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Purchasing a Pedigree puppy in Spain

Some of you are maybe experiencing a feeling of Deja Vu reading this article as I have previously written about preparing yourselves for purchasing a puppy or an older dog some time ago. Following on from this Kathryn Hollings wrote to explain the various Spanish interpretations of the term Pedigree and what they actually mean.

We cannot believe anyone wishes to see puppy farming continue and it must be a fervent hope that in time such practices will cease. If you look in any pet shop window and see a cuddly little dog sat there wanting a home, please do consider how it may have got there.

Many people do not but when problems immerge, it is then we receive many complaints. These vary between dogs advertised as Pedigrees only to find that as it grows it develops behavioural problems or it does not look quite like it should do. Other complaints often query the price they paid only to learn this was higher than if they had purchased from a registered breeder.

We have also had a number of complaints from people who have purchased a puppy from someone purporting to be a registered breeder and have asked Kathryn if she would check their number. In most cases, the number was false.

Other complaints are that dogs purchased from shops who tell prospective owners they only purchase dogs from Registered Spanish breeders yet when the pedigree does arrive, it comes from Eastern Europe. Some Spanish Breeders do offer a ‘Chinese menu’ length list of almost any breed that a customer may want and can deliver it next day. Now you are in the world of Puppy Farming.

Purchasing a puppy can have many pitfalls so it is important intending owners do not do anything without some forethought.

I remember reading in one of John Rogerson´s books that many prospective owners simply decide to purchase a puppy once they have bought the bed, the bowl, collar, and lead. It is then they go out to look at any litter with the determination not to arrive home without a puppy. He says that though they may have initially decided they wanted a male, if one is not available and because their focus is on purchasing a puppy, they often end up accepting a bitch or any dog that is unsuitable for the family.

A dog is for life. This maybe for between ten or fifteen years yet most prospective purchasers take little time to consider their environment, the make up of the family, the general choice of breed or the suitability of that breed in their family.

Many people have never had any instruction in the way a dog lives within a hybrid Human/Canine pack. Owners often purchase a dog as a toy, a companion or substitute child without any thought for the needs of the dog. When it all goes wrong, they blame the dog and if they cannot correct the problems, then it is a bad dog. When problems worsen, they just dump it in a shelter for someone else to sort out and then they purchase another dog.

How many times have I written about behavioural problems that it is the owners that must change, not their dog? Rarely do I do any corrective work to the dog.

In the United Kingdom, the current percentage of families having a dog has now dropped to 42 percent. For those of you who may remember I wrote about a discussion between John Rogerson and myself as why this was happening. In the main there are more and more insidious laws creeping into our society making owning a dog an increasing problem. Another is owners do not know how to look after them properly creating problems in the neighbourhood. Many such problems lead to a restriction of the dog’s sociability that only encourages aggression and other anti social behaviour.

Added to this children have more things to amuse them now so purchasing a puppy to install respect and responsibility into children has long since gone. It is not just children but parents and even childless families are increasingly becoming bored with keeping a pet because they are time consuming and restrictive to our modern life.

When we purchase a dog we must take care in our choice and not make a spur of the moment decision that you may well have to live with for many years or be callus enough to just hand the dog back if that is actually possible.

Purchasing any pet needs a lot of consideration with the full knowledge of the enjoyment of owning a pet as well as all of the possible problems that are associated with making the wrong purchase. What we need is some method that reduces the risks of purchasing a pedigree puppy

Some time ago, Kathryn Hollings started a service offering to find litters of Registered Spanish breeders (Kennel Club Registered) as well as translating and sorting out the documentation. When Kathryn asked them to see the puppies when at four weeks of age in order to make a tentative choice few wished to travel long distances. When the time came to pay the deposit, many backed out. Later they would contact her again saying they had purchased a puppy from a pet shop or Chinese menu organisation that could produce a puppy the next day. After a month or so, they telephoned Kathryn to ask how they could complain because the dog had problems or they had paid an excessive price.

Most breeders will organise transportation, if you are unable to visit, although of course all breeders would wish to meet prospective owners face to face first, but do appreciate because of distance this may not always be possible.

Kathryn has now developed a website, in Spanish ( and English ( The difference to other sites is it updated every day with current puppy and future litter availability as well as details of some older dogs looking for a good home. This is something that is not possibly with dog magazines that are at least five or six weeks out of date. Though launched on 20th June this year, it is still in its infancy, but is growing week by week.

On the site are only Registered Breeders from not only Spain but other top quality breeders throughout Europe. There are articles and definitive photographs about each breed as well as the FCI Breed Standards for each breed.

It is a very fast site, and easy to navigate. You can easily search for a puppy by breed, breeder, or location. I would expect this site to become the one and only advertising window for pedigree puppies because it is working in the real time providing the breeders keep Kathryn up to date with puppy information.

I wish Kathryn lots of success with the website as I feel it will be very useful to everyone interested in purchasing puppies here in Spain. Many web sites have previously attempted to develop Puppy Sites but failed because they were too complicated for the intending purchasers and they rarely keep then up to date, making them useless.

As the site gradually fills with more championship breeders, I can recommend it to anyone looking for a pedigree puppy knowing that they only come from only those registered breeders who you can trust.


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