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Offended a Breeder



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 17th 03, 03:37 AM
Tara O.
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Default Offended a Breeder

I forgot to post this a while back. I just remembered it because I was
sending an inquiry to a Lab breeder I haven't previously corresponded with.
We've been researching kennels/lines for our next Lab for quite a while now.
We've been approved by several breeders but for one reason or another, the
litters that have hit the ground were not ones we ended up purchasing from.
Our specifications:

1. Excellent, line proven, companion pet temperaments
2. OFA Excellent (will accept Good) on hips, elbows done & CERF
3. No history of PRA or severe allergies
4. Male
5. Light yellow to white

BTW, the breeders I've been dealing with are primarily show breeders but
most are also dual-purpose breeders. All litters have at least one Ch.
parent and pedigrees on both sides from prominent, championship lines. IOW
we're looking for the blocky, shorter, thicker type Lab. I have purposely
stayed away from working line breeders because the conformation is not to my
liking and (more importantly) I don't want a dog with extremely high drive
because at most we'll be doing obedience work but certainly not
hunting/retrieving at this time.

Of the breeders I've spoken and written to the most, I have found nothing
wrong with any of them and would feel quite comfortable entering into a
relationship with them. We are still researching a few other kennels though
so after writing an email tonight, I remembered something from a couple of
months ago.

I emailed a well-known breeder of Champion dogs, years of experience, to
inquire about an upcoming litter. I wanted to know the health history in
terms of genetic defects, how many of the pups usually end up going to
pet-homes, the health guarantee and the return policy. I was very detailed
in the reason I was asking the questions, making it well-known that I'd done
my research and this was not a "how much are your puppies and when can I
have one" email.

I received a response that was fairly curt in tone and was scolded for
having asked about the return contract. I was told that the very fact that
I would ask about a return contract shows that I'm not committed enough to a
well-bred puppy to qualify for one from her breeding and that I gave the
distinct impression that I would return the dog over the slightest thing. I
emailed her back and said that I was interviewing her, which is my right as
an informed buyer, and that I wanted to know about all the provisions in
place as well as the history before deciding that she was someone I'd enjoy
having a breeder/buyer relationship with. I explained that I'm in rescue
for a different breed and that being asked such questions in advance is
always a sign, to me, that the prospective adopter has given this alot of
thought. I told her that I was sorry if she was offended but that in
return, I felt offended for asking perfectly legitimate questions. I never
got a response to that.

I honestly put nothing in that email that would intimate that I had
intentions of returning a pup and that I was half-hearted about getting and
raising a Lab. I didn't even know how much her pups were and didn't ask.
Does anyone else here think that her response was understandable? I should
also mention that I got no answers to my other questions except "all of our
dogs are proven healthy".

--
Tara



  #2  
Old August 17th 03, 03:41 AM
Tara O.
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Default

I wrote:

thought. I told her that I was sorry if she was offended but that in
return, I felt offended for asking perfectly legitimate questions.


That is supposed to read:

I felt offended at the scolding tone of her email for asking honest and
important questions.


--
Tara


  #3  
Old August 17th 03, 05:11 AM
Emily Carroll
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5. Light yellow to white


You would turn me (and many of my friends) off with this request. In fact,
my mentor recently turned down a couple for such consideration. (Granted
she called her darker boy "ugly," which ticked both of us off.) There is NO
guarantee as to the shade of a puppy. Puppies change shades quite a bit as
they grow, and a dark puppy might turn out light and a light puppy might
turn out dark. There are many more important things than the SHADE of the
dog, especially in Labs.

My mentor, http://www.karimarkennels.com, has a litter of fox red x. fox red
carrier pups on the ground now (red male which is to be MINE, it's the
Meadow x. Duckie litter), and they've changed in shade from day one, and
their body shades vary from dark (my boy) to very light. Odds are, all but
the very red ones will be colored similar to their mother, but there is no
guarantee.

I received a response that was fairly curt in tone and was scolded for
having asked about the return contract. I was told that the very fact

that
I would ask about a return contract shows that I'm not committed enough to

a
well-bred puppy to qualify for one from her breeding and that I gave the
distinct impression that I would return the dog over the slightest thing.


