Buying a new Labrador Retriever puppy or dog is an exciting time, but it can also be quite daunting and there is plenty to think about and prepare for.

When looking at Labradors for sale there may be things you forget to ask during initial communication, and even some red flags that go unnoticed.

We've put together a handy Labrador buying checklist, with our top tips and also common red flags/scams to look out for. We hope these lists will help you find a great seller and a healthy, happy new dog.

Purchase Checklist:

  • View the animal in the place it was born and raised - check for genuine home envionments if buying privately, or the quality of the breeders set-up if applicable.
  • If viewing a puppy under 6 months, by law they MUST be seen with their mum.
  • Make sure the animal's old enough to be rehomed. 8 weeks should be the earliest a puppy can be rehomed.
  • Check the animal is eating well, and which food they are currently on and what you'll need to buy.
  • Be sure to check they are in good health and alert.
  • The seller should be asking you questions about how you will care for the animal - they should be as keen to give the dog a good home as you are.
  • By law, all dogs MUST be microchipped
  • Ask to see all documentation relating to veterinary care (vaccinations, microchip, etc), and registrations such as Kennel Club

Red flags / possible scams to look out for:

(read our full list of common dog buying scams here).

  • Seller demands a deposit without allowing you to see the dog first
  • Seller is reluctant to send you additional photos or videos
  • Seller offers to deliver the dog/puppy
  • Seller asks to meet in a mutual location - preventing you from seeing the environment in which it was born and raised
  • Seller uses fake or stolen photos from the internet. Always carry out a "Google image search".

Remember these checks are meant for a guide only - there may be a legitimate reason why some points cannot be fulfilled.

Always try and get as much information from the seller. Ideally, video calls which will allow you to see the dog/puppies.

If you genuinely feel there is something wrong with the seller, you should report them to the correct authorities.