105 Questions to Ask When Picking Up a Puppy From Breeder

Bringing a new puppy into your life is an adventure filled with cuddles, playful moments, and lots of learning. As you prepare for this exciting step, remember that it all starts with picking up your furry friend from the breeder.

But, before you do, there are important questions you’ll want to ask to ensure the well-being of your future companion and lay the groundwork for a healthy, happy life together.

This guide offers a comprehensive list of the vital queries that will give you peace of mind and prepare you both for the journey ahead. Get ready to become the best pup parent ever, starting with the right questions!

Puppy’s Health and Vaccination History

  1. What vaccinations has the puppy received, and when are the next ones due?
  2. Has the puppy been dewormed, and if so, what schedule has been followed?
  3. Can you provide proof of health screenings and veterinary checks for the puppy?
  4. Are there any known hereditary health issues in the puppy’s breed line?
  5. What are the common health concerns for this breed, and how can they be prevented?
  6. Has the puppy been microchipped, or will I need to arrange this?
  7. Can you provide a health record detailing the puppy’s medical history?
  8. What flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives have the puppy started?
  9. Are there any health guarantees or warranties offered with the puppy?
  10. What immediate veterinary care will the puppy need after I take them home?
  11. How has the puppy responded to initial vaccinations, and have there been any reactions?
  12. Has the puppy undergone any surgical procedures, including spaying/neutering?
  13. When was the puppy’s last veterinary health check, and what were the outcomes?
  14. Can you recommend a diet to support the puppy’s health and specific breed needs?
  15. Are there signs or symptoms of any current health issues I should be aware of?

Breeding Ethics and Practices

  1. Do you follow any specific breeding practices or standards?
  2. How do you ensure the genetic diversity and health of your breeding lines?
  3. What is your experience and history as a breeder of this particular breed?
  4. Do you conduct pre-breeding health tests for both sire and dam?
  5. Can you provide information on the frequency and conditions of breeding for each dog?
  6. How do you handle socialization and early development for the puppies?
  7. What are your criteria for selecting breeding pairs?
  8. What do you do to ensure that your breeding practices are ethical?
  9. How do you respond to and care for any health complications that arise during breeding?
  10. Can you explain any breed-specific breeding challenges and how you address them?
  11. What measures do you take against inbreeding?
  12. How much time do you allow between litters for the mother?
  13. What kind of environment are the puppies born and raised in?
  14. Do you have any affiliation with kennel clubs or breeding organizations?
  15. What is your protocol for dealing with puppies that do not get sold?

Puppy’s Lineage and Parentage

  1. Can you provide pedigree information and documentation for the puppy?
  2. Are there any champions or notable dogs in the puppy’s lineage?
  3. Can I meet the puppy’s parents or at least see pictures and learn about their temperament?
  4. How have you nurtured the sire and dam’s health and well-being?
  5. Do the puppy’s parents have any temperament or health issues I should know?
  6. Have the parents been tested for hereditary conditions common in this breed?
  7. What titles or certifications do the parents hold?
  8. How similar in behavior and physical appearance is the puppy expected to be to its parents?
  9. Can you provide references or testimonials from previous litter’ owners?
  10. How do you document and track the health history of your breeding dogs?
  11. Are the parents available on-site for viewing?
  12. Have the parents been involved in any dog shows or competitions?
  13. What is the breeding pair’s history of previous litters like?
  14. Do you facilitate genetic diversity in your breeding program?
  15. Have the parents or other relatives had any issues with trainability or behavior?

Puppy’s Diet and Nutrition

  1. What type of food have you been feeding the puppy, and at what intervals?
  2. Are there any foods or supplements you recommend specifically for this puppy/breed?
  3. Can you provide a feeding schedule that includes amounts and frequency?
  4. Have you introduced the puppy to any specific diet, such as grain-free or raw, and why?
  5. How do you adjust the diet as the puppy grows and matures?
  6. Are there any food allergies or sensitivities that I should monitor for the puppy?
  7. What is your opinion on homemade diets, and would you recommend any recipes?
  8. What are the signs that the puppy is thriving on its current diet?
  9. How can changes in diet affect the puppy’s health, and how should they be introduced?
  10. Can you suggest a diet plan to support the puppy’s development and energy levels?
  11. How do you ensure the puppies are receiving adequate nutrition while with you?
  12. What guidelines do you follow for weaning puppies onto solid food?
  13. What brands of food do you trust the most for providing optimal nutrition?
  14. How should I monitor the puppy’s weight and growth, and what are the ideal parameters?
  15. Are there any nutritional supplements or vitamins you administer or recommend for the puppies?

