure you can always see the puppy with its mother, and in the environment it has been born and raised in
  • The puppy must be at least 8 weeks old before you can take it home (away from its mother and litter mates)
  • Ideally the breeder will supply a puppy contract . As a minimum the breeder should display the relevant kennel club paperwork (pedigree certificates) and details of any health tests for the puppies parents

Puppy Health

Consider the health of the individual puppy you are interested in. It should have healthy skin and a full, fluffy or glossy coat, with bright, clear eyes, clean ears inside, a cool moist nose, and a healthy mouth. It should have a normal temperature, regular heartbeat and pulse (vets can check this), and normal bowel movements.

Puppies should also show curiosity without being overly timid.

When visiting a breeder, if anything doesn't look or feel right, please walk away and report it. If you are unfortunate enough to view a puppy that looks sick, please report it to Animal Protection Services here and they will investigate and prosecute if appropriate.

Above all, please be prepared to wait for the right breeder and puppy to match your requirements. You will soon have your forever friend in your arms to start your lifetime of adventures together.

labrador retriever puppy looking over a woman's shoulder
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