Now that I’ve gotten all bossy about both sides of the story, I’d love to know what you’ve experienced, both good and bad, and how you handled it or wish it had been handled.
First, as a buyer: I’ve bought Danes from more than one breeder, but only one has stayed “my breeder” in my head. And yes, you know who you are :). She has been known to work a full shift and then drive hours down to my house to hold my hand during a bad whelping, and she will tell me if a dog I’m considering has the crappiest rear she’s ever seen and I need to stop getting seduced by his head.
I have had a significantly bad experience with someone else (breed and timeline not to be revealed). I was sold a dog who ended up having some major temperament problems and, when I approached her, she said “Oh, yeah, that sounds like his dad. Your puppy is actually here because his dad ripped up a fence and raped the bitch on the other side. She ended up needing a transfusion because he hurt her so much, but don’tchaknow she actually ended up with a nice litter out of it.”
That was delivered with a perfectly straight face; there was not a hint of guilt or worry in her voice.
Thankfully, she did take the dog back, and I was able to walk away significantly lighter in pocket but far happier.
As a breeder: I’ve alluded to my real nightmare one, which was with a co-owner (by the way, we did at least get the puppies registered, but it was MONTHS and only with both of us consulting lawyers; it was AWFUL). My worst episode of being completely befuddled was this one:
It was coming down to the wire on a litter; they were two days short of eight weeks. I had every buyer scheduled in a row over the next few days, every puppy was assigned, everybody set to go.
Then I got a letter in the mail…
“Dear Joanna: I am so sorry to say that I cannot buy Princess from you at this time. I did not tell you when we visited and talked that I have cancer. I believed that it wouldn’t affect my ability to buy the puppy, but recently my Spirit Guides have told me that this is a poor time to get a dog.”
I think my mouth hung open for about five minutes.
So what about you? Tell tell!
I’m not a breeder and only have 2 dogs, different breeds, but I will share my limited experience.
With my first dog of my own, I was looking for a pembroke from a “good” breeder. But I wasn’t as knowledgeable and didn’t quite know what to look for. My main criteria was health testing. I went to a couple dog shows and talked to a few breeders and mainly searched the web. I luckily was able to spot quite a few of the iffy breeders and stayed away from them. But mainly my choice of breeder was based on websites, whoever agreed to meeting me in person, and price. I met her at a show, she sent me several emails, and then things went somewhat downhill. I wanted a dog a couple months in the future, she kept pushing for that litter and the 2 pups left. Once I sent her a deposit check, it was difficult getting her to respond to exactly when to meet on the weekend I mentioned. The main issue was in getting the registrations papers on the puppy. We had already agreed to limited registration, which was no problem, but it took us months of emails to finally get her to stop making excuses and mail us his papers. She also never responded to any puppy updates I sent her, and I haven’t bothered to let her know how awesome and amazing my dog turned out to be since. This is the main reason I will never go back to her, she seemed very interested in us before we got the puppy, but apparently doesn’t care at all after the puppy is sold.
My other dog, toller, I did some more searching. I still used the internet to find breeders, but I met and emailed several. Since tollers are less common, I found that there was a lot less crappy breeders out there. My decision on what breeder was much harder, but came down to a very hospitable couple who invited us to come visit and even stay at their house, twice. She talked to us a ton, and genuinely cared about her breed and the individual puppies. I am very happy with my decision and regularly keep in contact AND get responses back!
Loki was purchased from a novice breeder that had some very long time reputable breeders backing her. I bought him because of his LINES and not necessarily her… because she was moving to the states a couple weeks after the puppies left home and I knew she would not keep in touch that well. I know where to find her should I ever need her but I know that she’s not all the interested in him. The breeder of his sire holds his guarantee and I talk to her regularily. So I went into it knowing what I would get out of it.
Now Bella is the most researched pup out there. I knew exactly what lines I wanted (Tartanside HAD to be prominent) and so I knew what breeders were using that stock in their program. I researched online, compiled a list, talked to other breeders at shows and spoke to my peers. I put out feelers that I was looking for a show quality bitch and then met Cheryl (Cherfire’s collies.) We spoke for quite a while over email. I told her what I wanted. She asked questions, I asked questions, I moved up her “show” list quickly 😉 Cheryl will always be MY breeder. She has the best health guarantee that I know about, she will show and finish Bella, she LOVES her dogs… they are her life. And she breeds for healthy dogs first and foremost so they will be companions for life. I could not be happier.
Bad experience? Not bad per say… but we got our Archie (Can. Ch. Robinhoods Are Ewe In the Mood) from Robinhood’s Cardigans back in 1999. He was a retired champion and after meeting him we were smitten. Now he was a “free” dog… she just wanted him to retire to a good home. There were many contracts, emails, chats… but after we got him home? Nothing. I tried to update her on how he was, send pictures… nothing. I tried throughout the years to keep her in the know… nothing. I even wrote her in a last ditch effort when he died and … nothing. I felt like she didn’t care at all. And that hurt you know?
So those are my stories… good bad and medium. lol!
This is going to be long!!!!
my first purebred dog was a shepherd. bought from a backyard breeder with CKC registered dogs. i got a health guarantee, and in my 16 year old naive ways thought I had a great dog, from a good breeder (after all the dog was CKC registered!….) I had to euthanise the dog at 7 months old due to severe hip displasia. When I returned to the “breeders” house I was told (remember that I was 16) that it was my fault, and that HD is not a genetic problem and is caused by the too high protien in the food I fed. I pressed for my money back (remember, health guarantee) and in the end had to threaten small claims court before he would consider anything. He would NOT return my money but offered a puppy- friends (i.e more backyard breeders) had a litter and owed him a puppy. I ended up going (stupid, but remember 16…) and brought home Kate- who although physically was healthy, mentally a different story. Severely under socialised, fearful to the point of aggressive, and lots of work…I love her…but wow, did I ever learn my lesson.
My next purebred dog I bought from a reputable breeder. Member of the breed club, well known, etc. She sold me a very nice dog, and that’s pretty much it. She is never very interested in what I am doing with her, and we don’t stay in touch even though she is only an hour away…I wanted more from my breeder, and I was more than dissapointed when I discovered this is the way she is. I also discovered much later that my dogs mother is flighty and has a nasty temperament- something that I wasn’t told about when I bought the dog. Thankfully my dog is not flighty, or nasty… although I know two littermates who are…
Interestingly enough my mismarked Cardi who died last year was a rescue- but was sired by one of her dogs. The litter was never registered, and although the breeder told me on more than one occasion that she was sure he was from her stud dogs she never owned up to him in public…I wonder if it was the mismark, or his severely roached back….he was a wonderful dog otherwise..
My next purebred dog (not a corgi) was also a “rescue”- he came from a not well liked breeder (who now breeds designer flyball dogs), but her mentor is VERY well known and respected….anyway, he was sold to a family who had no clue what to do with a dog like him, and spent the first four years confined to a crate, or shut away. I got him and have spent the last year and a bit rehabing him- he is doing extremely well, and through breed lists I know that the breeder, and that breeders mentor are aware of what happened to him, and where he has ended up. Not a word from either of them…It has always bugged me that neither of them really cared about what happened to him…
And finally…My next purebred dog. I had done my research and “bookmarked” the dogs I liked, knew what I was looking for in a dog, and in a breeder. The first time I contacted the breeder to enquire about the puppy on her for sale page I was asked TONS of questions, had to supply references, and I knew then that the breeder cared about where the dogs end up. It made me want the dog that much more. The breeder keeps in touch, sends me emails once in a while, and I send her updates, photos, etc- knowing that she cares. It is a good feeling. I would get another dog from her in a heart beat.
My thinking is that if the breeder doesn’t care enough about her dogs, where they go, or her breeding then I don’t want one. I’ve been there, done that. I want a breeder who is breeding for a purpose, and is breeding quality dogs who can work, and still look good. I want a breeder who asks me questions, a breeder who doesn’t just take my word for it. I want to know that the breeder I choose is going to stand behind me and my dog for that dogs life. I think for me- it is not just about buying a dog- but a relationship that I need to be able trust will still be there if ever I have a question, or need help.
2 bad experiences: first, researching kid-friendly Sporting breeds, found a very well-known setter breeder who had a finished young dog available; he had apparently been sold on as a juniors dog, but the family had broken up. I got him from the airport filthy, ungroomed, skinny, covered in fleas and ticks, unilaterally deaf, but very friendly. Oh, and full or worms. And totally bonkers: wouldn’t go pee or poop outside, soiled his crate regularly, had explosive runs whenever I left the house (oh, and he had giardia, too!) Very gentle, but quite loony. I kenneled him with a local setter breeder for one day on a trial basis: he sprayed his pen with poop, and was so panicked that I was called and had to come pick him up–he was covered in drool. Did I mention that he barked incessantly, and had been partially debarked?
The ONE follow-up contact I had with his breeder: how big was the cheque I had given her kennel manager when I picked him up? This was, she says, one of her favourite dogs, out of her big-name sire. HAH!
Second bad experience: contacted a very well-respected Newf breeder, visited several times, with the intention of again getting an older, bomb-proof dog. We were very specific that we wanted a healthy, happy family dog. Got instead a 15 month old who had been off the property maybe three times, was scared of everything to do with house living, unhousebroken, hand-shy… these we worked on. But she was being kept for breeding, and had “pulled a muscle” at the kennel playing. Over a thousand dollars of Xrays and diagnostics later? Umm, she had bilateral cruciate tears. Requiring 6k worth of TPLO. And had had for almost a year. And although she was a lovely dog, she hated being around the kids. We kept her until it was convenient for the breeder to have her back, loved her, tended her, made her to feel at home, paid all her bills–and we were completely made to feel like Hitler for not keeping her. Totally cut off from all contact with the breeder, no news about a dog who shared our life for 6 months. Sigh.
So we’re feeling a little gunshy…
I have two Cardis from different breeders. Both breeders have good reputations. Neither breeder has interests in performance dogs. Both of my dogs do rally, obedience and agility. IThey do not do confirmation. If they did I think my breeders would be there to help or give advice or at least show interest. I run into them at shows sometimes. One breeder seems glad to see her dog, the other breeder isn’t too interested. But……………………..they have sold lots and lots of puppies. I would think it would be very difficult to keep up.
In a perfect world it would be nice to think they wanted to hear about your baby…………..one of their many babies. The important thing is that they are good breeders and sold me two good healthy dogs. And they are my dogs now and my responsiblity. Would I buy another dog from them………..most definitely yes.
wow, the bad stories make me feel so sad… and have reinforced something I’ve been thinking, J, about how you use the word “WE” when you write about how breeders are, how breeders truly care about their dogs. I think that it’s unfortunate that not every breeder out there has the attitude towards their dogs and their breed that you have. And that’s a big part of why people like me have never felt they would trust a breeder. That “pattipaw” breeder that you posted about before, the one that lets “nature” cull the puppies… I still have panic moments about that one. Or so many others, like the examples above. ::shudder::
I wrote to several rescue groups looking for the right dog for our family, spelling out who we were, what we were looking for and, more importantly, what we didn’t want. One group didn’t even reply. The group we adopted from is wonderful and we keep in touch with the woman who runs it, I was even able to leave EllieMae at her house for the weekend when we went to Mexico for a wedding. She loves it when I send her pictures of Ellie, and I know she’d support me any way I need her to. And this is a *rescue*!!!