Finding quality puppies for sale – expert tips!

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Finding healthy puppies for sale involves thorough research, careful consideration of various factors, and making informed decisions.

By prioritising health testing, understanding show or working lines, ensuring breeder health guarantees, evaluating the pup’s early training, and considering the reputation and references of the breeders, you can increase your chance of finding a healthy, well-bred puppy.

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In this guide, we cover the key factors that can help you find high-quality puppies for sale.

Good Breeding Practises and Their Impact on Puppy Behaviour

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Good breeding practises play a crucial role in shaping a puppy’s behaviour and overall temperament. 

Responsible breeders focus on providing puppies for sale with sound genetics, proper socialisation, and a healthy upbringing. These practises significantly influence a puppy’s behaviour and can contribute to their development into well-adjusted, stable adult dogs. 

Here are some key aspects of good breeding practises and their impact on puppy behaviour:

Selective Breeding

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Responsible breeders carefully select the parent dogs based on their temperament, health, and genetic traits. By choosing dogs with desirable traits, breeders increase the likelihood of offering puppies for sale with stable and predictable behaviour patterns.

Early Socialisation and Enrichment for puppies for sale

Proper socialisation is essential for puppies to develop confidence and positive interactions with people, animals, and various situations. 

Reputable breeders expose their puppies to different stimuli, sounds, and handling from an early age through Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) programs. This early socialisation helps puppies become well-rounded, optimistic and adaptable adult dogs.

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It also helps puppies develop resilience and adaptability and reduces the likelihood of fear or anxiety-related behaviour problems later in life.

Positive Reinforcement Training for puppies for sale

Responsible breeders initiate basic training with their puppies, focusing on positive reinforcement techniques.

Early puppy training helps puppies learn appropriate behaviours, build a strong foundation, and set them up for success in their future training endeavours.

Health and Genetic Testing of puppies for sale

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Breeders who conduct thorough health and genetic testing can identify and avoid breeding dogs with potential genetic predispositions to behavioural problems.

Health testing, particularly breed-specific tests and certifications, plays a vital role in determining the quality and long-term health prospects of puppies for sale. 

Breed-Specific Tests and Certifications

Different dog breeds are prone to specific health conditions, many of which are hereditary. To ensure the well-being of a puppy, it is crucial to inquire about breed-specific health tests. These tests are designed to identify genetic predispositions and allow breeders to make informed breeding decisions.

Examples of breed-specific tests may include those for hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, congenital heart defects, and other breed-specific issues.

Health Certificates and Clearances

 Health certificates and clearances give you a lot of information about a puppy’s health status. These documents are issued by licensed veterinarians who have conducted thorough examinations and assessed the overall health of the puppy. 

PennHIP vs OFA for hip dysplasia risk in puppies for sale

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There are two official tests used to determine the quality of a dog’s hips: PennHIP and OFA. PennHIP evaluates the amount of laxity in the joint and provides a more reliable indication of a dog’s likelihood of having or developing hip dysplasia in the future. Therefore, depending on the breed, one or both parents of any puppies for sale should be hip scored to ensure you’re buying a structurally sound dog.

Eye, Joint, and Heart Health Tests

 Among the crucial health tests for dogs are those related to the eyes, joints, and hearts.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) test focuses on evaluating joint health, particularly for conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia. 

The Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) test examines the dogs’ eyes for any genetic or hereditary abnormalities. These tests help identify potential issues early on and enable responsible breeders to make informed breeding decisions, reducing the likelihood of passing on genetic conditions to future generations.

Knowing The Distinction Between Show-Quality Dogs, Working Lines, and Pet-Quality Dogs when evaluating puppies for sale

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Show-Quality Dogs

Show-quality dogs are those that meet the breed standards set by kennel clubs or breed organisations. 

These dogs possess the desired physical characteristics, temperament, and overall conformation that make them suitable for participating in and excelling in dog shows. 

Breeders breeding show-quality puppies for sale focus on maintaining and improving the breed’s standards. 