It would concern me that one of your first issues was with the return clause
in the contract. Granted, again, I'm coming at this from a different angle
than you are, as I've known my breeder for better than a year, trained the
dam of my puppy to her CD, have another dog of hers ready for his CD, and
have been part of the "in" crowd for several years now. I haven't even seen
the contract I'm expected to sign. Have no clue about the ins & outs of it.
But I know her well enough to know that there will be VERY few things that
we will butt heads on, if any. The most likely one will be when/if to send
him off with a handler, and I can't see even that being an issue.

I would be concerned, first and foremost, with finding a line that has what
you want. Talk to breeders, lots of them, and get to be part of the trust
crowd first. There are several big-name studs out there that are rumoured
to produce various problems (including TVD, PRA, and elbow dysplasia), that
I wouldn't have a clue about without this relationship with my mentor. I
would not purchase a Lab puppy if BOTH parents were not given OFA heart
clearances. It's one thing to have a dog slowly degenerate in the hips or
elbows, it's another to have your healthy 3 year old drop dead in the back
yard after butt-tucking. A breeder that is doing all the health tests, that
is honest with you about everything else, and that you feel comfortable with
WILL care enough to put that clause in.

In show lines, there are just a few "big" studs that you'll notice if you
start looking at pedigrees, Dickendall Arnold & kids, Rocheby Royal Oak, and
you'll notice several important British/NZ/Aus kennels (Poolstead, Charway,
etc.) I like the Poolstead lines personally. Awesome personalities! Look
into that line if you want something for agility. I pray that Arnold
doesn't carry TVD as he's pretty much behind EVERYTHING out there--and he
was born in the early 90s/late 80s!

I honestly put nothing in that email that would intimate that I had
intentions of returning a pup and that I was half-hearted about getting

and
raising a Lab. I didn't even know how much her pups were and didn't ask.
Does anyone else here think that her response was understandable? I

should
also mention that I got no answers to my other questions except "all of

our
dogs are proven healthy".


Lab people get TONS of numpty inquiries. Keep the communication lines open,
she probably just wants to see how serious you are in her dogs. There are
too many people that are catching on to the "responsible breeders take him
back" kick and not bothering to ensure that they're ready to raise a Lab
puppy.

I don't know if you've talked to Karimar yet, if not, drop her a line. She
should be having yellows from Reba...if I recall right, the stud carries
yellow. She ships. I can personally vouch for her level of ethics. (Be
warned, she's a VERY straightforeward person). Also, there's Woodhaven
(www.woodhavenlabs.com) who breeds multi-purpose Labs, she should be having
yellow this fall as well. If light yellow was a major consideration, the
puppy she kept from Reba's previous litter is quite light.

~Emily


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  #4  
Old August 17th 03, 05:39 AM
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Default

On Sat, 16 Aug 2003 22:37:45 -0400 Tara O. whittled these words:

I emailed a well-known breeder of Champion dogs, years of experience, to
inquire about an upcoming litter. I wanted to know the health history in
terms of genetic defects, how many of the pups usually end up going to
pet-homes, the health guarantee and the return policy. I was very detailed
in the reason I was asking the questions, making it well-known that I'd done
my research and this was not a "how much are your puppies and when can I
have one" email.


I received a response that was fairly curt in tone and was scolded for
having asked about the return contract. I was told that the very fact that
I would ask about a return contract shows that I'm not committed enough to a
well-bred puppy to qualify for one from her breeding and that I gave the
distinct impression that I would return the dog over the slightest thing. I
emailed her back and said that I was interviewing her, which is my right as
an informed buyer, and that I wanted to know about all the provisions in
place as well as the history before deciding that she was someone I'd enjoy
having a breeder/buyer relationship with. I explained that I'm in rescue
for a different breed and that being asked such questions in advance is
always a sign, to me, that the prospective adopter has given this alot of
thought. I told her that I was sorry if she was offended but that in
return, I felt offended for asking perfectly legitimate questions. I never
got a response to that.


