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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Health Guarantee?

Is a health guarantee is standard for most breeders?

I've spoken to breeders (who have AKC champion dogs) who supply nothing more than is required by law (in NJ I think its something like 30 days or less), and others who guarantee the health of their pups for one year or more.

The breeder I'm working with told me that any breeder who puts a limit on a health guarantee is basically telling you that once the guarantee for the dog is up, that the breeder is out of your life. She says that should any puppy she sells me get sick at any time - even 4 years later - that she would replace the dog.

If a breeder doesn't supply one longer than the legal minimum, is this a sign to find another breeder?

Last edited by lisaj1354; 12-08-2007 at 06:35 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 07:53 PM
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What do you mean by health guarantee? Ask for specifics.
Do they mean that the puppy is coming to you without any illnesses? If so, I think most states only require that guarantee to be 3-7 days because illnesses can be picked up on the trip home or shortly after getting to your place.

Do they mean congenital defects? If so, do they limit which ones? Do they require you to return the pup? Do they offer to pay for surgery if needed? If so, is there a limit to how much they will pay? What if the dog has a second problem after that?

Some breeders guarantee their dogs for life. Find out what that means too.

And most of all, make sure any breeder you are considering does health testing of both the sire and dam before they breed them: BAER (hearing), CERF (annual eye exam), patellas, and hips. Health testing can be verified online (http://www.offa.org), but you'll also need the registered names of the dogs to search for the results.

At least with health testing done prior to breeding, you know the breeder cares about health and congenital defects not being passed along.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 08:02 PM
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There are probably as many different guarantees as there are breeders.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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All the breeders I've spoken to have full testing records for issues listed as required on the HCA site, along with the pedigrees of both sire and dam - so that's not an issue for me. I also checked them out on the OFFA site too and every breeder I've spoken with has their dogs listed there too.

I really have no idea exactly what a "health guarantee" covers! I also don't want to piss off anyone by asking about this. I've asked one guy and he practically bit my head off and then explained that even if my dog went deaf in 5 years, he'd take it back. But he never said anything about covering treatments for any issues.

I guess I'm looking for a definitive definition of what a "Health Guarantee" is.

Tom - as a breeder, can you give me some guidence here?

Last edited by lisaj1354; 12-08-2007 at 08:10 PM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 08:18 PM
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Guarantees are fine, if it means that the breeder with help with any costs incurred due to some health problems. Make sure it is all spelled out. Just a general "health guaranteed for one year" - well, what does that mean exactly? That's what you have to find out.

Kimberly said it very well (I just saw what she posted).


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 08:41 PM
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Sorry, but I don't really know how to give guidance other than that you really have to ask the breeders and find one that you are comfortable with. Ideally, you are not just buying a puppy but the efforts and experience of the breeder. The breeder should be a friend for life and available any time you need advice.

There are different categories of breeders. Maybe that should be the topic for another thread. There are Puppymill breeders, Showmill breeders, Show breeders, Wacko breeders, Hobby breeders, and probably some other categories. Health guarantees probably go from "send your money, we send a puppy" to guaranteeing money back up to the cost of the puppy for life to help cover any necessary medical costs for a congenital problem, money back if the pup develops CD, and buying the puppy back any time during it's life for any reason.

Personally, we feel that there are more health tests needed than just the OFA ones. There is the SA320 complete blood panel with pre and post bile acids. There was a study done that just looked at statistics and the results were that it was not correlated to puppies with liver shunts but the statistics depended on the breeders submitting the statistics to be honest. Personally, we know of 2 breeders who had a puppies with shunts and the bitches later had an SA320 and in both cases had high post bile acids. We have never had a puppy with a liver shunt from our dogs which all have single digit post bile acids.

We have heard of problem pregnancies and puppies with problems from those litters when the dam was found out after delivering that she was low thyroid. The thyroid test is not a very expensive one.

Health testing is great and absolutely should be done and the breeder of your puppy should be asked about it but nothing tells you how much your breeder will stand behind their puppies better than their guarantee and talking to owners of their puppies. Every puppy we sell is from a referral and has been for a long time.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 09:04 PM
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To some breeders, a "guarantee" just means they will take the puppy back if you have a problem with it. That's why you need to ask what they mean. You need details.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 09:07 PM
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And if you simply get a guarantee that the breeder will take the dog back, do you even get full purchase price back for the dog? That's another question to ask.

Every breeder's guarantee is different, if they even have one.
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