Lifting the Breeding Endorsement

4th April 2012 - in Breeding

So, you have bred a litter of nice pups, and like most responsible breeders you endorse the entire litter not for breeding ("Progeny not eligible for registration") and "Not for export". You asked all your puppy buyers to sign a contract stating they understood their puppy was endorsed.

You know if you did not get this agreement in writing, the Kennel Club will in the case of a dispute lift the endorsements as the buyer can claim they were not made aware of it. You also added some information about under what circumstances you would lift the breeding endorsement; such as if the pup once adult has passed all the relevant health tests for the breed with good results, if it has been shown or worked with good results, and if any breeding plans are discussed with you, the breeder, in advance. The puppies are sold, the buyers happy, and everything is fine, you've done the right thing.

A couple of years later one of the buyers gets in touch asking you to lift the breeding endorsement on their bitch. They can prove the health tests have been done and you know the dog has been shown a few times and done fairly well, it's a good example of its breed. So you write a letter to the KC and request the endorsement to be lifted, and receive a response within a week telling you this has been done. The owner then mates her bitch and that is the end of the story.

Not Quite the End of the Story

Or is it? If you sold your puppy to an experienced breeder, already in the same breed, this could well be the happy ending to the story. The bitch is mated, has some nice pups and a few months later you see them in the show ring. However, what happens if the bitch owner is a novice? Maybe has never bred a litter at all, or only has experience of a very different breed? Well if this is the case, then you will have to become a mentor. Are you ready for it? Are YOU experienced enough?

When a novice breeder has a litter from a bitch that you have bred, the entire experience can end up being as stressful and busy as having a litter of your own. The only difference is that you don't have to clean up all the mess the puppies make! The first task you will have will be to help the owner select the most suitable stud dog for the bitch. Here you need thorough knowledge of your lines and of other lines, knowing what goes well together and what does not. Knowing about health, size, temperament, working ability, looks etc. Even though it is not your bitch, and you will not have final say in the matter, you need to spend as much time considering the choice of stud dog as if the bitch was your own. As you bred her, you will most likely have kept her litter sister, and may have plans to breed from her. Mating litter sisters to the same dog would be of little use to the breed in general, so you may need to come up with a different option as to what your own first choice for your bitch would be. Have you seen the bitch you bred recently? Do you know what little faults she has? Anything that could do with improving needs to be taken into consideration when picking the stud dog.

Next there is the timing of the litter. The last thing you will want is for two litter sisters to have puppies at much the same time -unless yours is a breed with very small litters where pups are easy to sell, or a very common breed where you live at opposite ends of the country, so that you will not be competing against each other for buyers. You need to work together with the bitch owner to decide upon a time that would suit you both.

Has the bitch owner done anything to gather a waiting list of people interested in buying a pup from their bitch? Don't assume, ask if they have. If not, suggest they leave the mating until a later season and actively start to spread the word that a litter is planned. If not, chances are that you will end up having to help find homes for the pups at the last moment.

Then a stud dog is selected and the bitch has come into season. This is when you will get the phone calls asking when to take her to stud and how often. If the mating goes well, next follows a few weeks of phone calls to ask you how they can tell if the bitch is pregnant or not. What signs should they look out for? Once the bitch is confirmed pregnant, you will get all the questions about how to feed her, about the whelping box, preparations for the birth, what day is the most likely for the breed to whelp at. This is where it will help a lot if you have experience of more than one bitch of the breed having puppies, as of course all bitches are different.

The Birth is Imminent

When the birth is imminent, make sure to always have your mobile with you wherever you go, and count on staying up all night on the phone, just like you would if it was your own bitch giving birth. At least you can lie in your own bed -just don't fall asleep! You're the bitch's breeder, the mentor, the experienced one, the rock. You're the one with all the answers -supposedly, at least. In the next few days count on plenty of phone calls asking whether this and that is normal, should the bitch act like this ? You may then, if lucky, get a couple of week’s rest, until it is time to start weaning and worming the puppies. That's when the questions will start up again. And really, at this stage, the questions will continue, even for a litter without any problems the novice will have a lot of questions and you will need to be there with answers. Not only about the care of the pups either, but about the potential buyers. How do they pick the best buyers? What should they ask? How do they know if a person is right for their pups or not? And how do they register the puppies with the Kennel Club? Should they endorse them? Should they sell any for showing? Can you come to look at them and tell them what you think of the quality? Which one should they keep? (Of course, this is something you'd look forward to in any event I am sure -meeting your "grandpuppies"!)

