etiquette question on request to have all the family present - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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etiquette question on request to have all the family present

My family (wife and 5 yr old daughter and 3 yr old son) currently has a11 yr old lab, who we adore. I'm thinking of adding a dog to our family, and believe a German Shepherd may make a fine addition. In a request to meet a breeder, they've made it extremely clear they'd strongly prefer to have the whole family present for an initial visit. I'd strongly prefer to have a chance to meet the breeder and their dogs beforehand as I evaluate if we woukd be a good fit for a GSD a d if this is a breeder we'd narrow our selection down to. Is that unreasonable of me, or bad etiquette to request and stand by my preference that it be just me? I can understand elements of their preference also, especially due to both our busy schedules - I'd love to have some feedback on this. I will add, part of my reason for wanting to go alone for this one, is due to some unfavorable reviews I've found online, so I am reticent to bring everyone in case that would come up, as it is a concern of mine that I'd like to vet out, somehow. Thanks!

Last edited by timstrand; 10-08-2015 at 09:16 PM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 09:15 PM
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I would just be upfront with the breeder and state that you would just like to have a pre-liminary meeting and once you have decided on them as a breeder they can meet the rest of the family. Not really sure what the proper etiquette is-but think being upfront is a good policy.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 10:37 PM
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If I wanted to meet the whole family, and you did not want to bring the family, or wanted a second meeting with just you, I would probably just tell you to go ahead and find another breeder. You will probably be a lot of hassle anyway.

I am sorry, but, yes, breeders are busy too. The reason they want to meet the whole family is they are trying to get an understanding of how you manage the kids, and whether the spouse really wants a dog, etc. They are trying to make the best decision for the puppies that they are raising. It takes them longer and is a pain in the neck to have kids running around annoying the dogs. But they do it because they want to make sure the dog is getting a good home. But they shouldn't be expected to meet multiple times with you.

The whole point of a phone interview is to get an impression as to whether or not this person is someone you want to do business with. If that isn't good enough, meeting in person without the family isn't going to do it either. And you are just being a pain. Generally, from a breeder's perspective, these people don't make good customers. They are people who are looking for any reason to knock people off their list.

And that is fine, if you want to wait until you are too old to manage a shepherd to find someone who meets all your expectations.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 10:50 PM
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I don't think its a unreasonable request. It's an investment. Sure you can get a feel over the phone for them and vice versa but once you get there maybe you don't like the atmosphere or the parents of the future pup. It can be very distracting to have everyone there on a first meeting if you are trying to learn and absorb any conversation. I think once you like what you see then come back with the family is fair and reasonable IMO. If they are to busy for this request, what kind of support will they offer after you have the pup?

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 10:57 PM
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I can understand the breeder's POV, but if they are so busy they can't meet you twice, then I wouldn't bother with them myself. I'd want an "accessible" breeder for such an investment.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the feedback. I appreciate it - it's the reason I asked the question as I was unsure. I do have high expectations and I don't think that's unreasonable, and I understand I may not be a good fit for their dogs, also. Thanks again for the help.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 09:57 AM
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Just another thought, wouldn't you want to see how your kids responded to the dogs, and how the dogs responded to your kids?

My husband did not initially want a dog; he wanted me to have a dog if I wanted one. (He was pretty much won over as soon as he met our breeder and her dogs.) We don't have kids, but I did want to see how my husband responded to the dogs and if he just wasn't going to be able to be comfortable with the idea. I think all three of us walked away from that initial meeting feeling good, but if I hadn't brought him, I'd have been wondering about it.

Maybe try to look at it as an opportunity for you too - if your expectations are truly high, I would imagine you'd want to be able to collect that data with respect to your kids and the dogs early in the process and not waste your time either if it wasn't a fit.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 10:06 AM
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As a breeder I would want to meet you and your whole family, but meeting you first so we could get to know each other would be fine. I think it also would make it easier on your kids just in case we didn't mesh or you didn't like my dogs. It also would make it easier for us to chat without the distraction of the children. If you are not that far from the breeder then 2 visits is not unreasonable to ask for, time permitting, but...... that is just me.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
As a breeder I would want to meet you and your whole family, but meeting you first so we could get to know each other would be fine. I think it also would make it easier on your kids just in case we didn't mesh or you didn't like my dogs. It also would make it easier for us to chat without the distraction of the children. If you are not that far from the breeder then 2 visits is not unreasonable to ask for, time permitting, but...... that is just me.
This is what I would have thought.

Also, if this were a stellar breeder who was well known for her outstanding dogs and there was a long waiiting list, maybe I would let it go, but since some online reviews were bad, and now this, I would look elsewhere.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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I do want to see how the kids respond, and likewise, how the dogs respond to them. I first want to see how I respond, and vice versa though. And as some have mentioned, there will be a level of distraction when my kids would be there, which could limit the conversation a bit. Really appreciate the feedback, sincere thanks for all of it.
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