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Buying a puppy

I'm at the (very) early stages of looking into possibly getting a puppy. Possibly a Beagle, possibly a cockapoo. So I've looked at a few breeders and many don't have much availability (especially cockapoos). I've looked on a website called pets4homes and there are a lot more on their. But is this safe?
I've no clue. When I was living at home of mum and dad we had a beagle that my parents picked up from a KC registered breeder, but I notice a lot of the sellers on P4H are not KC registered. Should that ring alarm bells these days?

Any advice greatly appreciated.
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Comments

  • I’d stick to a KC registered breeder. We got one of our Border Terriers from Pets4Homes. A couple of weeks before we’d missed out of getting one from a home in Orpington who’d seemed ideal. We then saw one advertised in Acton, the guy said he couldn’t look after it any longer because his Mum who looked after it during the day had got a job. So we went over to Acton to see the dog. It turned out it was the same dog sold in Orpington two weeks earlier. I was livid. The guy wanted more for the dog than he’d paid for it two weeks previously. I told him we’d have the dog but it wasn’t getting a penny more than he’d paid for it himself. The poor dog was only seven months old but had had three homes before us. Three odd years on he still has anxiety issues.

    There are obviously good people on Pets4Homes but it’s hard to tell whom. How do you know how they are treating the dogs, is the dog even theirs? Stick to a KC Registered Breeder, preferably one in their Assured Breeder Scheme, and you can’t go much wrong.
  • PaddyP17 said:
    I'd like to encourage you to think strongly about adoption rather than buying from a breeder. 
    Not sure there are many out there to adopt currently. We’re trying to get our first family dog and Battersea or the Dogs Trust would be first port of call but don’t have any to be rehoused at the moment. Consequently prices for puppies are also sky high 
  • PaddyP17 said:
    I'd like to encourage you to think strongly about adoption rather than buying from a breeder. 
    Not sure there are many out there to adopt currently. We’re trying to get our first family dog and Battersea or the Dogs Trust would be first port of call but don’t have any to be rehoused at the moment. Consequently prices for puppies are also sky high 
     I've looked in a few of the obvious and make you right. And yes it's a big outlay so you have to be careful. P4H does have more than a touch of the gumtrees about it.
  • I strongly agree with the advice already given. Plenty of scammers around at the moment. Too many puppy farms where the dog leaves the mother far to early often creating problems for the new owner.
    If you were to go down this route make sure you insist on seeing the mother and if possible the father as well.
    Regarding the cockapoo, because it is a crossbreed and not a pedigree it won't be KC registered.
    Personally I chose to go down the rescue route and have not encountered any problems with three I have had by this means. My latest is a German Shepherd which was 11 months old when I got her last October. She has no issues and immediately settled in with my almost 11 old male labrador which I got from the same rescue centre when he was 9 months old.
  • edited January 31
    If anyone is selling during the lockdown that would ring alarms straight away with me, no reputable breeder is breeding or selling puppies. 
    All reputable rescues and trust me there some dodgy ones, are not rehoming at this time. 
    KC registered breeders used to be a good thing, sadly a lot of people including the breeder of four my dogs withdrew their membership in protest at of their policy’s. 
  • T_C_E said:

    All reputable rescues and trust me there some dodgy ones, are not rehoming at this time. 

    Dogs trust and RSPCA are rehoming.
  • From a veterinary perspective -we are also seeing a huge number of puppies (and kittens) being taken away from the mother by new owners way too young. 
    Secondly due to the number of scammers and irresponsible breeders; legitimate breeders are now requesting you sign a contract stating you will have the puppy vet checked within 48 hours of collection and if there is something wrong they will apparently refund fully if you choose to return the pup. This is putting huge additional strain on veterinary practices as more often than not, people collect on a Saturday due to work/home schooling. That leaves only Monday for a vet check within 48 hours. Not many vets are offering routine appointments as it is. Let alone at that short notice. 

    In short. I agree and would still suggest adoption if I did not work in the veterinary profession. 
  • So where are the best places to look at for adoptions?
    I have to admit that I thought adoptions were just as risky.
    We have two young kids. A slightly older dog with God knows what history worries me a bit tbh.
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  • We have. Cockapoo. The most loveable boy. 8 years old and still such a puppy. But we have looked at the prices lately and they are astronomical! We paid £550 8 years ago. Puppies are now being advertised for 3 or 4k. With so many people housebound by the pandemic the idea of owning a dog is more appealing meaning there is a bit of a shortage. This in turn brings the criminal fraternity into play with dogknapping becoming rife, do be very wary of buying online. Once this pandemic is over I fear there will be a glut of dogs for sale or abandoned. So sad!

