What are some questions you should ask a breeder before you take home one of their puppies? What sorts of answers should they give? Is there anything you wish you'd asked your breeder? As a breeder is there something you think prospective corgi owners should always ask? 


Let's talk about the discussion you have had with your breeder before you brought home your dog!

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I agree, Anna. The breeder we bought Wyatt from indicated in her contract that if the buyer could not keep the dog, for whatever reason, they MUST contact her first so she could re-home the dog. I think one of a good breeder's worst fears is to have one of their pups wind up in a shelter. 

Agreed, I would not rule out a breeder who shipped. 

Rachael and Waffle--I was reading some old posts and came across this. All of your points are good and understand all of them but the one about a contract.  When I came across and met Coco and Dino for the very first time, within minutes I knew then that I wanted them and that they both would be coming home with me. The only question in my mind was how Grants and Franklins  would I be giving up.  Without even talking to the breeder. Contract or no contract whatever happened down the road I would be there for them at whatever the cost. If something was later found that they were responsible for a health issue I would not be able to take them back for double the asking price or to trade them for another one. Coco died at an early age and I dont know if they are at fault or not but that contract would not have changed my mind. As an aside both Coco and Dino did have papers from the breeder but both sets were eaten by them.

The idea of the contract is it makes the breeder responsible for serious genetic health problems.  If for instance you spent good money for a field trial dog and find that the puppy has an inherited health problem that makes him unable to exert himself heavily, it means you can get a replacement puppy who CAN do what you got him to do.  That puts pressure on the breeder to try to avoid breeding such a puppy.   It's generally a sign that the breeder is serious about trying to breed away from inherited conditions, where it's reasonable to do so.

I agree. People who sell dogs are professionals and all professionals should be held to some kind of standard.

Steve, I love the point you make as I have felt that way every time I've brought an animal home. If you are looking for a pet ( a companion and friend ) that feeling is all you need because, as you say, whatever it is you'll deal with it.  This may be different for someone buying a dog for a specific purpose, if the person would not keep the dog unless it was fit for that purpose (showing, breeding, working, etc) then it would be good to know the breeder would stand behind the dog and be willing to take it back, whether money was involved as part of the return or not.  IMO this is more to protect the dog than the people....and with a good, responsible breeder, that works out fine.  Unfortunately you have some big chain pet stores giving fabulous sounding, lifetime money back guarantees for all manner of diseases and conditions while charging exorbitant prices for puppy mill dogs that may, on average, cost them between $35 and $50 dollars.  The guarantees require that the animal be returned ( and it will be euthanized ).  Very few people, even after only a few days, will bring  the animal back under those conditions, as they experience love, concern and compassion for their new pet, imagine after a year or more.... They would sooner put it down than return it to that pet-shop!  This is a scam on the unsuspecting public, but totally legal....

 As a breeder, I did the required health checks and certifications applicable to my breed, gave reasonable guarantees, educated my buyers about what they meant, and stood ready to take the dog back for the life of the dog.  I no longer breed show or train dogs and, for years now, all my animals have been adopted on the basis of the feeling you so well describe  ( with no guarantees) and nursed through whatever issues they came with.  In the name of all rescue dogs, thank you for making a very good point!

The importance of the contract to me as a pet owner, not as a field dog owner or a shower, means that they are legally the only person I can give the dog to (and they legally have to accept him) if I lose my income or my home, or become deathly ill in a place where no friends or family can care for my dog, or if I die.  If I, for whatever reason, can no longer care for my dog, the dog cannot be placed in a shelter or sent to a rescue.  It's a way to protect my dog from entering the world of homeless pets in case the unspeakable or unfortunate happens. You see it a lot in the tags on shelter cages or even on craigslist: "I'm moving and my dog can't come with me," or "my husband lost his job so we can't provide the care he needs".  It's an added security blanket that lets me know that Waffle will be superbly cared for and safe even if I am not.  It keeps dogs out of shelters and rescues so the space can be saved for those who truly need it.  

When we got Maddie, the breeder was taking back a full brother from a different litter.  She said she loved this dog, had kept him to go on with but one of his testicles went back up so she placed him in a pet home.

The woman was single and loved him very much, but she lost a job and in this bad economy, the only one she could find was more than an hour commute-- one way.  Between the work day and the commute, she was gone close to 12 hours a day and it looked like a long-term issue.  She felt the dog was not happy being alone so much, and this was not something she ever anticipated.  She was thinking of rehoming him and then found the contract saying he had to go back to the breeder.  

Even the best owners can't anticipate every eventuality.   I agree the contracts are crucial.

Great example, Beth. Though I'm sure most people don't have the intent of giving up a dog when they initially purchase it, life can get in the way and make it nearly impossible for a pet owner to provide a high quality life to their dog. That is why it's imperative that the breeder is available to re-home or foster a dog if adverse circumstances for the purchaser arise. 

In my "In Case of Emergency" section of my phone, I wrote little thing about "LOOK FOR DOG- PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI.  If I am incapacitated, he must be returned to Terri New (found in contacts)."  It's posted on the side of my desk, too, along with the location of his paperwork.  I love him so much that the last thing I want him to do is go to the shelter or otherwise suffer because I can't be there for him. The second best place for him is with my breeder, and that's where I would want him to be.

Absolutely right Rachael, and breeders that take dogs back, no matter the reason for the return, are in no hurry to sell you a dog, nor do they over-breed.

I agree that I would not take Franklin back to the breeder in a million years. I have several friends and family members who will take him if something were to happen to me, and if he had any health issues (like he does) I would in no way exchange him like a sweater. I think the point of the contract is not necessarily if you intend to use it (for health issues or otherwise) but more to weed out the responsible from the irresponsible. Also a contract that says you will return the dog to your breeder is also a very clear way to make sure the breeder actually CARES about the welfare and future of her dogs. My breeder is in Idaho, she shipped Franklin to me, she also knows if anything happened to me my parents or my brother would get Franklin. After that, she is to be contacted (well either way she is to be contacted) but she absolutely will take him back.

I also wouldn't rule out breeders who shipped, but would rule out breeders who didn't take appropriate steps before shipping (such as crate training the puppies first!). I also would never have a puppy shipped from the midwest, I don't care how "responsible" they seem. If I can't go visit a midwest breeder, I won't get a puppy from there. Some people live in areas where it may be a 12 hour drive to the closest breeder, or if looking for a cardigan, you may be looking in a different state altogether, so to rule out shipping may be really limiting your options. 


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