Before buying a Tibetan Spaniel puppy there are a number of frequently asked questions about the breed on our FAQ page, see http://tibetanspanielassoc.co.uk/FAQ/. Assuming you’ve read these and are still interested, then please read on.
Doing your Research
Before purchasing a puppy there should be questions, questions and more questions. As well as the Tibetan Spaniel Association there are several breed clubs around the country all of whom are willing to give honest information on the breed and who may know about forthcoming litters. Between them the Tibetan Spaniel clubs have at least 10 shows per year dedicated to the breed all across the UK where you will find many willing supporters to talk you through your potential journey to owning a Tibetan Spaniel, in addition there is Discover Dogs at Crufts. Understanding the type of dog a Tibetan Spaniel is and what their needs are is exactly what you’ll find out when speaking to passionate breeders and owners. The internet can tell you many things, but speaking face to face with breeders and seeing their dogs up close is THE best way to find out about a breed.
Buying a puppy – the basics
Having done your research, and made the decision that the time is right to buy a puppy, it is time to go and view some! In order to make sure you buy a happy, healthy puppy there are certain rules to follow to ensure that you purchase the right puppy for you. Knowing what to look for can guarantee that the experience is a pleasant one. Once you hear of a litter contact the breeder and ask all about the Sire (father of the litter) and the Dam (the Mother). The puppies will inherit many of their traits from their parents, so the more you find out in advance, the better informed you will be as to whether these puppies will be for you. By asking questions and interacting with the breeder you will also get a feel as to whether you could build up a good rapport with the breeder, something that will be vital in the first few weeks and months of you acquiring your puppy. This would be standard advice for someone buying a dog of ANY breed!
You should always visit the breeder in their own home where you can meet the Mother and sometimes the Father. You may also be able to meet some of the rest of the litter. If the breeder is unwilling for you to visit them in their own home don’t proceed any further. It is unlikely that you would be able to view any puppies until they are at least 6 weeks of age. Usually your next visit would be once the puppy is old enough to collect.
The puppies should be bright eyed and playing together. They may be a little overwhelmed when you first make a fuss of them but after a few minutes should be happy and resume their play. Puppies enjoy being spoken to quietly and held firmly but gently on your lap. The Mother may be a bit wary of you but should be reassured by the breeder and will then relax and accept you.
If there are other Tibetan Spaniels in the house watch how they interact. If they are relaxed and happy then that is clearly a good home and the puppies will have been brought up in a secure and happy environment.
The breeder will ask you a lot of questions. They will want to know all about you, your family, what type of house you live in….and more. The breeder will want to be very sure that you and your home are suitable for their precious puppy. Don’t take it personally, the more questions you ask of one another, the more chance there is of a good rapport between potential owner and the breeder helping to find that right Tibetan Spaniel puppy for you.
A breeder that does not ask you any questions nor want you to visit their home and see the puppies with their parents is probably one to avoid. You have to trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, walk away. Don’t pay a deposit until you’re entirely happy. Many reputable breeders will not require a deposit but will be prepared to keep the puppy on trust for you.
Having found a reputable breeder and a happy, healthy litter you should expect your puppy to be Kennel Club registered, be provided with a pedigree, insured, micro chipped, wormed and inoculated. You should also have been given information by the breeder on the eye tests that have taken place for the Sire and Dam. All breeding stock should hold clear KC/BVA Progressive Retinal Atrophy certificates. Only pure bred Tibetan Spaniel stock, believed to be free from genetic disorders should be used in any breeding programme.
Microchipping is a legal requirement. The Microchip should be registered on a database (see list on website link below) and you should be given a certificate to prove it. You should take your puppy to your vet to be checked over and at that point the vet WILL check for a working Microchip. See the following advice on the GOV website https://www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-microchipped.
A breeder should also supply a diet sheet and detailed information on caring for your Tibetan Spaniel (grooming, feeding, exercise, etc). They will also want regular updates on the progress of the puppy and be happy and willing to assist with any questions you may have during the following weeks and months.
These are some of the basic requirements of buying a Tibetan Spaniel puppy. These dogs generally live for at least 13 to 16 years and will be your companion for a long time. It is a huge commitment but so rewarding and worthwhile.