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GreenLego

Etiquette when talking with breeders?

14 posts in this topic

I contacted a breeder via DogzOnline. We talked on the phone and I thought it was going great. We agree to catch up a week later, because the puppy wasn't ready to leave.

 

I emailed her a week later and she told me that she was very angry that I asked her for references and she decided to not sell the puppy to me.

 

Asking a breeder for references and talking to prior clients is not OK?

 

In an ideal situation, I would be able to meet the breeder face to face and meet the puppy and maybe the parents. But because this was going to be an interstate purchase (no breeders in my local area) and I have never bought a dog interstate, I wanted to talk to other clients who has gone through the same experience. I guess I wanted some reassurance because I'm still anxious about getting a dog sight unseen.

 

I was surprised that the dog breeder was so offended when I asked for references. That she wasn't willing to sell me the dog because I was concerned about the dog and wanted to ask questions and that she preferred to sell the dog to someone who doesn't ask questions.

 

Thank you.

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Sorry that happened to you :( I find sometimes breeders forget that not everyone can just take them for their word that their dogs are the best for you. 

 

I dont see anything unreasonable about wanting to hear from previous buyers on how their dogs are going from their perspective  :/ maybe you can approach from a different angle - find people who do own the breed you’re interested in, who are happy with their dogs, and if they would recommend their breeder to you?

 

this one would be a write off though. Puppy hunting is so hard :( 

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Rebanne   
1 hour ago, GreenLego said:

 

I was surprised that the dog breeder was so offended when I asked for references. That she wasn't willing to sell me the dog because I was concerned about the dog and wanted to ask questions and that she preferred to sell the dog to someone who doesn't ask questions.

 

Thank you.

I wouldn't have been offended but we are all different and if it did bother me I would have told you so during the phone call. What does bother me is your assumption that the breeder prefers to sell the pup to someone who doesn't ask questions. You don't know that at all. Most breeders have had a puppy buyer that seemed great to only turn out not so great. You could have triggered something unknowningly and they decided not to take a chance on you and used the reference thing as their excuse. Maybe they are dodgy, maybe you are. No one here knows. Best just to move on and find another breeder and build a relationship.

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Dogsfevr   

We will not pass on names of previous buyers as references.There details are private and not for us to hand out and I would expect that kind of privacy from any breeders I buy from .

If you asked this that would be our answer ,if you weren’t happy with that answer then it would mean we couldn’t help you so you would have to go elsewhere 

 

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Blitz   

My dogs breeder once asked me if I was willing to meet with a potential puppy buyer, with my dog from a previous litter.  My breeder then passed on my first name and number, and the potential buyer and I arranged to meet at a local pet store.  So details were not passed without permission, the potential buyer got to meet me a buyer and a dog from a previous breeding.  We were not local to the breeder so it was good for the potential puppy owner and I gave permission for the exchange.  

 

I think references can be done with permission, but as a buyer like any reference if you don’t trust the breeder how do you trust the reference?

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Dogsfevr   
10 hours ago, Blitz said:

My dogs breeder once asked me if I was willing to meet with a potential puppy buyer, with my dog from a previous litter.  My breeder then passed on my first name and number, and the potential buyer and I arranged to meet at a local pet store.  So details were not passed without permission, the potential buyer got to meet me a buyer and a dog from a previous breeding.  We were not local to the breeder so it was good for the potential puppy owner and I gave permission for the exchange.  

 

I think references can be done with permission, but as a buyer like any reference if you don’t trust the breeder how do you trust the reference?

Ofcourse it can be done BUT some people expect you to just hand over details without any thought & when you say no presume your hiding something.
Most puppy owners don't want to be references & that is perfectly fine .I as a breeder do not expect any of our puppy buyers to be put in this position & its not something of importance in who gets a pup.

Like many puppy owners if approached in the park about who bred there dog they will happily share info but for just giving out peoples details & having them as a contact no & too be honest a person who is contacting us & asking for such info would be well and truly vetted .Our puppy owners place a life long sale trust in us & a good breeder values this .

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karen15   

Why would you vet someone out for asking for references? I'm always happy to provide references on me as an owner (physio and vet) why would breeders think they are immune from this? If I got such a negative reaction from such an innocent question, I'd be striking the breeder from my list.

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Tassie   

I can see arguments both ways, but I think if a breeder really found that question offensive, that should have been made clear at the time of the original phone call.  I think it was a little rough to leave the potential buyer waiting for a week, expecting they'd been approved     To the OP . .. depending on the breed and the size of the litter, your phone call would have caught the breeder at a particularly busy time.   I think alarm bells would have been ringing for me as a buyer if there had not been any contact between the two of you during that week.   There's a lot to arrange in an interstate puppy purchase after all.   Maybe next time, see if you can use the resources of breed clubs, DOL, etc to see if you can find out more information about a breeder you're interested in.

 

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There is nothing wrong with asking for references, a lot of breeders ask for references from  their puppy buyers so it should go both ways.

I would look for another breeder, one that is more honest and approachable.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Rascalmyshadow said:

There is nothing wrong with asking for references, a lot of breeders ask for references from  their puppy buyers so it should go both ways.

I would look for another breeder, one that is more honest and approachable.

 

 

 

Thank you. I thought I may have crossed a line or something when I asked for references because she was so upset. When I contact another breeder, there's no harm in asking for references? I don't want to be offending more breeders!

 

I certainly won't "demand" references, and certainly not without consent. I did ask the breeder to contact them first to see if they would be willing to chat to me. If the breeder started to give me personal information of previous clients without getting consent, that too would have raise alarm bells in that she wasn't respecting their privacy.

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Dogsfevr   
5 hours ago, GreenLego said:

Thank you. I thought I may have crossed a line or something when I asked for references because she was so upset. When I contact another breeder, there's no harm in asking for references? I don't want to be offending more breeders!

 

I certainly won't "demand" references, and certainly not without consent. I did ask the breeder to contact them first to see if they would be willing to chat to me. If the breeder started to give me personal information of previous clients without getting consent, that too would have raise alarm bells in that she wasn't respecting their privacy.

Honest opinion you will get no where fast if that is a priority & you may end up with the breeder who says yes BUT isnt the best of the breeders .
Maybe you need to take longer looking for a pup & get a connection with a breeder that you trust .
You say the breeder wouldn't sell because you where concerned about the dog & they would sooner sell to someone that doesn't .This may be a reason why things went pear shaped ,so the breeder has in there opinion decided the pup would be better off not sold to you ,as we don't know the full details just your side this could be a miscommunication,interpretation between two parties but in the end the breeder has to make the judgement call of who they feel they can work with & have that feeling its the right home  especially when flying one out of state .
Asking for a reference does not mean you are any better than another person who doesn't ,asking questions means alot more than the opinion of a stranger .

Some people get focused on one point & take that as being better & a deal breaker ,others prefer to ask other questions that are just as important & makes the breeder feel assured its a good home for a pup they have bred .
In the end its up to you what you do you just need to understand that many breeders may not be able to help you with this request so you need to decide how much of a deal breaker it is,whether by doing so you are throwing out the breeder who will be your best long term support for any issues & the breeder you can talk candidly too over the simpliest of things .
If no one can help you then you maybe need to look at another breed you can source locally .
 

Edited by Dogsfevr
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juice   

I’m not really sure what the point is of asking for a reference ? You could get owners who liked the breeder but have a dog that hasn’t yet developed any problems but might down the track . It’s like recommending a hairdresser , everyone has a different opinion . What you really need is to find out what the breed can suffer from , what tests should be done and check the breeder does them . Bedside manner means nothing if the dogs are unhealthy . 

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So here’s what I do....

 

1. I do not sell puppies until I’ve met the owner or have a VERY strong recommendation from someone I trust. Local, interstate or otherwise. 

 

2. On my website I ask my puppy people to honestly write about their experiences. 

 

3. I have a closed Facebook group for puppy owners. Many are very private and don’t even like publishing to my personal FB page. 

 

4. I breed only occasionally and people hang in there and wait because they see how open and honest I am from the get go. About my dogs, their strengths and weaknesses and challenges. 

 

5. If I have a catch up with my puppy people I may invite a serious potential buyer along WITH their permission. 

 

6. I am not going to give out the phone numbers of my puppy buyers. I have one or two that would probably be ok with that but I would obviously ask them first. 

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karen15   

 Another thing you could do is see if there is a breed specific group near you and go to one of their days. I think the breed clubs have days and we've got a social weekend westies group in Brisbane where people meet up at a location and go for a walk together. Very popular. A recent one near me had around 50 westies, all playing at park before heading off for a walk. Even the Facebook page is a good way to see lovely dogs and ask their owners about them (pm is best as they don't want to promote breeders). You can certainly tell the dogs from my breeder, they have a very consistent look.

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