Question for anyone who has ever bought a pup from a breeder

goldenboy

Well-known member
Hey guys,

As you all know I breed and sell Golden Retrievers. I have been doing it long enough that I know pretty much what people are looking for when they show up to get a pup. But sometimes the farther away you are from that side of the equation the harder it gets to see the buyers viewpoint. So my question is this: When you show up at a breeders place, or call them on the phone, or visit their website, what are you looking for from them? What makes you say, this guy or this operation is legit and a good place to find a pup? What do you look for when you open their website? What do you want to hear from the breeder when you ask questions of his dogs and pups? Or better yet what makes you say, this guy is not a straight shooter or he is not trustworthy? I have a litter coming at the end of this month and I want to make sure I provide a positive and ethical experience for each of my buyers. Thanks for the input!
 
Information of all kinds. We want to see all the clearances, even the obscure ones on littermates of the parents. Health is a top priority. with the last pup we bought the breeder posted videos nearly every day of the pups and how they developed. We had first pick and my wife had it narrowed down to 2 pups before she went and met the pups. We hunt our dogs but are also competitive agility handlers. Along with bird wings and pigeons and water exposure they exposed the pups to miniature agility equipment. All this was on the screen before the pups went home. So we really knew the litter before seeing them in hand and all this a continent away(Atlanta). We felt confident that we were getting what we wanted.
 

HS Strut

Member
1. I wanna know BOTH PARENTS ARE HUNTERS. Titles are great....icing on the cake. But I WANT A HUNTING DOG. I travel and hunt wild birds... Where I hunt, a dog that can retrieve a 200yd mark is useless if it isn't LOOKING FOR BIRDS while we are walking. I hunt one week/year with a bunch of guys with dogs that have so many titles and ribbons it takes a trailer to haul all their awards. Every year my dog EATS THEM ALIVE in the field. Their dogs are very fine retrievers but have what seems like zero prey drive.

2. I want to pick out my own pup. If someone tells me they're telling me which one I'm getting? Conversation is over. I'm fine with discussing it. Fine with the breeder giving me advice. But I've been told that after placing a deposit the breeder will tell me which pup I'll get. Wrong answer. I will NOT buy a pup that isn't crazy for a wing.

3. I REALLY need to know my pup is carrying around a quail/pheasant wing early.....no later than 6 weeks. My last lab came home at 10 weeks and was catching and carrying around live quail....that's what I want. A BIRD DOG


After that, yes, health clearances. But I feel like in this day and age that should be a given? That's why it wasn't at #1
 

Gatzby

Active member
Joel
I am a bit different and my opinion probably doesn't have a lot of value to you.. When I buy a pup I usually watch for a bitch I really like and then pay attention to she gets paired with. If I like it I will buy, no sales pitch is likely to change my mind. Timing of litter, location, and cost have little bearing.

Return phone calls or emails in a timely fashion

However I really like it when the breeder shoots me a text saying "hey we got two ties over the weekend and her progesterone was 13 and climbing, and 6 weeks later "we did an ultrasound looks like 8 pups in there" etc. And a few pup pictures from time to time is always cool. When I pick up my pup I want a few days worth of food, a folder with all the AKC registration stuff including registration papers.

I like simple websites, list the dam, and sire clearances, pedigree, with a short bio on each. Pictures showing the parents profile (stacked?) and front/rear shots. Some pictures of the facility, and whelping area is valuable too if I am unable to visit for some reason. A clean, well lit, and orderly facility is a must. I don't care if its in your basement, kitchen' or a state of the art kennel building. As soon as I see any political, or religious "stuff" I move on immediately. I also like to see the health guarantee, and requirements for limited to full registration transfer.

I like breeders that try to help with placing the right pup to owner but still are flexible if I don't agree with them.
 

KsHusker

Active member
2. I want to pick out my own pup. If someone tells me they're telling me which one I'm getting? Conversation is over. I'm fine with discussing it. Fine with the breeder giving me advice. But I've been told that after placing a deposit the breeder will tell me which pup I'll get. Wrong answer. I will NOT buy a pup that isn't crazy for a wing.

Are there seriously breeders like that out there? WOW- who'd be dumb enough to buy a dog from a person like that. Someone that wants to assert that type of control should be admitted to the nut house.
 

