We receive emails and calls (sometimes even texts) almost daily from people looking to add a Stafford puppy to their home. There are days when I feel nobody really takes the time to read our website and it’s just an email to every breeder they can find asking if a puppy is for sale…..more on this later.
For now I want to compile a list of those breeders whom we feel we can recommend with a clear conscience to people looking. I assume they will all buy one from someplace so I may as well try to steer them to people whom I respect. My criteria to be on my list are not unreasonable and each breeder would not have to meet them all – criteria are the following:
• Following some sort of enrichment protocol with each puppy
• Be willing and able to prove basic health testing, whether by providing certificates or OFA link, not only a ‘clear by parentage’ statement.
• Be willing to remain in contact with buyers for support if needed
• Be willing to take back the puppy for any reason, at any age.
• Register the puppy with AKC prior to them leaving the breeders home
• Microchip and register the chip prior to the puppy leaving the breeders home.
• Not require showing/breeding/puppies back in contract
• Their dogs live in the home and not in kennel runs full time
I honestly do not feel this is unrealistic. Of course we do much more than this list but this is the basics I would ask of a breeder whom I were to recommend. I know this breed doesn’t have enough responsible breeders producing enough puppies for each person who wants to buy one. And I also know that this is why there are so many irresponsible breeders out there paying their bills off their dogs. Pumping out puppies to fill a demand is what happens. They are seeing a void and filling that void and it would cost them time and money to do things the way we do them. I get that. I also know I cannot control what other people do. Its not my business.
When it becomes my business is when we get them in shelters, rescue, rehome situations and when the Staffords are being used for creating mix breeds or sold to people who honestly have no clue about the breed. This is when we see trouble. Recently I saw a post on NextDoor from a person who was giving away their ‘Stafford’ they bought from a breeder I know well because they were never told that the dog could possibly mature to not like other animals. They took the Stafford to dog parks and on off lead walks all the time and one day it killed another dog. They were shocked. The fact a Stafford grew up and killed another dog does not shock me but what DOES is that they HAD NO CLUE this was possible.
Thus I am compiling a list of breeders whom I feel comfortable suggesting to those contacting me.