Therefore, puppies from show-quality dogs are more likely to possess the desired traits and qualities associated with their breed, making them an excellent choice for those interested in participating in dog shows or breeding programmes.

Working Line Puppies for Sale

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Working lines refer to dogs that are specifically bred for their working abilities and performance in various tasks. These can include herding, guarding, search and rescue, police work, or other working roles. 

Working lines prioritise traits like intelligence, drive, stamina, and trainability. Puppies from working lines are more likely to inherit these working abilities and traits, making them suitable for individuals or families who require a dog for specific working purposes. These dogs often require active lifestyles and dedicated training to fulfil their potential.

Pet-Quality Puppies for Sale

Pet quality puppies are those that may not meet the strict breed standards for shows or possess the specific traits and abilities required for working purposes. However, they still make wonderful companions and family pets.

Pet quality dogs may have slight deviations from breed standards, such as a less ideal coat colour or minor structural differences. While they may not excel in shows or working roles, they can still be healthy, well-tempered, and loving pets.

Pet quality puppies are generally more accessible, affordable and may be suitable for individuals or families seeking a companion without specific show or working aspirations.

Importance of Breeder Reputation and References

By selecting a responsible breeder with a solid reputation and positive references, you can greatly increase your chance of finding a puppy with a sound genetic background and the potential for a happy, well-adjusted life.

A reputable breeder will be committed to using responsible breeding practises. She/he will prioritise the health and temperament of the dogs. Many also give a health guarantee, which is like a promise that they will take back the puppy if it develops genetic health issues within one year of purchase.

Always look for breeders with positive references from previous buyers. A testimonial from the breeder’s vet can also be very valuable. This can go a long way in showing the breeder’s integrity and the quality of their puppies for sale.

Questions to Ask Potential Dog Breeders

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Some key questions to ask your breeder when finding healthy puppies include:

  • Are you registered with a breed club?
  • Have your breeding dogs been tested for breed-specific health conditions?
  • Are your pups vaccinated and dewormed?
  • Have they been socialised and desensitised to various situations?
  • Has a licenced veterinarian checked the pups and the breeding stock?
  • Have the pups and adult dogs been cleared for eye, joint, or heart issues using pennHIP and CERF tests?
  • Can you provide health certificates or clearances for both the parents and the puppies?
  • What measures do you take to ensure the overall health, temperament, and well-being of the puppies?
  • Do you give health guarantees? (A promise from the breeder that the puppy is free from genetic illnesses and defects.)

FAQs – Finding Quality Puppies for sale


How do I know if my dog is purebred?

ANKC Registered Breeders will provide you with the dog’s pedigree papers. You can also get your dog’s DNA tested. Alternatively, you could compare your pet with the official breed standards.

How can you tell a good-quality puppy?

Here are some signs to show you whether a puppy is healthy or not:

  • Cheerful disposition. Shows curiosity. Is not shy or aggressive.
  • Eyes – Clear and bright. No redness or discharge
  • Ears – Clean, no mites, odour, or gunky discharge
  • Breathing – effortless; there is no coughing or wheezing.
  • Skin and fur- shiny, soft, healthy, without scabs, mites/ticks/fleas.
  • Ribs – not visible.

Key Takeaways – Finding Quality Puppies for Sale

Finding quality puppies for sale requires careful consideration and research. In this aspect, it is very important that you start by finding an ethical breeder. 

The best breeders show a commitment to the well-being of his/her dogs through health checks and genetic testing and use responsible breeding practices. They also provide early enrichment and puppy training for the puppies’ development.

Whether seeking working, show, or pet quality puppies for sale, understand the specific traits and requirements associated with each type. You can then compare the traits with the breed standards.

Always try to personally meet the puppies and their parents to assess their health and temperament. Observe the puppy’s interaction with its littermates to get valuable insights into its temperament and overall well-being. 

By following these guidelines, you can increase your chances of finding a healthy, well-mannered puppy that will bring joy and companionship for years to come.

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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney

Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
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