When buying a puppy it is highly unlikely that you will ever hear any of these but, unfortunately, there are puppy farmers around. Reputable breeders will not give any of these excuses.

1          I’m sorry the place looks such a mess but I didn’t have time to tidy up. 

There is a big difference between a clean, tidy, well looked after place with superficial “mess” and a dirty, smelly place where no effort has been taken to keep it clean.  If no effort has been taken then how can you be sure that sufficient effort has been taken to rear the puppies properly.

2          I haven’t got the papers/pedigrees to hand. 

Why not? They know they have puppies and that you are visiting so they should be prepared.  They might not have the registration papers if you are visiting before the puppies are 8 weeks old but you should not leave without them if you are taking your puppy, unless you know your breeder. 

3          Mum is a bit young. It is her first season and I didn’t want to wait any longer. 

Most bitches come into season before they at 12 months old. If this is her first season, or maybe even  her second,  the chances are she is not physically or mentally mature so why not wait until she is mature?  There are no acceptable reasons that a caring breeder will have for mating a bitch under 2 years old.  All breed clubs recommend that a bitch is not bred from until she is at least 2 years old.

4          Don’t worry that they will not be registered with the Kennel Club. They’re still Irish Setters so I will charge you the full amount. 

What guarantee do you have that they will grow into Irish Setters?  Also, how can you be certain they are clear from PRA rcd1 and CLAD or that they are not PRA rcd4 affected?

5          Health Problems? What health problems? Don’t worry about health problems. Trust me I’m the breeder and I know what I am doing. 

If the breeder is not prepared to talk about health problems then how do you know that they are not trying to hide a known problem?

6          I don’t have to worry about health problems.  Look at all the names written in red in his pedigree. 

There may be many names written in red (indicating Champions or Show Champions) but that doesn’t mean they don’t have problems or can’t pass problems on to their offspring in exactly the same way as other dogs in the pedigree.

7          Dogs tested clear from PRA rcd1 and/or CLAD can still be carriers and produce affected puppies, so why should I waste my money? 

If a dog is either hereditarily clear or tested clear it cannot be a carrier or produce affected puppies.  Also unless both parents are clear then the puppies cannot be registered with KC.  In exceptional cases a breeder can apply to the KC to register a litter if both parents are not clear from CLAD.  A new test for PRA rcd4 became available in 2011 and all breeding stock should have been tested. We recommend you only buy a puppy that is rcd4 clear or a carrier as they cannot go blind because of rcd4. A puppy that is genetically rcd4 affected may go blind as early as 6 years or may never go blind because of rcd4.

8          My Irish Setter moves very well so I don’t need to test for Hip Dysplasia.    

It is not always possible to detect HD by watching a dog move.  Some dogs with HD can move reasonably well but an X ray is needed for definite scoring.

9          I refuse to have my Irish Setter anaesthetised to have her hips scored because I am worried about her.  

These days anaesthetics are much safer than in the past and whilst there is a slight risk for any dog under anaesthetic we have not heard of any Irish Setter (or other breed for that matter) that has died under anaesthetic whilst having hips scored.

10.       Sorry you can’t see Mum but she is busy looking after her puppies. 

It's really important that you see Mum. You will see how well looked after she is, how she interacts with her puppies and how she reacts to the breeder.  Also, if you don't see her you can't be certain that she is there and that the pups haven't been brought in.