SELLING PET PUPPIES
What Not To Do When Selling A Pet Puppy
E. Katie Gammill, Multi-Group AKC Judge, Exhibition Editor
People looking for a pet puppy are often appalled at the price and strings attached for a simple pet. Ill-timed comments, complicated contracts, forced spay or neuter and lectures on breed health can “make or break” a sale.
Time and again, prospective buyers say “thanks” and turn to less
demanding pet breeders. This “foot in the mouth disease” literally snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.
In all breeds, there are breed
rescues, breeder referrals, and breed reference people for parent
clubs. My experience revealed there are specific circles that
receive referrals and the other breeders can go pound salt!
I sent an e-mail from a friend’s
computer regarding two dogs for sale to be considered for
reference. The response I got was “please send specifics”. It was
obvious the person did NOT read the body of the e-mail as
it contained the sex, color, size, quality, certifications,
address, phone number, e-mail and web page. It appeared there was no intention
of my request going any further than the immediate circle of the
breeder referral persons involved. Therefore, the potential buyer interested
in an obedience, agility, or conformation dog is held hostage until
one such dog becomes available at a preset price from the pre-determined circle.
Through the grapevine, a buyer,
thrilled to have found a puppy available, was going to pick her up.
The next day she called again, asking questions regarding
certifications and genetic problems. The breeder referral
person had insinuated in a round about way that this particular
breeder was perhaps someone NOT to approach. This caused unnecessary
concerns in the mind of the buyer. Lucky for her, she went anyway
and the result was the certifications were on file and the buyer was thrilled with the new puppy.
Who wants to worry about genetic
problems and additional vet bills? Who wants damaged goods? Let’s
face it, 8 out of 10 puppies sold are healthy, happy, and simply
pets! We have yet to breed the perfect dog, or child. By cautioning
potential buyers of all the “pitfalls” of ANY breed, the buyer can be quickly turned off.
Add that to complicated breeder contracts and exorbitant prices, and is it any wonder a buyer doesn’t want to buy “a pig in a poke?”
All of these demands to provide unsolicited information overload the pet
buyer. You become YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY!
Many closed circles of breeders will
not let a specific breed be sold as a pet without strings attached.
Being a breeder referral person for two all -breed clubs, I can
assure you from the horror stories I hear, many sellers shoot
themselves in the foot from the get-go! Thus, the buyer goes to
the Internet and promptly finds a local farmer, puppy mill, or
backyard breeder who just wants to sell those puppies NOW!
The Humane Shelter marketing
techniques far exceed those of the breeder. Breeders know a
Rottweiler/German shepherd/Corgi cross shelter dog IS NOT healthier
than a pure bred. Designer dogs, cross-breeding, or just plain
mutts-mongrels allows health problems not from
one breed, but from three breeds but the shelter
people either don’t know or won’t say. They also don’t say this dog
may be a cast off, have behavior problems, or may grow up to be so
big it can be saddled and ridden throughout the apartment. How many shelter dogs are returned?
Shelters tug at your heart strings. It’s a “feel good”
thing that works! Future pet owners pay exorbitant adoption fees and spay and neuter fees. They have more
invested in their “mutt” than in a pure bred puppy that guarantees
temperament, size, coat, health, and adaptability. Compare that to the purebred
dog breeder who offers certifications, pedigrees, socialization
skills, mentoring advice, and stands behind each and every puppy they sell with a return policy.
As a breed referral person, I suggest people go to the AKC website so they understand the initial purpose of the breed. There they can read about size, temperament, adaptability, coat, and housing requirements.
The pet buyer’s concerns are NOT always a breeders concern. They just want the basic facts. They
don’t want a $2500.00 pet. Pedigrees mean nothing, and suggesting
health concerns sets a puppy up to fail. If a buyer wants breeding
stock or a conformation dog, these issues should be taken into
consideration. Otherwise, it should be a “Don’t ask, don’t tell
policy”. If you are a breed referral person take time to
know the breeders. “Live and let
If there is a pure bred puppy available, let’s
get it into a quality home with a responsible pet owner where is
will be a loved and cherished for a lifetime.
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