Here’s how it all works!
1. If you’re interested in a pup, you first fill out the New Puppy Questionnaire. After I receive that, we will speak through email and then if room on a list, likely on the phone to talk further.
2. During our phone call, remember that a good breeder will ask you at least as many questions as you ask them, if not more. I take great care in breeding quality, healthy dogs and producing quality, healthy pups with amazing temperaments. I have to be as sure as I can that they are going to amazing homes. Since I am responsible for bringing these little beings into the world, I will do all I have to in order to make sure that they have wonderful lives. So bear with me and know that all my questioning is for the good of the pup.
3. In our phone call, I’ll also be asking general questions about your family and what you want personality-wise as well as any preferences as to color and gender.
4. If all goes well, I’ll place you on the Wait/Reservation List or Overflow List for the next available litter.
5. Generally, if you’re being placed on the Wait list before a pregnancy is confirmed, there is no financial commitment on your part. Once pregnancy is confirmed, a $500 deposit to hold your place on the list is required. Deposits, of course, go toward the price of your puppy and are non-refundable unless the female has fewer pups than names on the Reservation List or there is no good personality match in this particular litter for you. In any of those cases, I will either refund your deposit in full or move it to the next breeding that has availability – your choice. Occasionally, I will require a $250 deposit before pregnancy is confirmed. In this case, the additional $250 will be due at pregnancy confirmation. If the female does not achieve pregnancy, any deposit money received is fully refundable or transferable to the next litter with availability – your choice.
6. From birth until they go home, everyone on the wait list will get daily photo and video updates so you can see them grow! Past families will tell you that it’s rare for me to miss a day. I keep you tightly in the loop: I want you to be part of their growing up!
7. I’m always asked how I match the puppies to the family. How do I know you well enough to make that decision. Is it from just your responses to the New Puppy Questionnaire? Nooo. Definitely no. That barely scratches the surface. From the time the pups are born, about weekly you’ll get an email from me with another bunch of questions. They’re hard to answer and they make you think. But they are designed to do one thing really, really well: they let me learn about you and your family in great detail. And they let me know super clearly what you and your family need and want in a pup.
8. IMPORTANT! Please know that I, unlike so many breeders, do NOT send out litter pictures and let you choose a puppy based on looks. Nor do I have you come when they are a certain age and “pick” your puppy. I’ve been a dog trainer for a long time and, aside from genuine innate behavioral issues, the worst and most painful problems I’ve seen people go through with their dogs are when the dog’s personality is a major mismatch with the family’s needs. You canNOT appropriately choose a puppy based on looks. Far more important is which puppy has the personality that will fit seamlessly with your family’s. While all pups in the litter are temperamentally sound, they all have individual personalities – some of which may not be right for you and your family. You also cannot choose a puppy based on the personality you see when visiting for an hour. So when the pups are old enough (about 7.5 weeks), I’ll be matching them with folks on the Reservation List based on temperament. Remember, I’ve lived with the pups their entire lives and will know their temperaments super well. But do know that your wish list for gender and color etc will be taken into account! First, I match temperaments, then of those that are good matches for you, I’ll try to further match based on what you want. (See #9 for more detail about this!) How do I figure out which puppy you/your family need? I get to know you quite well as the pups are growing. As I say above in #7, weekly, you’ll get another set of questions/survey/etc from me – all of which are designed to help me know what exactly you’re looking for. By the time we hit 7.5 weeks (see #9 below), I have an excellent idea what you and your family need and want.
A short note about “puppies picking you.” I hear this a LOT. People want to sit on the breeder’s floor with the litter, and let the puppy “pick them.” It’s a lovely thought, truly; I genuinely love the idea that a young puppy could truly pick his person out! It isn’t reality, though. I’ve been training for nearly 30 years and know temperaments and puppy behavior super well. I can tell you that usually the “puppy that picks you” is either one of the most “forward” (read: pushy) pups in the litter, or the most social. (Sometimes it’s the calmest, who climbs in your lap to snuggle and makes you think that means he’s picked you.) Also, from having watched many, many families interact with litters, it’s usually the same puppy that “picks” every single family. Lol! What I mean is, I hear from each family who meets the litter “This little one with the blue collar has absolutely picked us!!” Next family meets the litter and says exactly the same thing. 🙂 So while it’s a lot wonderful to think that puppies pick you, they really kind of don’t. It just feels like it.
9. At about 7.5 weeks of age, I’ll be matching each puppy with a Reservation List family based on the pup’s temperament and suitability to meet the family’s needs. I strongly encourage you to be open-minded about color, pattern, and gender, but if you, for example, only want a male, I’ll be matching your needs to the personalities of my available males. The narrower my choices (meaning, if you say ONLY a male, ONLY black and white parti-colored, etc), the more likely it is that I may not have a personality match in this litter. I will absolutely take your preferences into consideration and try to find the right personality match who also has your preferred gender/color/etc. But I do encourage you to stay open to that puppy who may not be your perfect color or gender but who is the perfect match for you and your family.
Generally, please do know that there are no “choices” for you to make; it’s usually pretty clear to me who fits best with whom! So far, my matchmaking seems to be going well; from the feedback and reviews I receive, people really do feel like they have the “perfect” match for them. I’m proud of that! 🙂
10. At 8-9 weeks, you will come and pick your puppy up!