1          Do you own the dam?  

There has to be a very good reason why they don't own the mother. If they don't own her why is she with them?

2          How old is she?   

She should be over 2 and under 8. Irish Setters are a slow maturing breed and if she is under 2 then it is unlikely that she will be either physically or mentally mature.  If she is over 8, unless the breeder has made a special case, her puppies cannot be registered at the Kennel Club. All UK breed clubs recommend that a bitch is not bred from until she is 2 years old.

3         How many litters has she had?  

If more than one then you need to ask how many and when she had her last litter.  Most Irish Setters have 6 or more puppies each litter and it takes a lot out of a bitch to rear them, so too many litters too close is not a good idea.   The KC will not register more than 4 litters from any one bitch. 

4          Have you had any problems with this litter or any previous litter? 

Sometimes whelping problems do happen but what is important is that the breeder does not have the same problem each time she has a litter or many problems with each litter.

5          Are both parents Kennel Club registered?   

Should be yes.  If both parents are not registered then the puppies cannot be.  KC registration will ensure that the puppies have the proper characteristics of the breed in both looks and temperament.  If they are not registered you cannot be sure they are Irish Setters.  Also you cannot be certain they are clear from PRA rcd1 or CLAD.

6          Are these puppies both CLAD clear and PRA rcd1 clear. Have both parents, or the puppy, been tested for PRA rcd4?

 In UK all KC registered puppies now have to be clear of both CLAD and PRA rcd1 as the DNA tests for these conditions have enabled these health conditions to be eradicated from our stock.  As from 1st August 2011 there has been a DNA test available for PRA rcd4 and both parents, or the puppy, should have been tested. A puppy that is either a clear or a carrier will never develop rcd4, a condition that causes blindness. A puppy that is rcd4 affected has a very high chance of going blind later in life.  We do not recommend you buy a puppy unless you know it is either clear or a carrier of pra rcd4. KC registration papers are clearly marked hereditarily clear for CLAD and rcd1 and the result for rcd4 will also be noted if the test has been done.

Providing you have their pedigree names you can also check by going onto the KC website and accessing the health results for the parents. www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/health  

Details of CLAD,  PRA rcd 1 and rcd4 can be found elsewhere on the site.

7        What health problems are you aware of in dam and sire’s pedigrees? 

If the answer is “I don’t know” or “It’s not important” then consider carefully whether you buy from this breeder.  If the breeder cannot be bothered to find out it suggests they do not care and does “It’s not important” mean that they are trying to hide something?   If either parent has had epilepsy or bloat then we recommend you do not buy a puppy.  If a close family member eg. puppy from previous litter, grandparent, aunt, uncle has had bloat or epilepsy then consider very carefully whether to buy a puppy or not.  The chances of your puppy being affected appear to be much higher if close family members have been affected. Most breeders will have researched potential health problems very carefully.

8         Why did you choose that particular dog as sire?  

The answer will give you a good idea about the breeder and how caring they are.  A conscientious breeder will consider the pedigrees and many other factors, including health, before they decide to breed.

9        Why did you have the litter?  

Again, the answer will give you a very good idea about the breeder.

10       Will the puppy be microchipped?

 The answer should be yes as the law in England and Wales changed in April 2016.  All puppies must be microchipped and added to a registered database before they are sold.