Gatzby

Active member
Are there seriously breeders like that out there? WOW- who'd be dumb enough to buy a dog from a person like that. Someone that wants to assert that type of control should be admitted to the nut house.
Its a pretty common practice with serious breeders especially if the pups are shipping cross country. Rarely do they tell you which pup is yours but they more push you in a direction. Remember the breeder sees the pups for 7-8 weeks and have a much better feel for personality traits than the perspective new owner that only sees them for a maybe a 1/2 hour. Generally speaking you will see this less with gundog breeders versus competition bred dogs.

I'm betting Joel tries hard to persuade / guide his clients towards pups that he feels fit them best. As a buyer you can shake a can of pennies, throw a wing, or turn them over to see who struggles etc. But in the end you are only seeing a very small snapshot of the pups personality.
 

goldenboy

Well-known member
Its a pretty common practice with serious breeders especially if the pups are shipping cross country. Rarely do they tell you which pup is yours but they more push you in a direction. Remember the breeder sees the pups for 7-8 weeks and have a much better feel for personality traits than the perspective new owner that only sees them for a maybe a 1/2 hour. Generally speaking you will see this less with gundog breeders versus competition bred dogs.

I'm betting Joel tries hard to persuade / guide his clients towards pups that he feels fit them best. As a buyer you can shake a can of pennies, throw a wing, or turn them over to see who struggles etc. But in the end you are only seeing a very small snapshot of the pups personality.
Steve, you are right. I do like to give people the option to pick the dog they want. But I spend a lot of time with them and just because the little girl puppy has a cute pink ribbon, doesn't mean she is the one for you! (By the way we don't put pink collars on any of them now for that very reason.) I do try and steer owners to a dog that suits their desires. If you tell me you hunt I am going to ask you, "How much do you hunt?" Some guys will say one week in South Dakota and two weekends a year. That is not a lot of hunting when a year is 365 days. In the end I want people to be happy with their whole experience and with me as a breeder. I don't advertise anymore because I have so many happy customers that "spread the word." But as the thread says, sometimes us breeders can egt to full of our own britches and we need to see things from the other side of the equation.
 

david0311

Active member
Are there seriously breeders like that out there? WOW- who'd be dumb enough to buy a dog from a person like that. Someone that wants to assert that type of control should be admitted to the nut house.
SORRY DISAGREE—
Serious knowledgeable breeders who know there customers and observe pups every day can be a great help in placing certain pups to the proper owner (ie; buyers experience and training ability—plans for pup—and many other reasons)

Personal example—
‘Currently have pup on the ground from a very conscientious breeder (two and a half weeks old)-
repeat breeding—have worked with dogs from previous litter
been waiting for this repeat breeding
cant be their -pups in Mn. I’m in AZ.
litter owner knows me and my training experience —
I have asked her to set me up with most aggressive female in litter based on her Dailey observation of pups
That might not be the right dog or disposition for everyone
Trust her to do so

Anyone who can just shows up and think they can just pick out the best pup are fooling themselves-

OK JMO FIRE AWAY😳
 

HS Strut

Member
Steve, you are right. I do like to give people the option to pick the dog they want. But I spend a lot of time with them and just because the little girl puppy has a cute pink ribbon, doesn't mean she is the one for you! (By the way we don't put pink collars on any of them now for that very reason.) I do try and steer owners to a dog that suits their desires. If you tell me you hunt I am going to ask you, "How much do you hunt?" Some guys will say one week in South Dakota and two weekends a year. That is not a lot of hunting when a year is 365 days. In the end I want people to be happy with their whole experience and with me as a breeder. I don't advertise anymore because I have so many happy customers that "spread the word." But as the thread says, sometimes us breeders can egt to full of our own britches and we need to see things from the other side of the equation.
Like I said, I'm perfectly fine discussing it. In fact it makes a LOT of sense. Everything you said makes sense. You obviously know what you're doing. I have had 2-3 breeders tell me I'll get the pup they choose. I just don't like that....nor will I do business with them. I got tired of typing the other night but honestly I love that you can spend time with them and describe personalities and characteristics of each pup. That would be quite helpful in helping ME CHOOSE my pup. Great thread you started here
 

Labs

Active member
Considering the distance factor for most, the prospective buyer is pretty much dependent on the breeder/seller to provide information. As a buyer, I want transparency and patience from the seller. I want to see at least 4 gen pedigree (prefer 7 gen), parent certs, heath guarantee, prices/deposits, can I visit as the pup grows, ect. I also want reference contacts of people who have bought pups from that pairing in the past.

