Why we changed our minds about advertising on TradeMe

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

For a long time now, we've made no secret of the fact that we think pets should not be sold on places like TradeMe and Facebook.

We're not the only people who feel this way. We've been having an ongoing discussion with a number of other breeders across many different breeds about how to get the message out to the general public regarding what differentiates a responsible breeder who cares for the future of their breed from a "for profit" breeder who breeds only to win ribbons or make money. The marketing spin on some TradeMe ads is quite amazing. There are breeders who claim they health test, breeding from dogs with known issues. Breeders claiming "great temperaments" when the dogs have never left the house. And worse, people implying that being an NZKC breeder involves something more than filling out a form and paying a fee to get a kennel name.

It's a crying shame more breeders don't decide to go for Accreditation. It's embarrassing for our breed to have only one Accredited Breeder and I would encourage anyone thinking of breeding to take part on this scheme for the health and preservation of our breed.

Bottom line, though, is there is no way an unsuspecting member of the public can tell the difference between a responsible breeder and puppy farmer based on a TradeMe ad.

In an effort to counter this, some responsible breeders have tried offering free, downloadable booklets about their breeds and what to watch for in a breeder, but it's hard to get past a cute photo, #puppylove and the tendency of people to impulse buy.

The conclusion we came to was there is so little information on TradeMe about what a responsible breeder offers because responsible breeders generally don't advertise there. Often they have no need, as they, like us, have a waiting list.

So we've decided to take advantage of a rare circumstance. Although we have a long list of people wanting pups, and pups sold from litters yet to be born, our new owners want girls or their dogs later in the year, which means we have a male pup up for grabs. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to put an ad on TradeMe, detailing what it means to get a dog from an Accredited Breeder.

It's good to be able to list what actual"health testing" is. And to show that there is a difference between a breeder who has filled out a form and one that has passed exams, offers complete transparency about their breeding dogs and is held to a higher Code of Ethics. Our only real concern is that the price of our dogs may encourage some of the less scrupulous breeders to up their price to match. Nothing we can do about that (TradeMe won't allow a POA listing), but it can't be helped. We shall watch with interest to see if the price on the other listings goes up in response and hope that for some people, the message gets through that regardless of the breed of dog you are looking for, an Accredited Breeder is the only guarantee you have that the dog is everything the breeder says it is.

And by the way, we still think TradeMe should not sell animals, and would support a total ban on all sales. In the meantime, let's hope we can find Rhett a great forever home while educating potential owners about what the Accredited Breeder logo means.

You can view the listing here.