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Buying a puppy in France


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I'd be most grateful if anyone could advise me on this! We live in Surrey UK & have a holiday home near Hesdin in Pas de Calais: we are there for all long holidays (6 weeks a year) + long weekends etc. We've been wanting a dog, preferably labrador & now feel the family is ready. Just down the road from our French house, a lovely litter of 8 week old yellow labs is available - including a wonderful little girl who seems just right for us. My question is - how feasible would it be to buy her, given that - we could not bring her to UK for 7 months (rabies cert etc) & she would need to stay with her mum's owner - we'd have her when we're over, of course, but would not see her for a couple of periods of 2 months each... we'd have her permanently in December. Is this a daft thing to do? Our son just fell in love with this one - she's perfect & the home is ideal, mum is adorable, dad ditto... cost is E240 as against 500 + for similar here....any advice?
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LAST EDITED ON 04-May-04 AT 06:45 PM (BST)

A dogs crucial time in life is puppyhood, during this time they need to be well socialised and integrated into your family.

You need to find out the conditions the dog would be staying in, as you have children it is crucial that the dog is introduced to children during the social period so that it does not develop fears. Will it be living in a cage, will it have enough human contact? If it is kept outdoors in a cage it will lack the sufficient human socialisation and may not make an ideal pet.

Not all breeders are up to scratch in France and there may be a reason that you are paying less. So do some research. Or you could try contacting the Lab rescue in the UK and see if they have any pups that need a new home.

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it all depends,its alot of money to pay just to see her a couple of months in the year,also if you do decide to get her you really oute to get something in writing, as once youve paid your dosh, your unable to take her home for 7 months, shell need to feel settled with one home,not to confuse her, sometimes being with you then you dissapear then reappear,she sounds just what you looking for , but not the circumstances, maybe leave a deposit,to secure her but only take her home in december, when you can.
or bite the bullet say no, re look for one when your permanent in one place.
when looked after properly dogs are hard work, tying, rather like children.
i wouldnt be without mine for a minute,its nice your obviosly considering all the options unlike many who dive in and dont think,
good luck
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I think that you might need to ask yourself why you are getting a puppy and not a dog from, say SPA.

If its so you can have the fun of having a pup around and so you can teach your dog how you want it to act (i.e. not on furniture, not posesive over food, general house and interaction mannors)and not have to deal with a dog that has habits (good and bad) tought by others then I would say dont get the pup until you have the time to look after it yourself.

Can you really trust the breeder (temp mum) to teach your pup the important things to ensure it becomes a well balanced dog?

If you will be in the UK for the majoriety of the next 7 months then I would suggest getting one there.

As much as you have probebly fallen in love with this pup, I am sure that you would feel the same when you see litters of pups in the UK.
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Agree with everything said in the other replies. Basically, a dog is going to be part of your family. Don't get one until you can give it the commitment it deserves. If this puppy is as cute as you say (aren't they all - I'm the world's worst sucker!) then it will find another happy home, and you can get one later and have all the joy of bringing it up your own way.
Best wishes
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I'd like to suggest another option that you could consider - you could become a foster-parent for your local animal refuge each time you are in France. Most animal sanctuaries are always on the look out for people who can help assess and socialise a dog before it is re-homed to permanent owners.

Foster dogs vary a lot - some need house-training, some simply need to build up their confidence in the human race again, some need lead and basic training, some are so scarred and scared by past experiences that all they need is lots of cuddles, attention and kindness.

Just a few weeks of your time can make all the difference, and the "skills" you teach these animals will enhance their chances of finding proper homes.

It may even be, at your local sanctuary, that there are some long-term dogs who simply need a "holiday" in a normal home for a few weeks every year.

This would seem a good compromise as you would get the pleasure of a dogs company for the periods you are in France without the worry or the responsibility of wondering what to do with the dog whilst you are in the UK.

Like the others I think it would be very confusing for the puppy were you to buy it on the basis you have suggested, as there wil be no consistency of care etc.

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