German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a little background on my experiences: Even though I grew up with dogs my entire life, we never had an experience with a 'reputable breeder' (at least not that I can remember). None of our dogs in my childhood had anything extremely wrong with them, but part of that was likely their breed(s).

My current dog is almost 7, and she is the first dog that I have had full responsibility for. Since she was 2, she has had a host of (relatively minor) health issues, and I am certain that this is due to her breeding. In researching about the health problems she had/has I learned a LOT about dogs/breeding/feeding/you-name-it that I had never considered or heard ever before. (It's been really great, though - I love researching.)

So with all that in mind, I am (finally) seriously looking at getting my first GSD within the next few years. Having never had an experience with a "real" breeder bafore, I am slightly unsure as to what the best/common/most "proper" way of contacting a breeder generally entails. I have read quite a few articles, blog posts, and the like about this, and have come across many differing opinions.

Here are some specific things I'm wondering about:
-Does it make a difference if you're interested in a few versus 1 or 2 specific breeders?
-What should the first e-mail/info submission include?
-Does it matter how long you think it will be until you're actually getting the puppy? (likely 2-4 years, in my case)
-Is it considered "bad manners" to be seriously interested and in communication with more than one breeder at once?

All of that along with anything else you can offer me (including links to outside sources/opinions) would be greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
Here's a little background on my experiences: Even though I grew up with dogs my entire life, we never had an experience with a 'reputable breeder' (at least not that I can remember). None of our dogs in my childhood had anything extremely wrong with them, but part of that was likely their breed(s).

My current dog is almost 7, and she is the first dog that I have had full responsibility for. Since she was 2, she has had a host of (relatively minor) health issues, and I am certain that this is due to her breeding. In researching about the health problems she had/has I learned a LOT about dogs/breeding/feeding/you-name-it that I had never considered or heard ever before. (It's been really great, though - I love researching.)

So with all that in mind, I am (finally) seriously looking at getting my first GSD within the next few years. Having never had an experience with a "real" breeder bafore, I am slightly unsure as to what the best/common/most "proper" way of contacting a breeder generally entails. I have read quite a few articles, blog posts, and the like about this, and have come across many differing opinions.

Here are some specific things I'm wondering about:
-Does it make a difference if you're interested in a few versus 1 or 2 specific breeders?
-What should the first e-mail/info submission include?
-Does it matter how long you think it will be until you're actually getting the puppy? (likely 2-4 years, in my case)
-Is it considered "bad manners" to be seriously interested and in communication with more than one breeder at once?

All of that along with anything else you can offer me (including links to outside sources/opinions) would be greatly appreciated!


In my limited experience, no it doesn't matter if you're interested in a few as there can be 1 or several breeders that may have a pup that would work for you. When searching for my pup, I had 3 breeders on my list. My number one breeder had decided to repeat a breeding, that though I liked the pups from the current litter, we were on the fence about because of the combination in the lines. Great dogs, but not what we were looking for. My new pup actually kinda fell into my lap because he was the last in the litter and after talking to the breeder, he fit with what we were looking for.
For a first email to a breeder, its usually a good idea to introduce yourself, give them some honest background, your intentions with the pup, what you're looking for as a new family member, experience with the breed, etc. Not only are you interviewing the breeder, but they're interviewing you. Reputable breeders put a lot into their breeding and the pups they produce and want to make sure the pups go to the right homes. They don't want to put a high drive dog into a home that only wants an active family member. It would be miserable for the dog and the owners. be honest in your expectations/desires, etc.
A lot of breeders appreciate realistic time frames. 2-4 years is a pretty easy time frame as opposed to saying "Hey I want a pup next week. Any available?"
I spoke with several breeders about their dogs and my desires and figured out which dogs would likely produce the pup that would best fit my lifestyle. In my search, I kept my eye on several different breedings from a couple different breeders. Nothing is definite until you put that deposit down basically. It does help to narrow down your choices though.

With a 2-4 years time frame, you have plenty of opportunity to get to know the dogs that catch your eye from the speaking with the breeders as well as learning about others. It also gives you a chance to potentially see the results from a certain sire or dam and sire/dam combination. I've learned recently that a several dogs that catch my eye are all dogs from kennels I've researched and admired dogs from. Once I started looking at pedigrees recently, I've learned and noticed a lot as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In my limited experience, no it doesn't matter if you're interested in a few as there can be 1 or several breeders that may have a pup that would work for you. When searching for my pup, I had 3 breeders on my list. My number one breeder had decided to repeat a breeding, that though I liked the pups from the current litter, we were on the fence about because of the combination in the lines. Great dogs, but not what we were looking for. My new pup actually kinda fell into my lap because he was the last in the litter and after talking to the breeder, he fit with what we were looking for.
For a first email to a breeder, its usually a good idea to introduce yourself, give them some honest background, your intentions with the pup, what you're looking for as a new family member, experience with the breed, etc. Not only are you interviewing the breeder, but they're interviewing you. Reputable breeders put a lot into their breeding and the pups they produce and want to make sure the pups go to the right homes. They don't want to put a high drive dog into a home that only wants an active family member. It would be miserable for the dog and the owners. be honest in your expectations/desires, etc.
A lot of breeders appreciate realistic time frames. 2-4 years is a pretty easy time frame as opposed to saying "Hey I want a pup next week. Any available?"
I spoke with several breeders about their dogs and my desires and figured out which dogs would likely produce the pup that would best fit my lifestyle. In my search, I kept my eye on several different breedings from a couple different breeders. Nothing is definite until you put that deposit down basically. It does help to narrow down your choices though.

