When to contact your breeder
In these days of reviews, ratings and feedback, it seems important to keep in touch with my customers and make sure that the ‘products’ I have produced are up to scratch. But people contact their breeder for all sorts of reasons and sometimes this is hard to deal with. So how much breeder contact have you had and has it been helpful and positive?
Star rating for Responsible Breeding
When puppies go off to their new homes, I give owners a ‘New Owner Questionnaire’ to complete and return to the Kennel Club. This has been done as a paper form to complete and post, but the Assured Breeder reps at Crufts this year told me that the Kennel Club are emerging from the Dark Ages to put this online. I suggested that breeders need feedback from the owners and that positive feedback could be done with ‘star rating’. What do you think?
Please do contact your breeder? You have had your puppy for almost a year – how have they turned out? Are you pleased, or a bit disappointed? What issues or challenges have you had? What do you think they could have done better?
Please contact the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Service to provide feedback on the breeder. You should have been given:
- A Kennel Club Breed Registration certificate (did you change the ownership?)
- Information about endorsements to protect against future breeding
- A contract of sale, telling you to return the dog to the breeder at any point in the future
- Information to help you, including tips on socialisation, exercise, feeding, grooming, vaccination and diseases, as well as breed traits and tendencies.
You should have seen the puppy with its mother, being fed and interacting with its siblings. There should have been time to ask the breeder questions and see the breeder’s dogs and the way they were kept. You should have been questioned about your suitability to have the dog. The puppy must have been microchipped.
If you feel that any of this was missing or not done well, please provide feedback? Of course if it was done well, that’s equally good to know!
When my puppies first go off to their new homes, I really love to hear how they are getting on. It’s fantastic to hear that they have settled well, are behaving themselves and coping with their new lives. These days I set up a WhatsApp group for each litter, so that the owners can talk to each other, as well as to me. This has resulted in some owners becoming friends and meeting up, which is fantastic.
This also provides real support when things don’t go quite according to plan! It’s easy for me to jump in with ‘helpful advice’ but I do try to let owners talk to each other and share their experiences. Anyway, I don’t always know the answer! I also have a Dentbros Puppies Facebook group for ALL the owners and lovers of my pups.
Ongoing breeder contact
Some people travel quite a distance to get their new puppy. Finding the right breeder is a real challenge, especially these days when puppies bred responsibly are in such short supply. After all, puppies are not toilet paper, as we should know!
So I don’t expect to see all my puppies on a regular basis. I have been fortunate that many of my pups have gone to homes local to me, or to family or friends. That’s wonderful, but not always possible. When they live further away, I don’t expect to see them often, if at all.
With most owners, I tend to only hear if there are problems. This can be relating to behaviour, or with health issues. It is really helpful for me to know if a dog I have bred is having difficulties. This might inform my decisions regarding breeding in the future. I also need to pass on any real concerns to the owners of the stud dogs I have used.
Breeding for ‘better temperament and health‘ means constantly striving to improve the breeding of my dogs. Each generation should be better than the previous one. Healthier, with the right temperament for the breed and the homes the dogs are going to.
Increasingly, people who own my puppies want to breed from them. They are wonderful dogs after all! This is a bit of a minefield for me, if I’m honest. I have built up years of knowledge and experience in breeding and believe I do it well. If people breed from the dogs I have produced, will they do it responsibly? I don’t want people doing it ‘just for fun’, or because ‘it’s nice for the dog’. Consider the reasons not to breed from your dog, please?
If you do want to go ahead, you will need to start off by doing the necessary health testing for your breed. You should then talk to your breeder and ask them to mentor you. This can be really challenging as the breeder; you can end up feeling as though you have done all the work with none of the reward!
Proud of my puppies
The best feedback a breeder can get is to hear of their puppies’ successes. Winning classes, in any dog activity, even if it is just for ‘prettiest eyes’ at a local dog show. It’s brilliant to see a real partnership developing and I know that some of my puppies have the potential to go all the way with their owners. One day the Dentbros name will appear on TV, with a dog I’ve bred competing at Crufts, in the main arena!
I am equally proud to see healthy, happy dogs, living their best lives. Knowing that they are bringing pleasure to their families every day, doing the job they have been bred to do. So please contact your breeder to give this feedback as well?
We do have reunions, which is wonderful, although quite a challenge! Ask your breeder if they do this and see if you can meet the other owners from your litter – it’s a lovely experience 🙂
Weekly Focus Challenge
What did you think of your dog’s breeder? How much contact did you have with them before collecting your dog? How much contact have you had since then? Has it been useful and positive? Would you like to meet up with other puppy owners from that litter?
Buy the Workbook
The Workbook – A Year With Your Puppy is available to buy. It was written and designed to be a hands-on, interactive book for you. It will help you survive the first year with your puppy, but also act as a memento of that time and the journey you have been on. You can write notes and stick in pictures of your puppy throughout the year. Lovely!
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, by filling in your email address below? Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.
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NB: I am not a dog trainer, or a dog behaviourist, just a dog breeder and owner. I can only offer my opinion, based on my experience.