How much do you tell puppy buyers?

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by Freehold, May 16, 2012.

  1. Freehold

    Freehold New Member

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    Curiosity question. How much do you tell puppy buyers about their puppy's development? As in, do you show off all the weight/growth charts? Share any minor set-backs? Disclose if you needed to put a puppy on antibiotics as a precaution? Stuff like that. Also, do you do it as the puppies develop (before they are chosen, but as a concession to their interest in a particular puppy)? Or only when they get the puppy they choose/receive?

    And part two, if you disclose stuff, how do you manage buyer reactions?

    I don't want to go into specifics, but I've had a lot of advice to NOT tell about things, particularly in advance. And now I'm regretting having done what I felt was right and telling a buyer about a minor concern I had about her preferred puppy. Either way I'd still be caring for and treating the puppy to the best of my abilities. Just the stress involved... Thanks.
     
  2. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    As a buyer I would want to know EVERYTHING! And for the price they are probably paying for an IW puppy, they deserve to know EVERYTHING, lol.
     
  3. -bogart-

    -bogart- Member of WHODAT Nation.

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    I wish i could get one of your pups so bad , you are so what i want in a breeder , someone who is honest and open and caring.

    The reaction you get is not something you can control , all you can do is be open and answer any question you can and refer the buyer to resources if the need is there.

    I havent been reading ya blog , but am going to right now ( i stopped cause i was pining seriously for a wolfie pup , doesnt help my son is BEGGING literally on hands and knees for one) "OW mama PLEASE PLEASE it is Sirius!"
     
  4. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Within reason, all pertinent details. I found out later Sloans breeder fibbed about apptitude and litter placement as far as drive and exposure. I am thrilled with Sloan, beyond, but I don't see myself trusting him again for another dog. I want honest answers.

    I was turned away by a guy when I asked about his breeding and I truly respect him for that. He wasn't in the business of selling dogs as much as being in the business of finding the ideal homes to further his lines with. At that point I lacked the clear experience to handle dogs of their caliber, as far as they could tell at least, and honestly better safe than sorry is a good motto in this scenario.

    Same goes for dog to owner, some dogs don't suit some owners and vice versa, if your potential buyer is frightened off by a bout of antibiotics are you sure they're the right home for your puppies?
     
  5. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I think 100% honesty from puppy breeders/puppy owners is the ideal. I want my breeder to tell me EVERYTHING and anything and would be very disappointed and honestly, would consider losing my deposit if I found out they weren't 100% honest about something (like if pups were sick at some point, even minor issues, true aptitude test scores, etc..) because honestly, even if it doesn't really matter in the long run..for me, it's an issue of "if they lied about this or if they left this out..what else is under the rug?"

    As for buyer reactions, questions, curiosity, shock etc.. I think is all fine. Especially pet owners who might not know what certain problems/sicknesses are or what they entail.

    but honestly, there is no down side to being 100% honest about health issues and all other kind of stuff.. because honestly, would you WANT someone having one of your pups who reacted badly to that bit of news anyway or wasn't prepared for it?

    Honestly, I think the only kind of breeder that would be concerned with buyer reactions to updates/info about the litter is the kind whose first priority is selling puppies.. not finding them the right homes with informed and responsible buyers.
     
  6. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Honesty is the best policy ;)

    Honestly, especially in this case where, yes, there were issues, puppies were born a week early, etc, I think the owner should know everything, if puppies were on antibiotics, etc. that seems like quite important information to know, to let their vet know further on, IMO.
     
  7. Bailey08

    Bailey08 New Member

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    Honesty is always good. :)

    However, I would suggest that, in general, it's a good idea to give information at the right time and provide some color about it.

    For example, it's often not a big deal if a puppy has a round of antibiotics -- I think that mine might've when the puppies were having diarrhea issues that they couldn't fix with natural remedies. The breeder mentioned it on the blog, but didn't make a big thing of it. The dam had two infections (mastitis and something uterine, I think) and was losing weight, so the pups were started on raw a bit earlier than usual. They were all fat, healthy little things and did just fine, and it was absolutely the right call for the mama's health. (She did great, too. :))

    I liked knowing but I also appreciated her perspective. **** happens when you breed, I want to know about it, but I also want an experienced breeder telling me what it means.

    Basically, sure, tell your puppy buyers if their pup has had a round of antibiotics, but be sure to give them the context -- otherwise they may think you're disclosing something that's a Really Big Deal when it's really not.

