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Hi all,

I know that many of all of you are wiling to take one of your dogs back under any circumstances and I commend you for that. The recent DNA case got me thinking about breeders and puppy/dog sales. I am wondering how many people do home, vet and reference checks before they sell a puppy? Do you have an application for your dogs or query prospective buyers about level of care, etc. Why or why not?

As someone who has worked in rescue for a while I have seen well bred dogs end up terrible conditions. My own Basu was a perfect example. He was sold to two doctors who owned a farmette. Seemed like the perfect situation for a dog. The catch was that he was kept locked in a cage in the garage 14 hours a day, only let out into the huge horse pasture twice a day (ever!) and then kept crated in the house most of the rest of the time. He was never socialized or exercised other than being let out in the pasture. The doctor's idea of training him was to hit him for anything he did "wrong."

I remember several other situations where dogs were abused and or neglected by people who had plenty of money to buy a nice dog. I have seen other cases where a couple split up and the dog ended up in a really bad situation.

Just wondering if any of the recent events on this board have made you rethink any of your placement policies.
 

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I'm not a breeder, but this is what Rayden's breeder did.

required several layers of questions/phone calls/emails before we met in person.
required vet reference.
we were renting, so required a letter of approval from the landlord
asked open-ended questions regarding our plans/history/previous dogs.
When we finally went to meet her and view the litter, she asked us about the puppies. "What do you like about this dog" "What do you think of that one?"
I think her method really got people to open up and talk. That gives them less opportunity to give the expected/canned responses.

I think the open-ended questions are most important. if you ask a leading question, you are telling the person, in essence, the answer that you are wanting. and if they are fake, they will give it to you. You can't say "Do you plan to chain this dog on a 4feet lead and only feed him when you remember?"
 

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This is an interesting question. I am not a breeder either, but when we bought Jones, I was surprised that the breeder did not ask us any questions at all. I know that I'm an excellent, responsible, doggy mom, but she didn't know that!
 

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When we got our lab he was reserved and paid for before his birth. The breeder required pictures of our yard and home, 3 references, and asked a ton of questions about what we were looking for in a dog, why we wanted a dog, and many others. I could never breed dogs I would just get too attached and no amount of pictures, questions, or references would satisfy me, but hats of to those who are and work to make sure their pups go to great homes.

On a side note when I got Zoe I was the only non cop who got a dog,lol My neighbor is a canine cop and all dogs went to police homes to be trained in one form or another. Our dogs play together daily and they knew the level of care my lab gets so they had no problem letting her follow me home.
 

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Quote: I am wondering how many people do home, vet and reference checks before they sell a puppy? Do you have an application for your dogs or query prospective buyers about level of care, etc. Why or why not?
I do check references. Yes, I have an application, talk quite extensively to my buyers. If one wants to listen and isn't just wanting to sell a puppy then one can catch things that bring up red flags. The majority of my buyers are now by referral only.

Quote:Just wondering if any of the recent events on this board have made you rethink any of your placement policies.
Nope. Just confirmed my policy to never let down my guard.
 

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Good breeders are not "willing" to take a sold dog back, they REQUIRE that for any reason, the owner cant keep the dog or doesn't want the dog anymore, it is to go back to the breeder only.
 

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You do bring up some good points, and honestly I also believe a good breeder does all these things, but in the instance of your Basu, do you think it would have weeded out these owners? I mean if they had the money, the vet references probably did check out, if you went to their home, and saw the layout, it still would have looked ideal, and when talking to personal references these people appeared to be pilars of their community..... When it comes to training philosophy, this guy very well could have been quite convincing that he believes in a firm but fair treatment of the dogs (of course his idea of fairness was perhaps he wouldnt beat them for no reason), and that they were excercised daily. Not to mention, oftentimes people will get animals with the grandest of intentions.......but for one reason or another, not follow through.

I believe that asking all these questions, following up with references etc.....is very good for screening, but even with the best screening process, some people will fall through and end up not being what looked so good on paper and through references. The other issue is we dont know what tomorrow brings, what challenges are just around the corner and if one of those challenges would make someone unable to care for a pet that otherwise was the perfect pet owner up until that time....

Good questions to ask, and it is food for thought! I'm not a breeder, but I've spoken to some, IMO, good ones that ask a lot of questions and require follow up, and others that just want cash in hand......I too wish that some breeders asked more questions, but even the ones that do could end up with a dog in a bad situation because of circumstances no one foresaw.
 

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I wish the breeders in this area were half as responsible as most of the breeders on this board. Would make my job as a rescuer a lot easier.

I have actually contacted some of the breeders to let them know that their dogs were being rehomed after the owners have contacted me asking for my help. There was nothing in the contract from the breeder about the dogs being returned. The breeder actually accused me of trying to make money off of one of her dogs by trying to "sell" it. I explained that I did not want to "sell" her dog. I wanted her to take it back, because that is what rescues do when an adoption does not work out.
 

