When a Dog Breeder Stays Possessive After the Sale

When you buy from dog breeders, they generally assume they now own the dog and the breeder no longer has any control. But you better re-read your purchase agreement!

I saw remarks from a dog breeder on Facebook recently that serves as a reminder to read a purchase agreement carefully before you sign.

The comments came on a post about whether people should microchip puppies. One dog breeder said he was considering microchipping his puppies before the sale if he could set aside enough money to get it done.

Silly me. I had the novel idea of suggesting that he instead work with a local veterinarian and provide gift cards to have the chipping done at a discounted rate (or for free). I quickly realized there was more than safety behind the breeder’s idea.

This guy wants to microchip the puppies he’s selling so his contact information can remain with the dog for life. After several exchanges between us, he acknowledged that the purchaser of the dog would be included in the contact information.

But since he is responsible for the puppy for its entire life — at least, that’s his opinion — he wants his contact information there as well.

Why? Because if the dog is ever found abandoned he wants to know about it.

It seems to me he’s jumping to major conclusions.

I can easily suppose a scenario in which a dog owner has a car accident while their four-legged friend is with them. Let’s say the owner is taken to the hospital while the dog manages to escape the scene. The dog is found and taken to a veterinarian or a shelter where a microchip reader is used.

The dog’s owner can’t immediately be reached — he’s in the hospital being treated and can’t respond.

With this dog breeder’s scenario, he is then the next person to get a call, and since he’s told the dog has been found and there’s no response from the registered owner, the breeder then immediately jumps to the conclusion that the dog has been abandoned.

Feeling an apparent sense of superiority, he then reclaims the dog.

Will he try on his own to reach out to the registered owner? Maybe. Maybe not.

Will the owner, upon becoming able to respond, ever hear from the breeder again or even be believed when he explains what happened? Maybe. Maybe not.

I get that this owner thinks he’s doing what’s best for the puppies he sells. I get that he obviously cares about his puppies and about finding them good homes.

But I can’t help but read into his apparent motive that he has major trust issues with his customers. It seems to me that he’s looking for a reason to justify his suspicion.

A dog breeder isn’t the alternate contact I want for my dog’s microchip.

I’d never list the breeder in my dog’s contact information. The breeder from whom I bought my current dog isn’t even in the same state. What good would that do?

I’d want my next of kin to be the “alternate” contact on my dog’s microchip. If something happened to me that kept me from being immediately available, they’d be the ones taking care of my dog until I was able to do so again. And if something worse happened to me, they’d be the ones taking care of my dog for the long term.

My family. Not the breeder.

After all, my dog knows my family very well and is perfectly happy spending time with them. He doesn’t know the woman from whom I bought him. He wouldn’t recognize her. (And if he did, I have reason to believe he wouldn’t be particularly happy to see her again, given the fact that he was 50% underweight when I brought him home.)

I do appreciate the fact that a dog breeder would make a personal commitment to see after the dogs he sells. But there comes a point where care and concern becomes obtrusiveness. And I think the little debate about microchipping exposed a perfect case.

Would you want the dog breeder to be the contact for your dog’s microchip?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.