Charley Donaldson, 19, from Lockerbie, first became an Assured Breeder in 2014. Since joining, together with her two membership partners, she has bred 5 litters of whippet puppies and became a certified breeder under the UKAS accredited scheme after receiving an assessment visit in May 2016. Here she explains why she joined the Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS) and her experiences so far.
How did you come to be Assured Breeders? What were your reasons or motivations for joining the scheme?
We became Assured Breeders at the very start of the scheme and enrolled Charley on at a later date. We felt we needed to support a scheme that was backed by a pedigree dog understanding organisation such as the Kennel Club. We have to support responsible breeding and we feel this is the ideal way to do so.
How have you found being Assured Breeders? Do you find it helps locate suitable puppy buyers?
We are just doing the same as we always did previously. We have a lot of repeat puppy buyers. However, a lot of our enquiries do come via the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme website. In fact, 5 out of 7 of the last puppies sold were through the website, from people that had previously contacted us and were willing to wait for the right puppy. The fact these people have gone through the Kennel Club website, looking for a reputable breeder, shows they are suitable puppy buyers for us.
Do you agree with the ABS principles of promoting responsible breeding practices?
We do agree wholeheartedly with the ABS breeding practices.
Many people say they feel “nervous” before having an ABS visit, but surely you won’t have been?
There is no need to worry at all. Helen our assessor put us at ease immediately.
How did your ABS visit go? What was your Assessor like?
Our visit was brilliant. We can only describe our assessment, and our assessor Helen as being inspiring and very helpful.
Did you find you had to make a lot of changes to become an Assured Breeder? Is there a lot of paperwork or “red tape”?
There was not much more paperwork than we would normally do, so no, there wasn’t a lot of changes to be made. The Kennel Club help their Assured Breeders make these changes by supplying all relevant information and also guidance and advice through the Assured Breeder Scheme page on the Kennel Club website.
Are there any changes you would like to see for the Assured Breeder Scheme?
They are doing the best to keep up with all the changes. As long as they keep listening to their members I’m sure it will flourish.
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering becoming an Assured Breeder?
I would advise anyone to become a member. I’d also tell them not to worry because most good breeders are already doing what is required. The scheme is run by dog lovers that care primarily about the welfare of dogs, like we all do.