Looking for a responsible breeder? You have to stand out - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for a responsible breeder? You have to stand out

Preface: I am not a big time breeder. I don't have decades in the breed. I only have one breeding girl and I have had 2, count them 2 litters. What I am is a responsible heritage breeder, with full health certifications for generations. I share because my last litter is in homes now and the numbers are interesting.

So, to start off...If you want to work with a responsible heritage breeder, you have to stand out. It gets said all the time but it needs repeating. There are always more people looking than well breed puppies being born.

In my last litter there were 8. I was keeping one and co-owning one with a friend. That left 6 puppies. For those 6 puppies I had over 150 inquiries.

I capped my interest list at 30 before the puppies were born. That happened almost 6 weeks before my puppies were born.

I do not believe this experience is unique to me but what most responsible heritage breeders see happen time and again.

So, potential puppy buyers you have to stand out. Assume you are among over 100 other families talking to or emailing a breeder. These breeders for the most part don't consider their dogs a business. They have regular jobs, families and other hobbies. Make an impact with your communication, especially email.

Before you contact a breeder, if they have a website, read it. I mean really read it. Don't just go to the contact or application page. Many breeders answer questions you likely have on their websites. It is frustrating to a breeder that has taken the time and effort to put it out there to be asked to repeat it in an email. On the other hand, don't expect all breeders to have up to date websites or a website at all. Some breeders are great with animals but not technology.

Once you have researched a breeder and you want to reach out, compose an email introduction. Do not fall into the pit trap of "Hi, do you have puppies? How much are they?". Are these important questions to a buyer, yes of course they are. But just how you likely would not walk in to business and ask, "Hi, are you hiring? How much do you pay?", these questions are better accepted after an introduction.

Be specific about yourself, your household, what pets you have now and in the past, what you want in a dog, why you picked this breeder in particular, etc. If you can, get some of you personality in there too.

Follow up, you don't have to be pesty but good, positive, consistent follow-up can help you stand out.

Want on the radar quickly, attend an event (dog show, obedience trial, etc.) were the breeder(s) you like will be. Always ask when it would be good to visit with them and ask if you can pet the dogs. This is a great way to get noticed.

Take it from me, when you have 150 families looking, you find the stand outs. Something about these people connects and these families are more likely to walk away with a puppy. The short or mundane inquiries don't. So, be you and share yourself to stand out. It is worth the effort.


Laura and the Anasazi Golden Girls
Jinx, Tilt, Tizzy (the Italian) and Navy

Tilt's Pedigree
Tizzy's Pedigree
Navy's Pedigree
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 11:33 PM
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Another thing, when filling out the application, please be sure to double check that you have checked off the correct box for male or female. We had one family that waited over a year, two litters of my breeder's for a male. When my dog had her litter, three - 2 males and 1 female ( who I kept ), we invited them to meet the puppies since there were two males. The meeting went great, but they kept paying attention to the female, we then found out that they accidentally put male instead of female on the application. My breeder even pulled it up to show them, and they did not want a male. So we had to break their heart to tell them the female was not available, and sad part is they probably could have gotten a female from the previous litter.

Marie, Brady, MacKenzie, Sailor, Kennedy and Junie
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 12:04 PM
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Lol- oh yes, all good breeders know all other good breeders...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 03:36 PM
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Lol- oh yes, all good breeders know all other good breeders...
That's what I figured. I would imagine y'all develop a wide network of contacts through dog shows but also you're probably learning about each other or meeting in person or by phone as each of you is looking for a potential dog or bitch to breed with your own Golden. Also, if you don't know a particular breeder personally, you've probably, at least, come across them as you research lineage on Goldens of interest to you.

That's why I keep up with my breeders long after the sale. If I'm supposed to have the dog spayed/neutered at some point, I make sure to send proof of the procedure once it's done. I send periodic updates on activities, titles, and health of the dog. I want the breeder to know they made the right decision by letting me take home one of their Goldens.
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