“A healthy and obedient purebred dog is a great ambassador for the breed as well as an enjoyable member of your family and  neighbourhood”


Who will feed, walk and pick up after your new puppy?
Will you take the time to socialize and train your new puppy?
Have you budgeted for the cost of good quality nutritious food?
Have you found your veterinarian and discussed your new puppy’s medical care requirements?
Can your home and lifestyle accommodate a dog? Remember, puppies grow up’
A dog is a lifetime commitment. Think in terms of sharing your life with this dog for at least the next 10 years, hopefully longer.


The advantage of purebred dogs is that they are bred to meet specific standards of size and temperament. 
You need to know what your dog will be like when he/she is fully grown. How big will it be; what type of coat will it have; how much exercise will your new dog require every day and most importantly will your dog have a good temperament?

How can you be certain that your puppy is purebred? It is illegal to sell a dog in Canada as purebred without supplying registration papers at no extra cost. The Canadian Kennel Club is renowned world-wide for the accuracy of its registry. Records have been maintained diligently for decades to help verify the integrity of the pedigree (lineage) of the puppy you are buying. It is the responsibility of the seller to register or transfer the ownership of the dog. It is not the responsibility of the buyer. This right is protected by Canadian federal legislation known as the Animal Pedigree Act.


In all litters of purebred dogs there may be show stock and companion stock. Unless you intend to get actively in the sport of dogs, a top quality, healthy companion dog is what you want to find. (Note: it is an objective of breeders in the Irish Setter Club of Canada to breed dogs that are of consistently good temperament, first and foremost) 

Think about size-fully grown! Be sure that the dog will fit comfortably in your home.
Think about coat- long hair, short hair. Be certain members of your family are not allergic to animal fur. Ask your breeder to recommend less allergenic breeds.
Think about temperament. Meet both of the puppy’s parents if possible. Always see the mother(dam). If you like the parents chances are you will like the puppy.
Talk to breeders about socialization and early training.
Select a breeder who raises puppies on his/her premises.
Avoid shy or aggressive pups.
Follow the guidelines included in these notes to avoid health and genetic problems
? Look for a breeder  who is proud of his or her dogs. 


Once you have selected the breed of dog or dogs you are interested in seeing, you need to select a breeder very carefully. Do Not buy on impulse.  The shelters are full of unwanted dogs put there by owners who did not take their time in the selection process. Visit several kennels. The condition of the kennels and dogs should be the first thing that you notice. Are the facilities clean? Do the dogs appear clean and healthy?  IF NOT-LEAVE!

A good breeder will:

Have a copy of the breed standard on hand and should know and tell you the problems to look for in the breed.
Know the pedigree of the puppy-parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
Want to know all about you, your family, your lifestyle and where the dog will be living.


Avoiding unnecessary and expensive health and genetic problems is made easier if you follow these guidelines:

Deal only with breeders who test their dogs and ask for copies of the test results.(The Irish Setter Club of Canada encourages breeders to test for Hip Dysplasia, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (eyes) but you should also ask the breeder about seizures (epilepsy etc)) .
Ask the breeder if the parents of  the puppy you are considering are tested and are clear of problems (you might ask the breeder to confirm that no dog to their knowledge on the pedigree has suffered from these problems)
Be certain to get a record of inoculations when you pick up your puppy.
Arrange to take your puppy to a veterinarian of your choice. This allows you to have the health of the puppy checked before there is any emotional attachment.



The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) requires that each puppy be uniquely identified prior to leaving the the owner at birth to be eligible for registration. The CKC provides your breeder with a choice of two identification methods to meet this requirement:

MICROCHIP A passive microchip (the size of a grain of rice) is issued by the CKC to the breeder. The chip is placed just under the skin between the puppy’s shoulder blades.
TATTOO A series of letters and numbers are issued by the CKC to the breeder. These numbers and letters are then tattooed on the underside of the ear, the belly, or either side of the flank.
Microchip and tattoo codes are registered in the CKC database. Owners of purebred dogs are encouraged to keep their emergency contact information current should their dog need assistance.


Get everything in writing and signed. A sales contract should indicated the breed of the dog, that it is purebred and eligible for registration by the CKC. Under the Animal Pedigree Act the person who sells the dog is responsible to register the dog-not you!
Ask about the return policy. Get a guarantee against genetic fault health problems. A good breeder will not hesitate to deal with any problems after the fact.
Look for a non-breeding agreement and/or a spay/neuter condition-both are good signs. A non-breeding agreement must be signed before you leave with your puppy and can be lifted if your puppy grows up to be acceptable breeding quality (good health and temperament).
Do business with someone with whom you are comfortable.


Prior to buying your puppy you should look into by-laws where you live, such as:

- Leash laws;
-Stoop and scoop;
- Noise;
- Limits on the number of dogs allowed and in some
   instances, on the breed;
- Limitations on running at large.

Training Classes  It is recommended that you take your puppy to training classes. You can start with Puppy Kindergarten, if available, or if not, Beginners or Novice Class. 
A number of good books that deal with puppy training are available. The CKC recommends  that you obtain a copy of Dogs in Canada (a CKC affiliate publication) and check the list of books available. You might also try the public library, although we suggest you purchase a book so that you will have it available when you need it.( Please note the Irish Setter Club of Canada bibliography found here. There are now many websites available to glean information about your breed.) 

You may reach the Canadian Kennel Club at 89 Skyway Ave, Suite 100, Etobicoke , Ontario M9W 6R4  Tel: 416-675-5511 or fax at 416-675-6506.

The material above has be taken verbatim from the CKC Puppy Buyers Guide except the text in brackets which has been inserted by way of breed explanation by the Irish Setter Club of Canada.

Please look for our new Club publication “The Irish Setter in Canada” scheduled for publication on 1 July 2000. It will be comprehensive and will be focussed towards the puppy buyer. 

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