A Guide to Breeding Your Dog

AKC Breeder Resources

A Guide to Breeding Your Dog
Step Fifteen - Sending Your Pups to Their New Homes
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By this time you have learned everything you can about your breed, and you know all the pros and cons of ownership. It's important to share this information - including the negative aspects - with prospective puppy owners. You should be ready to explain why a dog requiring a lot of coat care or training may not be the best match for a workaholic, or why a tiny dog may not be appropriate for a family with small, active children.

A responsible breeder makes sure that their puppies go to good homes. This means careful screening and evaluation of each person or family interested in getting a puppy. Knowing the right questions to ask prospective owners helps breeders get a feel for the type of home they will provide. Some of these questions can include:

  1. Why does the person or family want a dog? Why has the person or family chosen this particular breed?
  2. Who will be primarily responsible for the dog's care?
  3. Do you have the time to meet the demanding needs of the puppy/dog? Time for feeding, training and exercise?
  4. Are there any children? If so, how old are they? How would they be instructed in the care of the dog?
  5. Does anyone in the household have allergies?
  6. Are the new owners committed to the grooming and health maintenance?
  7. What is the potential owner's attitude toward training and obedience?
  8. How often is someone at home?
  9. Will they have time to walk and play with the dog?
  10. Are the new owners prepared to register their new puppy with the AKC?

AKC Breeders have the responsibility to provide AKC registration papers to the puppy's new owners. This means applying for litter registration in plenty of time to supply applications to owners at the time of sale. You should explain the benefits of registration to the owners and help them complete the registration application. Conditions such as limited registration or co-ownership should be explained in full. You will also want to provide the new puppy owners with vaccination/health records, feeding instructions, health guarantees, return policy, any health or genetic tests, as well as a copy of the sales agreement/contract. 

Commit Yourself to the Puppies for Life

For breeders, responsibility doesn't end when their puppies leave with new owners. Responsible breeders make sure their puppies' new families know they can turn to them with any questions or problems that arise throughout the puppies' lives.

As a breeder, you will be gratified by phone calls and letters describing your puppies' first teeth, birthday parties, and other milestones. You'll be thrilled to receive photos of a puppy's first show win or portraits with the puppy right in the middle of a happy family. But you will also have to be ready for bad news: a family splitting up and leaving the dog homeless; a vet contacting you about an unforeseen hereditary illness; a dog you thought would be a great obedience prospect biting a young child.

As a breeder, you will need to be there with advice and support for all these situations. Responsible breeders answer questions, provide resources, and assist with problems that may come up. Responsible breeders assist in re-homing or take in puppies should the need arise.