Can I Return A Puppy To The Breeder For A Refund? Will It Be Taken Back?

Responsible breeder prioritizes the lifelong welfare of their puppies, striving tirelessly to ensure that each puppy is placed in a loving, permanent home. They commit themselves to the care and happiness of these animals and are prepared for the unexpected. When unexpected circumstances can arise, he is always ready to receive back the pups with an open arm and work toward finding better homes.

Let’s answer the question “can i return my puppy to the breeder for a refund?”

Every responsible breeder hopes his pup is not returned but will generally, have a “return-to-breeder clause” in the contract of sale. It should contain circumstances under which the buyer can return a dog to the breeder and can ask for a refund as defined by the contract.

You should be able to return your dog if he has genetic health problems that you can’t deal with or undue aggression. It could also be that he provokes serious allergic reactions or he can’t seem to adjust to his new environment. In other cases like divorce, unforeseen financial challenges, or undue, the breeder has to accept back his canine.

This article contains necessary information about how to return a puppy to the breeder, reasons to return, how to deal with a regretted puppy, and much more.

Do Breeders Take Back Puppies Returned For A Refund?

Breeders typically play a pivotal role in a puppy’s life and in many cases, are prepared to take the pup back under certain circumstances. As such, the answer to whether breeders take back puppies returned for a refund is yes, they often do. However, the conditions under which they do so can vary and largely depend on the individual breeder’s policy and the reason for the dog being returned.

If the new owners find themselves facing some personal hurdles, financial troubles, or unexpected health problems, these could prevent them from being able to provide the necessary care and attention the dog needs. In such cases, many breeders will accept the dog back to ensure its well-being. However, these circumstances usually don’t warrant a full refund, although some breeders might be willing to negotiate a partial one.

Misrepresentations or discrepancies between the dog’s advertised qualities and its actual attributes can also lead to returns. This is amusingly tagged “what you ordered vs what you got”. If a dog does not match the advertised description, it could be considered a fraudulent act.

In these situations, breeders are typically compelled to take back the dog and offer a full refund or an exchange. This underscores the importance for prospective dog owners to personally visit and evaluate the dog before finalizing the purchase.

Moreover, if a dog develops a disease or health issue that was undisclosed at the time of sale, the buyer is entitled to demand a full refund or replacement. The breeder is usually expected to take responsibility in these cases, as it reflects on their breeding practices.

In essence, reputable breeders care deeply about their dogs’ well-being and prioritize it over monetary gain. They are more likely to take back a returned dog and provide it with a safe and nurturing environment, regardless of the circumstances. This is often incorporated into the breeder’s contract.

Consequently, when choosing a breeder, it’s not just about the dog, but also about the aftercare services and the breeder’s commitment to the dog’s welfare throughout its life.

How To Return A Dog To The Breeder?

Returning a dog to the breeder can be a difficult decision, but if it’s in the best interest of the dog and your family, then it’s important to handle the process with care. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Review the contract: If you purchased the dog from a breeder, there may be a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including a clause about returning the dog. Review the contract carefully to understand your rights and responsibilities.
  • Contact the breeder: Reach out to the breeder and explain your situation. Be honest and clear about why you need to return the dog and ask about their return policy. 
  • Prepare the dog for the return: Make sure the dog is clean, groomed, and has all necessary vaccinations and medical records. 
  • Arrange for transportation: If the breeder is far away, you may need to arrange for transportation. You can hire a pet transportation service or drive the dog yourself if the breeder is within a reasonable distance.
  • Sign any necessary paperwork: The breeder may require you to sign paperwork releasing ownership of the dog back to them. Make sure to read and understand any documents before signing them.

Also Read: AKC VS CKC: The Ultimate Dog Registry Comparison Guide

Reasons Why Dog Owners Return Their Dog To The Breeder 

Sometimes, certain unexpected or accidental situations emerge, where returning the pooch may be the best option for both the dog and the owner. It’s important to note that returning a dog to the breeder should always be a last option, and all efforts should be made to address any issues before making this decision.

Some reasons to consider returning your dog to the breeder include:

1. Health Issues

After closing a deal, if a dog has developed some serve and prolonged health issues like genetic disorders, infectious diseases, or other chronic illness, due to the inappropriate care of the breeder and did not previously disclose to the owner, under such conditions a new dog owner can deny taking medical care of the pooch and will have all rights to return the dog to the unethical breeder. 

However, if the sickness is minor and cured able within a few days, then returning the dog is not a course of action. 

It’s the sole responsibility of the breeder to ensure the dog’s health before the final deal and if a mistake is from the breeder’s side, then he should accept and take the dog back. 

2. Behavioral Issues

Most dogs become habitual and cop with the new family upon training and loving them with lots of treats, but some dogs are so attached to the breeder that they can’t adjust themselves in a new home or with new family members; they become extremely aggressive due to trauma, fear or anxiety.

Despite all efforts, if a dog owner remains vain to control the violent behavior of the dog, then the owner might find a way to send the dog back to the breeder. 

3. Dog Allergy Problems

Sometimes, the new doggo member of the house is not healthy for the family, especially for kids, as the canines can provoke serious unknown allergies through their saliva, furs, urine, etc.

So, the family members should interact with the new pooch before buying one, otherwise, circumstances can become argumentative for a refund between both the owner and breeder. 

