Rare and unusual colours

Norwich Terrier

Before buying a puppy it’s useful to know that every breed of pedigree dog has a list of ideal colours described in their breed standard (a blueprint of what a breed looks and acts like).

In doing your research to find a puppy, you may have come across adverts for dogs that have unusual colouring. Before deciding to buy one of these ‘rare’ coloured dogs, there are some things you need to know first.

Are they really rare?

No, a breeder may say these colours are rare, but that just means that the people who developed the breed preferred other colours. The term ‘rare’ is simply a tactic to make these dogs seem more special than others.

How much should they cost?

Your puppy shouldn’t cost any more than other dogs in the breed. ‘Rare’ coloured dogs can be very fashionable, so just make sure the breeder cares about the puppy’s health and future, and not just your money.

The breeder

Puppies should always be bought from a responsible breeder; someone who registers their dogs with The Kennel Club, who does everything they can to make sure that the dogs they breed are happy and healthy, such as The Kennel Club Assured Breeders. You need to visit the puppy at home and meet their mum, just as you would with any other puppy.

Your puppy’s health and happiness 

Your puppy’s mum and dad should be health screened for the same conditions as the other mums and dads in the breed. Their health and temperament should always be more important than their colour.

Be vigilant and do your homework!

Be sure to do your research before you buy a puppy. To find out more about a breed, or about unusual colours, speak to your local breed club or refer to our Breeds A to Z.

Never buy from anyone you think hasn’t taken every step to make a puppy’s health their priority. If you suspect someone is a puppy farmer, please report them to the RSPCA, the police or your local authority.