CONSUMER PROTECTION – Fit for purpose
When selling or buying a puppy, the Southern Miniature Bull Terrier Club (proposed) strongly recommends that breeders and buyers read the following information about the Trading Standards Act. We are very confident that the majority of Miniature Bull Terrier breeders are entirely professional, trustworthy and careful individuals, who provide accurate information to buyers, but the information outlined below is worthy of note. It is particularly important when making note of identification of dogs if sending samples in yourself for DNA testing or for health tests. It is always worth insisting your vet records the animal’s identification accurately on the health test certificate.
The information below covers what constitutes a deliberate misrepresentation and basically means that if it is proven scientifically at a later date that deliberately false information has been given regarding the pedigree, PLL status or health of the puppy, redress may be possible.
Sale by private treaty
Misdescriptions of animals made on or after 26 May 2008 are an offence under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008.
Regulation 6 says advertising is misleading which “in any way, including its presentation, deceives or is likely to deceive the trader to whom it is addressed or whom it reaches; and by reason of its deceptive nature, is likely to affect their economic behaviour or for those reasons, injures or is likely to injure a competitor.”
Animals sold before 26 May 2008 are still covered by the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. This says that any person who, in the course of a trade or business, (a) applies a false trade description to any goods (includes animals) or (b) supplies or offers to supply any goods to which a false trade description is applied commits an offence. A trade description is an indication direct or indirect, and by whatever means given, of…including ‘fitness for purpose’, ‘other history’ and in relation to any animal includes sex, breed or cross, fertility and soundness. (Trade descriptions Act 1968 – Section 1. Note that the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 repealed Section 1(1) of the Act on 26 May 2008.)
When you buy goods from a private individual, you do not have the same rights as when buying from a trader. The legal principle of caveat emptor (or ‘buyer beware’) operates. You have no rights to expect that goods be of satisfactory quality or fit for their purpose, but there is a requirement that they should be ‘as described’. You should check goods thoroughly before you buy them.
If any of the above is not met then there would be a breach of contract and redress is possible. Consequential loss can also apply.
GUIDE TO BUYING A PUPPY
There are some guidelines to consider when considering your first Mini puppy
Firstly is this the right breed for you ?
If you have boundless patience, energy and the temper of a saint, then you might be right for a Mini.
Do you work full time ? – if you do and there is no-one at home, this is not the breed for you. They thrive on being around people and a puppy left at home is a recipe for disaster. In some circumstances where you can take your dog to work with you this might be acceptable, but the preferred home is when there is someone around most of the day.
Do all the family want a Mini ? – There is no point on forcing a breed onto your partner if they are not keen. Inevitably the dog suffers. Equally, if your partner is at home most of the day and has to cope with children and an unwanted puppy, it is not fair to either party.
Do you have small children (under 5’s)? – A Mini puppy can be very boisterous and will (and has in this household) knock over your toddler. We do not recommend selling a puppy to people with small children. It is important to remember NEVER to leave small children alone in a room with any dog.
Do you have a well fenced garden or access to fields or parks for regular walking? – the most common mistake most new owners make is not exercising their dogs enough. These are generally a high energy breed and the simplest way to get a well balanced dog is to walk him at least once a day for 45 minutes. Dogs in the wild run off their energy on a daily basis. Pet dogs are sometimes lucky to get one walk a week and people wonder why they have a over boisterous, frustrated and destructive animal ! For puppies, a shorter walk, mostly on the lead, until they are about a year old and the growth plates of their bones have fused is recommended. Please be aware that harnesses encourage pulling and damage the shoulders, so a half choke (mostly webbing collar with a small choke section at the top) is recommended.
A well fenced garden must be well fenced – Minis have a habit of shoulder charging anything and everything to get to what they want and a weak fence is the first to go !
If all the above are positive answers then consider the following;
Do Mini bulls like children? Yes… they love children, but they are a lot of dog in a small package and can knock a small child down. Minis love to play and will nibble on children’s clothing or shoes and Minis love to chew and eat children’s toys, so close supervision is always recommended.
Do Mini bulls get along with other animals? Mini bulls do get along with other animals if properly socialized from a puppy. They do however tend to play rough and sometimes get somewhat over excited. It is a good idea to take your new puppy/dog to a local ring craft class for good socialization. Once you start taking your mini to training you will get a good feel whether he/she is going to get along well with other dogs. Every once in a while a Mini will not get along with another dog, we find this more common with same sex of dogs… male vs. male and in whole males this can exacerbate the situation. The best thing to remember is that you have a Terrier…. so supervision is always in your best interest.