I honestly put nothing in that email that would intimate that I had
intentions of returning a pup and that I was half-hearted about getting and
raising a Lab. I didn't even know how much her pups were and didn't ask.
Does anyone else here think that her response was understandable? I should
also mention that I got no answers to my other questions except "all of our
dogs are proven healthy".


It sounds like she is more used to dealing with people who are all
impressed by her show wins. YOu burst her bubble by asking perfectly
legitimate questions about what she DOES. A Cavelier owner and I were
commenting just today how disgusting it is that some of the "top" show
breeders in that breed don't health test. Same thing inlbas. Just
because they are experienced and show doesn't mean they will do the
responsible breeder thing.

Diane Blackman
  #5  
Old August 17th 03, 06:20 AM
Tara O.
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Default

"Emily Carroll" wrote in message
...

5. Light yellow to white


You would turn me (and many of my friends) off with this request. In

fact,
my mentor recently turned down a couple for such consideration. (Granted
she called her darker boy "ugly," which ticked both of us off.) There is

NO
guarantee as to the shade of a puppy. Puppies change shades quite a bit

as
they grow, and a dark puppy might turn out light and a light puppy might
turn out dark. There are many more important things than the SHADE of the
dog, especially in Labs.


I agree that the shades can and often do deepen with age but I would rather
wait on a light yellow to white puppy than to take one who is born yellow or
gold. Since I've purposely selected kennel lines that I like in terms of
ethics, health, temperament & titles *and* who purposely breed yellows, all
that is left for me is the shade and the personality of the pup at 8 weeks.
If the light yellow or white doesn't come up that's no big deal as I can
wait on another planned litter. Its also why I've made extensive contact
with more than one particular breeder. I definitely have a favorite and
luckily for me, she's local. She breeds yellows and blacks that carry
yellow. The last litter that hit the ground was one I'd had high hopes of
obtaining a pup from and would not have had a problem as I was approved to
purchase (and she had several very light colored pups as well as several
yellow/gold ones) but then my central AC broke and there went the $800 I'd
saved for our puppy.


It would concern me that one of your first issues was with the return

clause
in the contract. Granted, again, I'm coming at this from a different

angle
than you are, as I've known my breeder for better than a year, trained the
dam of my puppy to her CD, have another dog of hers ready for his CD, and
have been part of the "in" crowd for several years now. I haven't even

seen
the contract I'm expected to sign. Have no clue about the ins & outs of

it.
But I know her well enough to know that there will be VERY few things that
we will butt heads on, if any. The most likely one will be when/if to

send
him off with a handler, and I can't see even that being an issue.


I don't really consider it a "first issue" so much as part of the
interviewing process. I asked many questions to get a good idea of the type
of breeder she is. I have heard of her dogs, seen them in pedigrees of
other kennel lines, and liked the looks of them but since I'd never met her
or any of her dogs in person, I had no choice but to write her to ask for
the missing information. I can see if I'd just written and asked "do you
take your dogs back if something goes wrong?" but I asked many pertinent
questions, gave a bio of our home, vet reference and explained how much
research I'd done. IMO taking offense at the question was a red flag. Now
the reason I ask about the return clause is simple...I wouldn't be doing
Boxer rescue almost 40 hours a week if breeders took back their dogs. I
want to know that a breeder that I purchase from takes lifetime
responsibility for the dogs she breeds and that they don't go to shelters or
Lab Rescue rather than go back to her. To me, this is very important and
speaks volumes about the breeder.


I would be concerned, first and foremost, with finding a line that has

what
you want. Talk to breeders, lots of them, and get to be part of the trust
crowd first.


There are two particular lines that I love (Surry & Dickendall) and several
others who have Surry or Dickendall stock so they are all very similar.
I've talked with all of them except Dickendall but then the lines with
Dickendall in them are all sired by Gabe, Clark or Daveron so I deal with
the breeder of the bitch. There are a few breeders whose lines I won't go
near even though their dogs are beautiful and titled. I've learned of
temperament issues and our last Lab happened to have had two of those lines
in her.


I don't know if you've talked to Karimar yet, if not, drop her a line.