Puppy’s Socialization and Early Experiences

  1. What types of socialization experiences has the puppy had so far?
  2. How do you introduce puppies to different people, environments, and situations?
  3. Can you describe the puppy’s temperament and how it gets along with other animals?
  4. What kind of training, if any, has the puppy already received?
  5. How do you handle fear or aggression in puppies during their socialization period?
  6. What toys and activities does the puppy enjoy that help with socialization?
  7. How have you prepared the puppies for common household noises and environments?
  8. Can you detail how often and in what way humans interact with the puppies?
  9. How do you recommend continuing the socialization process once the puppy is home?
  10. Are the puppies exposed to children, and how do they respond?
  11. What advice can you offer on introducing the puppy to other pets at home?
  12. How might the puppy behave on its first few days in a new home, and how should I respond?
  13. How have you addressed any signs of separation anxiety in the puppies?
  14. What steps do you take to ensure each puppy develops confidence and a friendly demeanor?
  15. What experiences have you provided to prepare the puppies for grooming and veterinary visits?

Getting Your Home Ready and What to Anticipate

  1. What essential items should I have ready before bringing the puppy home?
  2. Can you recommend comfortable and safe bedding for the puppy?
  3. Is there any particular routine the puppy is used to that I should maintain?
  4. What type of crate size and style would be most appropriate for this puppy?
  5. How long can I expect the house training process to take for this breed?
  6. What signs of stress should I watch as my puppy adjusts to its new home?
  7. Can you recommend strategies for the first night with the puppy to ensure it is stress-free?
  8. How should I puppy-proof my house to keep the new addition safe?
  9. What kind of play and exercise schedule would you suggest for the first few months?
  10. Can you guide me in introducing the puppy to its new family members?
  11. What are the common behavioral changes I might observe during the transition period?
  12. How frequently should I take the puppy outside for potty breaks during the first weeks?
  13. Are there any specific grooming needs for the puppy that I should prepare for?
  14. What is the ideal way to structure the puppy’s day to include training, playtime, and rest?
  15. What steps should I take if the puppy shows signs of illness or distress after coming home?

Breeder’s Policies and Guarantees

  1. Should any issues arise, can you explain your puppy’s return or exchange policy?
  2. Do you provide a health guarantee for genetic conditions, and what does it cover?
  3. What kind of post-adoption support do you offer to new puppy owners?
  4. How do you prefer to be contacted after the puppy goes home for follow-up questions?
  5. What is the policy on spaying/neutering, and do you require it within a certain timeframe?
  6. Can you provide details on any breed-specific guarantees you may offer?
  7. Will you be available to advise on training and behavioral questions as the puppy grows?
  8. What documents and records will be provided upon the puppy’s pickup?
  9. Are there any restrictions or conditions in your sales contract that I need to be aware of?
  10. How do you manage the transition if the puppy develops an unforeseen health condition soon after adoption?
  11. What is your policy on breeding rights, and does this puppy have any limitations?
  12. Do you offer assistance with registration papers and pedigree information?
  13. How is the purchase price determined, and what does it include?
  14. In what situations might warranties specified in the contract become void?
  15. What kind of follow-up or updates do you appreciate from the families who adopt your puppies?

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do when you pick up a puppy from the breeder?

When you pick up your new puppy from the breeder, you should have a bag of food, a water bowl, toys, and a collar and leash. Puppies are often very tired after the trip home and need some time to rest before you take them for a walk.

Introduce your puppy to their new home slowly and let them explore at their own pace. Provide plenty of food and water and take them outside periodically to relieve themselves. Begin obedience training as soon as possible so your puppy becomes a well-behaved member of the family.

Why is early socialization significant for my puppy’s development?

Early socialization helps puppies learn how to interact confidently and calmly with different people, animals, and environments. It is crucial for the puppy to develop into a well-adjusted and sociable adult dog.

How will you know what type of puppy your family is looking for?

To find the right puppy for your family, you need to decide what kind of dog you’re looking for. Some families are looking for a playful puppy that will keep them active, while others may be looking for a cuddly companion to watch TV with.

Once you know what you want in a dog, you can narrow down your search and find the perfect puppy for your family. If you’re not sure which dog is right for you, ask friends or family members for recommendations or visit a local shelter to meet some adoptable dogs.

How do you make sure a dog breeder is legit?

To ensure a dog breeder is legitimate, consider taking the following steps:

  • Research: Look for reviews and seek out feedback from previous customers.
  • References: Request and contact past customers for their experiences.
  • Documentation: Ask for detailed health and vaccination records, along with pedigrees.
  • Club Affiliations: Check if they’re associated with recognized kennel clubs.
  • Facility Visit: Inspect the breeding facility for cleanliness and the dogs’ well-being.
  • Parent Meeting: Seeing the puppy’s parents can indicate your puppy’s future traits.
  • Breeder’s Interest: A legit breeder will screen you to ensure a good fit for the puppy.
  • Communication: Legitimate breeders are knowledgeable and responsive.

Final Thoughts

You’re now equipped with the knowledge to ensure you and your puppy start off on the best paw possible. By asking these insightful questions, you show tremendous care and responsibility as a future dog owner.

The answers you’ll receive will help cement a transparent and trusting relationship with the breeder and set the stage for a long, joyful life together with your new four-legged family member.

Remember, the first step on this beautiful path is asking the right questions, and you’re on your way to becoming an amazing puppy parent!

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Robby is a multimedia editor at Enlightio with a journalism and communications background. When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.