    Potential health problems, you absolutely should tell them. But, again, give them the context so they understand the potential severity and likelihood. If you don't know (I know your pups had some early issues), I strongly encourage you to do a lot of research and talk to experienced vets, so you are able to give your buyers good information.

    Grace's breeder didn't give us too much information about temperaments until after the temperament and other tests and placement (she placed the pups) because she didn't want people to make assumptions based on faulty and inherently incomplete information. But then, she told us a ton about our pups and theirs strengths and potential weaknesses (so we could address them early as needed). It was hard to wait but I agree with the approach.

    All that to say, yes, information sharing is great and it's something I absolutely was looking for. But I also wanted someone (with much, much more experience than I have) to put it in context for me and tell me what, in her opinion, the effect is.

    I would never, ever have gotten a puppy from a breeder I didn't totally trust.
     
  8. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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  9. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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  10. Freehold

    Freehold New Member

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    I guess my trouble is this. One specific puppy happens to the the one a certain buyer likes best. In no way is it "her" puppy at this time (they are barely over 3 weeks old), but it does happen to be her favorite.

    Knowing this, and that this buyer is very engaged in her puppy's well-being, I decided to tell her when this puppy had a bit of the sniffles, and seemed to be having mild difficulty nursing (slowed weight gains), so I put him on antibiotics (that the vet had given me previously for other preemie issues). The puppy then began gaining back any set-back he had, and is again at the top of the litter in size. He always has close to the highest gain at each weighing. There has been no fever (checking 2x daily), but he's still a bit congested.

    I've put off a vet visit as the vet had specifically warned about bringing these guy in to the clinic much due to the high risk of infection from viruses around the clinic. We don't know how much protection they really got from their mom due to all the surrounding circumstances. (I have made the decision to take him in later today actually - unrelated to the buyer's situation - I just don't think he's made enough improvement).

    So, the buyer is very concerned. I expected that. Here is my difficulty - she sent me an email asking how the puppy was doing (not too long after my last report to her). I didn't have an immediate update when I read it (I'd just woken up after my "off" shift), so I went and posted a few things on forums before I started my "duty". When on duty there was no change, and I ended up spending the time caring for puppies, introducing them to solids for the first time, taking lots of photos, writing up a blog post to keep everyone updated (including the buyer).

    When I was next off duty I updated the buyer on the puppy, basically saying there was no change, and that I planned to take him in on Thursday if things still remained as they were. I apologized for taking so long - all these weird hours have finally done me in and I am now sick (on top of everything). But I also said that there had been no change and I would let her know if/when there was change.

    Well, the puppy buyer is really upset with me for taking that long to respond. She's particularly upset that I had the time to post on a message board (like here) on unrelated topics, but not to give her a reply. I guess I could have (should have) sent her an update saying there's no update. But I didn't.

    If I'd not told her up front about what was happening with her favorite puppy, and left it for when she was making decisions, I'd not have her on my case about not updating fast enough. I'd not withhold anything of importance when it came to puppy buying time (or take home time). But I'm seriously wondering if I should have followed the well-meant advice of other breeders I know and kept my mouth shut for the time being. I'm not posting the information for everyone to see (it doesn't affect everyone, and certainly is minor as far as such things go - concerning, but minor so far).

    The buyer brought the subject up on another forum, and I'm sure she'll find this post here. I don't want to say much there, as I want her to get honest, straightforward answers from the people on there. Interfering won't help. The only post I made was in direct response to what WAS being done for the puppy, as it was unclear if any treatment was being done.

    I'm just so frustrated by it all. I really wonder why I do this. The stress is killing me :( Bad enough almost losing my bitch, twice, and losing three of the puppies.

    Enough moping and crying over spilt milk... I just wanted to clarify the situation.

    Edited to add - I think this is a terrific buyer for a puppy - this one or any other in the litter. I certainly know that she really cares and has the best in mind for whatever puppy she gets. It's just all so stressful :yikes:
     
  11. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Ok woah. First of all, it's not her puppy, you have a life, you are caring for your dogs and a new litter and a job so she needs to KICK BACK.
    Deposits can be returned lol I'm just saying.. puppy buyers need to understand that politeness is key and that breeders have enough on their plates without whiney future puppy owners. Many breeders wouldn't have even mentioned this puppys problems in the first place so she should be thanking her lucky stars.