She
should be having yellows from Reba...if I recall right, the stud carries
yellow. She ships. I can personally vouch for her level of ethics. (Be
warned, she's a VERY straightforeward person). Also, there's Woodhaven
(www.woodhavenlabs.com) who breeds multi-purpose Labs, she should be

having
yellow this fall as well. If light yellow was a major consideration, the
puppy she kept from Reba's previous litter is quite light.


Thanks Emily. I'll check out Karimar & Woodhaven.


--
Tara


  #6  
Old August 17th 03, 06:23 AM
Emily Carroll
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There are two particular lines that I love (Surry & Dickendall) and
several
others who have Surry or Dickendall stock so they are all very similar.
I've talked with all of them except Dickendall but then the lines with
Dickendall in them are all sired by Gabe, Clark or Daveron so I deal with
the breeder of the bitch. There are a few breeders whose lines I won't go
near even though their dogs are beautiful and titled. I've learned of
temperament issues and our last Lab happened to have had two of those

lines
in her.


I prefer the "old stuff" (Briary) as well as closer English imports. Maybe
it's because I'm in love with Karimar's black stud, Tux, who is from
imported lines. I'm not sure yet whether or not I'll stay "in" Labs, though
I know I'll always have good friends that are Lab people. I don't know if I
can deal with the frustration of dealing with some of the people in this
breed.

Thanks Emily. I'll check out Karimar & Woodhaven.


Reba's pup from a previous litter is very light...you really might like what
she produces

~Emily


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  #7  
Old August 17th 03, 06:40 AM
Tara O.
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Default

wrote in message
...

It sounds like she is more used to dealing with people who are all
impressed by her show wins. YOu burst her bubble by asking perfectly
legitimate questions about what she DOES. A Cavelier owner and I were
commenting just today how disgusting it is that some of the "top" show
breeders in that breed don't health test. Same thing inlbas. Just
because they are experienced and show doesn't mean they will do the
responsible breeder thing.


I agree with you and I did make sure that she health tests prior to even
emailing her. I have only considered contacting a breeder if the website
shows their dogs, titles, OFA, CERF and elbows. Then if the type is right
(for me) then I'll email to ask for more information to open the
interviewing process. I've learned alot since my own breeder days and more
than I ever really wanted to know due to rescue. While I understand the
points both Emily & Janice made, my reasoning for asking about a return
contract is to ensure that I won't be entering into a relationship with a
breeder who doesn't keep up with her dogs and allows them to go to shelters
or rescue. I did tell her I'm in rescue and gave her the link to our
website in case she wanted to learn more about the kind of organization I'm
affiliated with. It just seems to me that it would have been more
appropriate for her to email me back with questions of her own before
jumping to conclusions.

--
Tara


  #8  
Old August 17th 03, 06:41 AM
Amy Dahl
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"Tara O." wrote:

I forgot to post this a while back. I just remembered it because I was
sending an inquiry to a Lab breeder I haven't previously corresponded with.
We've been researching kennels/lines for our next Lab for quite a while now.
We've been approved by several breeders but for one reason or another, the
litters that have hit the ground were not ones we ended up purchasing from.
Our specifications:

1. Excellent, line proven, companion pet temperaments
2. OFA Excellent (will accept Good) on hips, elbows done & CERF
3. No history of PRA or severe allergies
4. Male
5. Light yellow to white

[snip]

It's hard to say exactly what the problem might be, but...speaking as
someone who breeds occasionally and invests a lot into the selection
of meritorious breeding stock, sometimes it rubs me the wrong way to
be grilled by a prospective buyer who is trying to see if I "measure
up" to certain standards. Of course it is the buyer's right to find
out all he or she wants to know, but some stick to finding out if my
priorities are their priorities, while others seem to have a "list"
which implies I'm a huckster if I don't meet their criteria. And
frankly, sometimes those criteria are things I consider pretty
irrelevant. A difference in outlook and priorities is certainly
something that occurs, but to feel that I am being held up and judged
wanting for some issue I consider unimportant kind of rankles.

