How to Puppy Shop
Should you do your research?
by Lee Hanrahan
There is another article out there about puppy buyer etiquette – it has many good points (which I will talk about) – but it is a little too self serving for my taste so I thought I’d write my own.
I get calls and emails all the time from buyers. Their only question is “do you have any puppies”. That’s it, that’s what they want to know – because if I don’t have a litter on the ground, or my bitch isn't in labour, they are calling somewhere else. No problem – why? Because a buyer who’s only prerequisite to buying a dog from us is that we have one when they want one, is not at the top of our list! This isn’t how smart people shop for a dog. You’re going to have this dog for up to 15 years and you just decided you wanted one 5 minutes ago? Hopefully you have put more thought into it than that – and you should do a lot more research besides calling a list of breeders to see if they have puppies NOW!
So, don’t call breeders until you have it narrowed down to a few that you like based on your research (DO YOUR RESEARCH). Look at their websites, read about what they’re doing and why – learn, read, shop and THEN call – and if you aren’t willing to wait for the right breeder, they probably won't be willing to sell you a dog.
Second point – be completely honest. Do not tell the breeder what you think they want to hear. If you want a new puppy because your older dog is 15 and will die soon and you can’t be without a canine companion – say so! If you think you and your boyfriend need to practice being “pet parents” before you have a real baby – say so! Don’t think that once you get this new dog that lying about what you wanted isn’t going to cause you a whole bunch of trouble! We know our dogs, we know our breed and we know way more about what will work than you think. We don’t want to get the dog we sell you back – ever! So we want it to be a perfect match.
Don’t be worried we won’t sell you a dog. If we don’t have what you are looking for we will direct you to someone who does. We aren’t looking for the first person with a fist full of cash – we are looking for the right home.
As my FAQ section says, we will pick the puppy that you will get. Why? See above.
Lastly, as per the other article, we all know each other. Yup, all German Shepherd Dog breeders know each other. In some form, in some capacity we all know of, or are friends with each other. We really don’t care that you contacted one of us and asked a bunch of questions and then bought a puppy from someone else – that’s ok! That is part of the research (see above) you should be doing. But after you purchase the dog from someone else, stop asking us questions – that’s what your dog’s breeder is for.
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