Then the day comes when the first puppies leave for their new homes, there are tears on the phone. And then a couple of days later a phone call -one of the buyers has a problem with their pup and what should they advice? And this, in all honesty, could continue indefinitely -I know I still ask my mentor for advice many years down the line even though she is no longer breeding.

Are you Ready for Your Responsibilities ?

So what am I saying -should no breeder ever lift the breeding endorsement of a bitch if the owner is a novice? Only you can answer that. Only you can know if you are prepared, willing and able to shoulder your next responsibility as a breeder -to be a mentor for somebody just starting out. It may sound so easy to simply ask that the bitch is health tested and shown or worked and then the endorsement will be lifted, but in reality this is just the start of a long journey.

  • 4th April 2012 13:28 - Posted by : Mark Roach

    Thanks Marianne. A great start to the new Champdogs blog.

  • 4th April 2012 17:05 - Posted by : Exelby

    Excellent post Marianne, one which, if honest, many of us never think very deeply about. We tend to think black and white... Well done!

  • 21st April 2012 13:43 - Posted by : Claire

    I love this article.
    I am hoping to become a responsible breeder in the next 5 - 10 years and wondered how you are supposed to start your own bloodlines as a novice? I have 30 years experience of the breed and also experience of breeding, but only when growing up while still living at home. I have also wondered if experienced breeders ever welcome questions from novices? A mentor is great, but only if you and they agree on everything! Surely, you also need individuality to become a good breeder, and that very individuality may cause conflict between student and mentor?

  • 15th July 2012 20:31 - Posted by : GLENDAX

    Very informative article. I put endorsements on my puppies. Last week I had a request to lift it from a male I sold just 1 year ago. I asked for information to see if they had him tested for pra cord 1 because the little boy could be a clear or a carrier. I asked the kennel club name of the lucky bitch they wanted to breed with. Nothing forthcoming so declined the lift the restriction. Just shows you how novice some people are and think breeding puppies is a quick money making scheme. If all responsible caring breeders put endorsements on their puppies perhaps we would not see so many puppies for sale on the internet sites with kennel club registration that are not health tested. Another way is for the kennel club to insist on showing whether the pups advertised on their site are health tested. Just like Champ Dogs!!

  • 7th August 2012 11:43 - Posted by : Karen

    Very interesting article. A question for Glendax though, could it be perhaps that the person was waiting to see if the endorsement would be lifted before going any further in choosing a bitch. Just a thought?

  • 25th August 2012 17:52 - Posted by : EJHH

    Comment removed

  • 27th August 2012 00:08 - Posted by : Edward Hopkins

    Comment removed

  • 2nd September 2012 17:09 - Posted by : maria pcock

    I bought my puppy back in May. I twice asked the breeder did the dog have endorsements + was told twice, there were NO endorsements + the KC papers would come in the post in a week or so. After many phonecalls,+ txts the Papers arrived yesterday, 3 + half months after I bought the dog, + Its has endorsements. Also a 2nd owner (well known in the dog world) has been added on, that was not the owner at the time I bought the pup.

  • 20th September 2012 22:49 - Posted by : Kate Winter

    I agree we all have to be very careful about irresponsible breeding, however I have been sold two bitches with no endorsements, the owners had no interest in whether I wanted to breed or not. I do actually want to breed and I have done so in a very responsible manner. Where would us novices be if we couldnt get hold of a breeding bitch. My dogs are very loved, health tested, the puppy experience was a completely natural occurrence and the puppies went to owners all of whom keep in regular touch with me about their progress well over a year later. In this dog and cat breeding world, of which I have been part, I do find that "breeders" can be dictatorial control freaks and should perhaps learn to trust their fellow humans a little more. After all, if you trust a family enough to take your precious puppy, you should trust them to have the interests of that puppy at heart at all times. If you dont, then surely you dont trust your own judgement! My puppies were most precious, I know without a doubt that they went to wonderful families and they are all treated like Royalty. If they want to be part of the amazing experience of their own puppies, I would be delighted, for I know, like us, they would all be just as precious

  • 4th April 2013 20:03 - Posted by : Sylvia Bryant

    Very interesting reading but what if you have the bitch health tested as per signed aggrement with the breeder then the breeder cannot be found & the bitch comes into season & I want to use my health tested stud dog on her but cant get the endorsements lifted as breeder cant be found?

