As breeders we have a moral and professional responsibility to the dogs we bring into this world. It is our duty to ensure that they are provided with everything they need to live a high-quality life. A life that is mutually beneficial to both the dog and the owner. The bond between dog and human is one of the most beautiful relationships in the world. Although I rarely allow dogs from my breeding’s to leave my possession, from time to time when the situation is right, I have sold or given dogs to people. Below is a list of some things that I believe are important when considering the potential ‘fit’ between my dog and a new owner.
The most important factor is whether or not the dog’s quality of life will be improved by moving to a new home. Will the dog receive everything I will give him and MORE? This includes high quality nutrition, exercise, socialization, opportunities to succeed, love & attention, etc. If the answer is yes, then it would be selfish of me to keep the dog in my possession.
What is the new owner looking for in a dog? Does my dog have the potential to fulfill the requirements of the new owner? This requires honesty and objectivity. Knowing your dog’s strengths and weaknesses.
What has the potential new owner accomplished in the past? I do not like inexperienced owners who are learning and making mistakes at my dog’s expense. There are obvious exceptions to this rule, but for the most part inexperienced owners are not a good fit for dogs such as mine.
Has the potential new owner raised many dogs from a puppyhood to old age? If not, this is a major red flag. I want my dogs to be in loving homes and considered part of the ‘family”. They should be treated with respect in old age and not ‘thrown away’ or neglected when they no longer serve a working purpose. People who are constantly 'losing' dogs or 'rehoming' dogs are not a good fit. Pay more attention to the patterns people display over time, and less attention to what they 'say'.
Does the potential new owner have the financial means to provide high quality nutrition and veterinary care if necessary? Owning dogs is expensive. Expensive medical treatment seems to always happen at the worst time. Therefore, it is important that the owner has the financial flexibility to pay for unexpected expenses when they occur.
Do I have an established relationship with the potential new owner? Do we trust each other? Have I been to their house and see how they care for their dogs with my own eyes? Without trust, every relationship is doomed. The breeder/dog owner relationship is no different. People change, but their behaviors, over time, usually remain pretty consistent. Pay attention.
A dog I bred can always ‘come home’. If something unfortunate happens and the new owner can no longer keep a dog I bred, it can always come home. The dogs didn’t ask to be here; I brought them here. So, it’s my duty and responsibility to always be there for them. The result is I breed less and I am more strategic with my breeding’s.
As professional breeders of the American Pit Bull Terrier, we must hold ourselves to the highest standards and be steadfast in our dedication to the breed. This means doing whatever is necessary to ensure that our impact on the breed leaves the APBT better than when we found it.
Jared Wolf is co-owner of Wolfpack Canine in Salem, NH, winning national titles in PSA and training with UFC mega star Jon Jones. Jared is proof that when you love what you do and stay determined, good things happen.
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Ask friends, family, and other pet owners for recommendations of responsible dog owners.