Are Minis good in the house? Yes…… Minis love to be in the house as they live to be close to you and love to be part of the family. They also love to sleep on the couch, get in your bed, sometimes even get in the bath with you and follow you around. Where there is a comfortable spot you’ll find a mini.
Do Minis chew things? Of course they do!! They love to find toys, curlers, shoes, toilet paper, remote controls, and any thing of interest. Most of the time it is puppies that get in the most trouble, so give them lots of toys and you will find they leave the other stuff alone. I said most of the time! Not all Minis are chewers… I have known many people who own Minis that say their dog has never chewed anything…. perhaps you will be a lucky one!
Do Minis like to swim? Some of them love to swim… I have a couple that love to get in the bath and most of mine are quite the nuisance at bath time or near a lake. I bought a paddling pool just for them and in the summer they can be found cooling down in it !
Do Minis do well in Flats? Minis do well in a flat but you will need to exercise your Mini several times a day. When Minis get bored they tend to do naughty things… Don’t ask me what type of naughty things… you just never know?
Do Minis Moult ? Most dogs moult, just some more than others… Minis moult in the spring and it lasts about 2 weeks. Daily grooming will help this problem and if this fails, just wear the same colour as your dog!
Minis are amenable to discipline, but they are not a labrador ! If you want to do obedience work, do not buy a Mini. You will need perseverance and a consistent approach verging on obsession to achieve anything like a trained Mini, but the basics are attainable if you keep trying ! Losing your temper only amuses or frightens a Mini, so remain calm at all times !!!
If you have decided this is the breed for you, read on….
The first thing you need to do is find a reputable breeder… PLEASE DO NOT LOOK IN THE FREE AD PAPERS– REPUTABLE BREEDERS RARELY USE THESE.
Good places to start are the breed club secretaries : Mrs Jane Peakinbyzantine.firstname.lastname@example.org for the Southern Miniature Bull Terrier Club or Mrs Wendy Whittaker for the Miniature Bull Terrier Club email@example.com. You can also look on the Kennel Club website at their list of accredited breeders, links to Kennel Club pages below and on links page..
The Southern Miniature Bull Terrier considers a reputable breeder to be someone who is willing and open to provide information on the health of the breed and the health status of their stock – ie whether they health test and they should be happy for you to see the certificates and explain them – and that provide a proper puppy contract between buyer and themselves. Kennel Club Accredited Breeders now have to fulfil these criteria. A reputable breeder should provide an aftercare of lifelong advice for any puppy they sell you and in turn will expect you to return the dog to them if you are unable to keep it.
ASK QUESTIONS ! – Ask questions about the health of the father and mother of the puppy – have they been health tested for heart (should be no more than a Grade I murmur) by a cardiologist and does the breeder have the certificate you can see.
Have they had a urine kidney test (UPC) done and is it less than 0.3.
“Have both parents been DNA tested for PLL – ask to see the result. The Southern Miniature Bull Terrier Club recommends this strongly as this is the definitive test.
If the Mother and Father have not been DNA tested they should have a current (within the past 6 months) unaffected eye certificate Beware of any breeder who tells you that their dogs are tested clear for PLL simply based on the result of an eye test. An “unaffected” eye test result only means that at the time of testing for PLL the dog was clear, not that it will remain unaffected for ever. Expect the breeder to elaborate further on PLL, the signs and treatment.”
These three are considered the most important tests, but the breeder may have done other tests, such as BAER testing (for bilateral hearing) or patella luxation testing (slipping kneecaps) too and should be happy to tell you about these.
EXPECT TO BE QUESTIONED BACK ! A responsible breeder will want to know who their precious puppy is going to. They will want to be convinced that the best possible home is available and that they puppy will not need to be re-homed in future.
ABOVE ALL BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU ARE BUYING – DO THE RESEARCH ON THE BREED – ASK BREEDERS AND OTHER OWNERS, GO TO SHOWS TO SEE THE BREED AND IF YOU STILL FEEL THE MBT IS FOR YOU ….
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN !
More detailed information on guides to buying puppies is available on the Kennel Club website. An absolute must read for any perspective puppy buyer.
Links below to various Kennel Club guides that may be useful in your search:
Getting A Dog
Choosing the right dog for your family
The Assured Breeder Scheme
Where NOT to buy a dog or puppy