So you have your heart set on buying a Shar Pei puppy. NOW is the time to stop and think and consider the following points.

First of all, the Shar Pei grows from a cute wrinkly puppy to approximately 18-20ins in height. So is your house and garden of sufficient size to accommodate him. A puppy should have access to a garden for toilet training. It is not wise to keep a dog in a highrise flat, and have you got the time to give him a least two half hourly walks daily.

From three months to twelve months of age the puppy could become quite destructive, so the puppy should not be left alone for long periods, nor should he be left in a cage for hours.

Have you got the time to take the puppy to training classes, on a weekly basis, to socialize and obedience? Can you afford top quality food? Then there could be the cost of veterinary attention if needed. Can you afford insurance at approximately £20 per month? Are you prepared to give a life time of love and attention to a dog?

If you are not deterred by any of the above comments, and still think a Shar Pei is the dog for you, the following information is intended to ensure as far as possible that you acquire a healthy and well bred puppy.

Buy books from your local pet shop, or borrow from your nearest library. Buy from your newsagent one of the two canine weekly publications “Dog World” or “Our Dogs” Both are full of information on what’s going on in the dog world, and where and when there are dog shows.

There are three types of shows; Championship Shows, Open Shows, and Companion Shows.
Championship Shows are certainly the best bet for meeting serious breeders, who usually are more than happy to talk about the breed, and for seeing many quality dogs. Open shows are a good second choice, though there may not be many Shar Pei exhibiting. Companion Shows are fun days for all breeds, not recommended as a source for meeting serious breeders. But some breeders and show enthusiasts do use Companion Shows as a source of training for their puppies.

NOW assuming that you are in contact with a breeder, ask to see the litter with their mum. Note the environment the litter is being reared in. Reared in a house, puppies are more sociable and confident than those reared in kennels/sheds.

      Note their bedding is clean and they are in a warm area.
      Note they are firm and chunky, well off for bone, good coat and warm to the touch
      Note they are playful and active, and do not shy away.
      Note they are clear eyed, (Some Shar Pei puppies have to have their eyes tacked. The breeder will explain, so don’t be to put off).
      If a puppy passes a stool while you are watching, note that it is firm.

A reputable breeder will welcome questions, as he should be more interested in the welfare of his puppies than the money you are paying.

Be very cautious of breeders who only let you see one puppy at a time. AGAIN ask to see the whole litter with their mum.

Sometimes it’s not possible to see the stud dog, but always ask about him and his pedigree.
Ask the age about the age of both dog and bitch. (A bitch under 2 years should not be producing puppies).

     Be prepared to travel, as this is in your best interest.
     NEVER buy on impulse from the first litter you see.
     NEVER buy a puppy you have never seen, even if you have an email photos.
     NEVER buy from someone who offers to meet you on a motorway services.
     NEVER buy from someone who says “free delivery to your house”
     NEVER buy from pet shops or puppy farms.

HERE ARE 10 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK THE BREEDER -----but ask as many as you like.
1. Has the breeder a registered Affix?
The fact that the breeder has his own “Trademark” does to some extent prove a sincere interest in the breed. Unfortunately though this sometimes is not always the case.

2. Is the puppy K.C. registered?
On purchase you should be given a registration certificate. If there is some delay on this GET IT WRITING you will receive it within two months.

3. Will I receive an accurate pedigree?
You should be given a five generation pedigree of your puppy’s ancestors.

4. Will I receive a diet sheet?
The only answer here is yes.

5. At what age will you sell me a puppy? And will he be of show quality?
A puppy should be a minimum of eight weeks old. Unless you are aware of the circumstances, be cautious if buying a puppy older than twelve weeks as it could have socialisation problems.
Unfortunately, no reputable breeder can be 100% certain a puppy will grow up to be good enough to show. Points to remember if you are looking for a show quality puppy is parti-coloured, Black & Tan and long coated crop up sometimes in certain lines, and are unacceptable to show or for breeding.

6. What is the difference between a horsecoat and a brushcoat.
Amazingly some novice breeders or buyers do not know there are two coat types.

7. If buying a male puppy, has he got both his testicles?
Although young pups have no developed scrotum, an experienced breeder can easily detect the testicles by gentle pressure in the groin. The absence of a testicle (or sometimes two) detracts greatly from a pup’s value, and could also involve veterinary expense at a later date.

.8. Do I get a receipt and a contract?
Of course you should. Ask to see the breeder’s contract before you buy. Make sure you understand it and are willing to adhere to it. Some breeders will only sell puppies on breeding terms, and will put restrictions on their K.C. documents.

9. Will the puppy I buy be vaccinated and wormed.
The puppy should have been wormed three times before eight weeks of age. Early vaccination is a matter of opinion. Most breeders vaccinate at least one cause before purchase.

10. If I purchase a puppy, can I immediately take him to a vet for a health check, and will you accept him back with a full refund, if the vet for whatever reason queries his health or conformation? And what if my circumstances change, and for some reason I can no longer keep the puppy, whether in the near future or even in two or three years time, will you have him back or help find him a suitable new home?
This might seem controversial, but it does give considerable protection to a novice buyer. A reputable breeder with confidence in his breeding should readily concur to both questions without hesitation.

Affirmative answers to the above questions will, hopefully, ensure that you are dealing with a dedicated and responsible breeder, and that a puppy purchased from such a person, should be a healthy handsome specimen of the Shar Pei breed.

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