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.
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.
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.
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.