One of the most challenging parts of dog-breeding is the placement of the litter. This is especially true in a country like India, where people normally aren’t aware of how to take proper care of their pets. In the case of dogs, most people don’t even know what is needed for their upbringing.
A breeder must, at every level, ensure that he/she is exercising the correct precautions and making the right decision when placing the puppies. On the other hand, the buyer must make sure that the breeder is providing legitimate and sufficient details, regarding the puppy.
Advertisements for the sale of pups should not be worded in a way which gives rise to unreasonable expectations on the part of the buyers; nor should they make false or misleading claims.
If a puppy is advertised as a ‘show’ or a ‘working prospect’ – but fails to deliver the desired quality – then it may lead to the loss of goodwill and reputation. More importantly, the puppy may even be abandoned. Breeders should, therefore, be careful with both written and verbal advertisements of their litter. It’s equally vital that they are not tempted to make unreasonable claims about their litter.
It is customary for the breeders to begin the process of registration, as soon as it becomes evident that the puppies are thriving. However, some breeders wait longer and allow the buyers to choose the name in which the puppy is to be registered.
Most established breeders employ a ‘kennel name’, along with a prefix. Some breeders simply register their litter not as a ‘kennel’, but as an ‘individual’.
It is a breeder’s job to ensure, and the buyer’s job to ascertain, that the puppy being sold and bought is registered with the Kennel Club of India (KCI). The dog should also be fitted with a microchip, and this should be verified at the time of purchase. Moreover, the buyers should also ascertain whether the certificates of registration and the ownership transfer form, filled in with all the details by the breeders, are handed over to them.
Although caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) should be the guiding principle for buyers, by no means must breeders be absolved of their own responsibilities.
A breeder must ensure that the prospective buyer has thoroughly researched and educated himself/herself about the breed, before purchasing. However, this does not free the breeder from further educating the owner/buyer, should the need arise. If an owner wants first-hand knowledge and shows an inclination to learn from the breeder, then a responsible breeder should always oblige.
Knowing the owners, their families, their lifestyles and their previous record of pet ownership, is a must for all breeders. This helps the breeders to select the right puppies that would be best suited to the owners and their families. Furthermore, this also creates a bond that will last all through the puppy’s life-time.
Breeders should inform prospective buyers about their placement processes, the legalities and formalities. This is to ensure that buyers are not misinformed or uninformed at the time of purchase.
Diet sheet: Even if a puppy is sold to someone knowledgeable about dogs, it would be favourable if the dog’s diet remains unchanged initially. This allows the dog to adapt to the new environment in a better manner.
A diet sheet, detailing the type, amount of food and the feeding methods is, therefore, highly appreciated both by the buyer and the puppy.
Vaccination and de-worming records: An up-to-date vaccination record of the puppy and its de-worming regime, should be handed over to the owner at the time of sale. Recommendations for future de-worming and vaccination should also be provided to the new owner.
Receipt: A receipt should be given to the owner after the purchase. The receipt should contain the following details:
1. The puppy’s identity according to name, breed and registration/microchip number – signed by the breeder
2. The name and address of the purchaser
3. The cost of the puppy
The breeder should also keep a copy of the receipt, signed by the buyer.
A puppy, depending on the quality, can be placed either on a contract ‘with show and breeding rights’, or on one ‘without show and breeding rights’.
A contract ensures that a puppy goes to the right home, and ensures a safe and secure future. Breeders who place their puppies on a contract (without show and breeding rights) negate any chance of the puppy being bred, and also ascertain that the puppy will be well kept, will not be resold, or re-homed without their consent. If there is a breach of contract, breeders can exercise their legal right to get the puppy back.
At the end of the day, if a breeder breeds healthy, tested dogs with stable temperaments, the litter will also be a healthy and stable one. Besides, a healthy puppy with a sound temperament and of good quality will have a greater chance of finding a good home, compared to an ill-bred puppy.
1. Do not buy a puppy from a pet shop or a puppy mill just to save a few bucks. Rather, save up and buy from an ethical breeder, or adopt a furry friend from a shelter near you.
2. Never buy a puppy, which is less than 60 days old. For a puppy, the first stage of socialisation starts from the day of birth, and lasts till it is a month old. During this time, the puppy mainly socialises with his/her mother. This is followed by a second stage of socialisation that lasts for another 30 days, during which he/she socialises with litter-mates. Buying your puppy earlier than this, would lead to the puppy missing out on one or both of these stages, which may lead to issues concerning temperament.
3. Make sure to meet the parents of the puppies, and check out their temperament. Remember temperament is genetic, the temperament of the parents are often passed on to the pups.
4. Make sure that none of your family members are allergic to dogs.
Do remember that the pup you are buying is going to be a part of the family for the next 10 to 15 years. So do not get a puppy based on a whim, and then ‘gift’ it to someone else. You should purchase one only when you are willing to dedicate your time, attention and efforts for the dog’s wellbeing.