Video is a biggie for me, and it's no effort to shoot some video with a phone and send it, if they don't already have video available on the website. If I request it want to see video of the parents training and in the field, interacting with family members & other dogs, ect. Video of grown pups of that pairing working/hunting is a big plus. After putting down a deposit, every buyer wants to see week by week video of the pups as they grow, as well.

Any evasion or vacillation by the breeder when asked a question is a red flag for me. Brings to mind an experience several years back when I contacted a kennel owner about buying a started pup from him. The kennel was several states south, so travel to look at the pups was not practical. To hear him talk, this guy's started pups were ready to beat the field, and the pics & descriptions on his ads were impressive. When I started asking about a particular dog's personality, training level (no two trainers define "Started" the same), was the dog FF/CC, ect, he started to become evasive. When I asked him to shoot me a video of the dog doing some marks & OB, he told me (and I paraphrase) "the dog will sit, stay, and retrieve a bumper, my word is good enough". It was a bit more rude than that. Being as he wanted $3500 for that pup, I didn't think I was asking much. I told him to pound sand and went another direction...
 

Miforester

Active member
Hey guys,

As you all know I breed and sell Golden Retrievers. I have been doing it long enough that I know pretty much what people are looking for when they show up to get a pup. But sometimes the farther away you are from that side of the equation the harder it gets to see the buyers viewpoint. So my question is this: When you show up at a breeders place, or call them on the phone, or visit their website, what are you looking for from them? What makes you say, this guy or this operation is legit and a good place to find a pup? What do you look for when you open their website? What do you want to hear from the breeder when you ask questions of his dogs and pups? Or better yet what makes you say, this guy is not a straight shooter or he is not trustworthy? I have a litter coming at the end of this month and I want to make sure I provide a positive and ethical experience for each of my buyers. Thanks for the input!
Joel,

I have began the search for a new Brittany Breeder so I will give you my 2 cents.

1 - I look at their website as whole, do the parents have bios and pedigrees easily accessible, are there pictures of puppies other than just in the kennel or nursing. Does the website talk about their history and activities with the dogs, hunt/trial/guide. Is there a testimonial page from previous clients. Warranty or health guarantees.
2 - Does the breeder have social media? If so I look at their Facebook or instagram posts as often times they show puppies being introduced into new situations and you might be able to see their parents in action in the field. Not many websites have videos and if they do they may not be timely. That is where social media comes into play. A turn off for me on social media is when you can not join the page until you buy a pup, how the hell are you supposed to do research, I don't just want good posts I would like to see negative posts and how the breeder responds to them.
3 - Timely communication, if I send an email i'm wanting a response in a day or two. I do tend to ask several questions in my emails and if it warrant's i will call but for me emailing is a good vetting process and people can respond when it is convenient, I also ask when the best time to call.
4 - I understand the need to discuss what you are looking for, I do the same when talking forest management with landowners, tell me your goals and I will tell you if they can be met. My steering or direction will also be determined by their experience/exposure to forestry. I expect a breeder to do the same with me, during my emails I let them know I have had brittany's for my entire life and have raised and trained 5 as well as labs and a setter, mind you i'm no expert, but I want to let them know puppy selection is not new to me. I will not work with a breeder who selects the pup for me. I will travel to the breeder to select my pup at the slot giving to me, i haven't had the misfortune of being 4th on the list for females on only 4 born.......selection process sorta made the decision, knowing me I would still look at her in person then make my decision. I expect a breeder to give me at an hour or so to select a pup so I can go thru my process. Honestly during this time I don't want alot of input from the breeder unless I ask, kinda like looking for a new car, i don't want a hovering sales person.
5 - I don't mind restricted registration as i don't have plans to breed. I had a dog that they breeder required the kennel name be the start of the registered name and I'm not a fan of that. This breed also picked the dog for me too. Part of the fun is creating the reg name and I always make sure to include the kennel, dam and sire if possible so anyone looking at the name could tell where she came from.
6 - Price is somewhat of a factor, I'm really surprised how much prices have increased in the last few years. I like breeders where one price set for both males and females. I understand price difference between litters because of titles but they have to be reasonable, titles/pedigree is a good reference but not a guarantee.

I'm not looking forward to this new process but am looking forward to a new puppy. Looking at my list I'm thinking I might be an SOB........
 

goldenboy

Well-known member
Joel,

I have began the search for a new Brittany Breeder so I will give you my 2 cents.

