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I know you get some strange customers but, this was way out there. My friend who has been doing this forever said I did everything wrong, but I am not sure what I should have done differently save talk to her a lot longer and just not let her come over.

Anyway, I had a couple of groups of people coming over yesterday to visit their pups, one to select their pup and discuss the temperament test results. One group was scheduled for 1pm and the other for 4pm. At 11 am, someone called and said she would like to come and see the pups. I was cleaning kennels, and had to shower, but was pretty good with time, so I told her fine, she was local and could be there in an hour.

I directed them by cell phone to my home, had the pups in their pen up front, put Jenna on a lead and walked to the road so they could see us and pull in. The first thing out of the woman's mouth was "How's the temperament, does he bite?" Uh oh! Then she said, "Oh that's the mother." I told her the temperament was good. Jenna went up the guy, and started to investigate the woman, and she asked again about biting. I told her she has never bitten anyone. She said, "oh good, because if she would, she will bite me."

I told her I would put her in the back yard. She immediately asked if there was a problem. I said no, but she was nervous so I would put her away. Uh, why does she want to look at shepherd puppies if she is afraid of shepherds???

I put Jenna in her kennel, and showed them the puppies. I discussed the training and certifications that I have on my dog, they made a comment about intact dogs, and I brought Rushie out, and explained that he is a therapy dog. Well, they went on a bit about how skinny he is. They would put 20 pounds on him. According to my vet, he is right where he ought to be. I feed him 4 1/2 cups of Canidae, and he weighs 78 pounds. I can see a rib or two, but he is not starving.

The do not seem afraid of him.

We talk about the pups. They ask to buy the one bitch pup. I told them she was sold. They (I say they, but the man could have been a mute) ask why if she is sold is she still there, and how much would I charge to sell her to them. I told them she was not ready yet, and that she has been sold since she was three weeks old. They ask how much I want for the pups, and I tell them, they say that was out of their range. Fine.

Then they ask how the puppies drink out of that big bucket. (The bucket inside Jenna's x-pen. I explain that is for the mother. They look for the pups water and spot the Lexit bottles I am using. I did not get a chance to explain that they ensure fresh clean water, but whatever. That kind of freaked them out. They then asked if they sleep there, and said, oh, they see the little houses. This was an intermediate size crate that I put down in halves to get them used the crates. I told them the puppies come inside the house at night and have their own kennel attached to the house. I took them in the back where the puppy pen, Ninja's pen, and Heidi's pen are in line. I showed them how Babs and the puppy pen have access to the house.

They said, "oh this is a regular business." And they asked how many dogs I have.

We moved away from back yard and back to the pups, my 1 oclock people came and these people started talking about how they would let the pup in the kitchen at first and then it would be outside. They aren't worried about it roaming because they live in the country, they asked if it was ok to have it outside, because I was just nodding my head at this point.

I told them, "well actually, they need to be in with the family." They finally left and my 1 oclock group, looked puzzled. I said, there is no way they are getting one of my dogs, they laughed and said they were scarey.

I must agree.

But my friend said that they were probably AR people looking for something to blow the whistle on.

My set up is clean, my pups are healthy, I have health records, and nothing to hide, I was more worried about them coming while I am not home and trying to steal the pups.

My friend said I should have never had them come into my back yard.

With all the anti-breeding sentiment, I am getting worried now.

Any thoughts in how to deal with and recognize this sort of thing?
 

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Nothing really spells tree-hugger, or animal rights here. Sounds like somebody who is woefully un-educated about GSDs. Could have been me about 17 years ago. I don't know that you did anything wrong, or right for that matter. But, I seriously doubt that you have anything to worry about.
 

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I cant answer anything from a breeders standpoint as I am not a breeder but I would tend to agree with Richard that it sounds like these people just have no clue what they are looking at or talking about. Since being on this board I have been able to learn what to look for in a good or bad breeder. Prior to this I probably would have never know what I was seeing unless it was blatantly obviously bad. They may have expected to see just one set of parents with a bunch of puppies running around like crazy with no organization. Thining that was the norm...Like what I would now expect to see from someone who had an "accidental" litter just out of the blue and wanted to offload the pups.
 

