Ethical puppy sales

We feel it is important to give help and advice to bitch owners who have used our stud dogs. Once the puppies are born we send them the following letter to help them with all the jobs that need doing when selling puppies and seeing them off to their new homes. We also provide example sales contracts and advice sheets for breeders to download if they wish (see buttons at bottom of example letter).  These examples are used at your own risk and no warranty for their legal status is made and no responsiblitly for their use can be held by us.

BREEDERS NAME AND ADDRESS

Dear (puppy breeders name)

Thank you for advising us of the birth of your litter. I am sure you will have many happy hours watching them grow up, along with the hard work.

Whether for a first litter bred or for more experienced breeders, we try to give a quality post mating service by providing some practical help to those who have used our stud dogs. Along with redirecting surplus puppy enquiries to you, when possible, we have also provided you with examples of the documentation we provide to puppy buyers. This information takes into account current and ethical thinking on the back up puppy breeders should provide new owners and an awareness of the legal aspects of selling puppies. We hope this is helpful to you. In addition, I have detailed some other information that you may find useful and can be provided on disc or e.mail.

PUPPY CONTRACTS
Selling puppies comes under the Sale of Goods Act. We are all aware that you have done your utmost to breed a litter of quality healthy puppies. Even though both the sire and dam have undergone various screening tests for hereditary disease which greatly reduces the risk of this occurring in the puppies, it is not possible to guarantee absolute freedom from them to puppy buyers. Most buyers understand this. However, there has been a court case where a breeder was prosecuted for breeding a puppy who developed hip dysplasia. This was despite both parents having very low hip scores. The judge ruled against the breeder because they had not made the buyers aware that there was still some risk of hereditary disease development. Consequently, the breed clubs took legal advice and the enclosed contract may help to prevent such a case in the future as you have proof that you have alerted buyers to hereditary disease development and advised them to take any advice they deem necessary. In my experience sensible and serious buyers have no problems when I explain the reason for the contract. Therefore, I enclose a copy for your perusal that you can adapt for your use if you would like it

We would advise that you take deposits and provide a copy of the contract to interested buyers when the puppies are 4 weeks of age. As if you get let down by a buyer at eight weeks you may have to spend more time and money on an eight week old puppy before a suitable sale results

PUPPY ENQUIRIES
We do not breed every year and usually receive many more enquiries for puppies than we can personally fulfil. Therefore, we pass all extra enquiries onto people who have used our dogs. However, people have often arrived at us by a somewhat circular route and sometimes do not mention our name when they call you even though we ask them to. We have found that it is best, when you are not able to answer the phone personally, if you have an answer service which states your number, at least, and preferably also your name. Callers do not seem to like leaving messages on, for example, the BT message service, as they are unsure they have the correct number. There is also the Kennel Club List of potential buyers but you do need to vet them thoroughly. The Kent Surrey and Sussex Labrador Club also run a free puppy register Telephone Dale Elliot on 01375 675363

PUPPY REGISTRATION DOCUMENTS AND PEDIGREES
We pass puppy sales enquiries onto you on the understanding that all puppies recommended are registered at the Kennel Club. Please remember (if you have not done so already) to complete a litter registration form (obtained from the Kennel Club or downloaded from their web site). Complete your part and send it onto us to complete and sign the stud dog details section. If you enclose a forwarding SAE to the Kennel Club we can post it on for you. You can also order an official KC pedigree for each puppy at the same time (a five generation is much preferred). For those of you who like the personal touch hand written or professionally printed (we use Jean Reader 01798 815404) are nice alternatives. Either way the buyer loves and deserves to have, at the time of purchase, a good pedigree chart to show their family and friends

PUPPY ADVICE SHEET
The advice sheet covers all the topics and actions breeders should take which are considered part of ethical and conscientious breeding. Not only does it help guide the new buyers but also shows their Veterinary Surgeon that the puppy has been brought from a caring and informed breeder. You are free to use or adapt this to suit your own circumstances but hopefully we have given you a useful starting point. Please also photocopy copies of the dog and bitches health certificates for owners to show their vet.

MICRO-CHIPPING SERVICE
Micro-chipping is recommended to prevent theft and provide positive identification. I am able to microchip your puppies, should you wish, at seven weeks of age for the special litter price of £14 each puppy. I would recommend this price be passed on as an addition to new puppy owners. Generally, it will be more expensive for them to have this carried out by their veterinary surgeon at a later date. As we are always interested in going to see as many litters by our dogs as possible, I can combine this as well as micro-chipping, if you wish, or you can bring the puppies to us.

LABRADOR BOOKS AND TRAINING
Many new owners like to have a book on their breed. In conjunction with breed expert Carol Coode, I have helped write a publication called Labradors Today. It includes all aspects of puppy rearing, training, feeding, breeding etc. etc. as well as including some excellent photos which include several of your new puppies' ancestors. Should you or any of your puppy buyers like a copy the price is £16.99. I normally have them in stock but a few weeks notice might sometimes be required. Some of you may know I also run a behaviour and training service which owners might find useful (leaflet enclosed).

We hope this letter has been of use. All the very best. Hope to see you soon.

Yours sincerely,
Joy Venturi Rose and Chris Rose