Breeders like to screen potential buyers to make sure their puppies are going to loving and caring homes where their needs will be met. Just like buyers want to make sure they’re buying from responsible and ethical breeders, breeders should ensure all potential homes are a good fit. So what questions can buyers expect and what questions should breeders ask? Keep reading to see our list of top questions that buyers are asked when interested in buying puppies.
General Interest & Experience
One of the first steps for breeders in screening potential buyers is gauging their interest and experience with dogs or other pets. This screening usually includes the following questions:
- Why do you want a dog?
- What drew you to this breed?
- Have you had a pet before?
- Have you owned a dog or puppy before?
Dog breeders like to see how familiar potential buyers are with the breeds they’re interested in and if their expectations are realistic. Questions regarding a person’s interest in getting a dog are especially important around the holidays when it becomes popular to gift puppies. Sadly, puppies given as holiday gifts usually end up being surrendered to shelters when their families realize how much work they take. Breeders want to make sure their puppies are going to homes and families that will be committed to them their whole lives.
Not having previously owned a dog or pet before isn’t a deal breaker for dog breeders. This question lets breeders know the level of experience families have with caring for dogs. This is even more important if a family is interested in a breed that is known for being difficult. Not all breeds are good fits for people who are first-time dog owners. Additionally, if there is high demand for a litter these questions help breeders choose the best possible owners for each puppy.
Most of the questions that dog breeders ask potential buyers will fall under the lifestyle and household categories. Examples of these questions include the following:
- Do you have kids?
- What are their ages?
- Have your kids been around dogs before?
- How do you plan to teach your kids the proper way to handle a dog?
- Do you currently have any other pets?
- What kinds of pets do you have and are they comfortable with other animals?
- How do you plan to introduce your new puppy to existing pets?
- Does anyone in your household have allergies?
- Where do you currently live? Do you rent or own?
- If you rent, does your landlord have any breed restrictions, weight limits, or pet rent fees?
- Do you have a fenced-in yard? If not, are you able to take your dog on daily walks or to dog parks?
Kids and/or pets will be some of the biggest factors in determining if a puppy will fit in well with a new family. For example, dogs that were bred for hunting or have a high prey drive aren’t great additions to homes with small pets like cats and rabbits. If an interested buyer already has a dog or other pet that doesn’t get along well with other animals, it’s not safe for that family to add a new puppy to the mix. Additionally, adding a high-energy, large dog to a home with small children can lead to accidental injuries from kids mishandling the dog to kids getting knocked down when playing. The people and pets already living in a household need to be a top priority when deciding if a puppy and family will be a good match for each other.
Furthermore, where someone lives also decides if someone should buy a puppy. For example, there are dogs that thrive in apartments and are adaptable to any living space, while other breeds need more room to run, bark, and play. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for apartment complexes and neighborhoods to have breed restrictions. These are all things that need to be discussed with interested buyers prior to taking home a dog.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a fenced-in yard as this isn’t a requirement. That being said, families without fenced-in yards will need to take their dogs on daily leashed walks and/or frequent trips to dog parks. Potential buyers must be aware that many breeds are prone to chasing small animals and running off, so they cannot expect their dogs to stay close by without a leash. Any time they take their puppy outside, they will need to keep it on a leash.
Awareness of Care Needs
Questions used to gauge if a potential owner is prepared to take on the responsibility of owning a dog include the following:
- Who will be the main person responsible for the puppy?
- What will you do with your dog when you travel or go on vacation?
- Are you prepared for the costs of vet bills, food, supplies, toys, boarding, and grooming fees?
- Do you have the time for routine vet visits and trips to the groomer (if needed)?
- Do you have the time needed to train and care for a puppy?
- How do you plan to train the puppy?
- How often will someone be with the puppy? Will the puppy frequently be home alone?
Potential owners should be aware that puppies require a lot of training. If they don’t have the time or ability to train their puppy, getting an older dog that has already been trained and socialized may be the better choice for them. Puppies are a lot of work and not all families will be able to give puppies the constant attention and time that they need.
Additionally, many dogs aren’t good at being alone. Finding out how often someone will be home with the puppy can help decide if a family is able to meet the social and attention requirements of that particular breed. For example, someone who is away a lot on work trips or works long hours away from home won’t be a good fit for a breed with high attention needs and separation anxiety.
While it may feel awkward, breeders generally ask potential buyers if they are prepared to financially care for a dog. Dogs have many costs, especially in their first year, that include vet bills, food, medicine, toys, supplies, etc. Specifics of finances don’t need to come up, dog breeders just want to know that research and knowledge have gone into a family’s decision to get a dog. Breeders want to ensure that potential owners are willing and able to care for their new pup like they would a family member.
For more information on caring for puppies throughout their lifespan, check out our blog! You can also start listing puppies for sale today on Lancaster Puppies or browse new arrivals to find puppies available near you.