Serious breeders don’t allow potential puppy owners to pick their own puppy without guidance. At first, it may seem unfair, but their are good reasons for it. Working with your breeder will help ensure you get “the pick of the litter.”
Consider the following scenario.
A young family enters the scene. They have two young children and they’re looking for a medium active dog that is not too dominant to join their family.
They arrive to view a litter of pups, eager to find their canine soul mate. As the oldest child walks by, a pup runs over and paws at his leg. The pup plays with his shoe laces. The eight year old picks the puppy up, and he breathes that magical puppy breath into the child’s face. He cuddles up and falls asleep in his arms. It seems like the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
The child asks “Can I keep him?”
The “breeder” replies “I think you’ve found your puppy.”
Fade to Black. Enter Reality, Stage Left
What this family has found is a active, dominant, but physically tired puppy. What they didn’t see was for the previous hours this puppy was zipping and zooming around the house. Jumping on everyone and bullying his litter mates, he barely resembles the sweetness that’s asleep in the boy’s arms. He’s clearly a dominant personality (note the getting under foot, pawing, and nipping shoe laces). However, because he’s been so active, he’s tired and needs a little nap time. When he wakes up fully recharged he’s going to be hell on wheels. But they don’t see that. More important, they may not see it for a few days as he adjusts to his new home. Too late, they realize he’s not the dog for them.*
(Please note I made the main character a child, as no adult wants to admit they can be so easily intoxicated by puppy breath. )
We spend hours observing and interacting with our puppies. They are introduced to approximately 100 people, a few other dogs, and our horses. They will have been exposed to birds and, if the weather permits, water. They’ve listened to audios of show sounds, thunderstorms, trains, planes, and automobiles. Their environment is changed frequently with new and interesting toys, obstacles, and objects. In addition, our puppies are evaluated for temperament by an independent evaluator The result of all this is we know them.
. Our responsibility as breeders is first to the puppies we have bred. We need to ensure that each of them lives in an excellent home that will provide love, training, and opportunities to fulfill his/her potential. We are committed to being available for the dog’s entire life.
Our second responsibility is to the breed that we have loved for 35 years. We’ve put time, energy, and resources into breeding good representatives of the breed. It is harmful to the breed to have owners unhappy with their puppy, and instead of understanding that the match wasn’t right, condemn the entire breed. For the general public seeing mismatched relationships creates a false and negative impression of the breed.
Finally, we have a responsibility to the prospective owners that come to us for guidance. Some of our prospective owners want to participate in show and/or performance events with a life long companion. To be successful they need a dog with excellent conformation and a specific personality. Some want to enhance their lives with a companion. Not interested in competing, a more laid back temperament is probably a better fit. It’s our goal to match the pups to their “forever” homes the first time.
As responsible breeders we will be honest with prospective puppy owners. We may have one or two dogs that meet your personality and lifestyles demands. These are the pick of the litter-for you.
Please note that if we don’t have a good match for you, we will refer you to another breeder.
* Technically, it’s not too late for the person, as a responsible breeder will always take a puppy back. The breeder may have to put more time into training and correcting bad habits acquired in the wrong household. Depending on the developmental stage the puppy is in when returned, the damage to the puppy may be short term or take considerable time to recover from. Preventing this scenario is preferable.