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Did she take it back?

Just a factoid: the dane in the "Do you know where your dog is going" thread on the rescu board was a breeder placement - he didn't check the adopter at all. She got the dog by way of an ad.
 

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Not a breeder but before I got my first GSD from my breeder, I filled out a lengthy questionaire. We were in contact for several months before I got my dog (I got an adult dog that had been returned, and I wanted to find more suitable housing first). I met up with a friend of the breeder and got to know her. I joined an agility club and started taking training classes before I got the dog. I know the breeder put some thought into the match because originally I wanted a large, dark colored male and I was offered a tiny, lighter colored female, but she was a perfect fit for my lifestyle and the activities I listed on the questionaire. It seems many breeders will just sell you whatever you say you want (size/looks-wise) without really getting to know you and helping make the pick.

I've adopted animals from rescue before I got my GSDs so I'm perfectly happy providing vet references and personal references. Adopting from the rescue I use is like being interrogated and filling out more paperwork than my income taxes! They are very thorough. However, as we've learned recently, that doesn't mean you can't fudge! I like to have all my ducks in a row though, so typically I offer up front more than the breeder or rescue wants (vet papers, lease agreement that shows what animals are allowed and the fence we put up, personal references that don't mind being called, etc).
 

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I've worked for kennels producing give or take 100 pups a year. There is no way you can know if they are going to good homes or not, or where they will end up.
 

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I am not a breeder, but when I started looking for a breeder to purchase from I knew that I wanted one who cared about their dogs as much as I cared.

My breeder had me initally fill out a very lengthy, detailed questionnaire that included open ended questions. We then emailed and talked on the phone back and forth for several months, I was then invitied to meet her dogs and watch them work as well as just hang out with them at her home.

After that I we stayed in contact by phone and I got to go out to her home when the puppies were born. She choose the dog for me and told me why she choose that dog instead of "this one".

I wanted a small female and ended up with a medium sized/large male. I trusted her to know what would work for me and the dog, and so far I can't disagree. Stark is perfect for me.

There are no guarentees in life, but a breeder who puts the effort in and tries their very best to do right by their dogs is doing all they can. Sure people can lie and trick the breeder but hopefully most people have been able to catch those red flags before a dog is released to them.
 

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Originally Posted By: nachtschattenI've worked for kennels producing give or take 100 pups a year. There is no way you can know if they are going to good homes or not, or where they will end up.
GSD kennel? That is really sad, and too bad. I bet they were all eligable to be AKC registered though!
 

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When I got Eli in 2000 I had to first fill out an application, provide references and then just met met with the breeder at her home and brought Eli home. She stayed in touch with me and was always available. She has dogs she has taken back. I don't think this is required in the contract but she let me know that if I had any problem and could not keep him she would take him back.

When Eli died last year I filled out the same application before buying Benny from her, and we are in contact. I also am in touch with some of those who have Benny's siblings thanks to facebook.

I think my vet would give me a bad reference because I feed raw and want to wait until age 2 to neuter. I was chastized about that at my last visit.

Benny has not been to the vet since he had his rabies at 16 weeks, except for a weight check. The holistic vet I found requires you to keep you regular vet for for routine shots, spuetering so she can devote her practice to the holistic stuff, has time to make house calls. I have only had a phone conversation with her so she could not provide a reference either.
 

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I would think a good breeder would look at those as a positive. though I would find a different vet myself. Mine is very supportive of waiting until fully grown to neuter as well as feeding RAW.
 

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Originally Posted By: lhczthYes, I have an application, talk quite extensively to my buyers. If one wants to listen and isn't just wanting to sell a puppy then one can catch things that bring up red flags.
Lisa is SO right here. The old saying goes "give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves".
 

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I am not a breeder. But I would like to get a GSD pup sometime in the future to add to our family. I WANT the breeder to ask me many, many questions :D. I want a breeder who cares about where the dogs are going and also who cares to try and match the dogs as best as they can. So I really don't mind being asked many questions and who wants to keep in touch and get pictures, I would welcome that!
 

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Kayos' breeder and I talked a lot via email and phone before and after I filled out an application. She did check my references.

Havoc's breeder did not check references nor did I fill out an application, however, I was acqainted with her from forums so perhaps she felt she knew me well enough from that. Havoc of course has a great home. :)
 

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I think my vet would give me a bad reference because I feed raw and want to wait until age 2 to neuter. I was chastized about that at my last visit.
Have you considered finding a new vet? One that is more supportive of your decisions? My vet, although they are still very traditional (booster shots every year, some every 6 months, spay/neuter puppies, etc), understands and accepts that I do 3 yr boosters rather than 1 yr, and wait to spay/neuter until minimum 18+ months of age. I would be pretty po'ed if my vet was lecturing me about anything and my pet was healthy and there was sound research behind my decisions.
 
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