What are “Breeder’s Terms”?

Some female puppies show a lot of promise for our goal of improving the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed. We sell these puppies on Breeder’s Terms, meaning even though you own her, when she is 2 to 3 years old we breed with her. It works like this;

  • We visit with you to assess her at 6, 12 and 18 months of age
    • As a puppy, there are some indications of suitability for breeding, but we cannot make firm decisions at that age
    • We may also choose not to breed with her at this stage, and you’d get her sterilised
  • If we determine she’s ideal, we’ll organise a mating with an ideal male when she is fertile
    • Female dogs (called “bitches”) come into “heat” or “season” roughly each six months, evident by mild vaginal bleeding (spotting)
    • You’ll visit a vet a few times to get her “progesterone” hormone level tested, so we can determine the ideal day to mate (that is, the highest chance of conception)
    • You’d bring her to the mating (typically the home of the male dog), or we could collect and return her to you
    • Typically we organise two matings, two days apart, to further increase the chance of conception
  • You feed her per our guidance during pregnancy, and provide images
  • We take her a few days before she’s due to whelp, until the puppies are around 6.5 weeks old
    • Typically, she’d be away from you for about seven weeks
    • We’d treat her like one of our own dogs, deeply cared for and attended to
    • You can visit before she whelps to see the conditions she’ll be kept in, which exceed all standards set by DogsVictoria and the Australian National Kennel Council
    • You can visit her and her puppies as many times as you wish (by arrangement), and call for updates. We’ll provide images and videos.
  • A few months after the litter, you organise her to be sterilised
    • Unless we have agreed for a second litter (unlikely)
    • We’ll pay for this

We pay for all costs you incur, including extra feeding while pregnant and any vet expenses (eg, progesterone testing). We pay for all pregnancy and whelping expenses.

In exchange for this commitment, you get to choose either;

  • A puppy from the litter
    • “Second pick”, that is we have the right to choose the best puppy for our breeding programme, you get the second choice of puppy to keep; or
  • The fee we are selling puppies for from this litter, due when the puppies are 6 weeks of age
    • The same amount or more than what you paid for your puppy from us

Breeder’s Terms are not a requirement, but your decision may affect the puppy we select for you – we’ll ask you about this when you Express Interest.

Consider that coming on heat definitely changes a bitch’s temperament¬†for three to four weeks, but not to become more aggressive. Botches have a range of responses, some become more affectionate, some more playful, most are more restless, some best described as “weird” – sitting in unusual positions, for example.¬† Some bitches have a strong “nesting” instinct (that is, preparing a den to whelp, often outside in the garden).

Overall, the behaviours when on heat are all pretty benign, but for that three week period it’s not appropriate for her to be off-lead (in case she encounters a male who to tries to mate her), and for the four “peak” days when she is most fertile, she should not be able to interact with other dogs at all so there’s no chance of a mating.