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Are you ready for a new

family member?

Because that’s what a puppy is...

Pets are a lifetime investment, but too often they are purchased as a “spur of the moment,” impulse buy. If you find a good breeder, you should be put on a waiting list, (as good breeders won’t always have puppies available) this will also let you have time to prepare for your new addition, just like you would a new baby!



Research into the breed is mandatory; you don’t want to buy a small fluffy puppy thinking it will always be that small fluffy puppy and in 6 – 12 months’ time grows to be 60cm tall. If you are rescuing, ask as many questions to make sure you get a real understanding of what kind of dog you will be welcoming into your home, because you don’t want your dog to end up back in rescue now do you!?

The pup needs to be suited to you and you suited to them! Your lifestyle will play the biggest part in the adoption process.

Are you ready to welcome a dog?


  • How big is your backyard?

  • How active are you?

  • Will you have time to take this pup to puppy school?

  • Do you have children, and have they been around animals before?

  • Do you have the finances to feed, train and look after your pet?

  • Vet fees can sometimes be in the thousands; will you be able to cover these bills?

  • Is your property secure?

  • Will you ensure 10 – 15 years of devotion to this dog?

  • Are you willing to put aside time to learn about this breed?

  • If you rent, are you able to have dogs?

  • How many hours do you and your partner work?

  • Will you have enough time to walk/play with your dog daily?

  • Will your dog be socialised with other dogs regularly?

  • Do you have any other pets? How will they react to a new addition?

  • Will your dog be a backyard dog only? How do you feel about this?


Do your research on the breed

  • How much exercise will this breed need?

  • How much food does this dog intake daily?

  • What food is suitable for this breed and how much will it cost?

  • How high does this breed usually grow?

  • What should this dog weigh fully grown?

  • Is this breed easy to train?

  • What training should this dog need?

  • What are some health concerns this dog might face?

  • What health test should be carried out on this breed?

  • How is this breed with children?

  • What are some of this breed’s characteristic?


You’ve decided you’re ready, now what?

Finding the right breeder for you, what makes a good one?

  • Parents should be viewable

  • Property should be viewable

  • A good breeder should be able to tell you the good and bad things about this breed, not just the good so they can sell the puppy!

  • The welfare of the dogs in the breeding program and their offspring should come first and foremost.

  • The litters should always be planned and planned for a reason, that reason being to improve that breed.

  • To improve a breed, all of the appropriate health and DNA test should be carried out. 

  • Dams should only have a litter once a year, or if she has two then she will need at least a year’s rest.

  • Breeders should have a good following, a good background and knowledge.

  • Dogs should be treated like pets first and foremost.            

  • A good breeder will have a large wait list; having a wait list proves they have limited pups, they aren’t producing for quantity they’re producing for quality. It also shows the breeder has a good following.

  • A good breeder will focus on one to two breeds, not 4-5 or more!

  • A contract should come along with the pup and should be talked about before any deposits are taken.

  • Pups should always come with at least a three day cooling off period where that pup can be examined by a Vet.

  • Help should always be given throughout the pup’s life, including any health issues, vet issues, behavioural issues and so on.

  • You should be able to build a strong rapport with your potential breeder.

  • A good breeder with state in the contract that the owner has support for the pup’s whole life, this pup should never face shelters as the breeder should help re-home the dog.

  • Desexing contract is also important, this shows the breeder is invested in stopping backyard breeding and unplanned pregnancies which leads to dogs going to the pound and/or being put down.

  • A good breeder will be involved in groups dedicated to that breed.

  • A good breeder will support rescue and promote rescue.

What you should expect from the breeder who sells you the puppy

  • Pup should be 8+ weeks old.

  • Microchipping is compulsory in Victoria before selling a pup or kitten.

  • Vaccinations should be up to date with certification and information on when the next vaccination is due.

  • Worming and fleeing chart; when they were last wormed and flead and when they are due next.

  • Puppy information handout.

  • Contact information to be able to contact the breeder at any time.

  • Receipt – proof of purchase



How much should a puppy cost?

Remember, you are welcoming a family member, don’t be on the hunt for a bargain. Look at your pup as a lifelong investment, the more money you put into this investment the more you are going to tend to its every need.

The price of the puppy will be just the beginning of the costs, this will give you a good indication whether or not you are ready for the financial burden of a pet.


You should be able to do good research online of what that particular breed is selling at. If you find a dog that is half the price you have to start questioning. If you find a dog that is double the price, you also need to start questioning.

Dogs that are health tested, DNA tested and come from a good long breeding program will be selling for more, for the obvious reason, quality.


Remember, this is only the start of the cost; grooming can be up to $300 every month, good quality dog food is usually 8kg $30+(and treats etc.), vaccinations at $60, Vet visits range from $40 – thousands, puppy school $70+, council registrations $40-$150, and beds and kennels $20 - $300+.


Have you:

  • Researched all of the above?

  • Visited the place where the puppy was born?

  • Met the mother and had confidence in her appearance – healthy, happy, gentle etc.

  • In some cases you won’t be able to view the father as they live off site, make sure you ask questions and are able to make arrangement to meet him if wanted.

  • Viewed the property and how the dogs are kept?

  • Sat down with the breeder and had full confidence in any answers they had to questions you put forward


Are you prepared?

Bringing home a new puppy can be an exciting, yet daunting experience. Knowledge of the breed will really help you understand how to prepare. Knowing the size of the dog will let you buy the appropriate bedding for your new pooch. They grow quick!

Find the right Vet Clinic for you! Ask for people’s advice. Pop into any clinic close by and ask some questions, ask if they’re familiar with the breed, get a rough idea of pricing too. Vet cost can range dramatically!

Have you booked your pup in for their first examination, usually you will get 3 days to have your pooch checked over. If anything comes up within this time frame you should have a contract stating whether or not you are entitled to financial help from the breeder etc. While at your vet you may want to book your pup in for their next vaccinations.


Desexing usually occurs at 5 months plus. A lot of good breeders will have a contract where once the pup is desexed change of ownership can finally be made. Also a lot of good breeders will give $ back once the dog has been desexed to encourage desexing.

What puppy food was the pup on prior to moving into your residence? You will need to keep the pup on this and slowly transition them onto the food you’re most fond of. 

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