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This questions page is here to highlight the major areas people who have my puppy’s have asked about. I hope these will be of help anyone looking to find themselves a puppy.

Where do I look to find a pedigree puppy?

You need to find a responsible breeder. The Kennel Club will point you towards breeders registered in their Accredited Breeders Scheme. Your area Breed Club will have a register of pups available and their committee members will always be glad to help. You can find contact details of all U.K. Breed Clubs in the links page. Beware of puppy farmers.

  • Accredited Breeders Scheme. This scheme is voluntary. If breeders choose to join they are monitored to ensure that the Schemes rules are complied with plus all Kennel Club Regulation. The Schemes rules include:-
  • Appropriate health screening
  • Permanent identification of breeding stock
  • Advice and a contract to new buyers.
  • Kennel Club Registration certificate must be supplied.
  • Breeder available to help after puppy gone to a new home.
  • Breed Clubs. The U.K. is covered by thirteen Labrador Breed Clubs who organise activities, competitions, health screening, rehoming, educational and social activities. We have committees made up of people who dedicate vast amounts of time to care for the breed. We are there to help and just love talking about Labradors.
  • Puppy Farms Sadly, puppy farming still exists and, although rarely sold directly from where they are bred, litters are often bought by retail outlets or advertised in newspapers. They might be taken to houses were the buyer could be deceived into thinking that pups have been bred there .Basically, puppy farms are places were several bitches are kept and used mainly as breeding machines. They could be bred from too often, when they are too young, kept away from human contact and not cared for in clean healthy conditions. This often means unhealthy and unsocialised pups. There are exceptions to every rule, but, in the main, puppies bred in such a way should be avoided.
  • Where ever you go to buy your pup you should always get the relevant paperwork (always Kennel Club) and information that you would expect from a registered breeder.

What to expect from a breeder?

Once you have found your breeder don’t be surprised if you are asked to wait before going to see the pups. The breeder will want to give the mother time to rest and settle with her pups. Also she will want to avoid the risk of bringing infection to the litter. A reputable breeder will always show you he puppies available at their breeding kennel. This will allow you to see the environment they have been reared in

  • Hip scores
  • Eye Tests
  • Preparing for you puppy-visits-home
  • Breed spec

Things to buy?

  • Things to buy
  • Collarlead
  • Identity tag
  • Bed
  • Food bowls
  • Grooming kit
  • Toys
  • Food

Other preparations?

  • Move electrical cords out of reach
  • move breakables
  • secure the garden
  • cover ponds and pools
  • move poisonous cleaners, pesticides etc
  • find a vet and their emergency facilities.

Puppy arrives home?

  • Introductions
  • Good puppy behaviour
  • Sleeping and Resting

Things owners worry about

1. Beware of Lungworm

In Autumn strong winds take leaves from our trees leaving dark, wet places for slugs and snails to multiply. Beware! More Info..

2. Bonfire Night

As Bonfire Night approaches, people will be busy buying sparklers, catherine wheels and firecrackers and looking forward to an evening of excitement with their friends and family. The one thing that may be forgotten however, is the dog.

Don’t forget about the dog

In the run-up to November 5th, the Kennel Club is urging dog owners across the country to ensure their four-legged friends are not overlooked, and remain safe and sound. Fireworks create loud bangs and flashes which may be exciting for humans but can be utterly terrifying for dogs.

“At this time of year it is crucial for dog owners to remember that their canine counterparts are particularly vulnerable, as fireworks can be very scary for dogs due to their acute sense of hearing.”

“It is advisable for dog owners to keep their dog safe inside the house and to create a stress-free environment where the dog can retreat to. Desensitising dogs to the loud noises beforehand is also recommended, and there are many good specialist CDs which can be bought online to help dogs gradually become used to the noise caused by fireworks as Bonfire Night approaches.”

