Gunfield WHW Terriers

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Do your research Into the breed before considering ownership

Whilst being an affectionate loving breed they are terriers and can be barky and nippy if not correctly socialised.


Ensure your puppy is bred from Kennel club registered parents and that the puppy itself will be registered with the Kennel Club.

There are few reasons a breeder may not register puppies with the Kennel club none of which are positive-

  • One or both the parents are not purebred
  • The breeder of the parents placed a Kennel Club breeding endorsement and they deem the dog not to be fit for breeding in health, construction or temperament or they do not have faith in the owners breeding ethics or capability.
  • The mother is too young or old
  • The mother has had more than four litters previously
  • The pairing is between close relatives such as mother/son, father/daughter or siblings.

Check Inbreeding COI of the puppy

A breeder should be able to tell you the COI of any planned litter, COI means Coefficient of Inbreeding this is how the level of inbreeding is determined.
In the West Highland White a breed which is known to be affected on occasions by skin problems it is prefereable for breeders to breed around the breed average which at the time of publishing (13/11/2019) was 5.6%
Inbreeding should never exceed 12.5%  and close relative mating shouldnt be performed.
You can check inbreeding of a pairing on The Kennel Clubs Mate Select Page


Check the parents or of an appropriate age and have not been overbred

A female dog should be at least 18 months  of age before she whelps her  first litter of puppies , she should breed no more than four litters  in her lifetime and she should always have 12 months clear to recover between litters this is the recommendation of the UK kennel club.

A male dog does not have the stress put on his body during the reproductive process he should however be old enough to  be mature in stature so over 12 months.

There is no upper age limit for a male dog


Check health test results of the parents.

As a minimum both parents should be healthy and free of skin conditions

At least one parent should be tested clear for CMO.

There have been incidents of glaucoma and problems of the eyelids such And entropion and  ectropion  be sure to discuss these things with the breeder and ask if they have had any incidents of this affecting their line.


Discuss socialisation and how the puppy will reared.

This can always be an emotive subject with nearly every breeder having different views on how it should be done.

The prime consideration is that the person rearing  your puppy has put thought into how they will be socialising your puppy before it goes to you.

Where the puppy actually sleeps is quite irrelevant,  I’ve known puppies who have been kept in peoples homes in back rooms that have the worst socialisation I’ve ever seen compared to those have been reared in a kennel whose breeders  have put the work in and they are correctly socialised so it’s not about location it’s about socialisation.

Breeders should be handling puppies daily and following a program of socialisation such as the puppy plan which can be seen here.

Diet is also an important part of rearing Puppy should be fed a high-quality diet appropriate for their breed and age.

Puppy should also receive a parasite control program to combat things such as intestinal worms and fleas

I would expect a puppy to have been wormed at least three times prior to homing and to be treated  against  fleas if appropriate.

Ensure a puppy is the correct age for homing

The ideal age for homing is around 8 weeks old

We’ve heard of cases where puppies  have been  rehomed  as young as six weeks of age this is completely unacceptable, Puppies of six weeks are age have not yet learnt correct bite inhibition nor are they completely digestive stable after weaning.


 Expect to pay a reasonable amount for a puppy

Generally breeders dont breed for money if they wanted to earn money only the WHW would be a bad choice they command a small price compared to fancy coloured bull dogs or designer cross breds

The costs are high for rearing a litter but most of you are purchasing the result of often years of planning and 10 weeks of 24/7 care, we worked out that the average dog breeder earns the equivilant of around 60p an hour for those 10 weeks, they are un paid for the rest of the year!

As you see there isnt muc h of a margin to cut costs so if your getting acheap puppy something has been compromised along the way.


Send standard requests to multiple breeders.

If ever you want to not be taken seriously by breeders the way to go about it is to send multiple emails to breeders that all read the same.

The WHW  breeding community in the UK is quite close knit,  breeders talk to each other and will from time to time discuss potential owners and if the same enquirers  name comes up over and over again people will just be discounted.

Breeders  only want to sell their puppies to people they think are dedicated to their puppies welfare and having the right puppy from the right breeder  asking multiple people at the same time for a  puppy does not demonstrate that.

You should begin by contacting one breeder  at a time making your email or completed enquiry form appropriate to yourself and that breeder giving as much information as possible.

You should complete all dealings with the first breeder before contacting a second so if you have arranged the meeting you should attend that prior to contacting other breeders.


Never visit multiple breeders on one day

You could potentially spread life-threatening disease from breeders premises to breeders premises, These diseases that are fatal to puppies are not always obvious to the naked eye.


Never buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it.

Buying that puppy gets the seller the income they required and a new puppy will Soon be filling  its place.

If you have genuine welfare concerns about the condition of the puppy have seen you should report them to the RSPCA.


Never collect a puppy from a location other than the breeders premises.

It is very important that you actually see where your puppy has come from it is not considered good practice for breeders to meet people in service stations or even at dog shows with puppies.


Dont use social media to ask quesions about a litter

You should be asking the breeder not strangers on facebook , facebook is full of self proclaimed experts  all of which will have their own breeder to recommend or people they dislike.
If you are communicating with a breeder and they can not or are unwilling to answer questions in a reasonable time frame  then you should be cautious.


Never presume one sales outlet is safer than another

Everywhere we go we have people telling us where we should buy a puppy.
The bottom line is the Kennel club, The breed clubs or any other club or sales outlet can only police things in retrospect.
It is down to you to vet the breeder regardless of where you found them and if you find misdemeanours please do report them to save another not so diligent person being duped.

Free adds do attract the less reputable breeders but there also good ones on there too.
Do ask to visit and don’t part with any money until you are absolutely sure all your questions have been answered .