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Old 10-11-2012, 10:38 AM
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Default The importance of breeder/buyer communication?

Sorry if this is in the wrong place, I'm honestly not sure where it really goes.
But, I think I finally answered some unanswered questions I've had for the past 3-4 years, and yet, created a few new ones.

Here's the set up, you contact a breeder, they tell you they'll let you know when the breeding took and puppies are expected, then let you know when/how to send a deposit for one. Okay, all's good, but then you never hear back after the generic reply-all message that the breeding was confirmed by ultrasound.
You wait, it's past due for those puppies to go to new homes, you don't want to intrude on the breeder and just keep waiting, maybe something happened, maybe the puppy you were looking for wasn't in this litter.
Months later you see an update on their website that puppies were born, you were never informed, you send them a simple congrats letter hoping maybe they would notice, nothing.
Later you find out someone you know personally got a puppy from that litter, huh, again probably didn't have a puppy for you in that litter. You wait some more, never hear back from that breeder again, thus you go to a different one.

So, for you breeders, how important do you find communication with your buyers?

Like I said, I think I found a few of my answers to what may have happened (years later), trouble is, why didn't the breeder tell me what was going on? All this time I thought that maybe in some way she just didn't trust me with the breed/one of her pups, in some way, the way I feed, the way i train?
But then again, maybe I just wasn't aggressive enough to seek answers, I'm not a communicative person, and I also don't like sounding or being called rude, I didn't want to seem like one of those nosy "has to know every detail of every minute" buyers. Was it wrong of me to quietly wait instead of pressing to know "how's it going"? (also of note, we did talk by phone before email, and had a personal reference from a previous buyer)

I just still have a lot of thoughts about it all, I don't know why. I thought maybe by asking a large group of other dog-people what they think/would do/have done, I could get some more answers.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:15 PM
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I'm no breeder, but as a buyer I would have been more forward in my communication with them.

If I were the breeder I might have been turned off by how passive you were in contacting me after the initial conversation/question period. I might have assumed you were either not very invested in the potential dog and/or moved on if I didn't hear anything from you for long periods of time.

As a buyer, if I was worried the breeder would get sick of my emails I might put a polite disclaimer in one asking that they drop me a note to communicate that they too were interested in me as a potential home for a puppy. If I heard no reply for 2-4 emails I would assume they opted not to work with me and I'd move on.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:26 PM
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If a breeder doesn't communicate as much as I like, I think of one of two things - either they're very busy (which happens when there are pups on the ground) or they don't care enough that I get one of their pups, in which case it's probably not the right breeder for me. When I was looking for an SD candidate, I sent out a TON of emails. The vast majority were never responded to. Of the ones that responded, most were "we don't have any available at this time, but we have a litter planned for xxxxxxxx" which is fine, but wasn't going to work for my needs. Some were automatic "NOs" when I got an email back detailing some of their contract requirements (no vaccines, no heartworm preventative, no flea control, etc - as in, you are not allowed to give those things if you get one of their dogs - uh, no thanks!).

The ones I did hear back from initially and did have dogs that might work, I made sure to keep in touch with them. Logan, obviously, was the best match for me, dog-wise and breeder-wise.

That all said, if I was waiting on a litter of pups, I would send an email maybe a week after the pups were due asking how things were looking.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:43 PM
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I'm glad this was posted.

Along the same vein, what if as a buyer you are looking to get to know the breeder in anticipation of getting a pup in 2-3yrs down the line aaaand after the first initial getting to know you response (which was great) you hear nothing back from the breeder? Despite having sent another email after a month or so with no answer had passed, saying hey I know you are probably busy and thats cool, but wanted to update and had a few ??'s on what might be a better fit for me as far as performance vs working breeding in your dogs, but you are the expert and I'd like your input, etc.

On paper/interwebs I really like this breeder and everything they do, but I'd like to get to know them personally first (as isn't one of the perks of going to a good breeder having that support system??) and this doesn't seem to be happening. If I'm not someone they'd like to sell to, I'd much prefer they just tell me outright. Yeah it would hurt initially to be turned down, but not hearing back is something I find very discourteous. Honestly its got me thinking that maybe I need to be looking around for better options.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Here's the set up, you contact a breeder, they tell you they'll let you know when the breeding took and puppies are expected, then let you know when/how to send a deposit for one. Okay, all's good, but then you never hear back after the generic reply-all message that the breeding was confirmed by ultrasound.


You mentioned in the post that you received a reply-all message that the pregnancy was confirmed by ultrasound. Did you reply to that directly and inquire about the litter again? If not, the breeder likely figured that you decided you weren't interested. To ME personally, it sounds as though you were being passive-aggressive in hopes that the breeder would bring it up with you again rather than being direct and asking if anything would be available from the litter.

