Having decided that an Irish Terrier is the breed for you.......what should you do next?
All reputable Irish Terrier breeders work to the 'breed standard’ and therefore some breeders will want to keep the best of the litter for themselves. This leaves the remaining puppies looking for new homes. If possible go to a few local shows to talk to breeders and see a few dogs together.
Most breeders will be happy to talk to you and help you with any questions you may have. They may also be able to tell you about any litters due and people to contact. It is also a great idea to join an Irish Terrier Club as this is another source of good information.
Irish Terrier litters are not as common as some other breeds; therefore, people may be on a waiting list for the next available litter that is due from a particular breeder. This is not uncommon and sometimes you may have to wait a few months. Once the litter is born and you are next on the waiting list, be prepared to see the litter more than once if you can. At the first visit you normally won't be in a position to choose your puppy as their appearance and personality will change so much, but at the final visit at perhaps 7-8 weeks this should be possible.
When you visit the puppies, they should be with their mother. If the puppies are older and have been weaned, she should still be available for you to see. Never just accept that she is there - always ask to see her. The Stud dog may not always be present but full details and a picture of him should be available. The puppies should be in clean and warm conditions with plenty of light and fresh air. They should have plenty of room to play and develop.
A healthy puppy should be active and show interest in what is going on. They may be sleeping when you visit as at that young age they play for a few minutes and then sleep. They should be clean and their eyes and nose clear from any mucus. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Breeders will also want to ask some questions as they will want to ensure the puppy is going to a suitable home. Questions may be asked about your garden, fences and how safe it is for a puppy. How long the puppy will be alone for at any one time, if you have children, have you had dogs or have any other dogs already. Do you have a crate for the puppy and know which vet you will be using? Don't be put off by this - this is a sign that the breeder cares about the welfare of the poppy and not just the sale!
The puppy will be registered with the Kennel Club and have its own Kennel Club name and certificate. This should be given to you when you collect the puppy along with a puppy pack giving you some tips about feeding, worming, inoculations and exercise. You should also be given full details of the microchip number and how to transfer everything over to you. You should also be given some food so that you can gradually change the puppy’s food over to the one you will be using therefore not upsetting the puppy's stomach.
Most breeders will also ask you to sign a contract of sale - this shows full details of the breeder, you and the puppy. It is always advisable to have your vet check the puppy within the first few days of bringing him/her home. The vet will carry out a general health check and give the puppy any inoculations required.
Don't forget to keep in touch with the breeder and ask any questions you may have along the way. They of course will be delighted to hear all about your puppy and the progress they are making.
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