4. Financial Stress

Owning a pet comes with a lot of unforeseen expenses and when dog owners are unable to take care of the basic needs of their pooch including food, entertainment, and health care, it becomes a problem.

It is important to be prepared for the financial commitment that raising a dog requires, otherwise, it is not a good idea to own a canine. If you already own one, you can consider returning it to the breeder for the good of the little buddy.

How long do you have to wait before returning a Puppy?  

Welcoming a new pup to home and settling him in a new environment is not an overnight or one-day process. An owner and his family need to show extreme patience with an untrained and hesitant dog.

When you buy a pup from a reputable breeder, there is usually a contract in place that outlines the return-to-breeder clause. These terms can vary widely, and there is no standard period in which a dog can be returned. It depends entirely on the breeder’s policy.

Many breeders have a policy that allows for the return of the dog at any time during the dog’s life if the buyer is unable to care for the dog. They do this to ensure the dog’s welfare, and to prevent the dog from ending up in a shelter or another inappropriate situation.

Some breeders might have a specific timeframe during which a puppy can be returned for a full or partial refund, for example, if the dog develops a health problem. This could be a few days to a few weeks after the purchase.

Commonly a 3-3-3 rule is applicable before planning to return a dog. Most of the dogs experience 3 days of feeling anxiety and nervousness, 3 weeks of setting in, and 3 months of building trust and confidence toward a new family.

After 3 months if you feel that the purchased dog is still not ready to fit in the new place, then you can talk to the breeder about a return and refund. 

How To Cope With A Pooch You Regret Buying Or Cannot Return  

Having negative experiences and regret after buying a puppy is quite normal and known as “puppy blues”. Normally, puppy blues are not permanent, and they can deal with patience and training classes. However, the other best possible option to deal with a regretted puppy is rehoming.

Young dogs are quite energetic and they can depress you, as they are not potty trained or taking too long to be trained, most dog owners give up as new canine members are messy, hyper, or not ready to accept their new lifestyle. 

However, these problems are temporary, one day your pooch will be fully potty trained and he will follow all your instructions as he grows. If you are still facing some issues with your pup you need to hire a dog trainer or invest in a training school. 

In some other cases, if you are not economically fit to support the pooch or your family members and other pets are not comfortable with a new puppy or they might be facing serious allergies, under such situations, if the breeder denies taking back the dog then the best option is to consider rehoming for the pooch.

Here are some tips to cope with a pooch you regret buying:

  • Reach out to friends and family members for help (especially those who are already dealing with regretted puppies) 
  • If you notice any abnormality, call your vet
  • Try to research how to deal with violent behavior, potty training, and excessive barking.
  • Stop expecting good behavior from young or untrained dogs.
  • Join puppy classes, as they are an excellent source to learn techniques to control your pup. 
  • Remember puppy blues are temporary.

Also Read: What Happens If You Breed A Dog Without Breeding Rights? (Explained!)

What Should I Do If My Breeder Won’t Take Puppy Back

If the breeder won’t take the puppy back, here are some options:

Rehoming: If you can’t keep the puppy, consider rehoming it yourself. You could ask friends, and family, or use a responsible online network to find a loving and suitable new home.

Shelters or Rescue Groups: As a last resort, you might consider surrendering the puppy to a local animal shelter or rescue group. Try to choose a no-kill shelter if possible.

Training & Behavior Modification: If the issue is related to the dog’s behavior, consider seeking professional help from a dog trainer or a behaviorist.

Vet Assistance: If health issues are the concern, consult with a vet. There may be treatments or medications that can help.

Legal Assistance: If you believe the breeder has acted unfairly or is in violation of a contract, you might consider seeking advice from a lawyer. Some states have “puppy lemon laws” that could potentially provide some legal recourse.

Remember, owning a pet is a long-term commitment and it’s crucial to be prepared before bringing a new pet into your home.


What do breeders do with returned dogs? 

When a dog is returned to a breeder, they may handle the situation differently depending on their policies and the specific circumstances. They may offer a refund or exchange, rehome the dog themselves, or surrender it to a shelter or rescue organization.

Can a breeder demand a dog Back? 

Generally, a breeder cannot demand a dog back unless there is a clause in the purchase contract stating that they have the right to do so. For example, if the dog is being mistreated or not properly cared for, the breeder may have grounds to demand its return.

Am I a bad person for returning my puppy? 

Returning a puppy does not necessarily make someone evil incarnate. There may be valid reasons for doing so, such as a change in circumstances or a mismatch in personalities or lifestyles. Prioritizing the puppy’s well-being and finding it a suitable home is more important than feeling guilty or ashamed about returning it.

Final Thoughts

Whether a breeder will accept a returned puppy and offer a refund depends on their specific policies and the terms of the purchase agreement. Some breeders may have a clause in their contract that allows for returns within a certain timeframe and for certain reasons, such as a health issue or a serious behavioral problem.

Other breeders may only offer an exchange for another dog, or may not accept returns at all. It’s important to communicate with the breeder as soon as possible if you are considering returning a dog and to be honest about the reasons. In some cases, the breeder may be willing to work with you to find a solution that benefits both you and the dog.

Raising a puppy comes with its fair share of challenges, particularly during the initial stages, as it requires long-term dedication. However, it’s one of those things that you’ll be ever grateful for in the future. So, if you are considering returning your dog, ensure you are making a thought-through and informed decision, to avoid regrets later on.

Good luck fam.

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