Finding the right breeder

Kennel Club Assured Breeders

We operate the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme. The Kennel Club provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of breeders and Kennel Club Assured Breeders with pedigree puppies currently available on the Find a Puppy service.

Kennel Club Assured Breeders and other responsible breeders should do the following:

  • Follow recommended breeding guidelines
  • Make use of health screening schemes, such as testing for hip problems and eye conditions, which will help owners to predict the future health of their puppy (N.B Assured Breeders MUST use the health schemes)
  • Ensure the puppy is seen with its mother, to give an indication of how the puppy is likely to turn out
  • Be prepared to answer your questions about the breed
  • Give new owners written information regarding the socialisation and training of the puppy
  • Be there as a point of contact throughout the puppy's life to ensure that the dog and owner have a happy and fulfilling relationship

If a breeder doesn't follow these guidelines and if the puppies do not appear happy and are not kept in good conditions, then look elsewhere. For more information watch this video about Assured Breeders.

Breed Clubs

Breed Clubs will also recommend dog breeders to you and contact details for these clubs can also be found in the Breed Information Centre.

What to expect from a breeder

  • The breeder should give you the opportunity to see the puppy with its mother and the rest of litter. This is very important because it will not only give you an opportunity to see the temperament of the mother, but may also give you an idea of the future characteristics and size of the puppy
  • Have the opportunity to see all the puppies and be able to handle them, rather than just seeing the puppy being offered to you
  • It is the responsibility of the breeder to register the litter with the Kennel Club and each puppy in the litter will initially be registered in the breeders' name. The breeder chooses the official Kennel Club names for all the puppies
  • Under normal circumstances, litter registration with the Kennel Club takes about 14 days, after which time the breeder will receive the registration certificates for all the puppies in the litter. If there is a query with the application the Kennel Club will contact the breeder to resolve and further action may be required which may delay the registration process
  • If the dog is advertised as Kennel Club registered you should ensure that you take receipt of the Kennel Club Registration Certificate. You must then proceed to apply to the Kennel Club to transfer your dog into your own name. Please be aware that you will require the signature of the breeder to complete this. If the registrations certificate is not available at the time of purchase, ensure that you receive an undertaking in writing from the breeder that this will be sent to you when available
  • A responsible breeder will provide background on socialisation they have already provided to your puppy and advice on continuing work in this area when you get home. Ideally when you choose your puppy, try and find a litter that have been raised in a house as similar to yours as possible (so with children if you have children, in a noisy environment if you have a noisy house, with cats if you have cats etc). If your puppy has come from a breeder who follows the Puppy Socialisation Plan, you already you know that he has had a good start in life, and so you know he is well on the way to making a perfect addition to your family. If your puppy is from a breeder or rescue and hasn't had the advantages of the Puppy Socialisation Plan start in life, don't panic. Just start today and follow the Puppy Socialisation Plan from now on in order for him to get the chance to catch up with a lot of the things he has missed.

What to expect when you visit the breeder

Once you have found a breeder you like the sound of its essential you visit them to see where the puppy has been bred and to meet the pup with its mum. Your experience of visiting the breeder of your puppy should be a happy and positive one.

Click here to find some essential information to help guide you through what to expect from your visit, and what warning signs you should walk away from.


What to ask the breeder

  • A Contract of Sale - it is recommended that the breeder provide you with this. Amongst other things this should detail both the breeders' and your responsibility to the puppy. The contract should also list any official Kennel Club endorsements (restrictions) that the breeder has placed on the puppy's records, and in particular on what basis the breeder may be prepared to remove the endorsement. Endorsements the breeder may place on your puppy include not for breeding and not for export. Before or at the time of sale, you must give a signed acknowledgement of any endorsement placed
  • Written advice on training, feeding, exercise, worming and immunisation
  • A pedigree detailing your dog's ancestry - this could either be hand-written or a printed pedigree from either the breeder or an official one from the Kennel Club
  • Copies of any additional health certificatesfor the sire and dam
  • Just like humans, some breeds of dogs can be affected by inherited conditions. The Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association offer three canine health schemes, which aim to detect and monitor certain inherited conditions. It is important that you are aware of these conditions and know the right questions to ask of breeders before buying a puppy. There are also some DNA tests now available for certain breeds. Visit our Breed Information Centre for breed specific health information
  • Ask which vaccinationsyour puppy has had and which ones are still required
  • Your Breeder can offer you four weeks free Kennel Club Pet Insurance with your new puppy, which starts from the moment you collect your puppy. Ask them to ensure this is set up so that you have cover, should your new puppy suffer from any illness or injury.


More information

Tools & Services


Related Topics

Assured Breeder Scheme Puppy Buying Guide App Kennel Club Assured Breeders
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