One of my "hot button" issues is guarantees. I prefer to place puppies
with people who will evaluate all I have done to try to breed a good
and healthy dog, and, if they find it acceptable, take responsibility
for the inherent uncertainty of breeding. I don't want to sell to
someone who thinks that since they have paid their money it is my
responsibility to deliver a perfect "product." It doesn't work that
way. Puppies aren't fabricated goods, and moreover, a replacement
under a guarantee is not a satisfactory solution to most families.
What they want is for the puppy they buy to work out. It is a fallacy
to equate "guarantee" with a promise of perfection.

I do guarantee against certain things, mostly as a tool to keep
informed of possibly-genetic flaws that bear on future breeding
decisions.

I will take a dog of mine back at any time. This is "no questions
asked" in an effort to make people feel safe calling me to return
their dog. But it is an unhappy situation. It would mean that the
placement is a failure, and when I interview prospective owners,
I want every placement to be a success. If someone gave me the
impression they were too interested in that clause--not committed
to the dog--I would cross them off my list.

On the subject of price, there are a lot of people for whom it is
an important criterion but for some reason they think it's rude
to ask up front. If you have a price range, let's talk about that
first! I hate it when I spend forty-five minutes on the phone
telling about my dogs and asking about the prospective owner, only
to find out that my puppies are out of their price range.

Another issue, which may or may not be important to the breeder
who snubbed you, is that a good relationship between breeder and
buyer is good for the puppy and good for the breeding program, in
that the breeder gets feedback about the dog. Placement is not
only about your meeting their criteria and their meeting your
criteria--it's also about comfort and communication.

Of course, it could be that this breeder's experience and
confidence in her track record of producing good dogs is such that
she doesn't want to jump through hoops to prove herself to
everyone that comes along. I guess what this whole email amounts
to is that breeding good puppies isn't necessarily a "consumer-
oriented" activity. In my work I try to meet people's expectations
and do a good job; when I breed dogs it is to my own standards.
Maybe this is the main source of discordance with prospective
buyers--when they seem to implicitly assume that my sole purpose
is to satisfy the consumer.

Sorry to ramble. I suggest you just "let it go" as a mismatch.

Amy Dahl
  #9  
Old August 17th 03, 07:21 AM
Tara O.
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"Amy Dahl" wrote in message
...

It's hard to say exactly what the problem might be, but...speaking as
someone who breeds occasionally and invests a lot into the selection
of meritorious breeding stock, sometimes it rubs me the wrong way to
be grilled by a prospective buyer who is trying to see if I "measure
up" to certain standards.


I can see that but on the flip side, don't you, as a breeder, grill
prospective buyers to make sure they measure up to your standards? I
wouldn't call my questions to breeders grilling though. I'm always very
upfront, give a full bio of myself, why I want a Lab, what I know about
Labs, what my plans are for the dog and then ask about the health,
temperament and policies so the breeder can see where I'm coming from, a bit
about who I am and so on. I know I'm always polite since this particular
breeder is the only one to have been put out with my questions. The others
have always been happy to open the lines of communication and talk about
their dogs.


One of my "hot button" issues is guarantees. I prefer to place puppies
with people who will evaluate all I have done to try to breed a good
and healthy dog, and, if they find it acceptable, take responsibility
for the inherent uncertainty of breeding. I don't want to sell to
someone who thinks that since they have paid their money it is my
responsibility to deliver a perfect "product."


I definitely agree with you there. I don't expect a perfect dog, such
things don't exist. I don't expect a lifetime guarantee on health or a
refund policy either. I wouldn't return a dog for blindness, lameness,
thyroid or any other health condition but if I'm paying a high purchase
price for a quality dog, I want to know that health testing is done and no
major defects have shown up in the lines. I wouldn't buy a pup from a
litter of OFA-fair or worse parents because the chance of dealing with
dysplasia is higher. One of the biggest reasons I would go to an ethical
breeder rather than a byb, and pay a significantly higher purchase price, is
for the insurance of knowing the lines and knowing they don't have any
significant problems.


