One in three puppy buyers could not identify a reputable breeder

The Kennel Club urges people to ‘wait it out’ before getting a puppy as pandemic buyers fall victim to scams, rip offs and rogue breeders.

With the surging demand for ‘pandemic puppies’, scams rife and rogue breeders cashing in, dog welfare organisation the Kennel Club has released tips to help puppy buyers find a good breeder, as well as how to spot key red flags – which when missed can lead to devastating emotional and financial consequences:

  • Research is vital if you are to bring home a happy, healthy puppy which suits your lifestyle and will be your friend for life. A quarter of puppy buyers (25 per cent) spend less than two hours researching their puppy and where to get it from, meaning they are less likely to be aware of what to look out for.
  • Due to Lucy’s Law campaign to end puppy farming, it is now illegal in England to buy a puppy or kitten from a third party – so once you’ve done proper research, go direct to a breeder and be prepared to wait. Over one in three (38 per cent) admit to sourcing their four-legged friend from third party sellers, directly over the internet or from an online pet shop.
  • Always see the puppy’s breeding environment and interaction with its mum and littermates – they will have an obvious bond. 37 per cent don’t collect their puppy from where it was bred, instead the seller delivered or met the puppy buyer in a neutral location, like a motorway services. Not collecting the puppy from its breeding environment can enable unscrupulous breeders and traders to hide horrific breeding conditions.
  • Responsible breeders will also health test to ensure puppies are healthy and happy. 71 per cent of puppy buyers don’t receive the relevant health tests for the puppy’s parents and 61 per cent miss seeing relevant vaccination certificates for their puppy.
  • A good breeder will always be interested in you and ask you lots of questions – they want the best forever homes for their puppies. Three in four puppy buyers admit they weren’t asked any questions about their suitability for owning a dog or puppy.

Bill Lambert, Head of Health and Welfare at the Kennel Club commented: “It’s absolutely vital that puppy buyers know what to look for when it comes to sourcing their new best friend responsibly, especially at the moment.

“We are concerned that nearly one in three puppy buyers – 31 per cent – admit they couldn’t confidently identify a reputable breeder and want to raise awareness of both how to know the breeder is doing the right things, and the red flags to look out for. Scammers and puppy farmers are clever and will do what they can to disguise their cruel trade so it’s vital to be extremely vigilant of tricks and fakery.

“We’re urging anyone considering getting a puppy not to make a decision without doing thorough research on the seller, as this really can cost. Rogue breeders and profit-driven puppy farms are cashing in as demand for puppies surge, with absolutely no concern for health or welfare, and you could end up with a very sick puppy, sky-high vet bills and potential heartache.”

The Kennel Club has produced a behind-the-scenes video with Dragons Den entrepreneur and Assured Breeder, Jenny Campbell, which follows her litter of puppies from birth to their new homes,  and shows puppy buyers what a responsible breeder looks like.

The video is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=20zqKm7Rhbc and more top tips from the Kennel Club to help puppy buyers bring home a happy, healthy puppy are available at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/buyingapuppy