Thinking of getting a Border Terrier during lock-down?

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

Now we are being asked to stay home, the permitted daily exercise has become very important to many who appreciate not only the exercise but the opportunity to leave the house and enjoy a change of scenery. This is leading people to think that now would be a good time to get a dog to share their daily walk. Similarly, with everyone spending more time at home it is easy to think that now is an ideal time to bring a new dog into the household. Consequently, many breeders and canine organisations including the Southern Border Terrier Club are receiving an increased number of enquires for puppies and dogs.

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.

At no time should dog ownership be undertaken without proper consideration and research. It is a long-term commitment and anyone thinking about getting a dog or puppy should first ask themselves if this is right for them and for the dog. Potential dog owners need to ensure they are ready to invest the time and resources which responsible dog ownership entails. The Breed Help & Information pages of our website provides information which the potential dog owner should consider under normal circumstances. However, the present restrictions create extra questions which the potential new dog owner should ask.

Will it be possible to visit the breeder to see the mother and puppies?

Government advice is to stay at home and away from others unless necessary. Therefore, potential new owners will not be able to follow important advice to meet the breeder and see puppies, with their mother in the place where they were born until these restrictions are lifted. It is possible to keep in contact with breeders by phone, email, video calls, and receive photographs. However, it is not generally advised for potential new owners to buying a puppy until they have visited the breeder.

Will it be possible to collect a puppy under the present restrictions?

As a priority we must all be following government measures, which is to stay at home as much as possible and limit contact with others.

This advice, which has been approved by Defra, sets out that new owners in England may now (15th May) collect a puppy by prior arrangement when the sale has already been agreed, and as long as you adhere to social distancing and hygiene requirements. The puppy must be at least eight weeks of age and any viewing of them with their mother and litter mates can be achieved remotely.  Handover should take place in a room or space large enough for the breeder and purchaser to maintain their social distance.  No equipment such as a basket should be given by the breeder to the purchaser. Paperwork and other checks and documentation should be predominantly completed ahead of the meeting. Prior to the puppy or kitten being picked up, the purchaser should be given advice on immediate care of them including what food to purchase and allowing them to settle in their new home.

Will puppies be vaccinated?

Vaccination routines should be discussed with the breeder and veterinary advice sort. Guidance from the British Veterinary Association is that first vaccinations and year one boosters may now be carried out as an essential service. Veterinary practices may vary in their approach, so potential new owners should call their vet to confirm their recommendations and what procedures they are carrying out.

Will puppies micro-chipped?

Micro-chipping should be discussed with the breeder. Remember that is it the law that all puppies 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.

How will puppies be socialised and trained?

The first months of a puppy’s life are vital to its development and its growth into a well-adjusted adult. Under present restrictions it is going to be more of a challenge to train and socialise puppies, especially if you are a first-time dog owner. Training classes are closed, we must social-distance from other dog owners and their dogs and most of the support available was written for normal circumstances, not for training and socialising under lockdown. Extra effort and commitment will be required by new owners.

New owners will also have to ensure training and socialisation prepares the puppy for when the restrictions end. New owners will not be able to introduce their puppy to all the sights, smells and noises which the world has to offer. Extra training will be needed to prepare puppies to encounter lots of new experiences when the restrictions lift. In addition, owners working from home need to ensure their puppy will be happy to be left alone at home for longer periods when they return to work.

How much does it cost to own a dog?

Estimates put the cost of looking after a dog over its lifetime between £4,500 and £13,000 without taking into consideration any medical issues which may develop. Raising a puppy costs in excess of £400 to £500 for vaccinations, food, bedding and toys but not including the cost of the puppy. New owners need to be prepared for this cost and consider if they are able to make such a commitment in this time of economic uncertainty.

What happens if I become unwell?

If you have symptoms of the virus the government advice is to self-isolate and this includes physical contact with dogs.

What happens when all goes back to normal?

It's important for potential owner to consider their previous lifestyle. They should ask themselves whether they would have been able to get a puppy prior to the lockdown restrictions. Border Terrier puppies are wonderful companions and bring many rewards and much enjoyment. However, they are also messy, noisy, destructive and very demanding of time and energy on a daily basis. Those thinking of getting a puppy must be able to take on all of this both now and when our lifestyles return to pre-coronavirus normal.

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