Please read the information below to help decide whether you are
ready to get a dog. Consider each section when making your
decision. You can also download our
Puppy Buying Guide app for smartphones.
Male or female, puppy or adult
You could discuss the above options with:
- experienced dog owners
- your prospective veterinary surgeon
- breeders from whom you may consider purchasing a puppy
- those involved with rescue organisations
These people will usually be happy to share their experiences
and opinions with you, and should give you a good range of opinions
Choosing the right dog size
Does your choice of dog, in relation to its size, suit your
home, car, children and exercise plans, and suit friends or family
that might look after it during the holidays?
Coat length and type
- Do you mind spending hours grooming?
- Cleaning your dog and your house?
- Do you want a low-maintenance breed?
Some dog breeds have a strong smell; others dribble a great
deal! Can you live with these things?
Non-moulting breeds of dog
For those owners who wish to obtain a dog which has a
predisposition not shed its coat may be a suitable choice. Find
out what breeds are non-moulting
There are no naturally unhealthy pedigree dog breeds - but there
are breeds in which certain conditions tend to surface more. It
will inevitably take time for these conditions to be eliminated but
where there are known health problems, which
can be tested for, research and health testing should be carried
out. The Kennel Club runs specific schemes aimed at the breeds
concerned. Tests such as hip and elbow scoring enable potential
owners to have a good idea about the future health of their puppy.
To find out more about particular breeds and the health tests that
may be relevant to them, please visit the Breed Information
Ensure you are covered with a lifetime policy from the Kennel
Club Pet Insurance. Find out more about insurance cover levels
included by visiting the
Kennel Club Pet Insurance website.
Some dogs are bred for looks, others for their working ability,
and the result is that you get a whole range of temperaments in
between. Which one is right for you depends on many variables so
get expert help on your intended pedigree dog breed and be very
careful about where you buy your puppy.
Pedigree or Crossbreed
A pedigree dog is the offspring of two dogs of the same breed
whose lineage is recorded with a recognised club. Pedigree dogs
carry a breed standard which is a blueprint for their likely
character and health needs.
In addition to pedigree dogs there are also crossbreeds to consider. These dogs
often display a mixture of their ancestors traits. So it is
important to take this into account. If you know the mix of breeds
this may help but otherwise, find out what you can about the
parents. Here are some additional
tips when choosing a crossbreed dog.
Buying two dogs together is a bad idea
Whereas it may be true that they will keep each other company,
they will do so at the cost of your relationship with them. The
tendency is for them to bond with each other, rather than with you
and your family. Rearing two puppies successfully takes an enormous
amount of work, as you have to rear them separately, and give them
each individual quality time, space, exercise and training, so it
is not for the faint hearted or busy dog owner.
If you have an existing dog and would like to buy a companion
for it, consider the fact that many dogs prefer being the only dog
in the family, and resent sharing their space, humans, attention,
toys and treats with other dogs. If you do want another dog, a good
age gap is about four or five years. If you are not sure how your
dog will feel about it, 'borrow' a friend's dog for a few days to
get a rough idea.