Finding And Dealing With Puppy Buyers

Finding good homes for your puppies should be one of your highest
    priorities. This is not an easy task but it is a very rewarding one.
    Matching the right dog with the right family is a great feeling!
    Responsible breeders try to have a list of interested buyers before
    they do the breeding — or at least before they whelp the litter. As
    stated before, there is a serious pet overpopulation problem in this
    country and no litter should be bred without a purpose. That purpose
    should include providing wanted puppies to good homes.
   
    The most effective way to find homes is by connecting into the network
    of breeders in your area. This is best done by finding a breed or
    kennel club in your area, joining, becoming active, and taking
    advantage of their resources. Many clubs publish litter listings in
    their newsletters and then club members refer callers to those
    litters. This is another way that your active participation in
    showing, training, and working your dog makes you a better breeder. By
    building a network of resources doing these activities, you open
    yourself up to puppy referrals.
   
    Advertising can be useful but should be done with care. Many breeders
    advertise upcoming litters in breed publications. Newspaper ads should
    be considered a last resort as you should have homes lined up before
    the puppies are born.
   
    When word gets out that you are doing a breeding, you’ll probably
    start getting phone calls from potential buyers. You should carefully
    screen these buyers over the telephone and ideally in person before
    putting them on your puppy list. The type of information you should be
    trying to get from the buyers should focus on their potential as dog
    owners. Try to evaluate their intentions and their understanding of
    what is involved in raising, training, and caring a dog. You should
    try to evaluate their home in terms of things like whether or not they
    have a fenced yard, if they will be able to provide the type of
    exercise appropriate to the dog. If your breed has special grooming
    considerations, you should make sure that they understand these as
    well.
   
    Part of your job as a breeder is acting as a counselor of sorts to
    your puppy buyers. In addition to the above information, you’ll want
    to make sure they understand all the health concerns for your breed.
    If they don’t ask the right questions, you should be prepared to fill
    them in on the information while explaining everything you have done
    to avoid these problems. Also, make sure that a puppy is the right
    choice for them. When I’m screening puppy buyers, I end up referring a
    lot of them to Rescue organizations if I don’t think that they have
    the time or energy to raise a young puppy.
   
    Most breeders provide a packet of information with their puppies.
    These packets include the bill of sale, any health guarantees (as
    discussed below), details on what the dog should be fed, details on
    what shots and worming the dog has been given, etc. Puppy packets can
    also include descriptions of the breed, pedigrees, photos and health
    clearances on the parents, information on training, and other items of
    interest.
   
    A breeder should be willing to make a lifelong commitment to the
    puppies they produce. They should be willing to answer questions or
    concerns at any time in the dog’s life. Many breeders make a further
    commitment to take back a dog at any time in the future should the
    owner’s be unable to keep the dog. People’s lives can change with
    little or no notice and dog’s sometimes suffer. Rather than seeing one
    of their puppies end up in the pound, breeders often put a “right of
    first refusal” into their contracts.
   
    The AKC has recently started offering limited registrations. This is a
    great option for breeders who want to ensure that the puppies they
    produce don’t get used in the future to add to the pet overpopulation
    problem. Limited registrations mean that the dogs so registered can’t
    be shown nor can their offspring be registered with the AKC. The
    breeder can change the registration in the future should the owners
    decide they want to show or breed it. The breeder is the only one who
    can make that change. If you go with this option, you’ll want to
    explain this carefully to the pet buyers so that they don’t
    misunderstand or have a problem with it when they come to collect
    their puppy.
      _________________________________________________________________
                                      
 Health Guarantees
 
    Every dog breed has health problems associated with it. Responsible
    breeders do everything in their power to avoid these problems in their
    litters. More and more breeders are finding some way to stand behind
    their breeding program by providing guarantees or warrantees on their
    puppies. The details will change depending on the breed and the types
    of problems seen in the particular breed. You’ll have to decide what
    you want to guarantee. Many people offer money or a replacement puppy
    upon receipt of proof of the particular problem.
   
    One example is with hip dysplasia: many breeds have a problem with
    dysplasia and it is extremely common to evaluate the parents’ hips.
    However, even with these measures, there is no way to ensure that the
    puppies won’t be affected. If the puppies end up having problems, some
    breeders will refund the purchase price with the intention of easing
    the veterinary bills for the owners. Other breeders will offer a
    replacement puppy to the owners for sometime in the future. Some
    breeders insist that the affected puppies are returned. Some breeders
    will insist that the affected puppy be spayed or neutered before
    honoring their guarantees. Whatever you do, you need to be very clear
    with your buyers about your policies to avoid problems in the future.
      _________________________________________________________________
                                      
 Financial Considerations
 
    Many people go into breeding thinking that it’s a great way to make
    some easy money. Nothing could be further from the truth. Done
    correctly, breeding is rarely a money-making venture. If there are any
    problems at all , breeding generally becomes a financial disaster. So,
    you have to be prepared for possible expenses that may or may not
    occur. Keeping a credit card cleared off in case it’s needed can be a
    good way to handle this type of problem.
   
    Most breeders get a deposit of some sort from potential buyers at some
    point during the process. Some breeders require a deposit before
    putting buyers on their list. Some don’t accept deposits until the
    puppies are born and they are sure they have a puppy for the buyer.
    Whatever you decide to do, please be sure to carefully explain under
    what circumstances you will or won’t return the deposit so as to avoid
    unpleasantness in the future.
   
    Whatever your deposit arrangements, you should require payment-in-full
    before turning your puppies over to the new owners. The price of the
    puppies depends on your breed and the market in your area. Ask around
    among other breeders, consider your expenses, and set a fair price for
    your puppies.
   
    If you have a large litter with no problems, you can expect to pay
    your expenses and, perhaps, make a little extra money. If you have any
    problems at all, including a small litter, you will probably loose
    money on breeding a litter. Done correctly, breeding puppies is no way
    to make your fortune.
      _________________________________________________________________
                                      
 Resources
 
    All of the above information is very general, please be aware that
    certain breeds have very specific needs and/or problems during
    breeding, whelping, and puppy rearing. Please contact your breeder or
    veterinarian or refer to a good book on your breed for more
    information on how to deal with these specific issues.
   
   Books
  
    _Canine Reproduction_, Phyllis A Holst, MS, DVM, Alpine Publications,
    1985.
   
    _Dog Breeding for Professionals_, Dr. Herbert Richards, TFH
    Publications, Inc., 1978.
   
    _Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook_, second edition, Delbert G
    Carlson, DVM and James M Giffin, MD, Howell Book House, 1992.
   
    _The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog_, Margaret Ruth Smith and Ann
    Serrane, Howell Book House, 1980.
   
    _Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats_,
    Richard H Pitcairn, DVM and Susan Hubble Pitcairn, Rodale Press, 1995.
   
    _Successful Dog Breeding_, Chris Walkowicz & Bonnie Wilcox, DVM,
    Howell Book House, 1994.
   
   Articles
  
    _AKC Gazette_, August 1995.
   
   Web Resources
  
      * AKC Policies and Guidelines for Registration Matters
      * Lactation in Dogs and Cats
      * Responsible Breeding of Female Chihuahuas
      * Should I Breed My Poodle?
      * Things to Think About Before You Breed Your Dog
      * Breeding Medical Information
       
      _________________________________________________________________
                                      
   
     Breeding, Whelping, and Rearing Puppies FAQ
     Liza Lee Miller, lizalee@stanford.edu
    

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: