Dana, thank you for sharing the puppies, it's been so much fun to watch them grow!
I'd love to hear more about your process for puppy pickup. It sounds like puppies all go home over the weekend, but do owners come all at once? Do they have scheduled times over Saturday/Sunday to meet with you one on one when they get their puppy? Do they get to meet Summer or any of your other adults? Do they get to see/observe the rest of the litter? Your other thread asked for registered name ideas. Do the families chose a registered name before taking the puppy home? Are they picking from your list, or can they come up with their own name (within the theme, and other constraints)?
Thank you for taking the time to answer so many questions in this thread, it's been an amazing learning experience!
Lots of good questions! Let's see...
Each puppy buyer is assigned a 2-hour appointment all their own. One buyer at a time. Each buyer gets our full attention, and as much time as they need for questions and discussion of anything and everything about their new puppy. When they arrive they are offered snacks and drinks, and we spend a few moments with chit-chat as they decompress from their drive or flight. Then we get down to business. During that time they fill out all the paperwork, and we register each puppy with the AKC. So they have to have chosen their registered name before they pick up their puppy. All of your fine names and the ones we could think of have already been given to them as suggestions from which they can pick, or they can simply use them as examples for inspiration. So far, one has chosen a name on the list, and the others have not given us their decision yet. We also give them their registration info, as well as microchip info and veterinary info, and we answer questions. We give each buyer a big custom Esquire Goldens sack full of puppy stuff, including a notebook with all records relating to their puppy. That includes photos, photos of the parents, the pedigree, all clearances by the parents, nomograph, vet records, vaccination and microchip records, their puppy's collar, and info on puppy rearing and training. They also get things like a bag of puppy food, blankets with mama's and siblings' scent on them, toys, treats, and other starting out stuff.
We then talk about the first month of having a puppy. We give guidelines, goals, and tips for continuing socialization of their puppy, housebreaking, what to expect of an 8-week puppy, do's and don'ts, the trip home, and various other things. We take time to answer questions. They get to meet and hold and play with their new puppy, and just before they leave we take a photo of their smiling faces and their new puppy before they head out the door.
We do not let them interact with the whole litter, just their own puppy. We are way too busy to have puppy playtime, and we can't monitor it. They will meet mama, because we have her there watching each puppy leave with their new family, but the rest of our dogs are put outside or away. This time in particular we will have all the other dogs crated or sequestered downstairs with the puppies, as it's going to rain all day on Saturday and snow all day on Sunday, so I can't leave them outside. If someone asks, I'll let them say hello to the other dogs, but believe it or not the whole two hours is pretty packed with stuff we have to get done.
I have zero idea what other breeders do. When we have bought puppies from other breeders it's a very quick process, but that's because we're already thoroughly familiar with every aspect of this. I think the last two times we have bought a puppy from another breeder (2 and 9 years ago), we just picked up the puppy at a dog show. For us, we want to give everyone the respect of their own appointment and our full attention, and though that means we're doing this for two full days, we feel better about doing it this way, and I hope the buyers appreciate it, too. We want everyone going into this new adventure to feel positive and confident, and to have a very good first experience with their new family member.
Did I hit on everything you asked about? I hope so. If not, ask again.