It’s easy to find Patterdale puppies online and in the paper, but is this necessarily the best way to go about finding your pup? If you want a healthy and a happy Patterdale pup, and you want to make sure that pups are not bred by people who don’t care about their well-being then you really need to make an effort to find a reputable Patterdale terrier breeder. However, with Patterale terriers this is even more of a challenge, because they are not a Kennel Club registered breed and it is difficult to prove that you are a reputable breeder without paperwork for the breed.
If you are really serious about choosing the best breeder then the best thing to do is ask the experts. Ask veterinarians, trainers, groomers and other people directly involved with Patterdales on a daily basis. They will have some good suggestions for you. Here are a few important tips on how to choose a Patterdale Terrier Breeder.
Avoid Classified Ads
If you want a reputable dealer its best to avoid picking one out of the classifieds or from Facebook. As with everything, if the breeder really is top quality then they will have no reason to be advertising in the classifieds. Some breeders have puppies booked from the next few litters and in some circumstances years in advance. Another reason you don’t want to find someone in the newspaper or classifieds is that they offer no guarantees. Usually a day or two is all you get and if something happens to that puppy’s health six months from now most will just say it is not their problem. Most reputable breeders will give you a year guarantee or more and many will also give you lifetime support. Most people who buy a pup from a reputable breeder stay in touch and update the breeder on the puppy’s progress.
Do they Rescue as well as Breed?
Another sign of a good breeder is that they are involved in training and/or rescue of the type of dog that they breed. Pattrdale breeders are often involved in patterdale terrier rescue and Patterdale terrier training for working dogs and pets. Many of them will have grown up with the breed. This is always a good sign.
Also take note of whether they will take a puppy back if for some reason the buyer can’t take care of it. Most will not refund any money but at least they care enough about the puppy they’ve bred and will always have a home to come back to. This is particularly important with Patterdale terriers as they are a high energy working breed. Some people unfortunately get a Patterdale without realising what they are letting themselves in for!
Looking for a Good Quality Patterdale Terrier Breeder
The most obvious clues about the quality of the breeder will be picked up by looking at the puppies themselves. Puppies are a product of their upbringing and a healthy puppy will have a pleasant temperament as well as looking healthy. This means no runny noses or scratching too much. They should have clear eyes and a wagging tail. Healthy Patterdale puppies should be lively and inquisitive, not fearful and introvert.
If you are buying over the internet see if the breeder can send you a video of your puppy or meet on Skype/Zoom. But it’s always advisable that you visit the pup in his home with his/her mother several times before picking it up.
Look at the Environment
The puppies environment will tell you a great deal about the quality and intentions of the breeder. The environment should be clean and tidy with dog waste quickly scooped and newspaper regularly changed. Pups outside in garden sheds and outdoor pens are generally a no-no and is often a signal of a puppy mill or money-making breeder. Patterdales are a small and affectionate breed and should generally be inside with the family which ensures that they are getting socialised with both other dogs and people at a young age.
What kind of Lifestyle does the Breeder have?
It’s a good idea to find out as much as you can about your intended breeder before seeing the puppies. See if they have children and are involved in social activities. Most Puppy millers wouldn’t have time for this. Often once you see them you can be much easier to convince — because you have been convinced by those cute eyes and waggy tails!
Ask to see BOTH of the dogs parents if possible and try to assess their demeanor. They should be confident and friendly. Be wary of dogs that seem unusually fearful or aggressive. Patterdale puppies should not be aggressive if they are trained and socialised properly from a young age.
Quiz them about the Breed!
You should already know quite a bit about Patterdale terriers if you are interested in owning one. Patterdale terrier owners will know about the hunting instinct of the breed and the breed’s history. Ask your breeder any further questions you might have. Don’t forget to ask about chronic health conditions and special care or dietry needs. If it’s a good breeder then they will be more concerned about figuring out if you are going to be a good dog owner than getting the cash. A good Patterdale terrier breeder cares about the homes that the pups are going to.
A Good Breeder isn’t in it for the Money
For most good breeders, the main goal isn’t to make money. In recent years however finding a puppy on the internet has become popular. During Coronavirus times, the price of Patterdale puppies has tripled causing more inexperienced breeders to breed them without having any concern for the dogs or where the pups end up.
You may not personally be able to go to see where the dogs are raised if they live far away (many Patterdales are bred in the Lake District for example), but you can tell a lot by a conversation. Just by talking to people you can tell if they are educated or not and they still should be able to tell you about the dogs that they breed.
Avoid Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders
Buying a puppy that comes from a backyard or puppy mill can be a dangerous move. Not only could the health of your puppy suffer as a result, but it’s also contributing to Patterdales going to the wrong homes and many end up in rescue centres. A backyard breeder will know little about Patterdale terriers and the kind of life that they need. Often they don’t maintain puppy’s health properly and don’t want to spend money on vets bills. You may notice scratching from ticks or fleas or perhaps itching ears from infections.
Backyard breeders and puppy mills will sell the puppies often at six weeks of age because they have just got too many — they want to get rid of the pups to make room for the next litter. But 6 weeks is just too early for a Patterdale terrier to leave his or her mother.
Puppy mills produce large amounts of puppies often in horrible conditions. There isn’t appropriate medical care and more often than not, the puppies are not fed well. Puppy mills often sell directly to pet stores. For this reason it is best to avoid puppies bought from pet stores.
I even heard of someone buying a Patterdale Puppy out of the back of a Van. There was no way that they could have vetted his previous environment and this instantly raises a red flag.
Often the puppies are separated from their parents at much too young an age, often as early as 4–5 weeks old as well as the other problems of lack of healthcare, love and attention. This can affect them for the rest of their lives and is extremely cruel.
They should only be Breeding Patterdales
Usually a reputable Patterdale breeder will ONLY breed Patterdales. It’s rare that they will be breeding more than one or two breeds. Quite often, especially if they are breeding working Patterdales they will be on a farm setting, which is the perfect environment for them. Often they breed a litter and keep one to work the farm (mainly ratting these days).
Pups should be with their Mother until 10–12 weeks old
Most reputable breeders will not let their Patterdale Terrier puppies go before they ten to twelve weeks of age. Most puppies are not completely weaned and self sufficient any younger then that. Most breeders will talk about their age when they let them go. They will also want to talk about the transition from one home to the next before selling the puppy.
Their Tails should only be Docked on Working Dogs and done According to English law
If you are buying your Patterdale in England and it is a pet Patterdale (not from working stock) then there is no reason for your Patterdale to have a docked tail. If it is a working litter from a working Patterdale and the pups intend to be sold as workers, then they may have their tails docked but this MUST happen before 5 days old and be done by a vet. They will have paperwork to prove this, otherwise it may have been an illegal docking.
By following these guidelines I hope that you will be able to find a reputable Patterdale terrier breeder and end up with a happy and healthy pup! Unfortunately we don’t breed pups as we mainly rescue, and we don’t recommend breeders that we are not 100% confident in. If you are trying to find a pup drop us a message below and we will try to help you with your research.
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Originally published at https://patterdaleterriers.co.uk on September 8, 2020.