German Shepherd Dog > Refunds- yes or no and when and what if?? (120 replies)
Refunds- yes or no and when and what if??
by Jenni78 on 28 April 2012 - 00:20
|What do you all think about a breeder refunding a buyer the purchase price on a dog deemed to be damaged by environment or abuse? What if it's a gray area or a combination of factors that rendered the dog handicapped in some way and a significant amount of money needs to be spent immediately in order to make the dog able to live a happy and relatively pain-free life? If the owners are largely responsible for the dog's problem, or at least as responsible as genetics are, what comes first? Should the owner be refunded immediately if it means the dog will have to wait for the care it needs, or do you think the dog should be taken care of first and then the breeder and owner can work out any financial exchange later?|
by BlackthornGSD on 28 April 2012 - 00:33
|What a person is contractually obligated to do and personally compelled to do are not always the same.|
I think I couldn't answer the question posed as it is--too much depends on the circumstances and the specific situation.
by Dawulf on 28 April 2012 - 00:34
Caring for the dog comes first in my opinion. No dog should have to suffer in pain because so-and-so needs their money first. And if it were an abuse case, screw giving them their money back. I almost wonder if it were bad enough, if someone could be taken to court over abusing the animal in the first place (make 'em pay for the med bills, IF it was indeed caused by them abusing it). But I guess what your contract says re:refund could have something to do with whether or not they get their cash back at all.
by Bhaugh on 28 April 2012 - 00:46
|IMO it would depend on what the actual damage to the dog is (physical and mental must be considered together imo)? Ive worked with many abused dogs that could NOT be fixed. Physical/mental seem to go hand in hand these days. I had a rescue shepherd that had a spine/knee problem AND she was an absolute nut job. I could have worked with her physical problems through surgery but she was too unstable to rehome. So with the vet it was determined to have her pts.|
What is the mental condition of the dog your referring to?
by brynjulf on 28 April 2012 - 00:53
|I think the dog should be taken care of first. If there is any money left over after treatment, that amount should be returned to the former owner. I would not refund money to anyone I even suspected abuse or abused by negligence or ignorance. Call me a hard ass I dont care. If there was an accident (example dog was run over by owner in the driveway) there also would not be a refund. My head would be spinning around like the Linda Blair if I got a dog back that was in that shape. Also if a dog were left in a crate a zillion hours per day there would be not refund. Now I would have to train the dog and break it of bad habits caused by confinement. Sorry I couldnt be more helpful... kinda need more specifics.|
by Jenni78 on 28 April 2012 - 00:55
|Mentally, he's ok. Some bad habits, normal behavior for a certain type environment, but he's ok. Nothing he won't get over in a different environment in due time. Very strong temperament, thankfully. No reason at all he can't have a somewhat normal life in a different home with some common sense. I would never dump big bucks into a nut job or a dog that would never be happy.|
by Jenni78 on 28 April 2012 - 01:10
|Actually, that does help. Thank you all. |
I don't want to give too many specifics because I hate to accuse someone of something without 110% proof, which is very difficult in this situation. Money is secondary to the dog, but when the dog needs an immediate $4-5k to be comfortable, and he deserves to get it, I feel like the person/s responsible can wait until he's comfortable to get their money back, if it cannot be proven that they caused it, which is my hope. I would hate to find out that I am as naive as I'm told and that his issues are not genetic. Think of how you all would feel to be accused of abuse if you weren't guilty of anything but ignorance and a little greed maybe. So, trying to be very careful here and tread lightly. I thought maybe I was looking at something wrong or missing another side to it.
by Chaz Reinhold on 28 April 2012 - 01:57
|Your question is to vague, and doesnt have any info. Without any of these, I'd say stick to the agreement. How can you prove these things? Physical injuries like hips, unless the dog was hit by a vehicle and has documented injuries, is hard to prove. If it is abuse, etc., how do you prove that? Every time someone adopts a dog and it is a genetic Nervebag, they assume it was abused. More than likely, that is why it was up for adoption. They didn't have a good breeder that would take it back. Hard to prove anything. Unless you talk to people they train with, neighbors, etc., hard to prove.|
by Jenni78 on 28 April 2012 - 02:29
|As I said, the responses given already helped.|
by Chaz Reinhold on 28 April 2012 - 02:49
|Lol. Didn't no I couldnt ad my .02 too the conversation. I ask next time.|
by Jenni78 on 28 April 2012 - 02:57
|Add whatever you want. I didn't mean it like that. You said my question was too vague. I disagree. The responses helped. I was wondering if I was missing a viewpoint in this situation but it seems most think along my lines of the dog comes first. Always.|
by Chaz Reinhold on 28 April 2012 - 03:03
|I agree. My only point was, that whatever the issue, it is hard to prove. You were vague, so I was trying to discuss both physical and environmental.|
by desert dog on 28 April 2012 - 03:17
If I refunded their money and I had a question about the environment it was in I would not give them a cent till they returned the dog.
by live4schutzhund on 28 April 2012 - 12:30
|Do German Breeders have health contracts? I have lost count of the European Breeder sites I have browsed through and I cannot recall ever seeing a guarantee on a web site. Does the lack of a health guarantee hinder the success of German Breeders? The answer is no. Why is this? |
Several possible factors.
1) More educated buyers in Europe.
2) More stringent requirements to get papers on the puppies.
3) Small area with allot more quality competition, so reputation is everything and word probably travels fast.
4) Maybe laws we are unaware of in Germany that protect the buyer.
5) Maybe stricter code of ethics requirements to maintain SV membership.
If the above factors are a possible reason why German Breeders don't offer health guarantees, here is why breeders have them in the USA.
