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Can I Return a Puppy to the Seller?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Can I Return A Puppy To The Seller?

Q.I know this sounds really awful but we bought a puppy from a store about three weeks ago. He has started biting and snapping when you take things away, he will snap at your face and he is just not settling in. We are even more worried because he is a rottweiler and is going to become too big to handle if we can't get the behaviour under control, we would like to know if we have any rights to return him or not?

(Miss Emma Higson, 13 September 2008)

A.

A Rottweiler puppy is a big thing to take on, in more ways than one. His behaviour sounds unfortunate, and understandably worrying. The store's website says all their puppies come with a six month guarantee, and they’re a well-established business. The first course of action is to read that guarantee and see what it says about returning the animal, and what conditions apply.

You can also consider obedience training for the puppy, which could well cure him of this aggressive behaviour. It’s a good idea for any dog, but especially when a breed is large and powerful, and noted for its aggressive tendencies in the first place. They need a lot of control.

Ultimately, though, this is a consumer rights issue. Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 an item has to be as described, of satisfactory quality, and safe. Since the dog is showing aggressive behaviour, then he could reasonably be described as not safe, which means you could return him under the provisions of the Act. He may be an animal with a personality, but the fact that you bought him ultimately makes him an item.

Realistically, the best course of action is to contact the seller and describe the problem. They might well have suggestions that will help you to keep and train the dog so that he becomes a satisfactory pet. That’s worth a try, as you have a 'reasonable time' in which to examine the goods you buy for defects. A lot probably depends on whether you’re willing to make that attempt, or if the dog’s behaviour has scared you to the point that you simply want to return him. If the latter is the case, you’d be entitled to a refund or a replacement (the Act also specifies repair as an option, but obviously that can’t apply here!). All of this might well be covered under their guarantee, anyway (their site doesn’t give details on what’s in there), meaning you don’t need to stand on the Sale of Goods Act at all.

Quite simply, talk to the seller first, and the chances are that you’ll find this can be resolved simply and quickly.

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Vik - Your Question:
Bought a 20 month old labradoodle 3 weeks ago on Pets4homes website for a hefty price of £1500 which stated was trained to a high standard, Clicker trained, temperament tested and good with other dogs (I have the screen shots of the advert). As soon as we took him out on the first walk he tried to attack a dog and did the same on every walk after that. We had him for 4 days and had to return him because I have young children and couldn't walk this aggressive dog with a pushchair. We were assured refund would be made asap. We've contacted the seller every day for a week before we got a text essay about how he isn't in a position to give us our money back until he has sold puppies he purchased the weekend we bought the dog - they basically used our money to buy more puppies from a guy out of the back of a van apparently. We have driven 50 mins today to his address to ask him when our money will be refunded and he just fobbed us off saying he 'might be able to make payment next weekend' but said 'no concrete promises' it all sounds really dodgy and I'm panicking we've spent all our savings on an aggressive dog that we had to return and no guarantee of any money back.

Our Response:
Firstly, write to Pets4Homes about your suspicions regarding this seller's activities. Also, tell them that he has accepted the returned puppy but not made the refund. If the seller agreed to refund you but hasn't done so, you may have to resort to the small claims court.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 19-Jun-17 @ 12:14 PM
Bought a 20 month old labradoodle 3 weeks ago on Pets4homes website for a hefty price of £1500 which stated was trained to a high standard, Clicker trained, temperament tested and good with other dogs (I have the screen shots of the advert). As soon as we took him out on the first walk he tried to attack a dog and did the same on every walk after that. We had him for 4 days and had to return him because I have young children and couldn't walk this aggressive dog with a pushchair. We were assured refund would be made asap. We've contacted the seller every day for a week before we got a text essay about how he isn't in a position to give us our money back until he has sold puppies he purchased the weekend we bought the dog - they basically used our money to buy more puppies from a guy out of the back of a van apparently. We have driven 50 mins today to his address to ask him when our money will be refunded and he just fobbed us off saying he 'might be able to make payment next weekend' but said 'no concrete promises' it all sounds really dodgy and I'm panicking we've spent all our savings on an aggressive dog that we had to return and no guarantee of any money back.
Vik - 18-Jun-17 @ 3:18 PM
We purchased a Rottweiler puppy for £580 from a private breeder online. When I took her for her injections the vet said she was a bit small to be a Rottweiler. I did a DNA test and it shows the only bit that may be Rottweiler is her great grand parent thats possibly a Rottweiler retriever mix. No distinguishable breed is logged for her parents or her. Can we claim back any money from the breeder
Claire01 - 27-Apr-17 @ 5:50 PM
hello, We bought a dog from a private seller, this was the description - Loving Dobermann for sale. - He is just over 2 years old and is a loving and soppy boy. He is great with kids (we have 5!) he has been docked and just recently castrated. - We are selling him through no fault of his own, we rescued him 6 months ago and unfortunately he just isn't getting along with our other dog. - Kc registered but no papers and has been microchipped and vaccinations up to date. - We are looking for what we've paid for him £400 After we returned home with him & took him for his first walk, he went to attack two other dogs violently, fortunately we could hold him back with a collar. After this event we took him back the same day and the seller said we were allowed 'no refund or return'. Am i eligible for a refund as he was not described as violent & aggressive? Thanks
jg93 - 12-Mar-17 @ 11:00 PM
Bob - Your Question:
We bought a 3 yr old dog from a breeder with a clear health record. However, a couple of days later whilst getting her nails cut we discovered she has bad back teeth, rotten ones which will need a dentist with an estimated £300 charge, which is what we paid for the dog. Where do we stand to get a full refund? The seller has said they have to sell her again before we can get our money back!? Why should we have to wait? They also offered to take the dog back and give us an iou until it is sold. something we do not want to do as we fear it will never be received. Any advice please ? Bob

