Being Puppywise

How to Be Puppywise in three steps

If you’re thinking of getting a dog then there's a lot to consider, including finding out if you’re ready for a puppy, choosing the right breed to suit your lifestyle and researching a responsible breeder. With thousands each year inadvertently buying puppies from rogue breeders, our Be Puppywise campaign aims to help puppy buyers to spot the red flags and avoid being duped.

Find out more about this year's Be Puppywise campaign.

1) Finding your puppy

More than one in five puppy buyers wish they had spent more time researching their decision and two in five missed red flag phrases in their puppy’s advert, such as ‘ready to go immediately’ or ‘puppy delivery’.

Be Puppywise by:

  • Making sure you’re ready for a dog
  • Finding the right breed for you
  • Knowing what a responsible breeder looks like - consider a Kennel Club assured breeder
  • Finding out what health tests to look for
Learn more about how to find a well-bred puppy

Firstly, if you’re going to Be Puppywise, research is vital. You need to think about and carefully research the right breed for you. Consider how they will fit your lifestyle and whether you are ready for all the responsibilities of dog ownership.

Begin your puppy buying journey by asking yourself some key questions, then research to find the right breed of dog to suit your lifestyle.

2) Buying your puppy

Almost a third of puppy buyers admit they wouldn’t be able to spot a rogue breeder or puppy scam, and didn’t meet their dog in real life before paying for it.

Finding your puppy and choosing a responsible breeder is a key part of being Puppywise. Make sure you:

  • Visit the breeder and see your puppy in its breeding environment, interacting with its mum
  • Are aware of rogue breeder red flags
  • Take time with your decision
Find out more about buying your dog responsibly and the red flags to look out for

If you want to #BePuppywise, it's important to get your puppy from a responsible breeder. There are many fantastic, passionate dog breeders out there who want to produce happy, healthy puppies. However, there are also other individuals who put profit before health and welfare, keeping their dogs in poor conditions and producing puppies that are unhealthy and may eventually require expensive veterinary treatment. 

We advise puppy buyers to go to The Kennel Club Assured Breeders. Members of this scheme all agree to follow good breeding practices and are inspected to maintain and guarantee standards. When searching for a puppy, our assured breeders will appear first on our Find a Puppy service and they will have the scheme's logo next to their name. You can search by area and your chosen breed. You can also browse the full list of The Kennel Club Assured Breeders.

The Kennel Club recognises that there are responsible breeders outside of the Assured Breeders scheme, but it can be difficult for buyers to identify who those breeders are. Ask friends, family, breed clubs, training clubs or your local vets to see if they have any recommendations. 

Responsible breeders will also perform any relevant health testing and screening on their parent dogs before breeding from them to increase the chances of producing healthy puppies. Learn more about checking you're puppy's parents are health tested.

Read more tips on finding the right breeder and please refer to our video above for advice on how to spot a good breeder, and avoid the heartache that comes with buying a poorly bred puppy. The Government's 'Petfished' campaign also has advice to help puppy buyers to avoid deceitful sellers.

Learn more about puppy farms and other disreputable sources, and how to avoid them.

3) Caring for your puppy

More than a fifth of new owners admit avoiding crucial doggy ‘life admin’, such as registering with a vet or getting insurance, or not socialising their puppy with other dogs, people or day-to-day situations.

Be Puppywise by:

  • Preparing for the arrival of your puppy
  • Researching puppy training and understand how to be a responsible dog owner
  • Enjoying life with your new best friend!
Find out more about caring for your new puppy

By doing your research and finding the right breeder, you are well on the way to providing your puppy with the best start in life. The final part of the Be Puppywise campaign is caring for your puppy once it’s home, and throughout its life.

When you finally bring your new best friend home, make sure you are well prepared – read our tips for when you first bring them home, suggestions on how to ‘puppy proof’ your house to keep them safe and happy, advice on feeding them well, and socialisation guidance for when you start to introduce them to new experiences.

You’ll also need to think about puppy training. This will build your bond and be fun for you both, as well as providing vital socialisation for your puppy. Finding a good, responsible trainer or training class is important. The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training scheme is a good place to start – find a local club near you. Or The Kennel Club Accredited Trainer scheme offers a 1:1 trainer who could help with any training needs. 

Buying and owning a dog is a big responsibility but Be Puppywise and your canine companion will be happy and healthy, providing you with a lifetime of happiness, fun and companionship.