I recently came across a situation where a potential puppy owner had turn to a backyard breeder out of desperation - she had contacted several breeders and only 1 came back to her. Understandably, this was quite disheartening, but even more heartbreaking would be a situation where she might have bought a pup (maybe for a few thousand less than your ethical breeders) that had health issues, that had perhaps come from a bitch who have had her umpteenth litter (bred season after season) without any regard for her or her puppies' health, a pup that perhaps might have behavioural issues because dogs were just being bred for the profit of it and were not carefully selected and based on conformation and temperament paired together.. A few years down the line, she could potentially sit with thousand upon thousands of rands worth of vet bills, behaviourist bills etc because she felt disheartened and perhaps wanted a puppy quicker than what any breeder could offer her.
Yes, it is the responsibility of breeders to get back to you, but please be aware that most breeders have full-time jobs and cannot answer every phone call/email immediately. I try to make a point of answering immediately, because we all know, life happens: Tonight I might get home, just wanting to spend time with my dogs, maybe there is an emergency that needs to be attended to etc and before you know it - a few days or weeks have gone by. Also bear in mind, we receive a couple of requests a day and answering to each individually and personally, takes time. If a breeder does not respond in a week or so, please try and follow up again - and perhaps try a different route of communication (Facebook, email, whatsapp, telephonically). Chances are the more info you give about yourself in your message, the more likely a breeder will be to reply. (Imagine getting 5 messages a day that says "Hi how much for a puppy" - later one does not feel obliged to reply anymore). If all else fails, please bear in mind that the only KUSA registered breeders can be found here: http://www.mackland.co.za/Breeders.htm. Please stick to these breeders - otherwise you might just be adding fuel to the fire of the profit, money-hungry backyard breeders/scammers. I have in previous blog posts highlighted the difference between the two, but if you only remember one thing: Ask to see registration papers of both dam and sire and if their is any missing or unknown information, stay away! Also know that DNA testing/profiling and Health tests do not mean the same thing. There was unfortunately a loop-hole created where backyard breeders can register their dogs with KUSA - we are trying to reprimand the situation, but please be aware of this in the mean time (if you want more info in this, please contact me). Obviously if there is not any registration papers- its a no-go!
Please also note that puppies can be sent via Pet Cargo (we use bidair cargo) throughout the country as well as internationally - so you do not only have to look at breeders in your vicinity. Yes, ofcourse do not contact a breeder in "put-sonder-water" (there isn't a registered breeder there by the way), happily pay for a puppy without seeing photos/videos of the parents and end up finding out it is a scam and being completely heartbroken. If the breeder is not driving distance from you, please look at something like a video call where you can see the dogs, how they are treated and preferably how they interact with other dogs. My point in this - even if a breeder is not close to you, rather stick with an ethical breeder that is far than end up buying from a backyard breeder that might be closer or even worse getting caught out by a scam.