Recently I've spoken with several people who acquired a dog and then for some reason or other had to return it. In these tough financial times, sadly many people find themselves in situations that they had not expected. Losing a job can be life altering and then not being able to secure another form of employment can change everything even further. What happens when you get a puppy and either the puppy doesn't fit or for some reason you simply cannot keep a puppy? The return policy.
Over the years I've heard a great deal about return policies; some are amazing, others not so much. In my opinion when you choose to breed you take on the responsibility of all that you breed. Meaning that each and every dog that you put out there in the world, you are responsible for. If that means that you have to reclaim a puppy due to being duped by someone, then you do it. If one of your families finds themselves is need of returning a puppy because they are a statistic of today's financial issues; then you take it back. No matter what, you take your puppies back.
I spoke to one breeder who said "you better be sure because I don't want any puppies back." Her stance on returning was not; she wasn't taking back a puppy for any reason. When most other breeders that I know write in their contract; if for any reason you are unable to keep your puppy, it will be returned to the breeder. Of course the more puppies that you put out there the higher the possibility that some will come back. I guess other than taking back a puppy is the money issue. All puppies should be taken back if needed; that's just a given. But the money issue is a tricky one.
Knowing many breeders and their policies, they are all different. One particular breeder that I know takes puppies back and returns money no matter what. Her thoughts are for her puppies alone; "give me the puppy, here is your money back." Returning monies paid for a puppy when that said puppy is returned most definitely makes things more simple. It leaves nothing lingering; all ties are severed, nothing to discuss further.
Sometimes it just doesn't work; for whatever reason a puppy chosen hasn't fit the family. Should the family pay for this? I think not. Those people who may have had thought that a puppy would fit wonderfully could suffer greatly with the loss of that money. Maybe money is the reason that they cannot keep the puppy; either way I think that it should be returned.
Life is not a science and if even you do your homework it sometimes goes wrong. What matters is that the puppy is placed in a home where it fits; that is what is the most important thing. For a breeder this means work, but that is the work that you chose when you started breeding. Returning all money is most definitely the easiest and cleanest policy to have but; then there are the people who dupe you. They convince you of the great home they have for your puppy; they are just the greatest family. But then you find out otherwise; do you return money to these people when you take back your puppy? A thought to ponder.
Tying up the funds can draw out the agony which has already been placed before you. Litigation may follow as these less than upstanding citizens attempt to retrieve their funds from you. Is it worth it? The time and the effort to keep their money? That is a very personal question both with regards to situation and personal option. I do think in the long run that even for these "bad" folks that it is easier to just give it back. You have your puppy back which is the important part; there is good in that fact alone.
Breeding dogs is huge; there are so many aspects to it if..............you are an ethical, reliable and "good" breeder. It's easy if you have no heart and pump out puppies like they are pet rocks. But if you want to breed dogs so that other people can enjoy healthy, happy dogs then do it right. Making money should NEVER be behind it because money is behind the bad ones.