Getting a Puppy

Choosing a new puppy is a fun and exciting time for all involved.  However there are important things to look out for before choosing your new furry friend to take home and become part of your family.  Here are our top things to do and look out for when choosing a new puppy from a breeder:


Make sure you see the puppy interacting with the rest of the litter and its mother.
A puppy is not ready to leave its mother before it is eight weeks old.

Visit the breeder at least twice before making a final collection
The breeder should allow you to handle the puppies each time you visit.

Check the puppies have regular access to human contact
It is better that puppies are being raised in a home environment, rather than a kennel.  This is so they become familiar with everyday sights, smells and sounds.


Check whether the facilities appear clean and the puppy seems alert and healthy

Check the puppy’s appearance.
There should be no discharge from its eyes or nose, no sores, bald patches or scabs on the skin.  The puppy should be alert and show no obvious signs of illness such as coughing.

Find out whether the puppy has been wormed and vaccinated.
Some breeders will vaccinate puppies at eight weeks of age before releasing them to their new owners.

If possible, request a written agreement that the purchase is subject to a satisfactory examination by your vet within 48 hours of purchase.
Ask if the puppy will be covered by insurance for any illness during the first few weeks in your care.  Most good breeders subscribe to this scheme.

Check that the puppy’s parents have been tested for hereditary diseases.
If there are no certificates available, go to another breeder.  If you need help understanding your results, ask you vet.


Ensure all the relevant paperwork is available for inspection when you visit the puppy.

  • a Vaccination Certificate
  • a Health Check Report from a vet
  • a Pedigree or Kennel Club Certificate

Remember, a Pedigree or Kennel Club certificate does not guarantee a perfect puppy.  It is up to you to carry out the appropriate checks above.

If your puppy appears unwell on collection, do not take it.  Arrange with the breeder to return another day.  If you have any doubts, choose another breeder.

Please do stick to the points above.  If your puppy appears unwell on collection, do not take it.  Arrange with the breeder to return another day.  If you have any doubts, choose another breeder.  Any breeder worth talking to will be happy to help you follow the above guidelines.  The breeder should also be interested in your boxer experience, your working hours etc.  They will want to know that their dogs are going to a good home.  If the conversation is simply about how much money they want – walk away.

Some words of warning: 

Just because a breeder is on the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme, a member of the regional boxer club or has done well at dog shows does not mean that they are a reputable breeder.  Trust us, we have come across many dogs from the biggest show kennels in the country that are racked with health problems.  Vet these breeders as carefully as you would any other breeder.  Please do not settle for the first puppy you see. We know it’s so hard not to fall in love straight away, but you really should follow the above advice and walk away if something doesn’t seem right, no matter how cute the puppy is.

A Final Word:

We really hope that you make the right choices when choosing a puppy and end up with a happy healthy boxer.  

Thistle Boxer Rescue family are first and foremost – lovers of boxers.  We don’t care if you have rescued or if you have bought a puppy.  You and your new addition would be a most welcome part of the Thistle Boxer Rescue family, whether that is through joining our Facebook supporters’ group, by coming along to events to introduce yourself, becoming a volunteer or rescuing one of our dogs in the future.  

If you have a passion for boxers, we would love you to be part of our world.