  • 23rd September 2013 07:33 - Posted by : megan

    my dog has a contract not to be offered as stud to certain individuals it does not say i cannot use him myself for stud
    hiwever on his KC registration there arw NO endorsements so if he is not endorsed by the kennel club does the written contract apply ?

  • 3rd December 2013 00:06 - Posted by : Kacey

    On one side, I agree that endorsements are there to protect the health of the puppies bred, but at the same time it appears to be something of a cartel.
    Responsible (novice and experienced) breeders will seek to breed as healthy pups as possible, including testing where possible. (Though note that gene tests are for SPECIFIC genes, and do not rule out inheritance of OTHER mutations causing the same phenotypic disease).
    Anyone NOT breeding responsibly, will not give a **** whether there is an endorsement, or whether they can register the pups or not, but will breed and sell for financial gain only. Surely the "endorsement scheme" will backfire, as bitches are bred from anyway, the pups sold to anyone with the cash, and cause many UNTESTED random "designer cross breeds" to be bred instead. ...
    Beware what you create in you "wisdom".

    PS I am a Vet, extensively involved with inherited disease control, and a supporter of the anti puppy-farming PUPAID.

  • 3rd July 2014 20:39 - Posted by : elkhoundlover

    In an ideal world i would agree with the first couple of paragraphs of this page but being an owner of a fairly rare breed of dog,who's original breeder placed endorsements on the male pup to protect the breed standard and welfare whilst producing a litter a year from a mid terraced council house.(not an ideal environment for a Norwegian elkhound let alone 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 plus a whippet and 2 children.i would revue breeders to ensure they are not just using endorsements to corner a market.This is not sour grapes as i have no intention to breed my dogs.It is just obvious what they are up to. Glorified,approved,licensed,puppy farmers

  • 26th October 2014 04:17 - Posted by : Sophie

    I have bought a bitch puppy yesterday.. I wasn't told or explained about endorsements I didn't know wat they were?... I bought the puppy hoping to start breeding in a couple of years... All done properly.. ( I will b new at it... And will make sure I get proper advice)... I hav jus read the paperwork and he's got an endorsement "progeny not eligible for registration " what can I do about this?... Any help please..x

  • 9th April 2015 08:04 - Posted by : Tanya

    Comment removed

  • 8th July 2015 12:03 - Posted by : GLENDAX

    If you buy a puppy with endorsements on you should have been made aware of it at the time of sale. Buyer be aware, read your paperwork it is in black and white for you to see, or should be. Don't buy without your kc registration being available. I personally put endorsements on my puppies. I am very careful where I sell my puppies. I do not charge exhorbitant prices as advertised on the internet 'free sites'. I stipulate loving pet homes. Not for breeding. One has the choice..... go pay high prices for puppies with no health tests, no endorsements and you are entitled to do as you please. I hope my customers acknowledge my wishes, most of them do and they come back for a second puppy one or two years later. It is the buyers who claim they just want a pet then breed their pet then ask for the endorsement to be lifted. In that order too. For sale now on the internet, puppies with no endorsements for £500 more than my price. Who is in it for money? Not a crime but don't ask for my endorsements to be lifted if you have stated you want a lovely pet.