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Originally Posted By: selzerAny thoughts in how to deal with and recognize this sort of thing?
This is why I do a lot of prescreening of people on the phone right upfront. I would never invite someone out to my home, even if they're local, without getting a good feel for them first. That goes a long way in eliminating time wasters and freaks like these people.

We often get calls from people "wanting to come see the kennel". That's fine, once they've been prescreened. I've found that the folks who are open to that idea, and welcome it, are the best prospects. Anyone who is put off by needing to be interviewed and approved first, or who really just wants to spend an afternoon playing with pups and isn't willing to talk first, isn't someone I'd be even remotely interested in selling to anyway.

So my biggest suggestion to eliminate such odd, uncomfortable experiences in the future would be to get to know folks a bit before inviting them to come out.
 

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I don't blame you for being leery.

These were strange people to say the least, they may just have been clueless. I've also heard of ARs pulling stuff like this with breeders. And I've heard of dishonest people "casing" a breeder's layout. I agree with your friend, you shouldn't have taken them in the back. IMHO the first time you sensed something was amiss, you should have asked them to leave.
 

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It's hard to say what these people were up to. It's possible that they could have just been clueless people looking to buy a puppy. But it's probably just as possible that they were checking out your situation, there. They were asking some odd questions. Almost seems like they were waiting for you to give a "wrong answer."

Just a thought - not to be paranoid or anything - but didn't you just attend that meeting? (The one I couldn't make it to.) Would there have been any way that some of these people could have gotten your name at that meeting and decided to check you out?

I would agree with Chris. Obviously, I'm not a breeder, but any time I've called someone (even lousy BYBs) about a pup, they've pre-screened me pretty well on the phone. I don't think I've ever had a call last less than half an hour. Most of it seemed like small talk, chit chat, whatever... but I figured they were sizing me up. And it was fine with me! If I were inviting a perfect stranger to my home, I'd want to get some kind of feel for what I'm dealing with. Anyone not willing to chat for a while, or answer some questions, would get a polite "I don't think so."
 

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Originally Posted By: Chris Wild
Originally Posted By: selzerAny thoughts in how to deal with and recognize this sort of thing?
This is why I do a lot of prescreening of people on the phone right upfront. I would never invite someone out to my home, even if they're local, without getting a good feel for them first. That goes a long way in eliminating time wasters and freaks like these people.

We often get calls from people "wanting to come see the kennel". That's fine, once they've been prescreened. I've found that the folks who are open to that idea, and welcome it, are the best prospects. Anyone who is put off by needing to be interviewed and approved first, or who really just wants to spend an afternoon playing with pups and isn't willing to talk first, isn't someone I'd be even remotely interested in selling to anyway.

So my biggest suggestion to eliminate such odd, uncomfortable experiences in the future would be to get to know folks a bit before inviting them to come out.
I am not a breeder but when I first contact mine (about 3-4 years BEFORE I was looking for a dog) we did a lot of emailing back and forth. Once I knew what I was looking for in a dog we talked on the phone for a while. It was only when she was ready to breed Stark's parents did I go out and meet the dogs, see the kennel, meet her in person. I did a few more visits once the puppies were born and by this time we had a great relationship going. Wonderful lady my breeder is! She would not allow anyone on the property before she did a pre-screen with both email and on the telephone (this is also after we filled out the questionnaire, etc.).
 

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Originally Posted By: Chris WildThis is why I do a lot of prescreening of people on the phone right upfront. I would never invite someone out to my home, even if they're local, without getting a good feel for them first. That goes a long way in eliminating time wasters and freaks like these people.
Ditto! Chris said it all.
 

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Originally Posted By: elisabeth_00117
Originally Posted By: Chris Wild
Originally Posted By: selzerAny thoughts in how to deal with and recognize this sort of thing?
This is why I do a lot of prescreening of people on the phone right upfront. I would never invite someone out to my home, even if they're local, without getting a good feel for them first. That goes a long way in eliminating time wasters and freaks like these people.

