Novaforesta Dora and her litter of 14 puppies (2012)

A guide to buying a Barbet Puppy from the UK or abroad

First go and meet the breed.  Look out for advertised Barbet walks, Discover Dogs at Crufts and some dog shows and other events. You can also find a Barbet to meet via the breed club – we have owners all over the country who are happy to allow potential new owners to come and meet their dogs and chat about the breed.  Ask the owners questions about temperament, coat care, activities and generally about living with a Barbet. Join Barbet Club of GB facebook group and ask questions.

Contact breeders who can be found via the breeders list on Club Website – these will be breeders who have agreed to breed following the ethics of the club (on website) with regard to care and health testing (also on website) and arrange to meet a Barbet. This could be in UK or overseas. Most breeders or owners will be happy to show off their Barbets regardless of whether breeding or not.

Once you have found a breeder, ask to visit at home to see the dogs in their home environment. Ideally before puppies are born. Meet the mother and ask if it is possible to visit the father – however in many cases the father will not be on site and this is not a cause for concern – the breeder should be happy to tell you about him and show you photos – it might also be possible to arrange to meet him separately unless distance is too great.


Check the parents of the puppy have good health results. It’s not a guarantee the puppy will have good health results but it is lowering the risk. Again please refer to our health advice on the website. Each country has their own system of health testing.  DNA testing is the same regardless of what company/country is used. Hips and Elbow scoring is done differently and although the grades can be loosely compared, they cannot be a true translation.  Not all countries test the same as we do in the UK.  You need to weigh up the risk in buying a puppy if tests on parents have not been carried out or are not as we recommend in UK.


Check the pedigree.  Look on Paw Peds website or ask a member of Barbet Club of GB for advice. This is particularly essential if you plan to breed in the future.

Be prepared to be asked many questions by the breeder and have a list of questions to ask them. Remember if it is an overseas breeder, they will have to keep the puppy until at least 15 weeks and provide Pet passport and export pedigree, this will incur additional cost – see importing section.

A few suggested questions you could ask:

  • Ask to see all relevant health tests and Kennel Club registration documents for both parents of the puppies. You can also look at these online on the Kennel Club website However in the case of a non UK dog the tests are unlikely to show up as the KC only shows tests from UK recognised bodies.
  • Why did the breeder breed this dog – what are the aims of the litter and why did they choose this stud dog?
  • If looking for a working or a show dog – has the breeder got the experience to guide you towards an appropriate puppy for this activity?
  • Where will the puppies be raised?
  • Will puppies be Kennel Club registered and have Kennel Club endorsements and will they be lifted and if so under what circumstances – this is for UK born dogs for imported puppies see Import section.
  • What socialisation will be done with the puppies before they leave for their new homes?
  • Will Mum have access to the puppies right up until they leave for their new homes?
  • Ask what support the breeder will give you.  A good breeder will support new owners for the lifetime of their dogs. Will the puppy be checked by a veterinary before leaving the breeder.
  • Will the puppies be vet checked before they leave the breeder?
  • Ask how the puppies will be matched with new homes. You may well have to wait until a suitable puppy becomes available.  A good breeder will match a puppy with a home, so because you may be top of a breeders puppy list doesn’t mean you will have pick of litter or even a puppy from that litter.

When you are invited to meet the puppies:

  • Do the mother and her puppies appear to be in good health?
  • Is the environment clean and well organised?
  • Ask to see a copy of the puppy contract before any deposit or payment is made.
  • Ask to see the original copies of the KC registration and health results for the bitch.  If the bitch owner doesn’t own the stud (which is normally the case) then she will only have copies of his documents, but ask to see these.
  • Ask what the puppies are being fed and at what times.  As you will need to purchase some of the same.
  • Ask how often the puppies will be wormed and what product used as again you will need to get some
  • Ask if the puppy will be vaccinated and if so with what product as you’ll need to make sure your vet can supply this.

A breeders puppy pack should ideally include:

  • Contract of Sale of Puppy.
  • Copies of parents Kennel Club reg and health tests or appropriate to country importing from.
  • Puppies Kennel Club registration and Pedigree for UK – for imported puppies see Import section.
  • Microchip certificate and transfer code, and insurance information.
  • A diet sheet. What food the puppy has been fed and when. 
  • A bag of puppy food is usually included and advice on how much and how often.
  • Information on worming and flea treatment and vaccination.
  • General advice for puppy owners.
  • Overseas puppies should have a pet passport and export pedigree which enables you to register your puppy with UK Kennel Club.


Here are a few additional questions to ask the breeder:-

Most importantly – are they happy to keep your puppy until it is old enough to export to UK at 15 weeks plus​?

  • Will they send you a copy of the contract of sale, if they have one, before you pay a deposit so you can have it translated before you sign it.
  • Will the puppy be Kennel Club Registered in its home country and have an Export pedigree. (Important as can’t register with UK KC without)
  • Are they happy to socialise the puppy and give it opportunities to travel in a vehicle so that the journey to UK isn’t traumatic for them.
  • Will the price include the Pet passport, vaccination and Export pedigree.
  • When do they need payment.
  • Will the breeder be happy for you to use a courier to bring the puppy to UK if you planned to.


What vaccinations will the puppy have and when wormed. You will need to find a Vet in the UK who will vaccinate the same brand.

Refer to all other sections on Health, Parentage etc. from previous pages.

The process of bringing the puppy to UK:

From Europe it is still relatively easy to bring a dog in to the UK as long as the breeder has got the puppy a passport and had the puppy microchipped,  vaccinated against Rabies at 12 weeks old and 3 weeks have passed before travel, and will worm the puppy within the times scale DEFRA require.  HOWEVER, WE RECOMMEND BEFORE LEAVING HOME YOU CHECK WITH DEFRA WEBSITE THE CURRENT RULES FOR IMPORTING PUPPIES AS THEY DO CHANGE FROM TIME TO TIME.

If importing from another country you need to check on our Government website for requirements for importing a dog, your puppy may need a blood test before travel. Make sure the breeder is aware of what is needed.

Check UK Government website to see what is required:-

Collecting puppy yourself:

Make suitable arrangements such as :

Agreeing a time of collection and give yourself plenty of time to travel.

Arrive in the country a day before so you can collect early and travel home in one day if possible.

Take puppy food, water and plenty of towels etc. Decide how the puppy will travel. In a crate on back seat is ideal as it can be viewed and comforted during journey. Most puppies just sleep.

Eurotunnel is very easy as the puppy stays in the car with you. Check in is easy with good signage – park up at PAW print sign, there is an exercise available here. Take puppy and documents, including their passport and your passenger ticket in to the cabin. Make sure the worming times scale is ok as they check the time given as well as the date. 

Check the Eurotunnel website for information and don’t forget to book and pay for a dog for return journey.

Pet courier company:

There are several companies trading as this.

A few suggestions on what to ask.

Get references and ask how they will care for the puppy for the journey.

Are they insured and trained in Pet first aid.

Check price and when they require you to pay. Is the price inclusive and will it change?

Will the company bring the puppy to your home or are you to  meet on route?

Make sure you have all their contacts and they have yours and the breeders.

Check everything as the puppy you have just paid for will be in the hands of a stranger.

Once home  you can register your puppy with UK KC online Form 4 – See our advice on Registration – as previously mentioned your puppy will need an Export Pedigree from the breeder to be able to do this.

Useful websites: