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Discussion Starter #1
How do you screen potential buyers for your puppies ? I am getting ready to breed my female and this will be my first litter to sell . What questions do you ask ? Do you turn some buyers down ? I definitely want my pups to go to good owners .

What paperwork or guarantees should I offer. This will probably be my only litter ,I am not trying to get into the puppy business . I am breeding my female get get a male for myself for schutzhund.

She has her BH and is very near ready for Sch1. The stud is Sch3. Her father was imported and the stud is an import.
 

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Plan to spend a lot of time on the phone with them before ever providing your address -- general location is ok, ie. Ashtabula County, Ohio.

Spend the time LISTENING to them. You can lead them with a few questions, but try to get a feel for them by what they say about their previous dogs, what they say about training, what they say about vets etc. Ask for the name of their veterinarian, and if possible an instructor/trainer.

Get a feel for them. Are they saying what they think you want to hear, or are they telling you like it is?

With GSDs, training is the big deal. I think it is more important than health, nutrician, all the rest of it, because a dog that bonds with his owner will get good food and will be taken to the vet. Training will facillitate that bonding quicker than anything else, so be sure to listen to what they want to DO with the dog, what they want to train the dog for, how they will train the dog, when they will start training the dog, where they intend to train the dog.

If they ask you questions, that is ok too. But be sure to let them hang themselves by listening to who they really are.

I think that placing puppies is probably one of the most important parts of breeding. So this is a great question. Matching the right pup to the right owner is going to be tough as a newbie. You might consider having someone come in and temperament test the puppies.

People still like a choice though. So it is best to choose the best two for each buyer and show them both to them. Give your reasons why each would make a good choice. Sorry, this is beyond the scope of your question. But in your screening process, make notes about them, the people, what type of pup they would do best with -- active pup, laid back pup, no puppy, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks ........ what paperwork or guarantee will I need to provide ?

Since this is likely my only litter I cant offer to replace with a puppy from a future litter if problems arise. I dont anticipate health problems but I'm sure some buyers will want a guarantee of some sort .
 

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you will need a clause stating that if for any reason...throughout the lifetime of the dog...the new owners cannot keep...for any reason...they must return the dog to you.
 

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Get a phone number, then run a reverse directory check through intelius.com or a similar service. Also, Dog Breeders, Puppies for Sale, Dog Breeds Information allows you to host a questionnaire on their server. You can require people to fill it out, or no deal. Every successful placement I've had came off a completed questionnaire as the first contact. Cold calls where the first words out of the caller's mouth are "How much are your puppies?" are a waste of my time.

By way of illustrating my point, allow me to share one of my favorite "puppy buyer" stories :D :

I answered the phone. Fella asked if I had any puppies for sale and how much were they? (I did, but again, cold calls that start with a request for a price are halfway to the trashcan right off the bat.) "Hi, I'm Dave. And your name is?"

"Uh, (Half second pause) Donald."

Right. Do you spell "Uh" with one "H" or two? Strike one.

Talk to him a bit. "Uh...Donald" tells me that he has trained German Shepherds for protection work and for police departments for ten years, then asks where he can get a bite suit. Pal...you should already HAVE one. You haven't been taking bites from full grown GSD's for ten years on your bare arms and legs, have you? Strike two.

Blah, blah, blah...quote him a price that's $1000 higher than I was charging, and tell him to fill out my questionnaire so I can get more of an idea what he's looking for in a puppy, etc. Have a nice day.

Get the "received call" number off my phone, run it through intelius.com. It comes back as a MetroPCS month-to-month account, the name on the account is "Mike," (not "uh, Donald," no last name) associated with four addresses in one of the worst neighborhoods in the United States (a place where I won't go without a handgun, two reloads for same, and a folding knife. In daylight only.).

Swing and a miss! STRIKE THREE! You're OUTTA THERE! :rofl:
 

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Selzer said:
Plan to spend a lot of time on the phone with them before ever providing your address -- general location is ok, ie. Ashtabula County, Ohio.
This is a good point. No reason to have PETA or a thief pay you a visit. Get one of those UPS Store P.O. box addresses that look like a real address.
 

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Get a phone number, then run a reverse directory check through intelius.com or a similar service. Also, Dog Breeders, Puppies for Sale, Dog Breeds Information allows you to host a questionnaire on their server. You can require people to fill it out, or no deal. Every successful placement I've had came off a completed questionnaire as the first contact. Cold calls where the first words out of the caller's mouth are "How much are your puppies?" are a waste of my time.

By way of illustrating my point, allow me to share one of my favorite "puppy buyer" stories :D :

I answered the phone. Fella asked if I had any puppies for sale and how much were they? (I did, but again, cold calls that start with a request for a price are halfway to the trashcan right off the bat.) "Hi, I'm Dave. And your name is?"

"Uh, (Half second pause) Donald."

Right. Do you spell "Uh" with one "H" or two? Strike one.

Talk to him a bit. "Uh...Donald" tells me that he has trained German Shepherds for protection work and for police departments for ten years, then asks where he can get a bite suit. Pal...you should already HAVE one. You haven't been taking bites from full grown GSD's for ten years on your bare arms and legs, have you? Strike two.