  • edited January 31
    We bought a Miniature Schnauzer on Pets4Homes in November and he's been home with us for a few weeks now.

    Lots of good advice above if going for a new pup from a breeder and not adoption/rescue. Doing proper diligence is a real must - make sure you get full medical paperwork including for both parents, good idea to stick to KC registered, make sure you can see the puppy's environment and the mother (likely to be on screen at the moment obviously). Ask lots of questions, scrutinise shallow answers and trust your instinct - if it doesn't feel right it's not worth taking a chance.

    Edit: And do lots and lots of breed research. The variation is enormous. Think about your life circumstances and preferences and where your priorities would be - size, exercise needs, friendliness with children strangers or other animals, character, noisiness, independence, grooming needs, breed specific health issues, shedding, etc. I would make your breed choice definitively before actually deciding you want a dog.
  • edited January 31
    Please do not hand over any deposits from adverts from P4H, my wife had any enquiry for a Westie puppy from a couple who answered an advert, they were sent videos of the litter and pictures of the puppy, the were asked for a deposit of £450 by bank transfer,  they were then advised of the address to pick the puppy up from they arranged a date, on arriving at they address they were informed that  they were 8th person that had turned up to collect puppies and that they had been conned, the people at the property did not breed dogs infact they did not even own a dog. By the way you will not find a KC registed Cockerpoo as they not a reconnised breed.  If you go for a Beagle contact one of the breed clubs a list of which you will find on the KC website.   
  • Hope you have Researched the choice of a Beagle before you get one. Been around a lot of dogs, and never come across anything like a Beagle. They do what they want, when they want. Lovely dogs, but difficult to train, and god do they lose hair. 

    Not putting you off, but make sure you know what your taking on. 
  • From a veterinary perspective -we are also seeing a huge number of puppies (and kittens) being taken away from the mother by new owners way too young. 
    Secondly due to the number of scammers and irresponsible breeders; legitimate breeders are now requesting you sign a contract stating you will have the puppy vet checked within 48 hours of collection and if there is something wrong they will apparently refund fully if you choose to return the pup. This is putting huge additional strain on veterinary practices as more often than not, people collect on a Saturday due to work/home schooling. That leaves only Monday for a vet check within 48 hours. Not many vets are offering routine appointments as it is. Let alone at that short notice. 

    In short. I agree and would still suggest adoption if I did not work in the veterinary profession. 
    All my dogs are under contracts for breed restrictions and export, when you say “now under contract” you seem to be suggesting it’s a new thing. I’m in contact with my dogs breeder at least once a week and she’s now a friend of mine for over 12 years. The last time I spoke to our rescue about our rescue girl was a week after we got her asking for proof of payment for the £250 she cost us so there are good and bad in rescues as there are in breeders,the rescue have no idea if she is dead, alive or churning out puppies three time a year. The German Shepherd welfare group currently has a nine month old puppy with appalling health issues and was believed to have been sedated when viewed when he got home with his new owner (who paid 2k) for the pup he was in so much pain he started trying to bite, the breeder who refused to acknowledge this or take him back, two charity rescues paying huge salaries to their executives suggested it would be being destroyed if collected them so it was intercepted by welfare and it’s now living with my pal up near Peterborough where it will live out it’s days with unpaid volunteers. 
    Reputable breeders do not breed for money, they breed to strengthen the bloodlines I paid the same for Bowyer last year as I did for Bailey 11 years ago, anyone lucky enough to be selected to have a puppy from the same breeder will probably pay £200/300 more as  I get mates rates. 
    If you want a puppy research your chosen breed then research the breeders, ask questions then ask more questions. 

  • edited February 1
    I think you have to be so careful when purchasing a dog at the moment unless from a really reputable breeder. There are so many chancers out there who care little for the welfare of the dog, only interested in the money to be made. There’s been a huge rise in dog thefts recently either to be sold on or to breed off. Can’t remember the source but I read an article online the other day that organised crime gangs are getting in on the act not only for the money to be made but because the consequences of their actions are a lot less than if they were caught selling drugs etc. I can only add my voice to those who’ve already recommended going down the adoption/rescue route. 
  • Hope you have Researched the choice of a Beagle before you get one. Been around a lot of dogs, and never come across anything like a Beagle. They do what they want, when they want. Lovely dogs, but difficult to train, and god do they lose hair. 

