Where to Buy Puppies
Without doubt, the best information regarding reputable breeders can be obtained from the Breed Club Secretaries. Reputable breeders will inform the Secretaries when they have puppies available or a litter planned. These breeders will be members of the Breed Clubs, they will have to abide by the Clubs’ Code of Ethics and the vast majority of them will be personally known by the Secretaries.
The two National Clubs are The Beagle Association and The Beagle Club. Refer to the Clubs’ websites for up to date information regarding telephone numbers etc:
The Kennel Club, www.thekennelclub.org.uk has a register of puppies for sale throughout the country but it’s worth noting that anyone with registered, pedigree dogs may appear on this register.
What to Look For
Getting to know the breeder, perhaps even before the litter is born is ideal. However, in reality you may have to make important decisions and choices in a short period of time. Here are some points that you may find useful.
If you are visiting an unknown breeder for the first time, you should seriously consider not taking any children you may have. If you have to leave without a puppy it will be all the more difficult if children are present. If you are happy with the breeder and pups then take the children on a 2nd visit, a good breeder will want to know the children are ‘right’ for their puppy!
Always see the puppies with their mother - accept no excuses such as - “she’s been taken for a walk,” or “she lives with my daughter.” If you can’t see them with the mother, leave straight away. A good breeder will also introduce you to their other Beagles and allow you to meet and play with them.
Try to be sure that the bitch you see with the pups is actually the mother. A sociable brood bitch can be used “front of house” if the puppies are “imported” from a puppy farm. A much bred from bitch will always look as if she’s just had pups, with a perpetually low-slung undercarriage. How does she react to the pups and how do they react to her? Bear in mind that no mother will be keen to feed even her own pups once they are weaned, however, as in humans, there should be some family resemblance.
Alarm bells should ring if there is only one mother but there seems to be a big difference in the size and development of the puppies.
How do the puppies react to the breeder and vice-versa. Is there confidence and affection coming from both sides?
A good breeder will ask you many questions about yourself and your family. This isn’t idle curiosity, it is for the benefit of all, the puppy, the breeder and you, making sure that you are well suited to Beagle ownership and understand all the responsibilities.
A Healthy Happy Puppy
Has clean, bright eyes. There should be no discharge from the eyes, ears or nose. The coat should be clean, sweet smelling and “loose fitting”, positively rippling with good health. There should be no sign of parasites on the coat or in the ears.
Beagles have naturally happy, curious, outgoing personalities. Avoid any puppy that appears fearful or nervous. Never buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it or because it appears ill. It’s very hard to walk away from a sad case and that’s exactly what bad breeders rely upon. A good breeder does not produce bad puppies.
When You Buy Your Puppy You Should Also Receive the Following:
- A full pedigree of at least four generations.
- The Kennel Club registration documents.
- A full information pack giving details of diet, exercise, worming, vaccination and general care.
- Enough of the puppy’s food to get you started and preferably a piece of towelling or soft toy which carries the scent of the puppies bed to help him settle into his new home.
- The promise of a lifetime of help and support. A good breeder will take back any puppy bred by them (at any age) if the circumstances in its new home should change.
Beagle Welfare cannot stress strongly enough, how important it is that you research the breed thoroughly and only buy from a reputable breeder.