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How to spot a healthy, temperamentally sound puppy

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What to look for in a puppy

When you visit the puppies, look for the following:

  • Do they look in good condition, well-covered, not under-weight and not pot-bellied?

  • Do they have runny eyes or noses? Are they coughing, or do they have diarrhoea?

  • Are they being kept in hygienic conditions that are obviously cleaned regularly?


If something doesn’t feel right when you visit, walk away. Unscrupulous breeders rely on people “falling in love with a puppy” or “feeling sorry” for puppies, and feeling obliged to buy one. Don’t make this mistake, which could result in expensive vet bills and lots of heartache. And, it only encourages bad breeders to breed again because they find it so easy to sell poorly-bred and poorly-reared puppies.

Picking a "bomb-proof" puppy

When you visit the puppies, look for the following:

  • Are they playing with their siblings and their toys?

  • Do they come up to you for a fuss and to play, or are they nervous and lacking in confidence?

  • Is the puppy's mother bold, outgoing and friendly to you and her puppies?

  • Have the puppies been exposed to a wide range of experiences (hoover, washing machine,TV)?

  • Have they met a range of children, men and women?

  • Have they had experience of different environments; different rooms/floors, the garden/patio?


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