Direct from the Source-Why It's so Important!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of the breeder-puppy buyer relationship. This was prompted by my reliance on satellite radio to make my long commute to work more interesting, and advertising by a well-known company that is essentially a puppy broker, on prominent stations.

You and Your Responsible Breeder

Why is your relationship with the breeder of your puppy so important? Responsible breeders will provide you with advice and support for the lifetime of your dog, and often that relationship extends beyond your dog’s passing. They have an indepth knowledge of the breed, it’s traits, characteristics, original purpose, daily and less frequent care requirements, and more. On a more detailed level, they know the backgrounds of their breeding dogs including their bloodlines, health and temperaments. Knowing the history of your puppy can bring peace of mind when navigating decisions with your veterinarian and understanding the health of your dog as a puppy and mature animal.

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Responsible breeders will purposefully breed dogs, carefully matching health tested and titled parents, taking into account both phenotype (outwardly visible characteristics such as structure and colour) and genotype (known genes the dog carries). Every breeder has their own goals that drive their approach to their breeding programs, but all responsible breeders work hard to improve their breeds with every generation and litter they produce. They will register all of their litters and puppies with registry bodies such as the Canadian Kennel Club or American Kennel Club, which maintains the integrity of their bloodlines. They spend hours evaluating prospective puppy families for suitability for one of their puppies. They are aware of the most recent research findings on subjects ranging from caring for and raising breeding animals to canine reproduction to puppy rearing for optimal health and temperaments. They will sell all puppies on strict contracts that detail expectations of both puppy buyer and breeder and they will provide all of their puppy buyers with a health guarantee. They expect a certain level of contact with all puppy buyers and if one of their puppy families is unable to keep their dog at any point in the dog’s life, the breeder expects that dog to come home to the breeder and this is usually written into their puppy/dog sales contract. Above all, they take their responsibility for all of their puppies extremely seriously.

How Does a Broker Fit In with Responsible Breeders?

The short answer is, they don’t. A puppy broker is someone, or a company, that purchases puppies from breeders and resells them for profit at a higher price. As many municipalities ban pet store sales of puppies due to issues around the integrity of the source of the puppies, a broker is not dissimilar to a bricks and mortar pet store.

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Consider the above detail about a responsible breeder, and the relationship that develops between breeder and puppy family. Inserting a “middleman” into the process of purchasing a puppy removes all of the important elements of that relationship. The puppy buyer would not know where their puppy was bred, whelped and raised and the approach followed by the breeder. The breeder would not know who purchased their puppy and details about the environment in which their puppy is raised and cared for. The breeder wouldn’t know about any health or temperament issues with that puppy or successes achieved by the puppy and its family. All of these details are important to a responsible breeder, because they factor in when making decisions about future breedings.

Puppy brokers may have slick websites and have savy key messaging to placate buyers into a sense of false confidence, but buyer beware! You have no idea where the broker is sourcing their puppies from and the conditions in which they were bred, whelped and raised. You won’t know about the health of the parents and you certainly won’t have the support of the breeder for the life of your puppy. Forget about having official registration certificates, confirming the identity of the parents and the pedigree of the puppy in question. Without these documents, you will never really know if your dog is indeed the “breed” you purchased. Breeders that sell puppies to brokers simply don’t care about where their puppies end up. There is really no difference between a pet store selling puppies for astronomically marked up prices and an online broker.

Final Word

Buy Direct! Puppy buyers must do their due diligence in finding a responsible breeder that is a good fit for them. Remember, this is a relationship that will last for the life of your dog and beyond. It is an important relationship that should not be taken lightly. We enjoy working with our puppy families and look forward to supporting them through their successes and challenges.

Finally, we are more than happy to answer questions and provide support, even if you aren’t interested in a puppy from us. We are committed to supporting this process of connecting the right breeder with the right puppy buyer. Let’s work together.

Gatsby and Ria Babies Have Arrived!

