Before I could bring Kunga home, I had to sign a contract with my breeder. In it, I promised that if ever I wanted to or were forced to get rid of him, I had to bring him back to his breeder. Since I didn’t have any experience in the dog world, I asked why that clause was in there. The breeder explained that she never wanted a dog she had brought into the world to go to a bad home or be dumped in a shelter; instead she would bring him back to her kennel or place him with someone else who wanted him.
It makes sense: as a breeder you don’t want your reputation to be damaged by someone who doesn’t want the dog or can’t take care of it; as a human you don’t want that precious being to be harmed by the stupidity or carelessness or misfortune of its humans.
But how many breeders really expect to take a pup back after the first few months? Recently a friend got a call from a buyer who took one of her pups from a litter bred in 2003. (For people like me who can’t count, that’s about 9.5 years ago.) Through heartbreaking life circumstances, the buyer could not take care of that now old girl named Bailey, and wanted to find her a new home. My breeder friend didn’t hesitate for an instant: when and where shall we meet, and I’ll pick her up from you, she said.
Now my friend already has a houseful of animals, including 3 grown Danes. She’s not rich, she doesn’t have a farm with huge amounts of space. But she immediately and without question took back this older, probably unplaceable Dane, who is no longer cute, has not many years left in her, and requires some vet care. Why? Because it’s what responsible breeders do. They will give home space to any animal they’ve bred, ever, for any reason. It’s the right thing.
If your breeder isn’t prepared to do this before you put down the deposit on your puppy, better think again.