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Breeder responsibility

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So recently there have been two seperate topics on breeder responsibility regarding specific dogs and situations. Both seemed to have completely different outcomes. During one of these discussion a board member (sorry I don't remember who :rolleyes: ) brought up this exact question. However, as I remember no one ever answered the general situation and instead were just responding to that specific situation.


But this general question really got me thinking and I was curious what everyone else on the boards thought. Eileen, hope this is ok to be bringin up, it shouldn't have anything to do with any one specific person.


So where do you draw the line on breeder versus buyer responsibility when buying a puppy or for that matter a dog?


I don't have much experience on this topic in the dog world as all of our dogs have always come from shelter life. So we ususally meet a dog that has x number of obvious issues and then over the next 6 or so months we discover the other x number of issues we get to deal with too. Some may be health related and others behavior, but either way we would certainly never have any inclination contact the shelter and expect any responsibility on their part. The only time I would contact them regarding an issue was if it had been a pup that we had rescued and the issue was something that the other littermates could also have, so that the shelter could contact the other adopters to warn them. I would also contact the shelter if the issue had come up shortly after adoption and if it was something that could have spread to other dogs. Otherwise I figure my dogs are all a crapshoot with a bag of issues, oh what issues will arise today? But either way, I love all my little crapshoots and am lucky to not had any physical or behavior issues that couldn't be improved with a little hard work and tlc.


So my opinion on this topic comes from my experience in the horse world. So with regards to that, I have always believed that the responsibility comes down to the buyer not the breeder/seller. I figure the breeer/seller has the responsibility to answer all questions truthfully, but unfortunately people lie, so you can't always count on being told the truth. I think it is the buyers responsibility to research the lineage of the animal they are looking at buying. It is their responsibility to do any background checks and poking around about the seller. If they feel it is warranted then they should have a health check done on the animal prior to purchase, if the seller doesn't want that done, then they should walk away right then and there. If something happens to the animal once it is brought home, it's their problem. The seller should never send an animal to it's new home with an obvious physical issues unless this is discussed with the buyer i.e. snotty nose, goopy eyes. If there was a contract, then both parties should follow the guidelines of the contact. If the seller doesn't follow the written guideline of the contact than it seems that there is a legal issue. If the buyer doesn't follow the guidelines, then there may be a legal issue i.e. the buyer signed a spay/neuter agreement but then ended up breeding the animal. But if it's a situation where the buyer wants something different that what is stated in the contract then it is up to the breeder whether they want to offer that, and in my opinion the contact would now be null and void i.e. the contract said that if x happened they could swap the dog for a new pup, but then the buyer decides they want money instead of the new pup.


I have had this philosophy backfire on me in the horse world. I bought a horse that was suppose to be broke, but not started on barrels. Turned out that not only had she been started on barrels, but had been run for 2 years and had all sorts of problems. I spent about 3 years 'fixing' her issues, but unforunately she and I were never 100%, I have since re-sold her and enjoy the experience that she doesn't pull the old issues with her new owner, but when I sold her I passed on the info of what her problems had been. I have a friend who bred her mare that there was a live foal guarentee, the foal was born and everything was fine. When the foal was a week old the mother stepped on it and broke the colts leg, they had the colt put to sleep. They contacted the breeder, just to let them know what had happened and the breeder offered a re-breed to that mare, or another mare of their choosing. Obviously the breeder didn't have to do that.


I would like to think that someday when we buy a puppy we will follow the same guidelines and do the best to make sure everything is sound and healthy and then deal with issues as they crop up. Sorry for the long rambling, I just think it's an interesting topic and am interested in knowing what others think. Also, I searched for this topic but couldn't find one that wasn't about a specific situation, so hopefully this hasn't been discussed before.

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I think a good breeder with a good reputation and with clear goals such as the betterment of the breed, whatever that is for a particular breed will want some involvement if there is a problem.


One of my pups came from a breeder who had all the appropriate health screening in place but down the track it became obvious my pup had mild elbow dysplasia. I wanted a performance dog and the breeder knew this. Anyway I had a long chat with her and there is no doubt she would have taken the dog back. I also noticed that my pups show quality bitch litter sister destined for the breeding program of another breeder was spayed and rehomed and several adjustments were made in her breeding program.


There was no talk of refunds this breeder simply offers to take the dog back and replace with a new pup. Of course that was not an option for me but for some people it is probably a good solution.


This breeder will take her dogs back if the owners run into any problems they cant handle, be it divorce, temperament or health.


I think that it is the owners responsibility to do the initial research but also to contact the breeder if a problem arises particularly if it has genetic origins. The owner needs to have a clear understanding with the breeder as to what will hapen if an issue arises further down the track and probably needs to do some research on the breeders track record. I knew my breeder takes her dogs back as a well known fact.


With a good breeder who carefully selects their clients and follows an ethical breeding program it should not be a major issue anyway. A good breeder would rather a dog was returned or discuss options with an owner than the dog end up dumped.

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