We hear a lot about what to look for in a breeder, what things to check for to ensure they aren’t a puppy-mill or a kitten-farm, and ways to avoid scams.
But one thing that is often not publicised is the breeder’s expectation of the new owner. And believe me, all the good breeders have them!
So here’s the thing. A breeder has invested months of TIME into creating and nurturing this little creature you are about to bring into your home. Sometimes it’s smooth sailing, sometimes it’s not.
But one thing all breeders will agree on, is that it consumes a lot of time. Ensuring a well socialised pet is a mixture of genetics, parents temperaments and how they are raised – the nature vs nurture debate continues with our companion pets as well.
Why does this matter? Because a good breeder will want to know what type of home you will be providing their baby, and whether or not you are a suitable pet parent. It’s not about making a sale, it’s about finding a forever home.
So here’s what they want to know:
- What type of home do you have? Do you live in a city apartment? On a farm? Lifestyle property? Or out in the ‘burbs? Talk about your home, the size of your backyard, the fencing, gardens, neighbours.
- Who lives in your home? Include some information on both humans and other animals.
- How often are you home? For example; do you work full time 8-5, with an hour commute each way, and are often out at kids sports on weekends? Retired, work from home, other? This is hugely relevant to the breed you are enquiring about, some do better in pairs, others require a large amount of exercise.
- Have you had experience with the breed before, or are you new? Be honest, as your breeder is a wealth of information and can help to guide you through any issues that arise. Another reason to provide your breeder the information above, is to help gauge a better understanding of where their kitten or puppy is going.
As a breeder myself, I know I go on about the importance of the breeder/buyer relationship. But placing a pet into a home is a two way street. Just as you (as a new pet owner) are entitled to know about the environment in which your pet is raised, so is the breeder who is placing this pet into your care.
So, what else?
When the breeder provides you an information sheet, they expect you to take the time to read it. Familiarise yourself with the care requirements and the dietary requirements, and buy the same foods that the pet has been raised on. Ask any questions wherever you are unsure about anything.
A final word of advice - please talk to the breeder before changing anything. The well-meaning clerk at the pet store, the receptionist at the vet store, or even your own personal experience – none of these apply to this particular pet in the first few weeks in their new home. Your breeder should always be your first port of call for the first month if any questions arise.