How Breeders Screen Puppy Buyers

How Breeders Screen Buyers

We all know that puppy buyers should take care when looking for a responsible breeder, but what about the other way round? A responsible breeder not only cares for the puppies while they’re young, but will also be careful in selecting the best forever homes.

So how does a breeder screen puppy buyers? This article covers the important information a breeder should check when selecting the best buyers for their latest litter of puppies.

Checking they’re a good fit

It’s no secret that a lot of puppy buyers do so on a whim, often not understanding what it really takes to care for a puppy. This is particularly true if it’s the first time they’ve owned a dog, as many want to go straight for a puppy. However, this often isn’t the best decision.

The duty of care is on the breeder to ensure that any potential buyers are a good fit and know exactly what it takes to give a puppy the home it deserves.

It’s worth essentially arranging a series of interviews, similar to a job hiring process. The first interview can be done over the phone, but providing you’re satisfied with their answers it’s worth doing the next one in person.

The first interview can happen via text or social media, but always make sure that you speak to them directly at least once before inviting them to see the puppies.

A responsible breeder will take a potential buyer through a fairly rigorous screening process. After all, you’re trusting them with caring for one of your puppies, and no one wants to make a mistake in where you send them.

Someone who is keen to buy a puppy should have little problem with being asked these questions. If a buyer becomes frustrated or angry, this can be a warning sign. Even if they’re a seemingly genuine person, this implies they can’t remain calm.

Questions to ask

As mentioned, a breeder should ask their potential buyers a series of questions to gauge whether they’ll be a good fit for the puppies. Don’t consider it unreasonable to ask for pictures of their home to check everything is in order, but just don’t be too intrusive!

Here’s a list of the important questions to ask potential buyers:

Do you know the costs involved in owning a dog?

Many new dog owners assume the only costs are paying for the dog, buying it some new toys and equipment, and then feeding it. However, we know this isn’t the case.

Advise them of things like vets bills, vaccinations, insurance, and any other potential costs you think might arise. Consider showing them your dog budget (if you feel comfortable doing so) to give them a taste of what costs might be like.

Be aware of warning signals like the buyer being dismissive of your help, them being in a rush to finalize the transaction, or any other suspicious behavior. These buyers might only be in the market for a breeding dog, which is often banned in many breeders’ contracts.

Why do you want a puppy?

Many people choose a puppy over a rescue for the cute factor. This isn’t news to anyone. But then many people ignore the fact that they could be caring for this dog for 15 years or so.

Confirm they have the time to take a puppy to training classes, to be around for the first few weeks to help it settle in, and that they understand what owning a dog for life really means.

Full-time workers should generally be respectfully refused a puppy because they simply won’t have enough time in their schedules to give it the care it needs. Consider directing them to a shelter for a rescue dog instead.

Do you have the time to care for the dog?

While some breeds are easy to care for, others take more work. For example, longhaired breeds need more grooming, larger working breeds need more exercise, etc. As a breeder, you understand this, but your buyer might not.

You should ensure your buyer knows what caring for this particular breed involves. Confirm with the buyer that someone in their household will take responsibility for the puppy. This should include things like vet visits, daily walking, feeding, training, and so on.

While many breeds can be left alone during the day, a working household that’s empty all the time will result in a lonely dog. Many buyers don’t realize this, so it’s necessary to educate them.

Be sure to keep in touch

A responsible breeder will continue to care about their puppies long after they’ve left for their forever home. Don’t be afraid to keep in contact with your buyer and to ask for regular pictures and updates. This is arguably one of the best ways to ensure your puppies are being cared for.

Design an application form

A good alternative to this vetting process is to set up a puppy adoption application form on your business website. This allows you to shortlist potential buyers with ease, if nothing else because time-wasters won’t bother filling in the form.

Providing you’re happy with the answers they give, the next step would be to arrange a call using the details they provide. What’s more, you can always link to this application form from your social media channels too, allowing you to reduce the amount of time you spend repeating the same conversation!


As a breeder, it’s ultimately up to you who gets your puppies. Be sure to screen every potential buyer with care and depth, and never underestimate the power of a gut feeling.

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