Buyer Beware

What are the pros and cons of buying a registered rottweiler


buying one without papers?


We’ve been breeding and raising rottweilers for nearly 25 years and have heard all the justifications of why some people choose to purchase dogs without papers. Some justifications are, we just want a pet and are not interested in showing or having papers. Other people purchase their dog on impulse from a pet store and give little thought to where the dog came from or it’s ancestry. The prices for non-registered dogs may be a couple of hundred difference, but for some people saving a dollar is a justification.

Pure Bred Dogs – Maybe

Well for starters, what guarantee do you have that your pure bred dog (non-registered) is actually a pure bred dog.? What recourse do you have if your pure dog turns out to be pure mutt? Over the years we have received calls from unsuspecting consumers who have actually purchased a rottweiler from a mediocre breeder advertising pure bred rottweilers for sale, only to discover later on that their pure bred dog was not so pure. The only advise we could give these people was to sue the breeder in small claims court but doing so was time consuming , emotionally wrecking and there was no guarantee they would receive compensation. In one particular case I gave evidence in court as an Expert Witness and the person did win his case and had his money returned to him. He was one of the lucky ones but in the majority of cases it is just tough luck.

If you need a book to help with your decision making, I recommend Woman’s Best Friend: Choosing and Training the Dog That’s Right for You

Code of Ethics

In Canada, there is a law which states in the Animal Pedigree Act that no dog may be sold in Canada as purebred without the animal being registered with the Canadian Kennel Club or as with rare breeds directly registered under the Animal Pedigree Act. CKC registration papers are your certification that your new puppy is a recognized Purebred Dog. Furthermore, if you purchase your dog from a breeder who is a member of the Canadian Kennel Club, the breeder is bound by a code of ethics and if they do not abide by the code of ethics they could be kicked out of the club. Reputable breeders will also be members of the Canadian and/or American Rottweiler Club and these clubs also have a code of ethics.

Knowledge of the Breed

Any mediocre breeder can read a breed standard book and regurgitate the information, thus making themselves look knowledgeable about the breed. Then there is the breeder who takes the time and effort to learn about the true character of the breed, the history, the health issues effecting the breed etc, are the dedicated breeders. It is the dedicated breeder who will research blood lines and strive to improve their lines and screen potential buyers. It is the dedicated breeder who will show their dogs and be there to help educate people about the breed. If you have purchased a rottie from a dedicated breeder you will discover the support continues long after the sale has been concluded.

Health Issues

The Rottweiler Health Foundation has conducted a study and found that bone cancer and unspecified cancers as being the largest causes of death among (male & female) rottweilers, followed by lymphosarcoma for males and kidneys for females. The general health survey collected data on health issues pertaining to skin, eyes, nervous system, orthopedic, stomach and intestines, cancer, muscular, urinary tract, hormone related, heart, blood, autoimmune, vaccine related. Dedicated breeders will take the time, effort and expense to screen for hip dysplasia and other potential health issues. The mediocre breeder will seldom if ever spend the time and money to undertake health screening on their dogs. It is highly unlikely the mediocre breeder will extend guarantees with their dogs whereas various types of guarantees offered by the dedicated breeder are the norm.

Buyer’s recourse

Dedicated breeders are members of the Canadian Kennel Club or American Kennel Club as well as the Canadian or American Rottweiler Clubs. The American Rottweiler Club has a mandatory practices requirement that all members must adhere to. The Canadian Rottweiler Club adopts a Code of Ethics that members must adhere to as well. What this all means is that a buyer has an avenue to have unresolved complaints heard. When a consumer purchases an unregistered dog, there are no avenues of redress, unless you want to roll the dice with the Courts. The bottom line is that if you purchase an unregistered dog advertised as pure bred, remember this: It is buyer beware and could cost you thousands of dollars in unsuspecting health issues.