The Kennel Club has put together some steps that can be taken to minimise a dog’s levels of stress and make things more bearable on the night:

  • Acclimatise your dog to noises prior to the big night. There are many noise CDs on the market which give you the opportunity to introduce your dog to a variety of potentially disturbing noises in a controlled manner.
  • Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to if he or she feels scared. Alternatively, let your dog take refuge under furniture and include an old, unwashed piece of clothing like a woolly jumper so that your dog can smell your scent and feel comfortable.
  • Distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on.
  • Check where and when displays are being held in your local area. Also ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning anything.
  • Consult your vet if your dog has any health problems or is taking any medication before giving remedies to help him cope with fireworks night, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Feed your dog well before you expect any disturbances, as once the fireworks start your dog may be too anxious to eat.
  • Walk your dog before dusk. It may be some time before it’s safe to venture outside again for your dog to relieve himself.
  • Make sure you shut all doors and windows in your home and don’t forget to draw the curtains. This will block out any scary flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks. Don’t forget to block off cat flaps to stop dogs (and cats!) escaping.
  • Shut your dog safely inside a room before opening the front door.
  • Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog, just in case they do accidentally escape. Make sure your dog is identified too, as if he or she does escape without a collar on this will ensure you are reunited as quickly as possible.
  • Take your dog to a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don’t assume he or she is happy. Excessive yawning and panting can indicate that your dog is stressed.
  • Tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off.
  • Assume your garden is escape proof. If your dog needs to go out keep him on a lead, just in case.
  • Leave your dog on his or her own or in a separate room from you.
  • Try to force your dog to face his fears – he’ll just become more frightened.
  • Forget to top up the water bowl. Anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.
  • Change routines more than necessary, as this can be stressful for some dogs.
  • Try and comfort your dog if they become distressed, as this may make the behaviour worse.
  • Try and tempt them out if they do retreat, as this may cause more stress.

The above is here to help if your dog has a problem but most dogs are fine. Behave as normal, as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your dog. Reward calm behaviour with doggie treats or playing with toys of interest.

How are breeders assessed?

Breeder Assessor Visits

The purpose of visiting breeders is simply to ensure compliance of the KC Assured Breeder Scheme (KCABS), to offer guidance and advice on how the scheme can benefit the breeder and to also to give an opportunity to discuss any issues face to face with one of our Regional Breeder Assessors (RBA).

Upon joining the scheme every breeder of the KCABS agrees to allow an RBA access to visit their premises. The RBAs are highly experienced in many aspects of dog breeding, whether the breeders specialise in breeding show dogs or for working activities or simply as family pets. Most of them are experienced dog breeders themselves, and will have a good understanding of the issues that face breeders and the problems that they might encounter. The RBAs are highly trained in the visit process and will usually have seen many different circumstances; the Assured Breeder Scheme is open to all responsible breeders whether they are an owner with a single animal that they plan to breed with or whether they have kennels with perhaps 50 or more dogs. Although no two visits are the same and many different situations are encountered the standards applied remain the same.

Every breeder of the scheme should expect a visit at some point and many breeders are selected for a visit completely at random. Priority is given, however, to breeders who breed regularly, where the office has had a cause for concern or where negative feedback may have been received about the breeder. It is planned for the future that all new applicants to the scheme will be required to be visited prior to their application is accepted, but currently this is restricted to new applicants that have bred more than 2 litters in the previous 12 months.

Before the visit

The RBA (not the office staff) will contact the breeder directly to arrange a visit date that is mutually convenient to both.

A letter of confirmation of the agreed visit date will be sent to the breeder by the Office, which will also outline what will be expected from the visit.

Once an appointment is made, we do expect that appointment to be kept, and we do not accept cancellations. However we do understand that under exceptional circumstances, an appointment may need to be postponed, and in these cases we would expect the breeder to contact us as soon as possible and provide alternative dates

What to expect from the visit

The visit should normally take no less than an hour but no longer than 2 hours. Obviously this will be dependent on the size of your premises, the number of dogs that you have and the facilities available.

The RBA will want to ensure compliance of all aspects of the KC ABS. The visit will also give the breeder an opportunity to discuss any concerns or queries that they may have and give general feedback about the KCABS. The RBA will also discuss with the breeder any feedback that we have on file from people who have purchased puppies and we find that most breeders are delighted to hear what the new owners have to say about the whole puppy buying experience.

During the visit

Upon arrival the RBA will show their Kennel Club identification

The RBA will wish to discuss two main areas – canine management and facilities and paperwork and documentation.