As a breeder, I expect potential buyers to be direct with me and make it clear that they're interested. The lines of communication are open both ways; If Person A speaks to me one time and then expects me to take the initiative to let them know everything that's going in, it's going to make me think they aren't serious, when Person B is engaging me in conversation, asking questions, actually seems excited about the litter and bringing home a potential new puppy.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:18 PM
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That has happened to me a few times too. I believe it's because the breeders have SO many enquiries about puppies throughout the months before a breeding, they expect buyers to contact them again to confirm that they still want a puppy, and confirm?

I know one of the breeders I was talking to said she had more than 50 people enquire about puppies before a breeding and she can't spend hours and hours confirming which people were serious and which were not ready/plans changed/etc. I believe she just assumes if you don't email again and ask about the litter and confirm your spot on the list, you don't get a puppy. Especially considering you didn't pay a deposit yet.

I believe if a deposit was paid then the breeder has the obligation to inform the buyer about the puppies and which one they're going to get or if nothing matches about the next breeding he/she has and that the deposit can be refunded or rolled over to the next litter.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys23 View Post
I'm glad this was posted.

Along the same vein, what if as a buyer you are looking to get to know the breeder in anticipation of getting a pup in 2-3yrs down the line aaaand after the first initial getting to know you response (which was great) you hear nothing back from the breeder? Despite having sent another email after a month or so with no answer had passed, saying hey I know you are probably busy and thats cool, but wanted to update and had a few ??'s on what might be a better fit for me as far as performance vs working breeding in your dogs, but you are the expert and I'd like your input, etc.

On paper/interwebs I really like this breeder and everything they do, but I'd like to get to know them personally first (as isn't one of the perks of going to a good breeder having that support system??) and this doesn't seem to be happening. If I'm not someone they'd like to sell to, I'd much prefer they just tell me outright. Yeah it would hurt initially to be turned down, but not hearing back is something I find very discourteous. Honestly its got me thinking that maybe I need to be looking around for better options.

Thoughts?

I would walk away if a breeder is just not interested in getting to know you. I've been in contact with the breeder I am getting my Boerboel pup through for at least two years. And even got to know a few of her puppy owners. Sometimes we don't even talk about dogs, its just nice to chit chat and talk about each other days. I want, no NEED a good, solid trusting relationship with a breeder. I need that support.

And I also like the fact then when I was ready for a pup I am able to get the down low on whats going on with breeding's and what not, and get my name put down on a list.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys23 View Post
I'm glad this was posted.

Along the same vein, what if as a buyer you are looking to get to know the breeder in anticipation of getting a pup in 2-3yrs down the line aaaand after the first initial getting to know you response (which was great) you hear nothing back from the breeder? Despite having sent another email after a month or so with no answer had passed, saying hey I know you are probably busy and thats cool, but wanted to update and had a few ??'s on what might be a better fit for me as far as performance vs working breeding in your dogs, but you are the expert and I'd like your input, etc.

On paper/interwebs I really like this breeder and everything they do, but I'd like to get to know them personally first (as isn't one of the perks of going to a good breeder having that support system??) and this doesn't seem to be happening. If I'm not someone they'd like to sell to, I'd much prefer they just tell me outright. Yeah it would hurt initially to be turned down, but not hearing back is something I find very discourteous. Honestly its got me thinking that maybe I need to be looking around for better options.

Thoughts?
I had this experience when trying to find a pom breeder. Did a lot of looking around a year in advance, contacted a few people, and this happened with one of the ones I had high hopes for. Although the first response was more of a generic "Things to think about before getting a puppy" form reply, which I then replied to again...and got not response. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way to be honest. I'm sure they do that to screen people so they can chase away bad buyers or people who really aren't ready for a puppy, but I'm not sure why they didn't reply when I replied to that email giving more information about my experience with dogs and detailing how I was preparing for this puppy. They may have had a perfectly good reason for never replying, but I ended up going with a different breeder who was much more communicative.

To me, the breeder/buyer relationship is important. I too wanted to get to know my breeder before getting a dog, to make sure I really felt comfortable with them.

And in regards to the first post, yeah I probably would've been more communicative than that. I too was super nervous about pestering my breeder too much when waiting for a puppy, but honestly they didn't seem to mind at all! Especially if the breeder does get a lot of inquiries, I imagine it's important to make sure they know you're still interested. I spoke with my breeder back in January initially, saying I'd be ready around September, I checked back again when we were ready to inquire about litters, and then checked back again once I knew there were puppies available. Just takes the pressure off the breeder to hunt down everyone who was interested and say, "Hey, do you still want a puppy?"
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys23 View Post
I'm glad this was posted.

