What is a Breeder?
I have a lot of people that message me to simply ask "How much"? A lot of people never respond back or they'll respond with a nasty comment. They will say something to the effect of “That's more than I want to spend" or I can buy a dog cheaper some place else”. Most of these inquiries are from "pet people" meaning they aren't looking to breed because most breeders KNOW what a well bred Yorkie costs. They say they don't care about registration papers because they only “want a pet”.
No dog is “just a pet”.
Behind every purebred dog is a BREEDER. I’m using capital letters to differentiate a breeder from a pet factory or puppy mill. A reputable breeder does not breed dogs without papers, that does not protect the integrity of the breed. Registration (papers) are the only records of lineage that document bloodline and allow one to research any possible health issues present in the lineage. When you tell a Breeder you don’t care about papers what you’re really telling them is you couldn’t care less about the health of the dog. You just want the cheapest thing you can find! When you select to buy a dog from a reputable and quality breeder, this breeder is responsible for the health of every dog; both dogs owned and every dog they’ve sold for its lifetime. This breeder will skip holidays, miss sleeping, and most of their personal house space has been turned into space for their dogs. The truly passionate breeder who loves what they breed, puts their whole heart and soul into it. Not only in puppies that are sold, but also in each client who owns a piece of their heart and now is a member of their extended family. This does not take into account any pup/dog who might get sick or need extra help to thrive. Breeders worry about their babies after they leave and will take one back without question.
A breeder will get their hands dirty, often covered in everything accompanied with birthing. Because that’s what life is about...In the middle of birth and death is life. The wheel that keeps turning. A breeder will do progesterone tests, echocardiograms, x rays, analysis, emergency c sections, register dogs and litters, research pedigrees, de-worm, as well as microchip their puppies and get them evaluated by specialists.
Last, but by no means least, a breeder CHOOSES the family lucky enough to have one of their puppies. Yes, you read that right. A true breeder chooses who they sell to because they are not making money off the sale. There is no compensation that can offset the investment a Breeder has made so they need to be confident it's the right fit. Many times saying more no’s then yes...Because breeding is not a responsibility to ever be taken lightly, it’s a lifestyle choice set aside for ONLY the few devoted people willing to sacrifice.
Because a dog is never “just a pet” it’s the Breeder’s legacy, a little boy’s best friend, a little girl's protector, an elderly person's therapy, a member of the family, someone’s whole world!!!
Why Do Breeders Often Require Non-Refundable Deposits?
There are a number of reasons why many breeders require non-refundable deposits.
Being a responsible dog breeder requires careful planning, a huge time commitment, and major financial investments. Non-refundable deposits support breeders with all of these things.
It is of the utmost importance to breeders that they place their puppies with new owners who have been screened, educated, and are ready for the lifelong commitment of getting a puppy. Finding, selecting and preparing these new owners takes a large amount of a breeder’s time and energy. One of the most difficult times for breeders to do this screening is around the same time as the birth of the pups.
Prior to the birth, breeders are often on call, waiting with and supporting the pregnant mom. Once the litter arrives, many breeders stay with the litter 24/7, as a second mom to the pups and a nurse to the dog mom. Puppies are born unable to hear or open their eyes and are entirely dependent on both their dog mom and breeder. This neonatal period can be particularly anxiety-inducing as the pups’ health and weight need to be monitored daily. It’s not uncommon for a pup to require feeding from the breeder (in addition to feeding from the pup’s dog mom) in order to survive this critical time. All of this means sleepless and stressful days and nights delivering and caring for the new family.
After the pups’ eyes and ears open, breeders are fully focused on the demanding and costly task of providing for the health and development of their litter, including socializing, training, feeding, providing vet care for, and potty training an entire litter of puppies and caring for their mom! Additionally, many breeders use this time to evaluate their pups, share regular updates with their waitlist, and work with the folks on their waitlist to determine which puppy will make a good match for each puppy applicant in order to ensure that a puppy’s new home will be a forever home.
As you can see, it’s essential that breeders are able to give new litters and their moms their full attention, making this a difficult time to review puppy applications, interview potential puppy buyers, and select suitable homes for their pups. Many breeders prefer to have many, if not all, of their pups committed to prior to or soon after the pups’ arrival and so accept non-refundable deposits in advance to ensure this.
Advanced deposits also give new owners sufficient time to prepare for the commitment of getting a dog. They will have considered things like “Questions to ask yourself before getting a dog,” “Ways your life will change when you get a dog,” and “What to consider financially when getting a new dog.” Not only does this give new puppy owners time to become educated and informed, but also to make critical preparations for the arrival of a new puppy, such as finding a local veterinarian and purchasing essentials for the new pup. This preparation time is enormously valuable in helping to ensure a smooth transition for the pup to his or her new home and in setting a new puppy owner and pup up for success.
Thus it is in everyone’s best interest – the breeder, the potential puppy owner, and, most importantly, the dog – that breeders are not rushing to find homes for their pups while trying to raise a litter of newborn puppies.
Being a responsible breeder takes a great deal of money, energy, and time. Expenses for a litter add up quickly. The total cost of responsibly breeding a litter of puppies can range anywhere from $7,700 to $23,900, which includes things like health checks for the female breeding dog, stud services, supplies and equipment, extra food and prenatal vitamins, pre- and post-natal veterinary care, registration documents for the new litter, and puppy vet checks, etc. Breeders make these financial investments before new owners pay for their pups – meaning, breeders make these large investments out of their own pocket, relying on the fact that they will be compensated when the pups go to their new homes and they receive the agreed-upon purchase price of the dog from the new owners.
Non-refundable deposits assure breeders that they have buyers for their beloved pups, protect these investments in time and money, and in some cases, may help cover these upfront costs for breeders. Non-refundable deposits also serve as a screening tool for breeders to use when evaluating potential puppy buyers. Payment of a non-refundable deposit indicates to a breeder that a potential buyer is serious and not just “window-shopping,” putting their names down on a waitlist or multiple waitlists without any intention of actually getting a puppy.
Buyers who are willing to pay non-refundable deposits are typically buyers who believe they have found the right breeder for them and are committed to following through with purchasing a puppy. This means that non-refundable deposits protect breeders from a situation where a buyer backs out after a litter is born and a breeder must then dedicate unexpected time and energy finding new homes, while also caring for the remaining pups.
Finally, it can be scary and stressful for a breeder to believe all the pups in her litter are committed to great homes, only to find out at the last minute that one of her puppy buyers has backed out. Suddenly, the breeder is faced with unexpected and time-sensitive demands.
Many puppy buyers have a strong preference for younger puppies and so, depending on the timing, the breeder likely needs to find a suitable replacement home quickly. In addition, the remaining puppy requires timely socialization, development, vaccinations and other care that the breeder hadn’t planned for. This unexpected addition of a puppy to the breeder’s family may not be something the breeder is in a position to handle easily – either from a cost, time or logistical perspective. Non-refundable deposits reduce the risk of this happening to a breeder and, if it does, help offset the unexpected expenses.
As you can see, non-refundable deposits help breeders:
Select great forever homes for their puppies when breeders have the most time and energy to devote to this important task
Focus fully on caring for and raising their puppies and dog moms
Know that their financial and time investment in their puppies, dogs and buyers will be compensated in a timely manner
Avoid scrambling to find homes for and raise unexpected pups