  • 3rd January 2016 02:48 - Posted by : Donna

    Comment removed

  • 3rd January 2016 03:54 - Posted by : Donna

    I health test an MRI all my giffon an have bred 3 litters which totalled 10 pups an 5 of which I kept. I endorse all my dogs including the ones I keep of the 4 I sold all 4 broke their contract an agreement with us. 2 went to Sweden an are both champions an 1 is a champion of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark an international Ch. she has won many best in shows an group 9 toy groups an is the first griffon to have ever qualified from all 3 varieties of breed for pup of the year. The owner of this bitch I thought was a good friend whom had stayed with us on 3 occasions an us once in Sweden. She bred the bitch with out my knowledge to a male with many faults an not of type suitable to my bitches lines even though the papers she had with bitch clearly showed endorsement. I lost her friendship over this assent against on every promise she made when enquiring about a pup. I lifted the endorsement as I had not written a contract or agreement with her to say the bitch was endorsed an therefore did not have a written statement with her signature to prove she knew the bitch was endorsed an that I would only consider lifting endorsement if she health tested, eyes, patella, hips an MRI scanned for SM/CM status of bitch. I also had to agree on stud dog used that must be a clear red only an have all of the above health tests also. So because I didn't have a written statement about endorsement with her as I thought I didn't need one as was a very good close friend or so I thought so. The other one I sold co owned to Sweden an she too never added us on as co owner for when first register only the Swedish owner must be on registration an once registered its up to them to add back on the co owner which for 15 months I was told we were co owners an all was sweet as we agreed. It wasn't until I had the bother from 1st pup I sold to Sweden that I then enquired with Swedish kc if my bitch was registered as co owned an endorsed. Only then 15 months later I discovered she had not added us on as co owners even though she told us she did. The 2nd bitch was collected by my so called friend from Sweden an she done all the paper work an registration for the co owner of 2nd pup as she did not speak good English. She told me all went well an we were co owners with the bitch under the Swedish kc, yet another lie. Thankfully the Swedish KC added me back as co owner once I spoke to them an assured me the endorsement was on bitch for life as she had broke her agreement with me the co owner an breeder. They sent me the proof of both but 8 months later she bred the bitch with out my knowledge am not a single health test was done. She contacted the Swedish kc to register litter to be told she can't register any litters from my co owned bitch as its endorsed which she knew an I had proof of this time I wasn't being fooled like the first one. The Swedish kc stood over the endorsement, contract an agreement which the co owner signed an fully understood. She has now been left with 5 pups she can't even sell as are not allowed to sell pups that are pedigrees without papers in Sweden so I guess karma caught up with the smart ass. 1 went to the UK an promised to show an health test an I co own her an is endorsed too an again the co owner broke his promise if had of said he had no intentions of showing he would not have been allowed the pleasure of co owning one of my special babies. So another contract an agreement broken. The one in Italy has betrayed us beyond words. She bought a co owned bitch with a contract, agreement an promised to do all asked. Again she broke every promise an agreement. An worse behind our backs had contacted the UK kc an the Irish kc inquiring how to remove us as co owners an how to lift the endorsement. This was 3 months later from she took my bitch home to Italy. She befriended me to get a pup an for me to trust her only to have intended all along to betray us. She knew you cannot co own in Italy if you wish to show but still never mentioned this to us once or she again would have not been suitable to co own my baby. She tortured, hounded

  • 21st January 2016 23:12 - Posted by : Sarah

    I think the endorsement system is a very good scam for owners to keep a monopoly on the breed. It has very little to do with health worries. The last post, in which the breeder enjoyed the fact that she had rendered 5 puppies unsaleable, proves the point that many breeders are simply control freaks who like to keep power, rather than people who care about the welfare of the dogs. I am lucky to have a rare breed dog whose breeder never adds endorsements as she thinks they are morally wrong. I enjoy showing him, and would be happy for someone to breed from him. It is important to keep a wide gene pool, especially in rare breeds.

  • 10th April 2016 03:09 - Posted by : Jan

    We have just bought a dog hoping to use him as a stud. We were not told he had endorsements but I have seen a statement saying endorsements on the registration certificate but it doesnt state what they are. If there is an endorsement would it say what it was on the certificate

  • 9th October 2016 00:37 - Posted by : donna

    I think putting endorsements on papers is fine. As long as puppy is sold at a pet only price. yet most breeders still want near enough full price .

  • 30th October 2016 22:21 - Posted by : Jim

    These endorsements have resulted in lots of breeds dying out. The corgi is now classed as a vulnerable breed. More to do with greedy controlling people, than considering the welfare of canines.

    These endorsements should not be allowed.

    thank you