    Not putting you off, but make sure you know what your taking on. 
     I know all about Beagles mate. Grew up with one.
  • The best thing to do is to find out who the Chairman/Chairlady or secretary is of the club appertaining to the breed you require.
    You should be able to get that info on line or failing that ask The Kennel Club.
    Contact them and they will often know who currently has information on any litters that are about to be made available or if they don’t, they will invariably know breeders  who will.
    I have done this myself with great success.
    In this way you can be sure they know the best ‘bonafide’ breeders and show dogs currently on the circuit.
  • If you are buying instead of adopting (largely comes down to what you're looking for, our pup is a long haired miniature dachshund and that's what we wanted and there was none up for adoption at the time) then yes KC accredited is the only way to go. Insist on meeting the mother of the puppy, who should be in good health, and be doting on the pup. Also try and see any litter mates, the conditions in which the pups are kept, feeding etc. Any breeder worth their salt will be open and forthright with all information you should need and should be happy to show off how well looked after their dogs are, anything that seems dodgy, any red flags at all, no matter how cute the dog is, don't feed the puppy farms etc. as even if you think you are helping the dogs out by getting them out of there, it keeps the money coming in and at the end of the day that's all they give a shit about.
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  • edited February 1
    Bought our Bertie from a breeder on Pets4homes, made sure we visited the breeder and saw both parents, and the six puppies, before choosing Bertie and handing over any money.
    Everything turned out fine, more by luck than judgement because once you have six adorable puppies running around you, common sense goes out the window ( I wanted to buy two!).

    I Would recommend a Cockerpoo for a first time owner, but white is probably not the most practical colour at the moment, thankfully he likes baths. Cockerpoo's are supposed to have a low maintenance coat, it doesn't shed but still needs a fair amount of grooming.

    This is him with his head through the bannisters?! after a walk.


  • We got our cavapoo (Rufus) back in May and he was £1,300. Mate of mine just been quoted £3.5k for one - bloody eye watering. Ours is brilliant, great with the kids and a real part of the family now, would recommend the breed highly 
  • edited February 1
    We found Magnus (we gave him that name) at Viking Oak dog home. We believe he’s a springerpoo, had him for just over 2 years, believe he’s about 3 1/2 now and he’s great, took a lot of work at first. One thing to remember is the affect lockdown ending and going back to work, the dog may find it hard to adjust with being left along.


  • edited February 1


    KC all the way, we visited the home first to see how they were treated and housed and then had regular updates along the way. 
  • I’m a Licensing Officer for a local authority and I’m completely snowed under with Animal Welfare Act issues, mainly illegal dog breeding and/or advertising puppies for sale.  That includes adverts on Pets4Home. 
    A dog breeder must be licensed by their local authority and puppies under 6 months must only be sold by the person who bred them. That was to stop 3rd party sales. The biological mother of the puppies must be present when puppies are shown to a prospective buyer.
    If you do go to look at puppies, at least ask the sellers for proof that they are licensed and maybe have a quick peek at the Animal Welfare Regs 2018 and subsequent amendments. 

  • We got Kevin at 6 weeks. He was the runt and wasn’t getting fed properly. We are home all the time so we could train him.  I stayed downstairs and slept with him for 6 weeks.  We got him from a home. 
  • edited February 1
    We got a lab during the summer after our cat died. Didn't really think, as we saw a advert on gumtree. The bloke originally wanted to meet in a car park (should of rung alarm bells) eventually met at his house, but didn't meet the mother (really stupid looking back). When we got him home we got him a vet appointment the next day, turns out his chip wasn't the one on his card and he been brought over from Ireland so had a headache changing the registration to us, and on top of that had a stomach infection that took a month to heal up (weekly vet visits for like six weeks). Like wouldn't change him for the world but we were very lucky looking back when you hear stories of doggies not lasting the night from dodgy breeders.

    He's nine months and much bigger than the photo below now.

  • PaddyP17 said:
    I'd like to encourage you to think strongly about adoption rather than buying from a breeder. 
    Not sure there are many out there to adopt currently. We’re trying to get our first family dog and Battersea or the Dogs Trust would be first port of call but don’t have any to be rehoused at the moment. Consequently prices for puppies are also sky high 
    Likewise. We are looking to get a puppy. A lot of the rescue places aren't open at the moment
  • I’m a Licensing Officer for a local authority and I’m completely snowed under with Animal Welfare Act issues, mainly illegal dog breeding and/or advertising puppies for sale.  That includes adverts on Pets4Home. 
    A dog breeder must be licensed by their local authority and puppies under 6 months must only be sold by the person who bred them. That was to stop 3rd party sales. The biological mother of the puppies must be present when puppies are shown to a prospective buyer.
    If you do go to look at puppies, at least ask the sellers for proof that they are licensed and maybe have a quick peek at the Animal Welfare Regs 2018 and subsequent amendments. 

    Really helpful for us, thanks
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