ANSWER: The Bolognese Dog Club UK is often asked this question. So, how do I find a Bolognese puppy? As a club we remain impartial as far as breeders are concerned but will offer advice where possible on how to go about finding your new puppy.
It is assumed as you are reading this article that you have made your decision that a Bolognese is the puppy for you. You have researched the breed and appreciate that the decision is a long-term commitment and the puppy will need grooming, exercise, care and commitment.
You can find breeders of Bolognese on The Kennel Club Website. The KC has a page on the site www.thekennelclub.org.uk called ‘Find a Puppy’. You can type in Bolognese and it will show you litters that have been registered. It is up to you to then contact the breeders and enquire about puppies they may have available. You can also contact The British Bolognese Club who holds a list of their members who are breeders. The Kennel Club also hold a list of Accredited Breeders. The Accredited Breeders have home inspections from a representative of The Kennel Club who will check the premises to ensure that they are suitable for breeding and also check paperwork together with health test certificates. If you contact breeders from the KC website and they have no puppies available, they may be able to suggest somebody who does, or who may be expecting a litter. There are other websites available that list Bolognese puppies for sale, some of these are reputable and some are not.
When you have found a breeder, give them a ring and you ask lots of questions before you even contemplate going to see them. There are puppy farms in every breed and Bolognese are no exception. Some of the questions may be, “are you the person who bred the litter and were they born on the premises?” or “how many puppies were in the litter?” Also ask if the parents been health tested.
Bolognese are a healthy breed and there are no known hereditary diseases listed in the usual directories, but responsible breeders usually test the parents for patella problems and eye problems.
The questions you may ask are endless and be prepared for a responsible breeder to also ask you lots of questions about your lifestyle. The breeder has put a lot of time, thought and effort into breeding their litter and will try as hard as possible to ensure their precious bundles of fluff are going to the right homes.
Once you are satisfied with the answers, arrange to visit the breeder in their home. Most breeders are happy for you to visit as many times as you feel you would like. Do not be offended if the breeder asks you to wait until the puppies are at least 4 weeks of age and also ask you to use antibacterial gel on your hands before handling puppies. Breeders want to minimise the risk of infections being introduced into their homes.
When you arrive look around and check the surroundings. Can you see the mum and the dad? If dad is not on the premises ask to see a photo. Are the premises suitable for puppies? Are the puppies clean and healthy? Are the puppies interacting with each other and with their mum? Do they have lots of toys? Are they happy to be handled by strangers and where are they going to the toilet?
The breeder will also be assessing you as to whether you are suitable to have one of their precious puppies. Most breeders will try, if at all possible, to match a puppy with your lifestyle. Be open with what you expect from your puppy, whether you are an active person who may like to have a go at agility and other outdoor pursuits with your dog or prefer to take life at a slower pace.
When the breeder and you have both decided that a Bolognese is suitable for you, you should ask to see all the paperwork. Most breeders will have a contract which is a lifetime contract for your puppy. A reputable breeder will agree at the outset to take that puppy back should any circumstances arise that you can no longer keep it. Puppies should come away from the breeder with the following socialisation and training, grooming, feeding, exercise, worming program, immunisation, copies of health certificates, any DNA profiling (if this has been carried out), a pedigree, Kennel Club Registration documents, worming certificate, Health Certificate from a Veterinary Practice, microchip paperwork, food, bedding, toys, together with copies of parent’s health tests. Many breeders will often supply additional information.
As you can see, purchasing a puppy is not like popping to your local shop to pick up an item that you just take a fancy to. A puppy is a very considered purchase and should not be taken lightly. Remember that Bolognese live for many years. You have to be happy with the breeder and the way that breeder has reared the puppies. If in doubt, walk away as you should never buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it as you are probably asking for lots of problems.
Good luck in your search and if you need any further help do not hesitate to contact The Bolognese Dog Club UK on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Thatcher, Hon Secretary