Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Michigan, USA
Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales
I think it would really depend on the individual situation.
No ethical breeder sells pups at 4, 5, 6 weeks old regardless of what the law is.
But we also have to remember that most legislation is not written by people who have any clue about what they are legislating and the many different, legitimate factors, that may influence such decisions.
Many competitive performance people believe the best age to obtain a new pup is 7 weeks, not 8. While many don't agree with this, there have been studies done, and a whole lot of anectdotal evidence based on experience, that indicates there may be some truth to that. So if a reputable breeder is selling a pup to an experienced handler and both happen to prescribe to those beliefs, should they go to jail if they send pups home at 7 weeks?
Or say, a breeder typically sends them home at 8 weeks, and the state law requires such, but the litter's 8 week birthday falls on a Sunday. Is it unethical, or should it be illegal, if the breeder allows people to pick up their puppies on Friday or Saturday, so as to have the whole weekend to spend settling the pup in, but in doing so breaks the law by sending them home at 7 weeks 5-6 days?
I think the bottom line is a good breeder is going to send the pups home when they feel it is best, and "best" depends on a variety of factors: the maturity of the litter, the dynamic within the litter (if one soft pup is constantly being beaten up by it's littermates, sending that pup home early may be a good thing so as to prevent it from learning the *wrong* lessons during that last few days of litter socialization), when is best for the new owners in terms of making the smoothest possible transition, and a whole host of other things. Good breeders will do that regardless of what the law says. Bad breeders won't, and many will send the pups home as early as they can so as to save themselves a lot of trouble, and will probably do so regardless of what the law says.
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