Finding a good breeder

Puppy laying on car seat

After deciding on a suitable breed, you will need to find a responsible breeder to buy a puppy from. 

Finding the right breeder is important

Taking the time to find a great breeder that responsibly breeds healthy puppies will increase your chances of ending up with a happy, healthy dog that lives for a long time. 

Buying a puppy should never be quick or instant, and if it is, then you may want to ask yourself why the breeder is so keen to sell the puppies so quickly.

Finding a good breeder takes research

Recent research undertaken as part of our Be Puppywise campaign found that:

  • A quarter of puppy buyers do less than two hours research before buying their puppy
  • One in five wish they had spent more time researching their decision
  • And 70% of those owners  who spent less than two hours researching their decision experienced complications after getting their puppy, from facing unexpected health and behavioural problems, to not receiving medical history and vaccination records

Why you need a good breeder

There are many fantastic, passionate dog breeders out there who want to produce healthy puppies. Unfortunately there are also people who breed dogs for the sole purpose of making money at any cost.

These individuals often put profit before health, keeping their dogs in poor conditions.

Helpful tips to find the right breeder

Buy from an assured breeder

We strongly advise puppy buyers to go to The Kennel Club Assured Breeders.

Assured breeders all agree to follow good breeding practices and are inspected by us. 

  • On average, owners who buy from an assured breeder spend nearly 20% less in vet bills throughout the lifetime of their dog compared to those who do not to buy through an assured breeder (statistics from Agria Insurance)
  • Assured breeders are required to comply with breed-specific health screening, while also maintaining high standards of welfare and providing pre- and post-sales assistance to puppy buyers, to ensure your puppy has the best possible start in life
  • Every single applicant to the scheme receives a visit from a trained assessor when they join, and every three years after that, to ensure they comply with our high welfare standards

When you search for a puppy, our assured breeders will appear on our Find a Puppy service with an assured breeder logo next to their name. You can search on the website by area and your chosen breed. Find an Assured Breeder

Other responsible breeders

We recognise that there are responsible breeders outside of our assured breeders, but it can be difficult for buyers to identify who those breeders are.

A breeder with a reputation for taking care of their dogs is a great place to start. Ask friends, family, breed clubs, training clubs or your local vet to see if they have any recommendations. If the breeder is claiming that their puppies are registered with The Kennel Club, be sure to check that this is correct.

Next step – avoiding puppy farmers

Now that you know what to look for in a good breeder, it’s important that you also know the signs of a bad breeder. Buying a puppy from an irresponsible breeder could affect how healthy and happy your dog is for life, so it’s of vital importance to know the type of breeders you should avoid.