1) Most buyers (Showline) are uneducated with regards to German line dogs, especially your affluent demographic.
--However, USA buyers are quick to notice the guarantee when researching different breeders.
2) Weak AKC regulations, but hey, your buyers demand you have AKC papers.
3) USA breeders are competing for buyers and use a health guarantee to build value.
4) USA breeders use health contracts to offset repercussions of bad breeding practices. Goes back to lack of regulation by AKC.
5) USA buyers don't like taking responsibility for there actions, especially small breeders buying from established breeders.
6) USA buyers in general are mostly just concerned about hips, AND are uneducated about hips, health, and genetics. So they ask, every time....
How to protect yourself as a breeder in the USA without a ridiculous guarantee?
1) Don't breed crap.
---Breed sound, healthy, beautiful dogs and all that entails.
2) Don't sell your dogs to crap.
---Never breed dogs because you NEED the money.
---If a buyer acts and sounds like a nut, probably will be a headache later.
3) Be 100% upfront with buyers and give them REALISTIC expectations.
4) Educate the uneducated buyer very BLUNTLY with facts as to what causes what.
---For example, the all important HIP question and inquiry about a HIP guarantee.
"The causes of hip and elbow problems in any large breed dog are complex. There are things we as breeders can do to prevent genetic hip and elbow problems and things you as a responsible dog owner can do to prevent environmental hip and elbow problems. As a breeder, it is my responsibility to certify my breeding dogs are free of hip and elbow issues either with the SV in Germany or OFA before a dog is bred. It is also my responsibility to know what lines carry this disease and and what combination of lines produce this disease. Even then, as a breeder doing everything right, no breeder can guarantee 100% of the offspring will have perfect hips. Even the number one dog in the world can produce a dog with bad hips and elbows. Any breeder trying to tell you otherwise is not being 100% forthcoming with you. As a large breed dog owner, you have the burden of controlling your new dogs environmental factors. These factors are not open for debate and are your responsibility. Please review the section of this website titled "Health Care". Everything you need to know about creating the best possible environment for your dog is provided along with training information and links to various web sites."
That was pretty good. Feel free to use that if you wish.
Lets say your having a conversation with someone after they read your website.
(("Mr Breeder, I am very interested in a puppy from your X-Litter. I have read your site completely. Even though I appreciate your honesty I am struggling with the choice of your litter, and a litter from another breeder who offers a guarantee. How do I choose?"
"I get asked this question allot. You have a big decision to make. I cannot and will not analyze another breeder but what I can do is help you do a little research that will help you feel comfortable with whatever decision you make. Here are some links to both environmental and genetic causes of various health defects found in the German Shepherd. Also including links to some of the top kennels in Germany. Good luck in your search and let me know if there is anything else I can help you with."))
I could go on and on, but I already have.
Heres the bottom line.
Unrealistic health guarantees are not the way to build value. They open yourself up to excessive liability from uneducated buyers.
Instead, breed good dogs, sell to good buyers, and educate your buyers.
Time for another Monster drink.
by joanro on 28 April 2012 - 13:44
|Live4, excellent, excellent ! If you don't already, you should hire out as a consultant :)|
by live4schutzhund on 28 April 2012 - 15:16
|Thanks Joanro. I would be open to consulting from a marketing/business model perspective. You have my brain spinning on that thought. Don't want to hijack the thread though. |
Funny thing is, any advice I could ever possibly give from a consultant point of view is already out in the open and available if one just looks at who is successful and who is not. Would be weird taking someones money for simply pointing out the obvious. A breeder not accepting the obvious is an entirely different set of issues probably requiring a therapist, rather than a consultant.
Maybe start a thread titled
-Why do you breed dogs?
-What are your goals breeding dogs?
-How do you measure success breeding dogs?
-How do I ensure my puppies go to good homes?
-Marketing - Sales and breeding dogs.
-Breeding dogs with business metrics, a bad thing?
Now those would be interesting threads lol. Hehe.
by jem38 on 28 April 2012 - 15:18
| Assuming this is a young dog (less than 1 Y/O). Were there any litter mates with this same defect? If not and the dog is fixable, fix the dog.|
If this problem was caused by any other means such as accident, abuse, or even while training the person who has the dog is responsible
for vet bills. No refund, especially if you have to foot the vet bills.
by starrchar on 28 April 2012 - 20:18
Maybe I am missing something, but I am wondering why you would give the owner a refund for the dog if the dog has been neglected and/or abused. This seems rather extreme. Even with a confirmed genetic issue, typically a refund is not given, but a replacement puppy is offered. Gosh, a family member of mine just lost a puppy to seizures of unknown cause (most likely congenital or from a virus/infection contracted prior to the puppy being received by the new owner), after spending $3,000-4,000 to diagnose, treat and save the puppy and the breeder is stating she owes the owner nothing. This is, of course, the other extreme. Again, maybe I am just missing something here and apologize if I am.
by Jenni78 on 28 April 2012 - 22:12
|Sometimes you do things because they are necessary for the dog's sake, not because they are required or deserved. I don't have a refund clause in my guarantee. This is actually a question prompted by a couple recent happenings/discussions, including your's Starcharr.|
by windwalker18 on 28 April 2012 - 23:51
|Can't tell you the number of times I've seen a breeder buy back a dog from a situation that didn't quite work out for one reason or another, only to keep that dog, and have it become THE dog in their life. Many of the best dogs in the breed have been retrieved from other homes. If you can afford it, and can provide the training/socialization to repair any damage done by situational problems. Then by all means do it. |
Whether you are contractually required to do so or not is another story. In this kind of case I'd prefer to buy back the dog, rather than replace it as a 2nd dog would be growing up in the same kind of environment.