As the Beagle breed is extremely popular, it is important to sort the “wheat” from the “chaff” when it comes to breeders. When buying a Beagle puppy, or for that matter, any pure bred, pedigree puppy, beware of “puppy mills”.
They are breeders who are in the business for a fast buck. They have no interest in the welfare of the puppy once they have your money in their pocket. The bottom line is that there is no substitute for a dedicated, knowledgeable breeder whose dogs are from the highest quality stock, and who give, what I call, “after sales service”.
Always buy direct from a breeder, not from a Pet Shop. It is against the Dog Breeders Code of Ethics to sell pups to Pet Shops, and more importantly, even if you are sold a pedigree with the dog, how do you know that is the dog that belongs to the pedigree. Pedigree dogs sold through a Pet Shop will most likely not be registered by the state Kennel Control, such as the Victorian Canine Association. Therefore, the puppy is not able to be shown, and no progeny from the dog or bitch can be registered in the future as pedigree animals.
Not every puppy in a litter is a show dog. Very few entire litters are suitable for showing, but they are still good stock and well bred and correctly raised. Buying a puppy as a pet from such a litter, and from such a breeder, is a step in the right direction to having a Beagle of correct size, temperament and attributes to make him a lovable family companion.
Do not buy a puppy from a breeder whose kennels are dirty and whose dogs are in poor or unhealthy condition. Be wary of breeders who apply high pressure sales tactics. If you are, for any reason, unsure about buying a puppy from a particular breeder, then don’t! The Beagle Club of Victoria has a referral service for breeders, but this does not mean that they are all guaranteed to be good quality breeders. Please note when you go to see a litter of puppies that they are clean, well fed, wormed, well raised and treated, and that you can see the dam (mother) and if possible, the sire (father). If the sire is not available, the breeder should be able to provide you with details of him, and photos for you to look at. When you get your puppy from the breeder, you should receive a registration certificate, a 3 generation pedigree, produced by the Victorian Canine Association (or other state canine control) computer. The breeder will fill out the details of the purchaser and sign it. You may then send it to the Victorian Canine Association (or other state body) in order to transfer the ownership into your name.
You should also receive an innoculation card from the breeder, showing the vaccinations your puppy has received and the date they received them. The card should be signed by the Vet that administered the vaccine, and should show further dates of when the other innoculations are due.
A worming resume should also be given to you, so that you know when your pup is due to be wormed, and what treatments he has already had. This should show the name of the worming medication used, and the amounts given. It is a good idea, if possible, to ask your breeder for a diet sheet prior to collecting your puppy, so that you can shop before hand, and have a supply of the same foods that your puppy is used to, hopefully eliminating any possibility of upset stomachs due to sudden changes in diet.
After Sales Service – Most breeders are like “mother hens” over the puppies and want to know the progress of the puppy and are only too happy to give advice on any problems that you may be having with your new puppy. Don’t be frightened to ask questions!