What to look for when buying a puppy


The time comes in every dog lover’s life when their existing dog arrives at the end of his or her life. It’s a terrible time all dog owners end up going through of course. Here at pups4sale we often receive calls from people who are grieving after the loss of their dog and are desperate to replace their lost loved one with another “just like him/her”.

We always advise such people to grieve for their lost friend first before even thinking about getting another dog. It might sound corny to some, but there is a very real grieving process dog owners go through over the loss of what is well termed their “best friend”. For some their dog is their only friend, making the loss even harder.

After the grieving process though there comes a time when it is the right time for a new pup or perhaps a rescue dog. In this article we’re going to focus on some of the things to look for whether you are replacing a dog that has died or looking for your first dog to own. We’re going to come from the perspective of someone who is buying a puppy, and in a future article from the perspective of someone who is looking for a rescue/shelter dog.

1: Do your research and decide on the right breed (or breeds) for you. We have lots of information on the different breeds on our breed information and breeders links pages here. There is of course a vast difference between a household suited to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (pictured on the left) and a Pharaoh Hound (pictured on the right)!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy


Pharaoh Hound puppy
Pharaoh Hound puppy











2: Having done your research and decided on a breed, you need to contact breeders of that breed of course. Spend time speaking to the different breeders and get to know them a little over the phone. Remember this is someone you want to be able to contact for further advice and input over the life of your new pup. If they are brusque, rude or plain unhelpful from the start, it is unlikely they are going to want to assist you much after you have purchased your pup, so this is the type of breeder to avoid. Look for someone instead who is a breed enthusiast of their breed and is keen to talk about the pros and cons of their breed at length – in a pleasant manner too!

3: Visit the breeder you have decided upon. Take note of the general health of all their dogs, the standard of their kenneling, the level of friendliness/alertness/wariness of their dogs – depending on the breed of course. In general however, even with breeds developed for stock guardianship or general guarding purposes, there is no need for young pups to be overly aggressive or hostile to strangers.

4: Look at the overall activity and interactiveness of the litter. A litter of pups should have two speeds – flat out and asleep. When not asleep, pups over 10 days of age should be a bundle of energy, harassing their long-suffering mother, wanting to get out of their enclosure to explore, practicing barking, sniffing, chewing and licking everything in sight, etc. If they are instead lethargic and uninterested in new visitors, you could well have one or more of a number of health issues on your hands – so be aware.

5: Let your pup pick you. This is a key point of the puppy selection process. When looking at a litter, interact with the puppies and keep an eye out for the pup that keeps coming to you, wanting to play and interact with you – even when the other pups lose interest. That is your pup right there in most situations (there are exceptions – such as when looking for confirmation to a particular breed standard, etc).

6: Do the obvious things, as outlined in the advice for puppy buyers on our Scam Stopper page. View the vaccination and microchipping records of the pups (remember – the completeness of these records is age dependent in pups) and the parents. If the parents’ records are not complete, this is another warning sign that something may not be quite right. When you do pick up your pup after they turn 8 weeks of age, make sure such records  for the pup are up to date and complete.

There is of course an endless list of tips available for someone looking to buy a new puppy. However it has been our aim in this article simply to highlight some of the more important suggestions as food for thought when the time comes to start searching for your next best friend.

2 Responses to “What to look for when buying a puppy”

  1. Andrea

    What are tips if I am interested in buying a puppy that lives interstate and the procedure for payment etc. And what if the puppy that is sent, is not what is the picture seen.

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