Choosing a puppy as a future working dog can be difficult

Our lovely members have put together some of their top tips to help you choose the right pup for you. We have included 6 of these tips below: 

Tip Number 1

First of all I advise people to think about what they really want from their dog, beating, shooting, trialling, pet with children etc. How often you will be able to take out etc and take it from there.
Lesley Y.
LWDG Member

Be clear on what you plan to do in the future with your puppy. A working dog can be used for many different purposes, and what you will want the dog to excel at will definitely affect what kind of puppy you end up choosing. 

Tip Number 2

I would want to know that all the health checks have been done. (I want to know that everything has been done health wise that can be)
Deborah H.
LWDG Member

Different breeds can be subject to different health challenges. You can minimise risks by ensuring your pup comes from health tested parents. 

The Kennel Club have an online BREED INFORMATION CENTRE .This site allows you to search for the breed you are looking at purchasing, and then gives you a list of possible tests and what you should be expecting the breeder to have carried out. A breeder may not have carried out all those listed, but should have carried out at a minimum those the Kennel Club strongly advise. 

Tip Number 3

Research a reputable breeder and, if needed, wait for a litter. It is far too easy to fall in love with a puppy and let our heart rule our heads.
Amanda G.
LWDG Member

Puppies are so cute! So before you go visit a litter, make time to find a breeder that has a great reputation. Ask others who are knowledgeable who they would suggest. Check out as much as you can before going to see a litter. If you’re a member of Ladies Working Dog Group post a question or ask for feedback in the forum on dog breeding to help guide your decision. 

Also speak to the breeder on the phone and ask lots questions. Trusts your instincts- is their reputation and answers meeting up with the type of pup you’re looking for. 

Tip Number 4

Take time to look at the temperament of the parents
Amie M.
LWDG Member

Many of our members gave this as one of their top tips. 

If possible spend time with both parents. If the breeder does not own the sire it may not be possible. But definitely spend time with mum. Look at her general health and temperament. Are they friendly and do they want to spend time with their owners? Temperament is more than usually passed to parents. It can also guide you to the approximate size of the pup when they are fully grown.  

Also check temperment of the parents. Working ability and style, hard or soft, biddable or strong minded parents. I personally prefer a litter in which the breeder is keeping a pup themselves and not just in it for the money. Loved family pet as well as a good working dog.
Billie A.M.
LWDG Member

Tip Number 5

When choosing a puppy, go and sit with them all (get any taken out that are already booked) and see which responds to you.
Julia B.M.
LWDG Member

In a litter there can be a few pups that have the potential to do what you want. In this case listening to your instinct is important. Which pup do you like? There will need to be a lifelong bond between you so spend time with them. A good breeder will not rush you and will encourage you to visit and spend time choosing. They will want you to love the pup you pick.


If you spend your time finding the right breeder they will get to know you and since they spend 8wks with their puppies they can make the right match
Nina F.
LWDG Member

Tip Number 6

Take the pup to your own vet and have a checkup, and check microchip information.
Lorraine B.
LWDG Member

Many a heart has been broken by a puppy lost in the first few weeks of ownership. If you’re new to owning dogs it is especially important to ask a professional to check your pup over. Ask them to also check microchip details for accuracy. 

In general, a pup should be lively and alert, with a bright eye. The pup should have a clean coat free of any scabs or any type of dandruff. There may be the odd scab as pups can be quite rough when fighting one another, but these should be minimal and not all over the skin. 

Allow for some change of behaviour when they come home with you. They are leaving their family for the first time and this can be quite traumatic. Some pups may become a little timid but should still drink water, go to the toilet, and respond to noises. If in doubt always seek veterinary advice. 

Join us to find out more

We hope you have found value these top tips. There are more to be found within our group, along with a great bunch of members. 

Nearly 1700 ladies have joined our group and we would love to help you too. No more struggling trying to figure it all out by yourself, come and join us and let’s make working your dog as easy as possible!

Need Help With Your Dog?

If you’re having challenges with your working dog why not subscribe as a member and receive monthly training masterclasses.

Our subscribed members can also access our mentorship program too.

More details can be found here.

The Ladies Working Dog Group is one of the largest, fastest growing groups for female working dog owners only.

Take part in our Magic Month Challenge,  and get weekly updates from the Ladies Working Dog Group , access to free printable resources, exclusive discounts, plus much more!

  • It’s good to know that the mother’s health and temperament can be a sign of the behavior of the puppies. My wife and I are wanting to get a puppy and are worried about finding the best breeder. We’ll use these tips to research the best breeders around us.

  • Popular Articles...