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Answered: What Do Dog Breeders Do with Returned Dogs?

Updated: Feb 25

One of the most fulfilling experiences in people's lives is adopting a dog. While we would all want to think that these matches are successful every time, that’s just not the case.


Some people believe they’re unprepared for the obligations of pet ownership. Or that it would be best for all parties concerned if they simply didn’t get a pup to begin with. They might also feel like they should return their dog because it's not a good fit.



It will be easier for you to decide if you want to work with breeders if you’re aware of how breeders handle returned animals.


Breeders Want What’s Best for Their Dogs


Breeders are responsible for the welfare of their dogs, which means they will often be faced with the difficult decision of accepting a returned puppy.


You should make sure that your contract with your breeder includes provisions that specify what will happen if any problems arise with the dog after purchase. Responsible breeders will always keep their eyes open to see if their dogs are being placed in not only well-suited homes but homes that will be best suited for them and their new owners.


In cases where issues cannot be remedied, rehoming is often the best option because it allows another family to find happiness with this new pet!


If a breeder does not accept returns for any reason, it means they don’t believe in what they're doing and aren't an ethical breeder. If you are considering getting a dog from a breeder and they do not take returns, don't work with them.


Good Breeders Will Carefully Screen Potential Owners


How to breeders vet potential puppy owners? The process may take a few weeks or even months, during which the breeder will enquire extensively about the potential owner, his or her living arrangements, way of life, and previous experiences with dogs in the family.


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Asking yourself the following questions is essential if you're considering purchasing a new puppy from a breeder:

  • Does my house have enough space for this puppy?

  • Am I ready to cover all the costs that come with having a new dog (food, treats, and medical care)?

  • Is my family - children included - ready for this responsibility?

  • Do I have the time to properly take care of this puppy?


We here at JLDD have devised an Exclusive Matchmaking Program that is unrivaled. We get to know you and your puppy’s personalities and make sure that all of our pairings are as perfect as can be. Then, and only then, will we let our dogs go home with their new paw-rents.


Who Would Return an Adorable Dog?


Some people buy puppies from breeders, but then realize that they can't handle the responsibilities of owning a pet. Other times, buyers may have bought a dog without knowing all of its needs or characteristics. This can lead to much frustration and even anger on both sides when it comes time for a return.


People may have unrealistic expectations about what their new dog will be like or underestimate how much work goes into raising a puppy. Some common reasons why people return dogs are:


  • Buyer's remorse (you didn't really want this dog in the first place).

  • Lack of time (your job takes up all your free time).

  • Lack of space (you live in an apartment with no yard).

  • Money issues/lack thereof (you cannot afford food and vet bills).


Is it typical to have new puppy owner regret? Yes, it's common to regret getting a dog. If you've recently welcomed a new dog or puppy to your household and are questioning if you made the right decision, remember that you're not alone.


This feeling goes by the name “Puppy Blues.” If you get “Puppy Blues,” think about the source. Though puppy purchase regrets often fade with time, one might occasionally find that a new home is the wisest course of action.



Do your research! If there's any question about your ability to care for an animal properly, delay things until the time is right. Don't forget about other factors such as your schedule and financial considerations!


Dog Allergies Can Sometimes Lead to Returns

Some dogs may be returned due to allergies or other medical conditions that were not apparent when they were checked by the vet at the time of purchase. Some breeds are more susceptible to allergies than others, so if you have a dog with a known allergy, it's best to ask your breeder about this before buying from them.


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The same goes for your and your family's noses. Allergies can manifest as skin irritations and rashes, ear infections (which can lead to hearing loss), digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting-- the list goes on! Allergies can also develop into more serious conditions like cancerous tumors.


In rare circumstances, it might be better for both parties involved if you return them to their breeder rather than continuing with treatment plans that may not work out well in the long run. Most times, however, your breeder will work with you to keep your puppy homed with you so that all of you can live a happy and long existence together.


But What Happens After a Puppy is Returned to Their Breeder?


Many people wonder if breeders will take back their puppies. The answer in many cases is yes. A responsible breeder will always bring their puppy back and make sure they always have a loving home.


While this next option is not how we handle things, a breeder could send a puppy to a shelter. This not something we recommend any breeder do, and we don't understand the logic behind it.


Keeping a returned dog for themselves is rarely the case with a shelter. This is not to say anything negative about shelters. They typically don’t have the time or resources to properly handle all the animals they take in.


Work with your breeder in every way to make sure that if you bring a dog home, you do everything in your power to make sure they’re 100% loved and with you forever. A good breeder will keep the puppy until it finds a suitable home and will not give the puppy to just anyone.


Don’t Think of a Return as a Second Chance


When a dog is returned, it's not being given a second chance. It's being given its first chance. A lot of times, this dog has been through a lot. Maybe in its previous home it was neglected or mistreated, perhaps even abused! The breeder will rehome the animal with someone who will love and care for it properly.


A good breeder will never put up with abuse or neglect from any owner; if anything like that happens at all, they'll take action right away and make sure those owners can't get another puppy from them ever again.


If you need to rehome your dog, make contact with your breeder right away. However, we also wish to warn our readers against drawing hasty conclusions like these, especially if they have young dogs.


Determine whether you are feeling overburdened as a result of typical puppy-related problems. It's essential to think about the things that are leaving you frustrated and thoroughly examine whether or not they can be fixed with training or by your dog growing naturally from a puppy to an adult.



Jenna and the JLDD Team

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