When you have decided to add a (new) furry friend to your family, there is no such thing as a quick purchase. If you are going to spend the next 12-15 years with your new dog, you’ll want to make sure you make all the right decisions.
Since I am a strong believer in Purebred Dogs, I will always recommend people to buy a purebred dog from a responsible breeder.
However, it can be very hard to get connections and to know how to get into the world of dogbreeders. There are a lot of tips & tricks you need to be aware of in buying a purebred Sheltie puppy…
In this ‘Guide to getting a Purebred Puppy’ you will find tips & tricks on what to look (out) for in getting a new puppy and how to find your perfect breeder!
With all the stories you hear about buying a (Sheltie) puppy these days, the first and foremost important thing is to realise you’re going to need to take your time.
I will try to write this guide with all the information you’ll need, sometimes you can feel a little lost on the internet looking for specific information…
STEP #1: RESEARCH
When you decide you want a Sheltie in your life, the first thing you need to do is research!
Ofcourse, the first place to do that is the internet. Research the breed, ask for experiences from other Sheltie-owners and get to know as much as possible about the breed, before you take the next step.
Also, your country’s Shetland Sheepdog Club website often tells you an average puppy-price.
From my experiece, most breeders will stick to this average puppy-price.
When you get your (first) purebred pet it is good to be aware of this!
This way you do not have to ask breeders for the puppy-price straight away, which I know lots of breeders hate!
A good place to start is Facebook, breeders and owners from all breeds nowadays connect through Facebook. It’s a big doggy networking place out there!
Search for groups about Shelties and go from there, you will see there are a lot of groups about your favorite breed!
Also, Sheltie Associations from every country often have their own Facebook page, which might be a good place to start networking!
STEP #2: MORE RESEARCH!
When you have done all your research online, emailing Sheltie-owners, reading of participating in Facebook groups… there is only one more thing left to do:
You’ll want to see Shelties in action, see what they’re like in real-life…
For people who do not have any connections with ohter Sheltie-owners, I’d say the best step is visit organized walks for Shelties (yes, they exsist!). You can find information on these walks on the website of the Sheltie Association, or (again!) go on Facebook.
These walks are often organized by Sheltie-owners, this is a good way to see different Shelties, Shelties in different colours and from different breeders.
Another way of being able to watch Shelties and getting an impression of all the different types, colours etc., is to visit a dogshow.
Lots of breeders go to dogshows, you can research a dogshow in your area and see the itinerary, what time the Shetland Sheepdogs are on in which ring.
This is an excellent way of getting a good impression, as you are also able to walk around and maybe connect with some of the people there.
When you do visit a dogshow and see a dog you like in the ring, make sure you look up their registered name in the catalogus, this way you can trace back to the breeder of this dog.
STEP #3: CONTACT A BREEDER
So now you have done your research!
Hopefully, along the way you have made some connections and you have a pretty good idea of the breeder you’ll want a puppy from.
You can now contact this breeder and ask if there is going to be any litters expected and if they will consider you as a puppy-buyer.
If you do not have a specific breeder in mind, you can contact your country’s Sheltie Association and they can help mediate between you and a breeder.
When I got my first Sheltie ‘Butters’, I was in a foreign country, Australia.
My family has had Shelties in the Netherlands, but I had no clue on breeders in Australia.
I’d done research online, where I emailed a specific breeder about getting a puppy from her. I got no response and decided to contact the ‘Shetland Sheepdog Club of NSW’, which I looked up online ofcourse.
I spoke to a very nice lady who asked me a bunch of questions, like whether I have had Shelties before (yes) and if I was familiar with the breed (yes), if I was looking for a specific sex (not really, but I’d always prefered males) and maybe a specific colour (sable, but I was happy to find a lovely puppy and colour was not top priority).
She told me one of her breeder-friends had a litter of puppies and the last male was not spoken for yet. She told me they expected this puppy to stay on the small side and asked if this would be an issue? (no!)
I got the breeders phonenumber and I contacted her straight away!
Coincedentally, this turned out to be the breeder I had contacted earlier, online.
It appeared she’d never got my email…
She asked me all the same questions as the lady from the Shetland Sheepdog Club and then told me it was the boy in the picture on the left:
I mean, how can you not fall in love!
At that stage, the puppies were already 7 weeks and we made an appointment to come and visit the next week.
STEP #4: MEET YOUR BREEDER
Once you have contacted a breeder, you’ll notice litters & puppies are not available all year round. Most responsible breeders only have in between 2 – 5 litters a year, depending on how big their ‘Kennel’ is.
Most breeders will want to meet you first, before deciding if they will let you buy one of their precious puppies.
You’ll have to realize, these breeders put their heart and soul in to breeding. Most of them are not in it for the money and they do have the right to decline selling a puppy to someone, if they do not meet their standards.
Some breeders will want to meet you first, others wait after the litter is born. Some breeders have waitinglists, others do not. Some breeders will pick a puppy for you, instead of you picking out a puppy yourself. It really depends on the breeder.
So sometimes you’ll have to wait a few months for a litter to be born and sometimes things can move quickly, like when I got Butters.
STEP #5: WAITING GAME!
Waiting, waiting, waiting…
Lots of breeders, as I mentioned before, are on Facebook and update information about matings & litters more frequently on Facebook, then on their websites.
So this is a good way to stay connected, but patience is key here.
In the meantime, you can daydream about names, what toys to buy, all the other stuff you have to get before your puppy arrives…
STEP #6: COUNTDOWN…!
When the litter has finally arrived and the breeder contacts you, you will make an appointment for the first meeting! Most breeders will let you visit the puppies after 3-4 weeks, as they are a bit more resilient and so much cuter to watch!
At this appointment you can also ask about the buyer contract, lots of breeders use contracts with some conditions you will need to be aware of. Also, you can ask to see the papers, like health information from the parents, pedigrees and litter information from the Kennel Club your breeder is registered.
Discuss the payment at this point, too.
The countdown is on… Soon you will have your new family member for (hopefully!) at least 12-15 years and those few months wait has been worth it!
So here is my ‘Guide to getting a Purebred Puppy’, I hope it will help lots of you future (Sheltie) dogowners!
I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about Purebred breeders, buying Purebred Puppies etc. and I hope this Blog will clear up a few of those misunderstandings.
It is the best feeling to buy from a responsible purebred breeder, you will notice the passion and love that goes in to raising the puppies. To get to know the parents of your puppy, hear about the mating, pregnancy and birth of the litter is so much fun. Most breeders will take lots of pictures, from birth to the moment they leave to go to their new homes. You will have someone to fall back on, once you own the puppy. They’ll help you and most breeders are always very happy to hear how the puppy is doing.
Did you think this ‘Guide to getting a Purebred Puppy’ was helpful?
I’d love to hear your experiences!