Your Questions: 'Is it safe to buy a dog online?'
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 02 October 2010
Q. Finally, I'm in a position to own my first dog. I've been doing lots of research on the internet and I was thinking about buying one online. But is this a safe thing to? Do I have to do any checks on the breeders? Joanne, Dartford
A. First, have you considered getting a rescue dog? There are so many dogs out there desperately needing good homes and many of them were probably impulse buys over the internet in the first place. In some cases buying a puppy is as easy as a couple of clicks online. This is an appalling practice and should be avoided at all costs.
Never buy a puppy if the breeder offers to meet you at a train or service station or even if he offers to bring it to your home. You must meet both the puppy and its mother in their home surroundings. This will give you a clear indication of the mother's temperament and, hopefully, the puppy's future personality. If, for example, you go to see a young cocker spaniel with a very yappy and aggressive mother who won't let you near her puppies, then think twice. Some of this behaviour could be replicated in her offspring – which means they could be possessive over food, toys and even bedding.
Remember, too, that some breeders just want to sell you the puppy at all costs, even if you aren't a suitable owner, so don't take your wallet on the first visit. If you fall in love with the dog – something it's hard not to do when faced with a cute puppy – you'll put a deposit down and want to take it home even if you know it's unsuitable for you.
Far better to use the internet as a tool to research the breed clubs, which in turn will recommend reputable breeders. If the breeder is good, they will inform you about the pros and cons of the breed you're interested in, as well as whether you are likely to make a suitable owner. You may have to wait a while. The Kennel Club will be able to give you a list of all the breed clubs. That's a good way to start.
Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort an early visit to the vet is always recommended
Life & Style blogs
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...