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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Breeders,

I will be getting another GSD in a couple of years and would like to ask you:

1.) What generic questions would you want/not want a prospective puppy/young dog buyer to ask you so that the experience is a good one for you, the prospective buyer, and, above all, for the dog who will go to the buyer?

2.) What areas would you like me to research first, in order to prepare the most productive questions? That's in addition to learning everything I can about the line(s) I want and your dogs' pedigrees (temperament, work ethic, and health).

3.) What types of questions do you want/expect/don't want to receive after the dog passes into my care?

I am not mentioning here what my current preferences are with respect to lines and individual dogs, as I hope your responses can cover all the lines, so that other newbies (and breeders) can benefit, too. Thank you for any tips that you can give in these areas!

Cecilia Stulting
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I thought so, too, Mac's Mom, but maybe it is a vote of confidence in our ability to be courteous and honorable and reasonable in our inquiries, and maybe what we ask is not so important to them as our intentions. I asked because I was afraid I'd start approaching breeders with my usual boundless enthousiasm for research, and was afraid they'd cut me and my many questions off at the pass before they had a chance to see I was enquiring in good faith and was a good prospect for one of their dogs. I had thought it would be a good idea to have some idea ahead of time of the research I should do before approaching them. So, maybe we're both just fine and shouldn't worry about this! However, if a kindly breeder would like to give us some tips, us teachable types would be delighted to learn....

Cecilia Stulting
 

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While it does seem like a good idea for a thread, I think why you're not getting a lot of responses from breeders is because it's sort of like the teacher handing out the answers to the questions before the test. ;)

What sort of questions people ask me, and what topics they want to discuss with me, are a big part of my screening process. The big key to screening is listening to what the person says. And as the saying goes, giving them enough rope to hang themselves with and see what happens. Sure, there are some things I come right out and ask, and certain topics that need to be covered so if the conversation doesn't naturally touch on those I'll steer it that way, and I'll often ask someone to clarify or give examples. But mainly I just let them talk and talk and talk. And truth is, often what questions they ask me can be even more revealing than what they answer to my questions. So since seeing what questions and topics people bring to me off the bat without prompting is a major part of the whole screening process, I'm not sharing my secrets of what sort of things I like to hear and what turns me off.

Well, other than one thing. It is a major pet peeve of mine when people who have clearly been to my website will waste a bunch of time asking questions that are clearly answered on there, usually in more than one place, and easy to find. I just find it rude that rather than spend a few minutes of their own time doing some basic fact finding on the website, they'd rather take up a bunch of my time with it. I only have so much time in the day and really would rather spend my time talking with people discussing more pertinent things rather than answering dozens of questions about what color our dogs are, or do they have those sloped backs, or are they OFAed, how much are puppies, do we have puppies right now, do we offer a warranty, etc... when that info is already pretty clearly laid out for anyone with 5 minutes to easily find.

So those sorts of questions do turn me off. Not because there is anything wrong with the questions themselves, but because I don't care for it when people won't put in some effort on their own seeking out those answers and instead want it all handed to them on a platter. I don't feel that way just because it personally annoys me, but also in large part because it makes me question their willingness to step up and put in some effort and take initiative when necessary for things concerning their dog.
 

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3.) What types of questions do you want/expect/don't want to receive after the dog passes into my care?
I'm actually interested in hearing breeders opinions on this. I think Zeke's breeder is cool, and would feel comfortable contacting her if I had a problem or question, but I'd certainly hate to be annoying. Do you as breeders want to hear from us? Do you enjoy updates, even if they're just about how fantastic our pet is with our family and how much we love him?
 

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I agree with Chris. When people call me, I listen to them. I might prod with a question or two, but what I want is to get a feeling for the person. It really does not matter what questions the people ask me, I will answer whatever. All people are at different points in their dog carreer, and will have different questions.

Some people do not like to hear price right off the bat. I disagree. If I am out of someone's price range, there is no point in wasting time on both ends. If that is in the ball park, they can move on into questions.

I am trying to think about a question I do not want to hear.

One thing, I generally do ask where they heard about my puppies. This is for a couple of reasons. If a puppy buyer gave them my name, that is good. If my club gave out my name, they would get a fee. If the vet did, then, I want to know that. If they got it from an on-line ad that I paid for, then I want to know that, so that I know what advertising works and what does not work.