1 - I look at their website as whole, do the parents have bios and pedigrees easily accessible, are there pictures of puppies other than just in the kennel or nursing. Does the website talk about their history and activities with the dogs, hunt/trial/guide. Is there a testimonial page from previous clients. Warranty or health guarantees.
2 - Does the breeder have social media? If so I look at their Facebook or instagram posts as often times they show puppies being introduced into new situations and you might be able to see their parents in action in the field. Not many websites have videos and if they do they may not be timely. That is where social media comes into play. A turn off for me on social media is when you can not join the page until you buy a pup, how the hell are you supposed to do research, I don't just want good posts I would like to see negative posts and how the breeder responds to them.
3 - Timely communication, if I send an email i'm wanting a response in a day or two. I do tend to ask several questions in my emails and if it warrant's i will call but for me emailing is a good vetting process and people can respond when it is convenient, I also ask when the best time to call.
4 - I understand the need to discuss what you are looking for, I do the same when talking forest management with landowners, tell me your goals and I will tell you if they can be met. My steering or direction will also be determined by their experience/exposure to forestry. I expect a breeder to do the same with me, during my emails I let them know I have had brittany's for my entire life and have raised and trained 5 as well as labs and a setter, mind you i'm no expert, but I want to let them know puppy selection is not new to me. I will not work with a breeder who selects the pup for me. I will travel to the breeder to select my pup at the slot giving to me, i haven't had the misfortune of being 4th on the list for females on only 4 born.......selection process sorta made the decision, knowing me I would still look at her in person then make my decision. I expect a breeder to give me at an hour or so to select a pup so I can go thru my process. Honestly during this time I don't want alot of input from the breeder unless I ask, kinda like looking for a new car, i don't want a hovering sales person.
5 - I don't mind restricted registration as i don't have plans to breed. I had a dog that they breeder required the kennel name be the start of the registered name and I'm not a fan of that. This breed also picked the dog for me too. Part of the fun is creating the reg name and I always make sure to include the kennel, dam and sire if possible so anyone looking at the name could tell where she came from.
6 - Price is somewhat of a factor, I'm really surprised how much prices have increased in the last few years. I like breeders where one price set for both males and females. I understand price difference between litters because of titles but they have to be reasonable, titles/pedigree is a good reference but not a guarantee.

I'm not looking forward to this new process but am looking forward to a new puppy. Looking at my list I'm thinking I might be an SOB........
Thanks for the input this is what I am looking for. I would welcome a guy like you as a client. Nothing that you said should scare any good breeder. One thing I am taking away from your thoughts is some testimonials. Most of my clients come off of recommendations but that is a good idea for my website, thanks!
 

RedLion

New member
My friend has been a breeder for many years. He tries to match the pup with the home it is going to. He tries to steer the decision based on his knowledge of the pups behavior. Case in point...you don’t want the dominant energetic male going to a 6 year old timid little girl. But in the end he allows the buyer to choose. He informs and counsels but they make the final decision. So maybe the best of both points of view in how he handles it.

Literally he just had a scenario like this. One family had an autistic young girl who wanted a puppy and an active athletic ex- Marine. He recommended a softer pup to the little girl and the dominant male to the Marine. Both had their own choice but followed his recommendation.
 

V-John

Member
I'm a bit late to this thread...

For me, I want competition animals. So the first thing I will look to is pedigree. That is what will bring me to the breeder, to be honest. If I see a breeding I like. I will assume that health clearances are involved however, unfortunately, in the pointer breed often times this is overlooked. (Yes, I've had the hips done on my guys). So, while I understand that pedigrees aren't everything (just a piece of paper to some) it tells me the linage and how much the dogs have won and in what format. So I want to see that information. I want to see pictures obviously. I need to see the structure - I'd like to see a video of the gait and dog on point too.

As far as the pup itself- If the breeder wants to pick out a pup for me that's fine. Coloring aside, and extreme temperament aside, I figure the breeder is the one who is around the pups every day, knows what I am after, and is usually the one that has the best opinion of them.

I think it has to more to do with trying to ensure the right pup gets in the right hands making it better for everyone down the road.

I'm also one of those that was dumb enough to buy one of those pups, and 2 championships and 1 runner up championship later, I guess it worked out in my favor.
 
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