Being a Responsible Breeder

A Responsible Breeder – what does that look like? 

Border Collie puppies
Happiness is..

“We wouldn’t get a puppy from any old breeder. Dentbros Dogs tick all our boxes and more. Highly recommended!”

Here are a few of the things I do, that a ‘casual’ or ‘commercial’ breeder (a puppy farmer) might not:

  • I send people an Application Form and if they don’t answer the questions, or don’t research them, they ain’t getting a pup
  • I tell them when the mating is and when the pups are due (I’m not vague about dates)
  • I send pics and pupdates when the pups arrive and am clear about whether there is one available
  • I expect people to visit at 3 weeks, when I quiz them in person
  • I tell them which puppy they can have*
  • I bring people to my home, where they will see and interact with all 5 of my dogs, as well as all of the puppies
  • I cuddle my puppies every day and allow them to meet people and dogs and different situations
  • I register the puppies with the Kennel Club, as pedigree dogs, of known, health tested parents
  • I get their eyes tested (coronavirus notwithstanding)
  • I don’t take any money until at least 5 weeks, when I expect payment in full
  • I prepare a comprehensive puppy pack, including a folder with ALL the details of BOTH the parents, including their pedigree certificates (NOT a KC ‘Activity Register’ certificate) and all their health tests
  • I make sure the new owners sign a contract, confirming what they have bought, restrictions on future breeding and a commitment to take the puppy back AT ANY POINT in the future if required.
  • I set up a group on social media so my owners can talk to each other, as well as me, about their experiences going forward
border collie puppies

*NB: I don’t ‘force’ people to have a puppy they don’t want! I listen to what they want before they come to visit, and then take account of what I know of them and my puppies to make sure they are happy with one that will be right for them. Obviously if you are the top of the list you have more choice than if you come last, but I try to ensure that everyone gets what they want. It’s a challenge!

Gaining feedback

A few years ago, I thought it would be useful to ask my puppy owners for some feedback.  So I sent them out a ‘Customer Satisfaction Survey’.  I thought it would be helpful to establish whether they were generally happy with their dogs and felt they had had a good service.  Can I improve on how I do things?

The results (from almost half the homes) are a bit embarrassing really.  Almost everyone would recommend me to a friend and are very satisfied with their dog.  The dogs were universally described as:

  • good temperament
  • healthy
  • beautiful
  • easy to train
  • good value for money (50%)
border collie puppies

“Both of our boys have been the most wonderful temperaments , being very affectionate and characters in their own right.”

In addition they are confident, fit in with the family and are a pleasure to own.  I was described as being extremely or very responsive to any questions or concerns about the dogs.  Most people would like to have another dog from me.

“We are delighted with the puppy we bought from Dentbros. She is beautifully calm and affectionate and very well behaved at home. She has also settled well with our older dog.”

 What should you be paying for?

These are some of the costs I incur when producing a litter:

  • health tests for bitch, including hip scores and annual eye test
  • mating
  • scan
  • wormer
  • specialist food and milk for bitch while pregnant
  • KC registration
  • Assured Breeder fee
  • KC Breeder affix
  • toys for puppies
  • run and fencing
  • bedding
  • puppy food
  • eye & hearing tests for puppies
  • puppy packs and books
border collie puppies
three boys

Taking time to do it right

In addition to this, there is of course my time.  I spend the whole of the 8 weeks I have puppies at home, with them.  I receive around 150 different visitors during that time, including a hundred different people for the pups to experience.

“Really appreciate the time and effort Penny puts into breeding and raising these dogs. She does a tremendous effort, and it really shows in the dogs temperament. Highly recommend her.”

I make sure that I cuddle the pups every day, checking them over and generally handling them.  They are part of our family life.  I spend time communicating with the potential owners, sorting out who is having which puppy and making sure they are the best fit possible.  I get to know the owners during that time and am available to discuss any worries or concerns that they have.

border collie puppies
Even men love a puppy cuddle

I spend time dealing with the associated administration of having puppies.  Registering them with the Kennel Club, organising their health tests and generally making sure they have a great start in life.

More testimonials

“We couldn’t have asked for a better service. We feel very lucky to have found such a quality breeder. I had high standard before but other breeders will really have to work hard to come in line with you. My very trusted vet and friend who also breeds and is a behaviourist was incredibly impressed with the information we were sent home with also the lovely touches like his puppy bag and all the little details. The book as well. Just everything.

“We really cannot leave any constructive criticism or negative comments because there just aren’t any. You should be incredibly proud as a breeder and dog owner as you are sadly the exception and will feature heavily in my advice when I speak to clients who want to buy a puppy.  As a nurse I see many different types of breeder, some good, some just awful and some just don’t know what they are doing. So thank you as a nurse for being such a fabulous caring and committed breeder. It’s really refreshing. Also Lenny is just the most polite, laid back handsome happiest puppy ever we are so lucky. THANK YOU!”

Here’s one happy puppy owner!

A happy breeder

I do love having puppies!  I love spending time with them.  I love spending time with the mum of the pups, focusing particularly on her and strengthening the bond I have with her.  I love producing healthy, happy, confident dogs, who enrich the lives of the families they live with.

What could possibly be a better job than this?” 

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to CONTACT ME to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my service. Please let me know if you have found this post helpful?


Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

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