When people hang themselves while talking on the phone, for example, the lady that told me she cured her dog from going into the garbage by duct taping rotting meat on the dogs muzzle for three days. My response was, "really, I never thought to do that." I went on to talk to this person for quite a while and then convinced them that they did not want one of my dogs.

If I would have said, "that's terrible, I would never sell you a dog." That does a number of things. First off, it ticks the people off. People can do nasty things when they are ticked off. Secondly, it teaches them what kinds of things a breeder does not want to hear. So it is highly unlikely that they will tell that story to the next breeder.

I guess I do not want to educate people on how to get through the screening process.
 

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:eek:

I think thats seriously what my face looked like reading that. My eyes are still bugged out.
I know!!! And hats of to Selzer for having the presence of mind to not react and to continue the conversation as if it was no big deal! That was handled well!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Chris and Seltzer, I hadn't thought about the questions as being, in fact, a part of a breeder's necessary screening process. I was thinking about the questions from the point of view of what is/is not courteous. I entirely agree with you both that breeders shouldn't be making it easy for the wrong kinds of buyers to end up with one of their dogs. Since I don't want to encourage that at all, I would really prefer that no other breeders answered this. We could just consider the subject closed. Thank you both again!

Oops, more useful infor while I was posting. MaggieRoseLee, I will be printing my copy, now! Thanks, all!
 

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Not from a breeder's point of view, but from a rescue's point of view (which can be similar--I tended to employ the same "methods" as Chris and Sue when talking to people about dogs)...KNOW THE BREED YOU'RE PROFESSING TO LOVE.

I cannot tell you how many times when I was running BrightStar's email that I would get emails saying how it was someone's lifelong dream since they were 5 years old to "own a German Shepard" and they have spent years researching them. Or things similar to this.

I can't imagine it's much different for breeders.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh, MaggieRoseLee, that is a great thread. I'll be carefully munching my way through all those sites. Thank you!
 

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I cannot tell you how many times when I was running BrightStar's email that I would get emails saying how it was someone's lifelong dream since they were 5 years old to "own a German Shepard" and they have spent years researching them. Or things similar to this.
Oh man, so true. I dealt with this a lot when I was doing home visits for an IG rescue.
 

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The only issues I found while researching for the right breeder, was that since I'm currently deployed, its difficult to try to get people on the phone sometimes. I also found that a lot of breeders will not put a price on their webpage, due to different bloodlines and whatnot. And lets face it....not everyone can pay 3k for a puppy. I found a breeder who very happy to listen to what my husband and I desired trait-wise, they answered our other questions, and yes...the price was right. I had one breeder in particular I had tried to call and email several times to get information on a couple of their young adults, and I could not get them to respond.
 

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I'll skip over a lot of breeders who don't have a price on their website, unless I'm VERY impressed with their dogs.... I don't want to ask them a bunch of questions, then seem like a perfect match, then find out that their dogs are way out of my price range. But then if I ask how much their pups are, I'm sure I'd be turned away. (Because if I was a breeder and the first thing someone asked me was how much the puppies were, I wouldn't even respond to an e-mail).
 

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...What sort of questions people ask me, and what topics they want to discuss with me, are a big part of my screening process. The big key to screening is listening to what the person says. And as the saying goes, giving them enough rope to hang themselves with and see what happens. Sure, there are some things I come right out and ask, and certain topics that need to be covered so if the conversation doesn't naturally touch on those I'll steer it that way, and I'll often ask someone to clarify or give examples. But mainly I just let them talk and talk and talk. And truth is, often what questions they ask me can be even more revealing than what they answer to my questions. So since seeing what questions and topics people bring to me off the bat without prompting is a major part of the whole screening process, I'm not sharing my secrets of what sort of things I like to hear and what turns me off. ...
Yup, yup & yup!!:)
 

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I've only contacted one breeder and because the breeder did have most every question answered on the website, there was not a whole lot of questions I had when I went to meet them. In fact I remember them asking me a couple times if I had any other questions and they were so transparent and informative up front that I had none! I think that may have been a bit of a "red flag" in their opinion of me.
Before I wasted that breeders time, I made sure I wasn't going to waste their time. They have too many things to do than answer tons of e-mails for trivial questions and advice requests.
 

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The first breeder I ever got a GSD from spent time showing me the differences between the lines and put a video in for me to watch to show me what schutzhund was I got my dog from him because he was willing to spend the time educating me about the breed. My first dog was show lines
 

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Whatever happened to common sense and wanting to own/sell a German Shepherd??? You need a security clearance to breed dogs these days....crazy!!
 
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