The first part of the visit consists of a discussion to understand your breeding practices and consists mostly of questions to confirm that the records that we hold are correct. The RBA will want to know such things how many dogs you have, where they live and sleep; in the home or in kennels, and what your daily routine is. They will also ask questions like where you store your dog food, where it is prepared and what you feed them. They will also want to know things like what would you in the case of a fire or emergency and who could look after the dogs if something unforeseen happened to you.

Canine Management and facilities

Once the discussion has finished and the RBA has answers to the questions they will want to see where and how the dogs are kept. We recognise that that many of our breeders breed dogs within there own home where the dogs live as family pets and have no special facilities. Nevertheless the advisor will want to see where they live, sleep and exercise and to see that they are happy and content.

This includes ensuring that

  • dogs are housed in clean and comfortable conditions with adequate heat and ventilation with particular regard for the animals’ health, age and breed.
  • dogs are provided with suitable and adequate food, drink and clean bedding
  • dogs are exercised and visited at suitable intervals to ensure their physical and mental wellbeing, and are in the care or supervision of a fit and responsible person.
  • dogs are in kept a secure and safe environment and provided with sufficient space proportionate to the number of dogs kept
  • facilities for the keeping of dogs are suitable and maintained or kept in a good state of repair.
  • dogs receive adequate grooming and veterinary treatment
  • reasonable emergency procedures are in place and that reasonable precautions are taken to ensure prevention of the spread of infectious or contagious diseases.


The RBA will want to see the paperwork and/or the puppy pack that is given to a new owner.  We often advise breeders to imagine that the RBA is a puppy buyer and he will need to take copies of the paperwork that is given with the puppy, this should include:-

  • A contract of sale
  • Information on feeding
  • Information on exercise
  • Information on worming and vaccinations
  • Information on grooming
  • Information on breed traits and tendencies
  • Information on socialisation
  • Information on future training

During this discussion, the RBA will also want to see how the breeder keeps their breeding records. This will of course vary from breeder to breeder and there are no set requirements for how records are kept. However the RBA will want to be assured that they are at least reasonable and identifiable and provide an insight into the breeders record keeping.

Once the visit is completed, the RBA may discuss any concerns he has and will be pleased to answer any questions that you have about the visit process.

After the visit

Following the visit, the RBA will complete the paperwork which will consist of a written report and return this to the ABS Office. It will be put through a process noting any changes or alterations to the records held, and then a copy of the report will be sent to the breeder together with confirmation of the outcome of the visit. The report is confidential and remains a matter between the breeder and the Kennel Club.

It is very important that if there any errors or omission at this stage and that the breeder contacts to office in writing to ensure that they are corrected

In some cases there may be some further actions that the breeder needs to take to continue their KCABS membership. Details of these actions will be listed in an improvements sheet (link to improvements sheet) which may consist of immediate improvements that need to be made or simply some suggestions of what would be considered ‘good practice’ and which the breeder may feel are simply good ideas for the future.

If improvements are required and it is considered that the facilities fall short of the standards expected for an Assured Breeder, then a reasonable period of time will usually be given for the breeder to make the improvements (usually 60 days).

Once those improvements have been made we request that the breeders provide evidence that they have made the necessary improvements required to remain on the Scheme. This may simply be amended paperwork or may be other evidence such as photographs of repairs to kennels for example. In some cases we may require a further visit to be carried out to verify that the improvements have been adequately met.

The visit process is a cornerstone of the Assured Breeder Scheme and provides absolute assurance that breeders of the scheme are adopting all the principles of responsible breeding that are contained within the scheme. The majority of visits are successful and most breeders find them a highly enjoyable and rewarding experience .  Even those that find they need make amendments or additions to their paperwork or canine management, find the changes are easy to make and find them truly worthwhile. Whilst most visits are successful and are passed with flying colours, in the event that the breeder disagrees with the findings then there is an appeals process which may result is a second opinion.

It should be remembered that the breeder advisor visit should be an enjoyable experience in which both the breeder and RBA are able to benefit, and provide an important link between the Kennel Club and members of the Assured Breeder Scheme.

Have you had an Assured Breeders Inspection?

Yes, we had a visit from the inspectors and received the highest grades possible.

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