Dogs » Buying A Dog

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How do you go about purchasing a pedigree pure bred dog?

Most of the information set out below is relevant for the purchase of any dog and the questions to be asked relevant to any breeder.

Dog and friend

Decide on the right breed for your lifestyle and situation

  • You can also contact clubs for information on the breed(s) that interest you.
  • Consider the ongoing costs- foods, vets etc and be sure that you are okay with them.
  • LIst of health tests here that might be relevant to your breed.

    What steps can you take to be sure it's a pure bred dog?

    Ask for Dogs New Zealand (Dogs NZ) papers...

    • For the pup if it is registered
    • For its parents if the pup is not yet registered

    Please note that Dogs New Zealand is the only NZ authority for pedigree and registration papers. Beware of 'mail order' documents available from unofficial organisations offshore.
     (The Continental Kennel Club, The United Kennel Club)

    If people claiming to be selling a pure bred, what steps can you take to check they are telling the truth?

    Insist on papers with the pup at the time of sale. These should be offered at no additional cost.

    What kinds of membership/associations with Dogs New Zealand should a dog breeder have, as a starting point for a customer to look for?

    Dogs NZ membership and their kennel must be registered: this is the minimum

    • Dogs NZ Accreditation indicates, special breeder status, strict health checks, reliable support to buyers: see the logo left next to their kennel details on this site
    • A breeder will normally - but not necessarily be involved with specialist clubs for his/her breed

    How can you gain cover under the Consumer Guarantees Act, when buying a pure bred (as opposed to a private sale)? Do reputable breeders sell as a business, or are they private sales?

    • Canine sport in New Zealand is amateur and no Dogs NZ member is a commercial operator. All puppy sales are private transactions.
    • Dogs NZ strongly recommends the use of contracts and has a recognised contract available that it encourages its breeders to use. Buyers should insist on a contract.
    • Some breeders offer joint ownership arrangements that can involve breeder access to the pup for breeding and showing when it is older. Dogs NZ advises non-members against these arrangements which are best left to experienced dog showing enthusiasts who know each other personally.

    Some are professional dog trainers or operate commercial boarding kennels. These are their businesses are not within the Dogs NZ ambit. Breeding is not a recognised professional activity and all breeders are considered hobbyists.

    If people are buying online (ie Trademe), what should they think about?

    • Favour sellers who are Dogs NZ members
    • It is preferable to buy from a breeder you have met and whose premises you have visited
    • Check for cleanliness, health and behaviour of pup, parents, other dogs there
    • Make your own, assessment of the seller's sincerity, integrity, knowledge
    • Seek evidence to support all sellers' claims (pure breed, vaccinations, health checks etc)
    • Seek undertakings from the seller to assist with resolving health or behavioural problems that may emerge in the pup
    • If you have any doubt about the health or behaviour of a puppy do not buy it
    • Insist on a sales contract and check it carefully before signing
    • A reputable and knowledgeable breeder will not separate a pup form its mother before it is at least eight weeks old
    • A reputable and knowledgeable breeder will brief a buyer on the health of the puppy and on all known health issues particularly relevant to its breed or to which its breed is prone

    What traps should they look out for?

    • False claims as to pedigree and/or health
    • Pups that display signs of physical or emotional ill health
    • Pups sold without vaccinations, health records
    • Sellers whose motive appear commercial vs breeding to improve dogs for showing or sport
    • Sellers reluctant to allow access to their premises
    • Sellers reluctant to commit to contracts or written undertakings
    • Sellers reluctant to promise after sales assistance

    Do reputable breeders sell on Trademe?

    Yes. They may prefer to deal through personal contacts but often cannot find enough suitable buyers so they will use TradeMe.

    Remember if you are dealing with a good breeder you will not just be choosing a pup: the breeder will be choosing you and has the same right to withdraw the pup from sale as you have to decide not to buy it.

    Click here to read about the Bluebridge Exclusive Dogs NZ member discount.