Questions to Ask when buying a Pedigree Border Collie Puppy

You want a Border Collie puppy in your life and decided to get a pedigree puppy. You have investigated the breeds and know what you want, and discussed a new puppy will join your household with the rest of the family. But where do you start to find that special new puppy to share your life?

You want a purebred puppy but beware; there are many poor quality pedigree dogs around, many with genetic problems due to poor breeding practices or just ignorance. Here are some questions to ask, or keep in mind along, with the type of responses you want to hear.....

How long have you been breeding Border Collies and what other breeds have you bred?

You ask this because you want to find someone experienced and dedicated to the health and welfare of their breed. If a breeder has changed breeds over and over again, following popular breed trends, it is likely their approach to breeding is as a business. It is likely little thought is put into the quality of the dogs they breed and their future.

Does this breed have any congenital defects?

All dog breeds have problems of some sort. One of the most common is hip dysplasia, but there are other genetic problems such as TNS, CEA, CL, epilepsy and cancer that some puppies are born more predisposed to. If a breeder tells you none, or that they do not know, start running.

A good breeder tells you everything from allergies to drooping ears.

Do you carry out genetic testing for TNS, CEA and CL?

Each of these inheriant diseases now have a genetic test for them. A responsible breeder will be able to tell you if their dogs are either Normal/Clear, Affected or Carrier. Not only that but they should be able to show you proof of their testing. Usually a breeder will include in their puppy packs a photocopy of the sire and dam genetic genetic test results, a great guarantee for you as a buyer. Your puppy can be a carrier as this will not effect it, it is only an issue if you were planning to breed your puppy.

Do you have the puppy’s parents and can I meet them?

This is a trick question as the dam will always be there unless it died while whelping. Most good breeders do not usually own the male unless they have brought it in from overseas or from another kennel. Good breeders look for the best possible match for their bitches.
The answer to this question tells you if the breeder just has a pair of dogs they are breeding over and over again.
Steer clear of this type of breeder as they are only interested in the money.
When you meet the dam, she may be anxious around her puppies but calm and friendly away from them, with a good temperament.

Where did you raise the puppies?

The answers you do not want hear is in the kennel, in the garage, out the back as this means the puppies are not familiar with how a household works and its everyday noises, and is not well socialized.
You want to find a breeder who rears their puppies in the house along with the rest of the family so it is a well balanced pup used to sounds, sights and the feel of living with people.

Have you assessed these Border Collie puppies and what was the result?

This question helps you assess the experience of the breeder you are talking to. You want someone who can tell the difference between a show quality Border Collie puppy and a pet quality pup.
You also want them to understand the temperament of their breed and assess from a pup’s characteristics which pups will work best with the needs of your family.

Do you offer any guarantees with the puppy?

Your breeder should hand your puppy over with a record of its health, vaccinations and worming. Also, most breeders will require you to sign a contract that explains the process if the puppy develops a congenital disease or if you cannot keep your Border Collie puppy any more.
Any good breeder will either replace the puppy or your money if it develops a genetic disease, and will want the pup returned to them within a few days of purchase. Usually a breeder has a condition of seeing a vet on the day of purchase is normal, so that you can receive confirmation that the puppy is sound according to your vet thus confirming your purchase. Outside of this environmental living conditions make guarantees to hard to uphold. If a buyer is not inclined to see a vet immediately upon purchase to confirm the soundness of the puppy it is unfair to expect a breeder to offer further assurances.

At what age can I take my new puppy home?

For all breeds the minimum age a puppy is weaned from its litter mates and dam is at eight weeks and older.
Do not deal with a breeder that sends new puppies home when they are only five or six weeks old.
If you ask these questions and are happy with the answers you are on the way to owning a new Border Collie puppy.

If you are not happy with the answers, keep looking.