So the research is done , you are certain that a Pug is the right breed for you and you have identified a breeder or two that have a good reputation for breeding healthy, true to breed standard puppies. The next step is to visit.

Most reputable breeders will not allow home visits until the pups are over 4 weeks and often much older. This is because there is a risk of infection being brought into the home by strangers especially if you already own a dog. You should certainly have had a lengthy conversation with the breeder by this stage to determine suitability of a Pug puppy for your family and your family for a pup. You should also be aware of the health status and breeding of the pup and the clauses in the contract that a reputable breeder will expect you to sign.

When you visit you should expect to see happy healthy pups with mum. They should be clean and well fed, have shining clear eyes and be active. Newly bathed should ring alarm bells! They should be inquisitive and keen to meet you. They should not be nervous or timid but do not confuse this with initial shyness which should soon be overcome. This is your opportunity to discuss health and care face to face with the breeder and also to check if you think these pups really do live in the house! Usually households with dogs will have the odd chewed item of furniture and dog hairs are impossible to banish 100%. The breeder should show you the relevant health testing results of parents and ideally Kennel Club registration documents and proof of microchipping depending on the age of the pup.

If you are happy with what you see you will be usually be expected to pay a small deposit. Do not be too surprised if you are not allowed to choose a puppy. Having done your research you have hopefully chosen a breeder who has bred the litter with the intention of retaining a pup and will reserve the right to do so at any time until the pups are ready to leave. That is not a bad thing as the litter will have been bred with the utmost care and attention to conformation and health and all the pups in the litter will make superb pets and you will certainly get the sex and colour of pup you want.

You will arrange a mutually convenient time for collection. No puppies should go to their new homes at under 8 weeks and it is usual for Pug puppies to leave at between 9 and 12 weeks.

Allow plenty of time as the breeder should spend time going through the contract and puppy information with you. That should include dates for worming and vaccinations as well as advice on feeding, exercise and house training. Please respect the advice on feeding as this is usually based on years of experience and will be what is best for a Pug puppy. You should also be supplied with a quantity of the food that the puppy is used to. Puppies need puppy food and be aware that changing the diet of a young puppy abruptly can cause digestive upsets that can lead to ill health.

Exercise is another area where advice given by the breeder should be taken. Pug puppies are very active and it is very tempting to do too much too soon with them. Their bodies and heads are heavy and their joints need time to grow fully. They need a lot of sleep and quiet time but they don’t realise this! One of the benefits of having a crate is that a puppy can be put to bed in a crate in a room with the family, for a rest but not isolated and made to feel naughty.

Also all the Kennel Club paperwork and microchip details should be explained again to you. You should feel happy that you can contact the breeder at any time for advice and reassurance over any issues that may arise.

If at any time before you take your puppy home you have concerns about the health of the puppy, the environment or the ‘ priorities’ of the breeder and these cannot be simply explained to your satisfaction WALK AWAY.

Remember to take your puppy to a vet for a health check within the first seven days too.