Blah, blah, blah...quote him a price that's $1000 higher than I was charging, and tell him to fill out my questionnaire so I can get more of an idea what he's looking for in a puppy, etc. Have a nice day.

Get the "received call" number off my phone, run it through intelius.com. It comes back as a MetroPCS month-to-month account, the name on the account is "Mike," (not "uh, Donald," no last name) associated with four addresses in one of the worst neighborhoods in the United States (a place where I won't go without a handgun, two reloads for same, and a folding knife. In daylight only.).

Swing and a miss! STRIKE THREE! You're OUTTA THERE! :rofl:

Would have been a hilarious call to listen to!
 

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You do not NEED a clause saying; if that for any reason if something goes wrong, the dog will be returned to you.
 

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No problem asking...lol....because that is a personal preference of some breeders but not something that is "needed" to be a quality breeder or reputable breeder. If one wants to do that its fine, but "needed", I don't think so. Nobody in Europe operates by that rule and I would daresay that the breeders and dogs are just as reputable as we produce here in States. Very few Europeans import our dogs, yet zillions of us import their dogs, so if it isn't needed there, I submit it isn't "needed" here. Strictly a personal preference, no way indicative of knowledge or quality in my book.JMO
 

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No problem asking...lol....because that is a personal preference of some breeders but not something that is "needed" to be a quality breeder or reputable breeder. If one wants to do that its fine, but "needed", I don't think so. Nobody in Europe operates by that rule and I would daresay that the breeders and dogs are just as reputable as we produce here in States. Very few Europeans import our dogs, yet zillions of us import their dogs, so if it isn't needed there, I submit it isn't "needed" here. Strictly a personal preference, no way indicative of knowledge or quality in my book.JMO
I think, however, it can offer a breeder a piece of mind in case the person ever needs (or wants) to get rid of the dog that you have the say over what happens.

I think the benefit in doing this is if the family ever HAS to get rid of the dog (even the best family could meet hard times), you can appropriately place the dog. Just because the current owner is great doesn't mean they will have the best judgement on who to rehome the dog to.

But it is "preference"...I do think it certainly doesn't hurt. We see a lot of nice dogs in rescue (obviously not the majority), so it definitely happens for one reason or another.
 

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Once the dog goes to its new home, it is the property of the new owners, unless you are selling dogs on a co-ownership.

We have to be very careful when we place puppies the first time around, because once it leaves, everything in its life is under the new owners control.

I have a statement in my puppy policy saying that I will take the dog back at any time. Will this stop someone from dropping the dog at a pound? Maybe. It depends on how much they care about the dog as opposed to how easy it is to dump the dog.

Most breeders simply do not have the time or money to track down their puppies and take puppy buyers to court for not abiding by the clauses in their contract.

My contract is very one sided -- I will, I will, I will, I will... Because I will not put anything down there that I cannot enforce. In my puppy policy, I discuss things like spay/neuter, training, socialization, feeding, vet, etc. But I do not require the new owner do anything. And I hope that they have not pulled the wool over my eyes when I talked with them originally.

If a breeder is in NY, and a buyer is in Texas, and the buyer did not bother to train or socialize the puppy and now it is 14 months old and is nuisance barking all day in the back yard, and chewing up stuff in the house, and the new girlfriend does not want the dog. Some buyers will try to sell the dog first, after all they paid x-amount for the dog and it is "full-blood." Or they may try to give it away. But if they need to get it gone -- Girlfriend says its me or the dog! They might consider the breeder, or the pound. They will call the breeder and the airline and find out how much it will cost to ship the dog back to the breeder. They will then call the pound.

Once someone decides to give up a dog, it is almost like they do not want to spend another nickel on the dog. And breeders cannot always go on a road trip at the drop of a hat and go pick it up, not across the country.

I hope I never find myself in that situation.

If they let you know the dog is going to go to the pound if you cannot arrange to have it shipped to you, you can at least beg, borrow, or steal the money to get the dog home. But some people feel like they failed the dog, and do not want the breeder to know, or they never consider the breeder. They paid out the money, the dog is now theirs, and why is this person calling six months later to see how the dog is doing?

A clause in a contract that they maybe read over one time is not going to change any of this.
 

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Selzer,
I agree with you to an extent...if someone just wants to get rid of the dog, then they will.

However...like I said...if it genuinely is a great home and good people, they will want to follow the contract. A lot of people are just plain ignorant about the amount or type of dog that friends or relatives might be able to handle. By including SOMETHING to the effect that the breeder has first right to refusal, it at least puts it back in the breeder's lap in evaluating if big brother's family or next door neighbor is an appropriate match for the dog if they want to rehome it to someone they know.

I don't think that a single one of my friends would be the right home for a GSD (at least not one that acts like a lab), but they all think that owning a high drive GSD is a breeze and that I got "lucky" owning such a well behaved dog. But I don't think everyone thinks so "critically" (I don't mean that literally being critical...but thinking critically :) ) about their friends and family.

Anyhow...that's my point of view on it.

Obviously making sure your dog goes to the perfect home and you do a great job screening buyers is the first step. But anything can happen.
 