Multi-tasking tired Momma—Feeding the Puppies while taking a well-deserved nap.

Multi-tasking tired Momma—Feeding the Puppies while taking a well-deserved nap.

Time has flown by so quickly the past six months or so. Between raising puppies and dogs, busy work schedules and other life events, it’s been challenging to carve out time to update our blog. Perhaps 2019 will be the year I change this!

We are just thrilled that Gatsby and Ria welcomed a beautiful litter on January 11, 2019. Eight girls and two boys are healthy and strong, a good start to their wonderful lives. Gatsby aka Am Ch/Can GCh Whisperidge’s The Great Gatsby, FDJ is owned by Lyndsay Ferguson of Leaside GSPs and bred by Sue Richards, Stephanie Kepler, Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, and Yvonne Hassler-Deterding. Ria aka Ch Legacyk’s Come See About Me, FDJ is owned by me and bred by Nancibeth Koutstaal, Legacyk GSPs.

This is Ria’s final litter and after she finishes raising her puppies, she will retire. She is such a wonderful example of how dogs in our Guardian Program flourish. Ria went to live with her Guardian family a number of years ago. They approached us wanting an older dog, uninterested in the puppy stage. It was important to them that their new family member be a quality, purebred adult dog and that they have an understanding of her history—health, training, temperament and so on. Ria has continued to blossom with her family and the mutual bond between them is clear and evident. The result? Her family has a well-behaved, beautiful family companion and Ria is happy, healthy, sound, fit and an outstanding mother to her puppies. She will retire in about eight weeks to play “Ria-style” golf (i.e. chasing ducks and geese on the golf course behind her property), enjoying the cottage and of course her family who adore her.

This is the very best outcome for all and what we strive to achieve with every Stannyfield dog.

And...We're Back, Celebrating our Foundation!

I have been so busy with work and dog activities, I fully recognize our blog has slipped. When we designed this website originally, our intent was to publish a regular blog to inform, educate, amuse and occasionally brag about our successes. I have been working on developing a list of topics for blogs and our goal from this point forward is to publish monthly and maybe even more frequently when we can. I hope you find our upcoming blogs informative and fun! 

To celebrate our blog refresh, we have renamed our blog the Stannyfield Dispatch. Our inaugural Stannyfield Dispatch blog is all about where we have come from and how important that foundation is to us, and a solid foundation should be important to all dog owners and breeders.

We have spent a significant amount of time and effort building a foundation of obedience and good behaviour on our dogs. We enjoy this! It's all about creating a solid bond with our dogs by working together, reaching milestones and enjoying the treats and rewards that come with them. Part of this building always includes teaching respect for boundaries. Examples include: we always go through doorways and openings first, and the dogs are released when they are allowed to follow; when eating as a group, each dog must respect the space of others; the countertops are never a self-serve situation and so on. In part, this was born out of living in Toronto many years ago when we brought home our first dogs. Our busy street required that our first order of business was to teach the pups to respect the front door boundary to save them from rushing out and being hit by a car.

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Fast forward several decades...Just this week, our lawn care service came to the farm to mow and trim our lawn and dog yard--keep in mind our dog yard has two large farm gates as seen in the photo. I work from home several days per week and was up against a few deadlines the day the lawn was mowed and was rushed to make sure the dogs got out for their runs, while still meeting my deadlines. Our lawn care service forgot to close the main gate and I let the first group of dogs out without checking! HOWEVER, I was shocked and brimming with pride when I ran outside and all three dogs were standing at the threshold, waiting to be released. 

My light bulb moment? Put the work in with your dogs and puppies as it will pay off in situations like this, which could have been fatal if the dogs had rushed to the road and been hit by a car.

Thank you to all of the dog experts who have helped us to become responsible dog owners by teaching our dogs to make good decisions in various situations. Our dogs are such an important part of our lives and the sight of three of our dogs deciding for themselves to stand at a large open gate was simply life affirming. 

If you have ideas for future blog post topics, please feel free to share!