We often get calls from people "wanting to come see the kennel". That's fine, once they've been prescreened. I've found that the folks who are open to that idea, and welcome it, are the best prospects. Anyone who is put off by needing to be interviewed and approved first, or who really just wants to spend an afternoon playing with pups and isn't willing to talk first, isn't someone I'd be even remotely interested in selling to anyway.

So my biggest suggestion to eliminate such odd, uncomfortable experiences in the future would be to get to know folks a bit before inviting them to come out.
I am not a breeder but when I first contact mine (about 3-4 years BEFORE I was looking for a dog) we did a lot of emailing back and forth. Once I knew what I was looking for in a dog we talked on the phone for a while. It was only when she was ready to breed Stark's parents did I go out and meet the dogs, see the kennel, meet her in person. I did a few more visits once the puppies were born and by this time we had a great relationship going. Wonderful lady my breeder is! She would not allow anyone on the property before she did a pre-screen with both email and on the telephone (this is also after we filled out the questionnaire, etc.).
Had just about the same experience with my breeder. He's a Nature's Variety rep so I'd see him in the mall whenever I was there. When I told him I was looking into getting a pup he said I could come by and see how breeding should be done. Well I really liked it and ended up getting one of his GSDs.
 

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Originally Posted By: selzer
Any thoughts in how to deal with and recognize this sort of thing?
How do you advertise? I think word of mouth is the safest way. Weeds out the wierdos just a little bit.
 

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Is there something wrong with tree huggers?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Barb E., yes, if they are militant.

Normally, people spend a bunch of time back and forth through e-mails, and then with a phone call. I only give directions to my house, and my address over the phone.

But I was kind of caught off guard getting the last minute stuff done, and thought, well, I have plenty of time. I never suspected that anyone would have dishonest motives.

And frankly, the lady sounded over fifty, maybe over sixty on the phone, and I guess I do not expect older people to be scoundrels. That could get me in trouble I guess.

They counted the puppies, even though my ad both in the AKC and Breeder's Club said how many pups. I don't know, I just have a funny feeling about them, specifically because she seemed to be afraid of my girl right off the bat, and acted prone to being bitten.

My other thought is that it could have been another local breeder, that just wanted to see what I was doing.
 

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Sometimes even with local breeders nearby you have to be careful as they are so worried what you have that they don't and won't hesitate to cause trouble for you. Been there done that!

But since then we really screen our clients and way before they come to the property we have a feel for who and what they are looking for.

A couple of years ago a nearby breeder out of jealousy tried to cause trouble for us and thought by doing this would discourage us and we would quit. To their surprize we are still here and they went out of business.

Good luck and hope there isn't trouble around the corner for you
 

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I could just be paranoid but as I was reading this my first thought was that these are AR types looking to try to "bust" breeders. the questions and whole situation seem a bit too...I dunno off. I think if anyone came to my house to look at puppies and acted weird about my adult dogs, I tell them I'm sorry but I don't think these are the dogs for you. I always have puppy people meet and greet the adult dogs prior to letting the puppies out. I do talk to people I don't know a lot prior to setting up for them to come see puppies too.
check out this thread: http://forums.ukcdogs.com/showthread.php?threadid=296736
 

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Well also when I have clients come out finally after I got a good feel for them they are only there to see puppies and then I bring out of the kennel Mom and if I own the sire of the litter he comes out too. Never do I let them have run of the kennel as the reason they are coming out is to see the kennel and not a tour of our kennel

Although I have let clients view other dogs also but never have the run of the whole kennel as I have had a breeder friend that breeds Whippets had one of her champions poisoned and she lost her.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
But that one site tells you that HSUS informs their people to call it in if you refuse to show them the kennels. They are in the guise of a puppy buyer, and they then call you a puppy mill and turn you in by what they THINK might be there.

It is disgusting.

Still nervous.

It is really disgusting that I have the best and cleanest setup that I have ever seen, and I am still worried about this sort of thing. The idea that they may turn me in for my ceiling having leaked or having an extension cord. Sick, sick, sick.

Ah well. I cross the bridge when I come to it.
 
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