I will take a dog of mine back at any time. This is "no questions
asked" in an effort to make people feel safe calling me to return
their dog. But it is an unhappy situation. It would mean that the
placement is a failure, and when I interview prospective owners,
I want every placement to be a success. If someone gave me the
impression they were too interested in that clause--not committed
to the dog--I would cross them off my list.


I understand this POV but don't see interest in a take-back clause as a
purely negative thing or solely indicative of the buyer's intent. Sometimes
all it indicates is a person's need to know that they won't be putting money
into the pockets of a breeder whose dogs end up in shelters or rescues. I
do explain upfront that I run a rescue, give the link to our website, and
offer references. It shouldn't be difficult for a breeder to figure out
that if I'm asking about a take-back clause, its likely to do with the fact
that I'm actively bailing dogs out of situations that they wouldn't have
been in if the breeder had taken responsibility for them.


On the subject of price, there are a lot of people for whom it is
an important criterion but for some reason they think it's rude
to ask up front. If you have a price range, let's talk about that
first! I hate it when I spend forty-five minutes on the phone
telling about my dogs and asking about the prospective owner, only
to find out that my puppies are out of their price range.


Alot of breeders find it highly upsetting to be asked about price at all.
On the one hand I can understand that but on the other, I don't think its an
issue that should evoke such volatile emotions. Not everyone has $1000 to
drop on a puppy's purchase price and finding that out up front, as you
suggest, is a good way for all parties involved to know if their
communications should end or continue.


Another issue, which may or may not be important to the breeder
who snubbed you, is that a good relationship between breeder and
buyer is good for the puppy and good for the breeding program, in
that the breeder gets feedback about the dog. Placement is not
only about your meeting their criteria and their meeting your
criteria--it's also about comfort and communication.


That's the thing though. It was the lifetime relationship that I was
specifically addressing in a positive way. I was polite, forthcoming and
gave tons of info on myself. I honestly don't see how someone who emails
you a 3 page email with bio, references, knowledge of the breed and
questions could be a bad thing. I adore prospective adopters who email me
with lots of questions and tell me about themselves in detail. IMO it shows
a great willingness to communicate.


Of course, it could be that this breeder's experience and
confidence in her track record of producing good dogs is such that
she doesn't want to jump through hoops to prove herself to
everyone that comes along.


I think you hit the nail on the head but I find that kind of arrogance
unworthy. I'm really good at what I do for a living but I'd still be
expected to provide a resume and/or credentials to prospective clients. I'm
not the only person in my line of work, just like this breeder isn't the
only one breeding good Labs. I expect to prove myself to people when it
comes to my experience and would think that if nothing else, the same thing
gives a good breeder the chance to brag about her accomplishments.


I guess what this whole email amounts
to is that breeding good puppies isn't necessarily a "consumer-
oriented" activity. In my work I try to meet people's expectations
and do a good job; when I breed dogs it is to my own standards.
Maybe this is the main source of discordance with prospective
buyers--when they seem to implicitly assume that my sole purpose
is to satisfy the consumer.


Here again, I understand what you're saying but that kind of situation is
not the type that I have created with any breeder. I seek them out because
they are already breeding what I like and want from what I am able to gather
prior to contacting them. I don't contact people with a list of demands
that they aren't able to meet. My requirements are simple...proven
companion animal temperament & lines free of major genetic defects. I'd add
yellow to the list as well but then I only select from breeders who are
already producing yellow dogs.


Sorry to ramble. I suggest you just "let it go" as a mismatch.


Oh I let it go right after it happened but was reminded of it tonight when I
emailed a breeder who was recommended to me but who doesn't know me from
Adam. It just clicked that "oh, I hope this breeder doesn't take the
offense as the last." I also posted because I think its an important topic
to discuss. You so often see recommendations for seeking out an ethical
breeder, doing tons of research and asking alot of questions when people
post about wanting a puppy. Here, all those things were done and instead of
the breeder being willing to talk or impressed with the amount of
forethought I put into contacting her, she considered me intrusive or
something.

Obviously breeders' ideas of how the process should work do not always jibe
with the buyers' ideas (which are often recommended steps in most books,
websites and word of mouth). It seems that if there are going to be
discrepancies in what's considered appropriate then it should be brought to
light and discussed.