    I would re-iterate that puppy placement has NOT been decided and perhaps instead of doing one on one emails with her about this puppy, send regular weekly GROUP emails to puppy buyers with information on ALL of the puppies signed with your blog at the bottom so they can check for status updates there. I'm sure she means well.. but I think needs to be be reminded that it's WAY to early for puppy placement decisions and you just don't want specific people to get attached to puppies that might not suit them the most.

    Oh and perhaps remind her that you are very busy and it's easier and less stressful to update your blog which is available to all buyers then it is to respond to personal one-on-one emails.

    How often do we ignore work emails to play on facebook? It's natural. it's normal. This wasn't a life/death or serious issue.. just a daily puppy sniffles thing and frankly, although she is perfectly within her rights to want a response and of course we all want to know EVERYTHING about the litter of our future dog. I think getting all upset over it is a tad dramatic.

    A private blog or facebook page solely for puppy buyers could also be useful. Update it once a week or as these things go on and change..everyone gets to see it. Nobody feels left out that way and questions can be posted there rather then email (it's so much easier to deal with questions ONCE instead of constant back/forth private emails) and they can keep the page after to post updates and check up on siblings :D
     
  12. Freehold

    Freehold New Member

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    Thanks Fran. Honestly that makes me feel better. Initially the puppy blog was intended to be a semi-private place for puppy updates. Then... well things happened... and it became more public. A private facebook page might not be a bad idea, not sure if all the buyers are on Facebook, but it would also give them a place to meet. I'll think about it. Thanks for the idea, and the encouragement.
     
  13. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I am a pretty picky puppy buyer. BUT if I trust the breeder enough to produce dogs I want that means I trust them to do their best by the pups.

    I think this puppy buyer needs some boundaries. Even if it was a sure fire thing that they were getting this particular puppy one day earlier or later for an update in no way changes the health of said puppy. I have never had a breeder, nor have I ever when I am breeding, do nearly as many updates, emails etc as you. I think I had a weekly update on my blog and on here. That was it ;)
     
  14. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    Agree with Fran, and mostly the bolded part. I am sure this buyer means well, but if everyone started emailing about individual puppies it would A) take a lot of time out of your day to respond to them and B) buyers might get attached to puppies they won't end up with.

    I agree to stick to a general update email that every buyer receives. They don't yet know which one they will be getting so a nice brief email with an update on all the puppies maybe 1-2x a week should be totally fine. I know it can be frustrating as a buyer to have to wait on the breeder to give updates. For both my dogs I had to restrain myself from emailing every day and asking to visit (Tucker's oops litter was up the street... So hard not to walk over every day). It's so hard when you are so excited but breeders have a life too and it is important to realize that they need to be able to do things for themselves, not just cater to puppy buyers for those 7-12 weeks or so :p I mean for your own sanity, with all the stress you have been under, you deserve time to kick back and not have to answer to people. Anyway, I am sure the person had good intention but don't be hard on yourself over their reaction. You haven't done anything wrong, and tbh I have been very impressed with how you have handled this litter and your open door policy on their health. My next breeder is pretty much picked out and the deciding factor for me was that on her webpage she states in big, bold letters that she believes in 100% disclosure and will not hold anything back info-wise about lineage or puppies from the buyers. I like that, and I feel much better knowing that if something comes up, if a puppy just isn't right for me, or if a breeding I am interested in might not produce what I want, than she will be totally upfront and honest.

    You are doing a great job. Go buy yourself an ice cream, no more stressing allowed :D
     
  15. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

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    Quinn's breeder never disclosed if anyone was on medications or antibiotics if they were, but that's not of a huge concern to me. She did disclose that one puppy was stillborn.

    She sent all puppy buyers weekly updates. It generally started with a general description of how they were maturing and growing as a group, including with what kind of new stimuli she'd introduced or what kind of adventures they'd been up to, and what kind of reactions she was watching for from the pups and how she would interpret them. She then broke it down into how the individual pups were maturing and how their personalities were evolving. This was so cool to get each week because while she places the puppies into suitable homes it was interesting to see which puppies sounded appealing and it was great to hear how their personalities were developing. I had three favorites off the bat (one was Quinn) so it was cool tracking those puppies until we could all come and meet them at 6 weeks.

    I felt (and still feel) very confident with my breeder. When it came down to two puppies and I was torn we talked a lot about their personalities and how she thought they'd mature. She even did additional puppy tests for me as I was so unsure. It seemed to me like finding the right home was priority #1 and she was more than willing to listen to my indecisiveness and disclose anything that I'd like to know.
     
