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Sadly; there are people who make seek to make money by breeding and selling puppies who are poorly bred and kept in bad conditions.  Unscrupulous breeders and sellers can be difficult to identify and will go to great lengths to convince you they care about their dogs and the puppies they breed. 


Thankfully, there are lots of breed enthusiasts, many Club members, who have decided to have a litter because they have a passion for Border Terriers.  They have the health and welfare of their dog and puppies at the foremost of their concerns.  We hope that the following will help you to find such a breeder.

The Southern Border Terrier Club is happy to help with breed information and advice on how to find a breeder, but the club does not keep a record of puppies available or normally give out breeders contact details without prior permission.

The Law

The laws which govern dog breeding and puppy sales have been written to protect the welfare of breeding dogs and their offspring.  Knowing the law can help a potential puppy buyer understand the  minimum welfare requirements when breeding.  If a breeder is not adhering to these laws, there may be an issue with the welfare of their animals and they should be avoided. In England these laws include

Laws to Prohibit

  • The sale of puppies under the age of eight weeks.

  • The sale of puppies, of under 6 months of age, by anyone other than the puppy’s breeder.

  • The sale of puppies, of under 6 months of age, except from the premises where it was born.

Laws to Require

  • Puppies to be micro-chipped before they go to their new homes and before they are 8 weeks old. The breeder should be the first registered keeper of the puppy.

  • Puppies must be seen with their biological mothers.  

  • Any breeder to have a licence if they breed more than 3 or more litters a year.

  • Any breeder to have a licence if they run a business that breeds and sells dogs for profit.  This includes breeders who have fewer than three litters a year and sell the puppies at a profit. 

  • A copy of the licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any premises used for the licensed activity.

  • Breeders that breed a small number of puppies and sell them without making a profit do not require a licence

Contacting a Breeder

Once you have found a breeder the next step is to get to know more about them, their dogs and their breeding programme.  You should be looking for a breeder who

  • Is knowledgeable and able to tell you about the breed, the negative aspects as well as the good points.

  • Is a member of a Breed Club and has agreed to abide by the Club's Code of Ethics.

  • Whose aim is to find the best home for their puppies rather than trying to sell you a puppy.  You should not feel rushed or pressured into parting with cash at any stage.

  • Asks a lot of questions and wants to know about you, your family, home, garden and lifestyle.

  • Will take all reasonable steps to ensure that purchasers are able to provide a suitable home and that they are committed to caring for the dog for the whole of its life.

  • Will be expecting you to ask a lot of questions and will be able to answer them and give honest answers.

  • Will discuss health matters and any testing undertaken.  A breeder of Border Terriers should be aware of the SLEM status of their breeding stock and will expect you to ask about this.

  • Will want you and your family to meet the litter and their mother at least once before the puppy is ready to go to its new home. 

  • Will take an interest in the puppy’s future life with you and will want to keep in touch.  They be willing to provide reasonable after-sales advice.

  • Will commit to the return or help with the re-homing of the dog if it becomes necessary at any time throughout it’s lifetime.

Remember the breeder may not have puppies when you first make contact and you may need to wait to get a well bred puppy from a reputable breeder.  Finding the right breeder and the right puppy can take time but is worth the wait.

Meeting the Breeder & Seeing the Puppies

Once a litter is born the breeder will want to meet your whole household, including any children, to learn more about you and see how you all interact with the dogs.  They will arrange for you all to meet the whole litter and their mother where they were born.  This is also a opportunity for you to learn more about the breed, looking after a puppy and allows you to assess the breeder, their dogs, their breeding practices and premises.


  • The breeder should show you where the dogs are kept, where they sleep and where the puppies were born.

  • You should be able to see the whelping pen, comfortable bedding, food and clean water

  • The breeder should have a clean, safe and secure environment for all their dogs. 

  • The environment should allow for frequent handling and social interactions ideally in the breeder’s house.


  • The breeder should show you the whole litter and mother.  To be sure she is the mother look for signs such as enlarged nipples that show she is producing milk. 

  • The puppies and their mother should be healthy, happy, relaxed, inquisitive and interacting with each other.  They should not be fearful and should be comfortable in the presence of people.

  • The mother and puppies should not show signs of parasites, such as ear mites, worms or fleas

  • Ask about other members of the litter’s family.  It may not be possible to see the father if the breeder has chosen a dog who they do not own.


  • They will not allow any puppy leave home before they are at least 8 weeks old.

  • They will have been socialising the puppies, handling and playing with them, introducing them to other people and animals and to sights, smells and noises around the home and garden.

  • They will have begun house training however, the new owner will still need to complete this training.


Visiting a litter of puppies is exciting, puppies are appealing and hard to resist.  However, it is important that you do not get carried away.  Do not make any decisions until you have had time to consider everything you have learnt about the puppies and the breeder.  The breeder should be happy to give you time, within reason, to make up your mind about buying the puppy.

The breeder should not consider you coming to see a litter as a commitment to having a puppy.  Neither should potential owners consider seeing a litter as a commitment by the breeder to sell them a puppy.  At no stage should either party feel unable to change their mind.  Neither should feel rushed or pressured into making a decision.

If you have any reservations, then it is best to walk away. If you think that a breeder is breeding irresponsibly, then do not buy a puppy from them.  You may feel you are ‘rescuing’ the puppy from a bad situation.  However, your puppy may be better off, but by buying a puppy you are encouraging the breeding of more puppies in the same conditions.


If you and the breeder decide that you can provide a good home for the puppy the breeder should make available the appropriate paperwork to include:

  • A contract which details the conditions of the sale.

  • If the dog is Kennel Club registered, you should receive a Kennel Club Registration document and a Pedigree Certificate.  A Kennel Club registration certificate is a record of a dog’s birth.  A pedigree certificate displays a dog’s family tree.  You should be given these when you collect the puppy.  If they are not available when you collect the puppy the breeder should give you names and registration number of the parents so that you may follow this up with the kennel club if necessary.

  • Insurance paperwork.  It is good practice for a breeder to provide insurance for the first few weeks with their new owner to give them time to arrange their own cover.

  • Vaccinations certificates if the puppy has had its first vaccination.

  • Details of the puppy’s microchip. It is a legal requirement that puppies are micro-chipped by their breeder before they leave home.

  • Details of when the puppy has been wormed. The breeder should tell you what worming product has been used, the dates they were used and when it will be required next.

  • Feeding information including what food the puppy has been given, when and how often it has been fed.  They should give you some of the food it has been having to take with you.

It is best to discuss what paperwork will be provided before you go to collect the puppy to ensure that it will be available when your puppy comes home.

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