It is sensible to make sure you have everything ready for your puppy before you bring him home.  If at all possible have someone around most of the time for the first few days to help settle him in and be there for when he is awake.  You should have sufficient food for the next few days and hopefully your breeder will have given you enough food to keep you going.  Also, have his bedding, crate, if you are using one, bowls and toys.  Remember to have plenty of newspapers for toilet training.

It is much easier if you are not alone in the car when bringing him home.  Many pups travel very well in a car but you need to be prepared in case he is sick, so make sure you take plenty of old towels, newspapers or kitchen roll with you. Hopefully he will not have been fed for some time before you travel.  It is best if there is someone to cuddle him on the way back or to have a suitable size carrying cage or cardboard box for him to be in. Either way it is important that he is not loose in the car.

Thursday, April 12, 2018 – 11:56

The Kennel Club has an excellent section giving advice on buying a puppy.

Follow the link to access the Kennel Club website:

Thinking about buying a puppy or buying a dog?

There are many important things to consider when purchasing a pedigree puppy or pedigree dog and our Find a Puppy Service will give you the right information to help you find your new best friend.

Download and listen to informative podcasts presented by the Kennel Club’s Secretary, Caroline Kisko.

Read the following articles and information pages:

Finding the right puppy /dog:

Step 1 – Are you ready for a dog? – this section offers advice on deciding whether you are ready to get a puppy or a dog.

Step 2 – Finding the right pedigree dog breed – every pedigree dog breed has its own characteristics and if you match these with your personality and lifestyle, it is much more likely that you will have a happy and fulfilling relationship with your dog.

Step 3 – Finding the right breeder – including the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme

Step 4 – Find a Puppy – this section includes the Kennel Club’s Find a Puppy search and information about puppy dealers.

Monday, September 25, 2017 – 12:07

When you collect your puppy, your breeders should give you a puppy pack to take home with you. This should include:

  • Food for the next few days as it is not a good idea to suddenly change your puppy’s diet, especially when he is changing homes. However, if you do want to change it, leave it for a couple of weeks or until he has settled in and then change it gradually over a few days to a week or so. 
  • Diet Sheet to include changes as your puppy grows older.
  • History of worming and de-fleaing and the preparations used with a reminder as to when the next treatment is due.
  • If your puppy has had any vaccinations then you need the paperwork to pass on to your vet.
  • Hints on grooming and generally looking after your Setter.
  • Kennel Club Registration Papers.
  • Pedigree.
  • Insurance: These days many breeders insure their puppies for the first few weeks after they leave them. It is then up to you as to whether or not you continue with the insurance after that.
  • KC Accredited Breeders will also give you a contract. 

Arrange with your breeder that you will take your puppy to your vet within 12 – 24 hours of getting him home and if your vet has serious concerns about any pre existing conditions you can take him back and get your money back.  This is not an excuse for you to take the puppy back because you have changed your mind but, if you are unfortunate enough to have bought a puppy with a health problem, then any reputable breeder should be willing to agree to take the pup back, providing you have veterinary back up.  Reputable breeders care and do their best to breed healthy dogs and want their stock to go to caring homes, so they should be willing to agree to you taking your puppy to the vet.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 – 22:34

Maybe you have decided that a puppy is not for you so what about an older dog?  There are rescue schemes which re-home setters as there are many reasons why setters need re-homing. There are some people who, over the years, have given more than one settter a second chance in life.  You must be prepared to have your home checked to make sure it and the garden are suitable. One very important consideration is that you have the time to give to a rescue dog.  You will also have to be prepared to answer many questions about you and your family to ensure you are one of those very special people who can give a rescue dog that very special home. 

Please take some time to look at the following sites. You may be able to re home a setter or help in other ways.

The Irish Setter Rescue Group Charitable Trust:

Irish Setter Rescue and Rehome:

The Irish Setter Club of Scotland also runs a scheme for the breed which is run by Mrs Sandra Sturrock           Tel: 01674 840820

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 – 12:37

When looking for a puppy please do your research first. Conscientious breeders care and do their best to breed healthy dogs. Ask lots of questions and be prepared to answer lots of questions because a responsible breeder will want to make sure the puppies are going to a good home, just as much as you want to make sure you’re buying a healthy puppy.


Five things to do before buying your puppy:

1.           Find out as much as you can about the breed.

2.          Talk to as many owners as you can about the breed.

3.          Go to events such as Discover Dogs, Country Fairs, dog shows, field trials and other events where you can see as many Irish Setters as possible and talk to their owners.

4.          Ask questions.

5.          Read books and look at other sites on the internet.

Then you can make an informed choice.  Don’t buy out of ignorance but be aware of the potential pitfalls of buying a poorly bred puppy.

Five things not do:

1.          Do not be impulsive.

2.          Do not buy a puppy because you are sorry for it.

3.          Do not buy a puppy unless you’re sure it is the right breed for you.

4.          Do not buy a puppy unless you are sure you can look after it properly for the rest of its life.

5.          Do not give a puppy as a present unless making sure first it will be wanted and cared for properly.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 – 22:40

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. 

Many 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.

Saturday, October 28, 2017 – 13:09

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.  

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..

Saturday, October 28, 2017 – 13:05

Is the breeder genuinely caring?  How does the breeder interact with the puppies?  The most important thing is that the puppies have the best start to life.

Are you happy with where the puppies are being kept?  Is it clean and do they look well cared for?  Does the place smell unpleasant?  Is there enough light?  Have the puppies enough room to move around easily?  Are you allowed to see where they are actually kept or does the breeder insist on bringing them to you?  If so, why?  Do they have fresh water?

Are the puppies outgoing or cowering in a corner?  If they are cowering it could be the sign of a nervous dog or one that has not been treated properly by the breeder or been socialised.

If they are asleep are they contented? They should be plump but not with distended tummies which might be a sign of worms.

Do the breeders have lots of different breeds and seem to be continually breeding?

What is your overall impression?  If you feel comfortable then that is probably a good sign.  If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, make your excuses and leave.  Don’t waste your time or, even worse, buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – 19:18