Our Response:
The seller could argue that this might be something you could have reasonably checked before the purchase. Presumably yougot to see the dog and had the chance to examine her health record yourself?
ConsumerRightsExpert - 21-Dec-16 @ 11:14 AM
We bought a 3 yr old dog from a breeder with a clear health record. However, a couple of days later whilst getting her nails cut we discovered she has bad back teeth, rotten ones which will need a dentist with an estimated £300 charge, which is what we paid for the dog. Where do we stand to get a full refund? The seller has said they have to sell her again before we can get our money back!? Why should we have to wait? They also offered to take the dog back and give us an iou until it is sold... something we do not want to do as we fear it will never be received. Any advice please ? Bob
Bob - 20-Dec-16 @ 3:10 AM
Deb23 - Your Question:
I picked up my new dog 3 days ago and agreed to pay the sum of 600 pounds for her. Her advert stated she was fully house trained. Good with other dogs. When we collected her she looked underweight which was explained by the fact she was taking a growth spurt. The seller told us the dog was eligible to be kc registered as her parents where which isnt the case as only the father is which means our dog cannot be registered. We were again told she was friendly will all other dogs and fully house trained and that she wasnt food aggresive. The dog has consistently done the toilet in our home since we got her despite being lwt out in the garden hourly and walked 3 times daily. She attacked my other dog at fiod time also. Ive contacted the seller who has threatened me with a solicitor even after I explained the issues we are having. She refuses to take the dog back which we have offered. Where do we stand can we keep the dog? Should be pay for the dog? Should we let the seller take it down the legal route. Thanks. Debbie

Our Response:
If you were given misleading information about the dog being fully house trained, eligible for kennel club registration, not aggressive with other dogs etc and none of that information was true, you have every right to return it for a refund within 30 days. Legislation states that a trader must offer a full refund if an item is faulty, not as described or doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.We're assumed that the seller is a registered trader and not a private seller.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 19-Dec-16 @ 10:55 AM
I picked up my new dog 3 days ago and agreed to pay the sum of 600 pounds for her. Her advert stated she was fully house trained. Good with other dogs. When we collected her she looked underweight which was explained by the fact she was taking a growth spurt. The seller told us the dog was eligible to be kc registered as her parents where which isnt the case as only the father is which means our dog cannot be registered. We were again told she was friendly will all other dogs and fully house trained and that she wasnt food aggresive. The dog has consistently done the toilet in our home since we got her despite being lwt out in the garden hourly and walked 3 times daily. She attacked my other dog at fiod time also. Ive contacted the seller who has threatened me with a solicitor even after i explained the issues we are having. She refuses to take the dog back which we have offered. Where do we stand can we keep the dog? Should be pay for the dog? Should we let the seller take it down the legal route. Thanks. Debbie
Deb23 - 17-Dec-16 @ 1:27 AM
Hi.We purchase a 12 week old puppy from a good breeder.The breeder said the puppy would be quiet for a few days until she adjusted.We noticed within 2 hours of taking her home, a whitish mucus build up in her eyes.We called the breeder and she said it was probably from swimming earlier and to clean the eyes gently and watch it for a couple days. Within 2 hours of that call, the puppy started to go down hill, having trouble breathing and wouldn't stand.We rushed her to an emergency vetWe kept the breeder informed..After numerous tests it was determined that thepuppy had a defective heart and was in the throes of congestive heart failure. We notified the breeder who was extremely upset as she has a wonderful reputation. The vet notifed her and us later that night that the dog had passed away.The breeder offered us a new puppy.My question is should the breeder at least split the 1500.00 vet bill with us since we only had the dog for about 6 hours?She hasn't offered any compensation other than a free puppy.This is in NH.
Che - 28-Apr-13 @ 8:02 PM
I bought a pup and 2 days later when i brought him to the vet as he was scratching mad it turns out hees wriggled with ear mites. What are my rights as the seller wont answer my calls.
zoviea - 22-Sep-12 @ 10:28 PM
I purchased a puppy for £950 and had to sign a contract. It stated that I had to get it vet checked within 48 hrs but I said to the seller it would be checked a few days later as it was already booked into a vets for its 1st injection and would be checked anyway on that visit, she agreed this was fine. Also on contract states can get refund if there was a defect with the puppy and it was returned in 7 days with a report off a vet. 6 days later took it to the vets and found it to have abnormal jaw likely to cause health problems(this devastated us as it was already a member of the family but had to think about the future problems and it would be un-insurable for that condition) Vet wrote a report and after several conversations the breeder told us to bring the puppy back the following day. Didnt have the kennel club paperwork with me but told i would get a refund when she received it. Posted the paperwork back special delivery to which she has received it. Breeder now saying no refund as her vets say it is healthy although it has a over shot jaw and its canines will need removing. The contract just states return within 7 days with vet report and have a refund. Taken pictures, printed off emails and letters I have sent her. What are my options. She now has the dog, all the peperwork and my £950!
Rich - 8-Apr-12 @ 11:32 AM
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