once you have narrowed down what you are interested in (activity/sport, Czech/American SL/DDR/etc, and some breeders whose dogs you like), I like to do an introduction letter to the breeder.
I tell about myself and family, other pets that I own. Activity level. Previous training experience and what experience I have with the breed. What sports or activities I am interested in doing with the dog. I tell why I am interested in a dog of their breeding.
Here is an example that I sent with a buyer questionnaire.
3. Why do you want a doberman?
I have long been a fan of the working dog/protection breeds. I currently own GSDs but have always been intrigued by the doberman. The velcro personality, protective instinct, and intelligence are things that I look for in a dog. I prefer dogs that are intelligent problem solvers vs an "obedient" dog. I am involved in many dog activities as well as hiking and want an active breed that can keep up with myself and my GSD.
4. How many people in your household? Please include sex and ages.
Husband age 41
daughter age 17
daughter age 12
6. Are you looking for a family pet, show dog or working dog?
all of the above. My dogs are first and foremost family pets. I dabble in conformation. AKC conformation is not something that I am actively doing with my GSD simply because he is a working line dog. I do rally and obedience. I am starting agility training also. I recently received UKC dual registration for my GSD and plan to pursue a conformation title in that venue as well as rally and obedience. I will do the same with my future dogs.
5. Do you presently own any other dogs or cats? What kind and sex?
I own a male GSD. He is intact and I currently have no plans to neuter him re the contract with his breeder.
7. Have you had any experience training or showing a dog?
I have done some conformation showing. As well as obedience and rally. My current dog (2 years old) has his RN and RA titles as well as his CGC. We are currently preparing for RE and Novice Obedience.
8. Are you a member of any dog club or organization? If yes, please list.
North Arkansas Kennel Club
9. What would your training/showing goals be with your doberman, if any
I would like to become more involved in conformation. I will trial in Rally, Obedience and agility. I wish that Schutzhund was an option for me but time and distance are an obstacle at this point.
10. Have you had any experience taping cropped ears?
no. However I do have several local kennel club members who are experienced with taping ears in Great Danes and Bouviers.
11. Do you want a male or female? Why?
Female. I believe that it will be easier to integrate a bitch puppy into our home since I own a dominant male already. However, I am not set on a particular sex as much as finding a dog that is a good match for my family.
12. Describe the ideal dog for your needs
I am looking for a confident, driven dog. Toy motivated vs treat motivated is a plus. I want a dog that is a problem solver and independent thinker. Health and temperament are first and foremost importance vs looks. I am not afraid of the training challenge of a working line dog. I enjoy the work of helping the dog figure out things on his own vs rote obedience drills.
I do not want a blue or fawn dog but that is my only cosmetic concern. I am not looking to breed and no desire to raise a litter. I would consider allowing a male to stud if he is titled and has passed all health clearances but only with the mentor-ship of someone more knowledgeable in the breed (the same situation/contract I currently have with my GSD's breeder).
13. Do you have a fence? How high is it?
There is a small fenced yard (4foot fence). It is used mainly for supervised playtime/potty breaks. We do have a doggie door but it is blocked off if necessary. We also have a larger unfenced portion of the yard that we use for exercise/play time. Play time is on a long line unless/until the dog is reliable off-leash with supervision. Dogs are not outside the fenced yard unsupervised at any time.
I am not looking to add a dog in the immediate future. I have more training to put into my GSD before I am ready to take on a new puppy. I am looking at approximately a 2 year time frame, at which point my GSD will be 4 years old and finished with his foundation training. This will allow me to focus on starting off a young dog and the extra work/socialization that requires more one-on-one attention.
At this point, I am looking at breeders to find someone most likely to have a dog to suit my needs. I immediately added your kennel to my list. Besides the absolutely gorgeous dogs, I prefer to support a breeder who works their dogs in their original purpose. Though I can't currently pursue Schutzhund/IPO/RingSport type training, I feel that it is the best way to preserve the working drive and abilities of this type of breed. I am hoping that you would consider my family a good match for your vision of the doberman pinscher.