With a 2-4 years time frame, you have plenty of opportunity to get to know the dogs that catch your eye from the speaking with the breeders as well as learning about others. It also gives you a chance to potentially see the results from a certain sire or dam and sire/dam combination. I've learned recently that a several dogs that catch my eye are all dogs from kennels I've researched and admired dogs from. Once I started looking at pedigrees recently, I've learned and noticed a lot as well.
Thank you, this makes me feel slightly less out of my depth than I felt previously! It's interesting to hear that you notice that the dogs that catch your eye are from lines you're interested in. Since I started intentionally looking at dogs, I had the very same thing. Even some of the dogs I admired from the street and asked about anded up being from a couple of the breeders/lines I was looking at.

Here's another question, if I go through the application and contact process and happen to be rejected, is there anything wrong/taboo with asking why I was rejected? (I'm mainly thinking if I am rejected based on lack of experience with the breed. If that was the case, and I got a GSD from somewhere else, could I possibly go back to this breeder if I looked for a second dog later in life?)

There are two breeders that I absolutely ADORE what I see from their dogs, but I am pretty sure that I will not be asking one of them when I'm looking for my first pup, because they seem (in general) to produce more intense and drivey dogs, and I personally don't think that would be an ideal first experience for me. (In the future, though? Bring it on!) Is there any harm in contacting them now and even putting that information on the table, or should I maybe wait for awhile? (It's likely I wouldn't even be asking them about puppy possibilities for 6+ years.

Sorry for the info dump!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,266 Posts
Email the breeder, be honest and forthcoming with your requirements and expectations, let them know exactly what you want and by when - do not sugar coat or hide info based on reservations about if they will receive it well. Be completely forthcoming so you can be properly matched to the right breeder and eventually the right dog.

Email as many as you want and get a feeling for the breeder. This is the person in charge of finding you the dog matched to your specifications. More importantly, this is the person that will assist you in any and all issues that might come up later. Even more crucial if there is a problem or issue - I will tell you from experience that not every breeder is honorable after money has changed hands. Everyone will be sugar and spice until the sale is made - but how will this person respond and behave after the fact?

Email any you are interested in, talk to them, find out more about their program and breeding stock, talk to them about their objectives and goals - make sure you are honest about your intentions and requirements for the dog. Continue making contact and keeping up with the breeder as time goes on. Eventually you will get a feel for what fits well for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,699 Posts
so breeders will have a questionnaire for potential puppy buyers.

Puppy Questionare I know it's a doberman breeder but the questions are a good way to give the breeder a feel about who you are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
Thank you, this makes me feel slightly less out of my depth than I felt previously! It's interesting to hear that you notice that the dogs that catch your eye are from lines you're interested in. Since I started intentionally looking at dogs, I had the very same thing. Even some of the dogs I admired from the street and asked about anded up being from a couple of the breeders/lines I was looking at.

Here's another question, if I go through the application and contact process and happen to be rejected, is there anything wrong/taboo with asking why I was rejected? (I'm mainly thinking if I am rejected based on lack of experience with the breed. If that was the case, and I got a GSD from somewhere else, could I possibly go back to this breeder if I looked for a second dog later in life?)

There are two breeders that I absolutely ADORE what I see from their dogs, but I am pretty sure that I will not be asking one of them when I'm looking for my first pup, because they seem (in general) to produce more intense and drivey dogs, and I personally don't think that would be an ideal first experience for me. (In the future, though? Bring it on!) Is there any harm in contacting them now and even putting that information on the table, or should I maybe wait for awhile? (It's likely I wouldn't even be asking them about puppy possibilities for 6+ years.

Sorry for the info dump!

I don't think its wrong to ask why you've been rejected if you have been. I believe it's a good way for you to learn where you might need to work in terms of handling and skills for the future if you'd still like one of their dogs. Think of it this way. You take a test in school, you get an answer wrong. Where did you mess up on that question? Same idea. What do they feel you need to improve on before they'll be okay with allowing one of those possibly high drive dogs into your life.

Yes, there are some breeders who literally will not allow ANY of their pups to go to a first time owner of the breed. They have their reasons. I have a friend on FB that breeds. If I was looking for an intense sport dog more than anything, he'd have sent a pup my way but because my first and primary reason for the dog is active companion, his dogs are too high drive for me and they HAVE to have that job. Most of the dogs he produces go on to be serious competitors or police dogs. So in that sense, I completely understand why I'd be rejected for a pup from him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,015 Posts
First get good recommendations on breeder! You should have high standards too.

Remember, you are the buyer and he/she wants people interested in the breed.

That said, responsible breeders choose good homes for their pups. Usually, for a pet home, someone committed, ready to provide love, vet care and exercise.

This is a breed that needs to be part of your family.

Email or call and discuss what you what you want honestly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
You may already have seen this, as it's a popular link, but if not, here's a blog post that I personally found quite helpful. :)

A lot of it is common sense -- and since I've often been on the other side of placing rescue dogs in adoptive homes, it wasn't too hard for me to flip perspectives and just tell the breeder(s) I emailed what I would want to know from a prospective home -- but it's a good and thorough explanation that brought up some things I hadn't previously considered.

Puppy buyer etiquetteRuffly Speaking | Ruffly Speaking
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top