What it Takes to be a Responsible Breeder

A responsible dog breeder is A LOT MORE than having a goal of breeding quality to produce quality. Once the pups are born, the responsibility isn’t over, IT ONLY JUST BEGINS!

Consider this:

** A responsible breeder ensures that their pet quality pups are not bred from by using spay/neuter contracts WITH limited registration papers OR, preferably, selling only puppies or dogs that have already been spayed/neutered.

** A responsible breeder works to match the size, age, temperament of the dog properly to the new home/owners. They require references or letters of recommendation from buyers if they do not know them. They teach buyers how to be RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS. They are prepared to keep the dogs they produce *forever* if a suitable home is not found.

** A responsible breeder provides buyers (pet or show) with written, detailed instructions on care, grooming, and feeding. If the buyer is local, they show them HOW to cut toenails & brush teeth, etc.

** A responsible breeder provides buyers with a written sales agreement describing a health guarantee, return policy, etc., along with vaccination & worming records and accurate pedigree with results of any genetic testing.

** A responsible breeder provides buyers with information as needed, FOR THE LIFE OF THE DOG, about all aspects of the breed, dog care and training. If they do not have the knowledge or expertise to handle a buyer’s question or problem, they refer them to qualified experts, trainers, books, veterinarians, etc.

** A responsible breeder will take back every dog they produce if its original home does not work out for any reason. (If you don’t have time or room to take one back, you shouldn’t have produced it in the first place–you MUST be responsible for that life you helped to create!)

** A responsible breeder does not sell unaltered breeding stock to people who do not have the time, dedication, and knowledge to be responsible breeders themselves.

All this involves tons of paperwork, phone calls and visits, time, energy, and dedication. But if EVERY dog breeder practiced responsible breeding, there would be little need for rescue groups, animal shelters, spay/neuter laws, and anti-dog legislation. And I wouldn’t be spending hours on the phone talking to pet owners who call me with questions about their Papillon–questions that should have been answered by their dog’s breeder, but of course, they purchased their dog from a pet store or backyard breeder, in cases where the breeders don’t give a hoot about the buyer once the check has cleared!

So if you know of someone who can do what I’ve outlined as responsible breeding practices, and in addition wants to breed-AND strive for quality, not $, then yes, they too can be a RESPONSIBLE breeder. And we need more RESPONSIBLE breeders. But as I’ve pointed out, responsible dog breeding is HARD WORK.

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