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Selling Dogs On Craigslist, Gumtree & Classified Ads Websites

Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Monday 13 April 2015
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Homepage of Pets4Homes: famous Classifieds Ads Website in UK
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Countless dog breeders talk very lowly about classified ads as a means to sell puppies from a litter. Yet, hundreds (if not thousands) of ads are posted hourly on the most famous classified ads websites, including Craigslist in the US, Gumtree in the UK, but also on pet-specialized websites such as Pets4Homes, PuppyFind, and many more.

This post is not about how to write ads, you already wrote a very popular article on the absolute best tips to write effective ads that will stand out on classified ads websites. This post gives many reasons why some breeders should use classified ads to sell their dogs and why others should stay far away from them, it all depends on your breeding plan, your reputation, your dogs’ price tag, and multiple other reasons.

The Controversy About Dogs Sold On Classified Ads

Each person who fights dog sales through classified ads has their own reasons but they could be summarised by the categories below.

Nobody Knows Nobody

Mainly because a lot of breeders feel like we should not sell dogs to random clients and puppy buyers should not buy from a random breeder. Partly because of the potential poor quality of both, the breeder and the new owner, but also because the sale is not about knowing the dog you are buying, its pedigree, health, and all these details that all of us love.

Quantity Over Quality: Volume Over Price

Prices tend to be dragged down since these websites have hundreds of ads per breed on any given day, the competition is pitiless and prices must drop as low as possible to attract potential prospects.

A direct consequence is that breeders must be spending much less on the health, food, and care of their dogs in order to still make a profit at a low price. And if you carry on with this reasoning, it means those breeders will need to breed more puppies, more often, in order to generate large sums of cash for themselves.

What Kinds of Dog Breeders Should Use Classified Ads?

To put it simply, people who have no contacts or network have to start somewhere. And that somewhere is can be on classified ads websites.


Occasional & Part-time Dog Breeders

Not everybody breeds dogs as a primary source of revenue so anybody who generates the main income stream outside of its dog breeding activity can use classified ads to sell the puppies available.

Because you may not be immersed in the dog breeding world, you are lacking the contacts it takes to sell your dogs without advertising. It is absolutely fine and soon enough you will have a waiting list before the mating even happened, but only if you pick the right buyers who will look after your puppy and spread the word to their social circles!

Geographically Remote Dog Breeders/Buyers

A few breeders run their dog breeding business away from where their buyers are. Many Border Collie breeders are near valleys or in the countryside, but more and more buyers are from city centers or just about. They know a Border Collie requires a lot of exercises and they are happy with that, but they won’t find a Border Collie breeder in the city, so they often use classified ads websites to find their new pet.

Designer Dog Breeders

Supply and demand usually lower the average selling price on classified ad websites. This is a fact. However, in very specific situations such as with designer dogs, it can actually bump the prices up!

If you breed a rare and in-demand designer dog (or crossbred dog) such as the Labradoodle, Pomsky, or the likes, you will usually use these marketplaces to sell your dogs as their respective community isn’t established yet. Clients, even those attending dog events, cannot find them in most dog shows where only purebred dogs are allowed to enter the various competitions.

Because they become difficult to find using other means, the potential buyers will direct their researches online and most classified ads websites will come up on top of Google. These designer dog buyers are not usually the most knowledgeable people when it comes to dogs and canines, so online ads do not represent anything bad or immoral for instance.

Laptop, alone, in a field!
When Are Online Ads Not The Best Bet?

Dog Breeders Should Stay Away From Classified Ads…

To Build a Solid Reputation—Because classified ad websites are rather impersonal, a dog breeder should stay away from them as soon as they are looking at building a solid and long-lasting reputation.

To Sell Working Dogs—Those who breed working dogs, be it for herding, guarding, hunting, etc, should avoid classified ads for many reasons: they will sell cheaper on those websites whereas on specific networks and through contacts, they will get a much better price. Plus, word of mouth is ten times more important with working dogs and you do not want to leave your reputation in between an anonymous man’s hands!

To Stay In Touch With The Puppy Owners—Sure, you could stay in touch with a client you met through classified ads. But no, it kind of never happens. The reason is simple: both parties, sellers, and buyers, found on these marketplaces are commonly not in that mindset. The buyer wants to buy his pup and be left alone with his new companion, and the seller wants to keep on selling his pups. At best, you will exchange a few emails over the first few weeks.

Example of a forum (message board)
Screenshot of’s forum homepage

What Are The Alternatives & Complements To Classifieds?

There are a few good alternatives to online classified ads, and to some breeders, they can be more of a compliment. They can help the transition to a classified-free selling plan for future litters.

Pedigree/Champion Classified Ads Websites

A great example is ChampDogs in the United Kingdom, it is one of the few websites that offer classified ads specifically for healthy pedigree or champion dogs. They require paperwork and proofs from the dog breeders before accepting the ads. It is far from being foolproof but it is a much better way of selling your dogs to knowledgeable buyers and still keep your prices high.

Message Boards

Also called forums, these websites are communities gathering users passionate and knowledgeable (or wanting to be) about the same topic. Most of them are breed-specific and they have an ads section where the forum’s members can ask for puppies and sell them. To find forums specialized on your own breed, google “your breed forum” (ie. border collie forum.)

The clients present on message boards are members of the community, you will be able to quickly find out who they are (number of messages posted, last messages posted, reputation, etc.)

Please note that the main rule on message boards is to never join if your sole goal is self-promotion. You better join now and be active a few days a week by helping people and creating interesting threads, so it looks normal when you decide to advertise your litter(s) there.

If you want to improve your conversion on forums and classified ads amongst other channels, get The Dog Breeder’s Handbook and read our big section on these.

One comment on “Selling Dogs On Craigslist, Gumtree & Classified Ads Websites”

  1. We have Bernese mountain dog pups left!!! A male and Female with 12 weeks Vaccination,Microchipped and will also be coming alongside all health and Vaccination Papers !they are well socialized and great with kids and other home pets. I own both mum and dad and they can be seen!or

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