  16. JuliaMae

    JuliaMae New Member

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    I am the confirmed puppy buyer. What Freehold did not mention is I live 3700 km. from her. Also have been involved with dogs ever since I can remember and have had an IW companion for over 35 years. I am very aware that a "simple case of the sniffles" can be the first indication of something more serious that could potentionaly affect the whole litter. And a premature litter who did not have as much of the dams first milk as the average litter is much more at risk.
    I plan to drive out to pick up my puppy. And yes at this point I do like the little guy with the sniffles but I also have pick male (sires puppy for stud services) and we plan to meet and pick puppies together when they are 8 wks old.
    I did not ask for anything more than a daily update saying "puppies are ok" or "not ok"
    That would take me less than a minute and I am on dial up.
    Yes my deposit was sent within 4 days of thier birth. I can not leave on a moments notice for a 3700 km trip and I would be a fool to make all the arrangements to go with out having the information about the puppies before I leave.
    I do not know what the big secret is about puppy weights. Obviously this is not the first
    IW puppy I have purchased and I have never had a breeder who is not more than willing to share them. I have also never had a breeder that is hesitant to supply information to CONFIRMED buyers more than once a week. I originally joined this forum when I found posts about the puppies were sometimes on here first. That is what I had objected to as I felt buyers should come first. I have never been anything but polite.
    Ok so I should have walked away when I found out it was a distressed litter and would have walked away had I known the breeder had to air her problems on a forum rather than communicate with the people that are most concerned.
    JuliaMae
     
  17. JuliaMae

    JuliaMae New Member

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    PLEASE HELP! What did I say wrong??


    My Emails:


    “Some very nice pictures and I always enjoy the video’s. How is Green doing?â€


    “Thanx for the update. It has been a long day waiting and that is an understatement. I am sending the following link so you can read about heartworm and Alberta.â€


    “I really hope the antibiotics kick in soon before they run out. Is he trying to eat solids and does he join the howl a thon? I am looking forward to video’s of that or even pictures.
    I went to the IW forum and I did enjoy your post back to scottkerr. I hope you are feeling better and I hope Green is better real soonâ€


    “Thanks for the update. I glad that you took him to the vet and I do feel lots better now knowing what it is. The pictures of the puppies at the food dishes are so cute. They all look like they have excellent manners but
    I am looking forward to seeing them really dig in. Have a great nightâ€


    What did I say wrong?????
    We need an icon for confused
    JuliaMae
     
  18. JuliaMae

    JuliaMae New Member

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    I would like a chance to explain. When one puppy had "sniffles" I was worried as I know this can be an indication of of something that could become more serious and affect the whole litter.
    So I contacted an IW sight for information.
    When this was expected to be a full term litter the price of a puppy was $2500.xx dollars as far as I know it still is. I sent a $1000.xx down payment when the puppies were 4 days old because I heard there was a shortage of money and I wanted the puppies to have everything they needed.
    The sires owner has pick male to pay for stud fees and pick male was passed on to me. Sires owner and I plan pick puppies together when they are 8 weeks old.
    I will be driving 3,700 km.(or 2,300 mi.) to choose and pick up my puppy.
    Under the circumstances I would like more than the very general information that is posted on a public blog. I do not believe it is unreasonable of me to ask to have this information before I drive over 2,000 miles.
    Thankyou for taking the time to read this and input is appreciated.
    JuliaMae

    “If caring is a crime, color me guilty.â€
     
  19. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    *cue weird stalkerish music*
     
  20. JuliaMae

    JuliaMae New Member

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    Posted by Fran 101 (I would re-iterate that puppy placement has NOT been decided and perhaps instead of doing one on one emails with her about this puppy, send regular weekly GROUP emails to puppy buyers with information on ALL of the puppies signed with your blog at the bottom so they can check for status updates there. I'm sure she means well.. but I think needs to be be reminded that it's WAY to early for puppy placement decisions and you just don't want specific people to get attached to puppies that might not suit them the most.)

    Please take note of my "very upset" emails. Also take note of the other side of the story before you jump to conclusions.

    I did forget to mention that I have owned, shown, trained and cared for IW's for over 35 years. Under the circumstance I do believe that I am most qaulified to pick the puppy that most suits me when the time comes.

    I do wonder when a breeder hesitates to share more than general information.

    JuliaMae

    “If caring is a crime, color me guilty.â€
     

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