--
Tara


  #10  
Old August 17th 03, 07:56 AM
Amy Dahl
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Thanks for your thoughtful response. I was more airing my personal
POV than trying to find fault with your approach.

"Tara O." wrote:
I can see that but on the flip side, don't you, as a breeder, grill

prospective buyers to make sure they measure up to your standards?


Actually I don't. I feel I can find out more by letting people
talk, and gently steering the conversation to cover any topics
they don't spontaneously include. I ask them to tell me about
their previous dog(s), their plans and goals for this one, what
they are looking for, etc. I worry if I lead them too much they
will tell me what I want to hear--or become educated as to what
to tell another breeder.

I have a definite list of things I want to find out, don't get me
wrong. But letting people talk, they also volunteer a lot of
interesting information I might not think to ask about, and I
learn about less tangible things.

wouldn't call my questions to breeders grilling though. I'm always very
upfront, give a full bio of myself, why I want a Lab, what I know about
Labs, what my plans are for the dog and then ask about the health,
temperament and policies so the breeder can see where I'm coming from, a bit
about who I am and so on. I know I'm always polite since this particular
breeder is the only one to have been put out with my questions. The others
have always been happy to open the lines of communication and talk about
their dogs.


I am sure I would be happy with your approach--and, if I was to
breed one of my Labs, would know almost immediately that my puppies
wouldn't be what you'd want!

I do think "temperament" is a tricky word. I have definite ideas on
the subject and will wash a breeding prospect for that alone--but I
feel that a lot of people either just pay it lip service, or have a
vague idea of a "nice dog." I own a Lab who was raised in a kennel
to the age of four months (when I bought him), and has been
delightful, adaptable, gentle, incredible with children, and
recently, when he had surgery for a distichia and two eyelid tumors,
needed only a local and no sedative. The vet students who assisted
were amazed. That I like. Any kind of possessiveness, spookiness,
or aggression, on the other hand, is wrong in a Lab. IMO a Lab
should be adaptable and stable even if socialization is largely
neglected.

I definitely agree with you there. I don't expect a perfect dog, such
things don't exist. I don't expect a lifetime guarantee on health or a
refund policy either. I wouldn't return a dog for blindness, lameness,
thyroid or any other health condition but if I'm paying a high purchase
price for a quality dog, I want to know that health testing is done and no
major defects have shown up in the lines. I wouldn't buy a pup from a
litter of OFA-fair or worse parents because the chance of dealing with
dysplasia is higher.


I disagree with you here. You might look into the inheritance
pattern of polygenic traits a bit. With a trait like hip dysplasia,
the status of full siblings tells you more about a given dog's
probable genetic potential than does the phenotype of that dog itself.
OR, as is sometimes stated, a dog with OFA Fair, all of whose siblings
passed OFA (assuming some number of siblings) is a better bet than a dog
with OFA Excellent who had one or more siblings fail.

But an awful lot of breeders will only include Goods and Excellents
and pay no attention to sibling ratings. Not only does this rule
out some dogs of merit, it's ineffective.

Alot of breeders find it highly upsetting to be asked about price at all.
On the one hand I can understand that but on the other, I don't think its an
issue that should evoke such volatile emotions. Not everyone has $1000 to
drop on a puppy's purchase price and finding that out up front, as you
suggest, is a good way for all parties involved to know if their
communications should end or continue.


Sometimes it bugs me when people tell my my puppies are too much for
them, if they seem to imply that there's no reason to charge that
amount. But it beats losing 45 minutes of my life.

Obviously breeders' ideas of how the process should work do not always jibe
with the buyers' ideas (which are often recommended steps in most books,
websites and word of mouth). It seems that if there are going to be
discrepancies in what's considered appropriate then it should be brought to
light and discussed.

Those lists usually bug me, but I guess most people just want to get a dog,
they don't want to receive a complete education in "the world of purebred
dogs and how breeders operate." So a tool they can use, which often takes
the form of a list, is helpful.

Amy Dahl
 




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