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I agree that anything can happen.

Chances are the right home will not get rid of the dog, but if they do, they will call you and be responsible about it, whether or not it is required by your contract.

And the yayhoos will probably do what they want to do and it will probably never bite them in the bottom.

And this is why we try so very hard to make a good match and get them in good homes. And this is why we frown on people who are counting on pet people, buying their puppies out of their pet dogs. These people are really limited on who will end up with their puppies. The reponsible buyers, the reputable buyers so to speak, will do the research, will want hip and elbow screenings, will want the more ducks in a row than most pet people will have on their dogs.

Being responsible is not something that people do a little bit of. I mean, they may not do everything the way you would want them to, but if they are responsible about taking the dog to the vet, and responsible about taking the dog to training classes, they will also probably be responsible enough to make arrangements to keep their dog if they move, or have a new baby, etc. And if there is no possible way to keep the dog, they will be responsible enough to call the breeder.
 

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Selzer, I largely agree with your post. I think many 'failed' buyers are embarrassed by their inability to cope with & handle the dog & will surrender to a shelter or rescue rather than admitting failure to the breeder. I suspect that admitting failure to rescue or shelters, (possibly couched in numerous excuses), is easier b/c they're not regaling rescues/shelters with all the reasons they'd make a perfect fail proof home despite full time jobs, small children, lack of experience etc. It's gotta be tough to have made a strong case for why they're a GREAT home only to say whoops, we reallly can't do this.

Though I can understand this, I don't have much sympathy with it. Honesty, integrity, commitment...They're not always easy. Ducking responsibility just b/c it gets a bit tough & potentially embarrassing should not be an option.

Personally, & this is admittedly only *my* opinion, I'd hope any worthwhile breeder would move ****&high water to reclaim their dog even if they had to pony up the expense of return shipping. Yeah, return shipping ain't cheap, but neither was the original purchase price from an experienced breeder.
 

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Are you a breeder, RubyTuesday?

How would you go about the return shipping? Would you send the money to the purchaser? How do you KNOW they will follow through and send you the dog back? How about across the country, are you going send them several hundred dollars, to fly the dog to you?

You do what you can do, and yes, you move mountains in your attempt to get the pup/dog back, but it is not always as easy as paying for it out of your pocket.

Just because you charged 1000-1800$ for the puppy six months ago, does not mean that all of that money is just sitting in a bank account growing. You may have paid $800 for the stud fee, you may have paid $1100 for a C-section, you have probably spent all of that money over again many times in the course of the year in food, training, vet, shows, etc. Turning around and sending a purchaser $800 to ship a puppy back to you, when they could just turn around and dump the puppy anyway, and claim that the money you sent back was because the pup was defective. Then you would have to take them to court to get the puppy or get your money back.

Insane. Never had this happen to me, but I can see people abusing things several states away, will you chase them down?
 

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You can always pay the shipper directly as opposed to sending the money to the owner. What we see in rescue is mainly people turning to us when the breeder refuses to take the dog back. Most decent people are just happy to have a way out if they cannot keep their dog.
I know about returns, have spent a night driving in a blizzard to get our dog safe.
 

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"Cold calls where the first words out of the caller's mouth are "How much are your puppies?" are a waste of my time."

I wish breeders didn't think this, because I don't want to waste time with a breeder only to find the dog costs twice what I thought. Do breeders think that by the time the conversation is over we are willing to pay anything for a puppy?

What about from the breeder's point of view. You want to spend an hour on the phone with somebody only to have them hear the price and say, sorry, too much?

Some dog breeds in the US are selling for 5+ times the cost of the same puppy in another country.
 

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No, I'm not a breeder. IF I wanted to breed, one of the things that would hold me back is placing puppies. Too many buyers glibly promise to train, keep the dog in the house, speuter &/or not breed only to renege on anything, sometimes everything, on the flimsiest of excuses.

Regardless, IMO, the FIRST commitment made to the pup is by the breeder. IMO, a breeder should do all s/he can to safeguard any pups s/he has bred including reclaiming it if the owner can't/won't keep the pup/dog.

There are ways to recover a dog without sending $800 across the country including driving to get it, getting the help of other breeders or friends, having a friend/breeder take temporary custody & sending the money to that trusted person.

IMO, in the vast majority of cases breeders who are serious about making this happen will do so. Others will proffer convenient excuses and rationalizations (much like so many owners who fail their dogs, making only the feeblest of efforts to keep them). And again & again it's the innocent dogs that lose.

I trusted the 2 breeders I got pups from with a substantial piece of cash. As deeply suspicious as I can be, it never occurred to me that they'd simply rake it in & refuse to deliver the pup. We talked extensively, exchanged a wealth of information, shared with each other what we wanted & expected from our agreement. WHY would I suddenly turn into someone who decides to pull a scam to grab a few hundred bucks. (The shipping within the USA I've seen is generally ~$400 which includes the crate. I don't think return shipping s/b much more).

Sellers who aren't serious about taking the dog back shouldn't bother putting it in the contract. Sellers that do, should realize it might not always be easy, cheap or convenient, but how deep is a commitment that rests on easy, cheap & convenient?
 
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