Dog mother with puppies

How to Distinguish Between an Unscrupulous and a Responsible Breeder

The key differences that can help guide your search


An unscrupulous breeder/seller...

  • offers several different breeds of puppies which they can provide quickly, sometimes below the age of 8 weeks old and often with no mother dog being present.
  • tries to avoid regulations and will claim that the owner is responsible for arranging the puppy’s first vaccinations, microchipping and registration. They will not provide any care information on the puppy and documents may be missing or falsified.
  • offers to deliver the puppy or actively insists on meeting in a public place, such as a car park, to handover the puppy. They also avoid any requests to see the mother dog especially if the puppies have been imported or bred elsewhere.
  • sells their puppies without vaccines, deworming treatment and without having a medical check-up before being sold.
  • is usually not registered and the puppies are also not registered (via a microchip number) in accordance with the national system. They will not want to sign a contract or take the puppies back if anything goes wrong. They will avoid any questions after the sale of the puppies especially if the puppies are sick and will simply disappear if anything goes wrong to avoid legal action.
  • will not socialise their puppies and may have either bought or imported them from puppy farms abroad, where they would have received little or no socialisation.
  • will not care about the breeding dogs and will often not know of their whereabouts or the conditions they are kept in as the puppies may have been purchased from a puppy farm or imported from abroad.

A responsible breeder...

  • usually offers only one litter at a time from the one or two breeds that they specialise in and will only sell their puppies when they are ready to be parted from their mother at the age of 8 weeks old or over.
  • follows all the regulations, ensures that their puppies are fully vaccinated, microchipped and registered and provides all the necessary documents, as well as information on how to care for the puppy.
  • allows and welcomes the buyer to visit more than once to see the puppies and shows the puppies interacting with their mother and litter mates.
  • ensures the puppies are fully vaccinated, dewormed and have a medical check-up to ensure that they are healthy before they are sold.
  • is registered and traceable, easy to contact before, during and after purchase to answer any questions. They will insist on signing a puppy buying contract and will take the puppy back if they are sick or need to be rehomed under certain conditions.
  • will ensure that their puppies are socialised to different situations before they are sold so that they are able to thrive in their new home and will advise the new owners on how to continue with the puppy’s socialisation.
  • will take care of their breeding dogs, ensuring their welfare and only breeding the mother dog a maximum of four times at no younger than 18 months of age and no older than 8 years of age. Usually, the breeding dogs are their well cared for family pets.

Share now!