Along the same vein, what if as a buyer you are looking to get to know the breeder in anticipation of getting a pup in 2-3yrs down the line aaaand after the first initial getting to know you response (which was great) you hear nothing back from the breeder? Despite having sent another email after a month or so with no answer had passed, saying hey I know you are probably busy and thats cool, but wanted to update and had a few ??'s on what might be a better fit for me as far as performance vs working breeding in your dogs, but you are the expert and I'd like your input, etc.

On paper/interwebs I really like this breeder and everything they do, but I'd like to get to know them personally first (as isn't one of the perks of going to a good breeder having that support system??) and this doesn't seem to be happening. If I'm not someone they'd like to sell to, I'd much prefer they just tell me outright. Yeah it would hurt initially to be turned down, but not hearing back is something I find very discourteous. Honestly its got me thinking that maybe I need to be looking around for better options.

Thoughts?
Good questions. All I can say is that with this breeder I did do a few phone calls, obviously it's far cheaper to send email in this day and age especially with this breeder being half was across the country from me. I would say that if possible, the personal phone conversation is usually a good route to gauge a breeder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SevenSins View Post
You mentioned in the post that you received a reply-all message that the pregnancy was confirmed by ultrasound. Did you reply to that directly and inquire about the litter again? If not, the breeder likely figured that you decided you weren't interested. To ME personally, it sounds as though you were being passive-aggressive in hopes that the breeder would bring it up with you again rather than being direct and asking if anything would be available from the litter.

As a breeder, I expect potential buyers to be direct with me and make it clear that they're interested. The lines of communication are open both ways; If Person A speaks to me one time and then expects me to take the initiative to let them know everything that's going in, it's going to make me think they aren't serious, when Person B is engaging me in conversation, asking questions, actually seems excited about the litter and bringing home a potential new puppy.
So, a little more info then, yes I did send an inquiring/congrats email actually, then waited for her response back with how/where/who exactly I send my deposit. What happened, recently I went back to my old computer where all my old emails are saved and pulled them up out of curiosity, and noticed that the breeding was between what ended up being the dam of our friends male and a different sire, with that timeline it was obvious, the first breeding didn't take after all. But why didn't she let me know?

Okay, so on to the next litter, still nothing back from the breeder, I see the next litter advertised at random on her site, again send an "inquiring" congrats message, nothing. Turns out, years later I finally look it up, they were indeed all male (I was looking for a bitch only), but still why hadn't I been sent anything? Hear anything? Honestly, the last thing I did hear from this breeder, I got an email last year from her with a subject line of something about male sex...yeah her account was hacked and I just sent that one to the trash.

Then on that note, I actually did send her an email about 6 month before we were finally talking, and first inquiry, she never responded to that email (yes, and I did send emails to other breeders too, one was impeccable rude! and another who I got to respond I tried to call the phone number given and the line kept telling me the number was disconnected?). It wasn't until after we met someone who had just acquired a puppy from this breeder (one of her relatives had previously purchased dogs from this breeder) that I was finally able to get her to respond to an email inquiry and set up a phone conversation. So, it's not like it was even hopeful from the beginning, and made me suspicious before that it may have been something else, again such as the way I train which does go against her way (I've since found out). Although, there too she could have told me and advise me different, but didn't, hmm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
That has happened to me a few times too. I believe it's because the breeders have SO many enquiries about puppies throughout the months before a breeding, they expect buyers to contact them again to confirm that they still want a puppy, and confirm?

I know one of the breeders I was talking to said she had more than 50 people enquire about puppies before a breeding and she can't spend hours and hours confirming which people were serious and which were not ready/plans changed/etc. I believe she just assumes if you don't email again and ask about the litter and confirm your spot on the list, you don't get a puppy. Especially considering you didn't pay a deposit yet.

I believe if a deposit was paid then the breeder has the obligation to inform the buyer about the puppies and which one they're going to get or if nothing matches about the next breeding he/she has and that the deposit can be refunded or rolled over to the next litter.
See above.

Although I do still feel that maybe I could have been more persistent, it continues to baffle me with the lack of communication. I am one to believe that "everything happens for a reason", and I'm beyond happy now I didn't end up with one of her dogs as I probably wouldn't have been able to do a lot of (or any) sports with the genetic issue now popping up in her lines (although I made a huge trade off in "nerve", we're managing).

But I can't help but think about this whole situation lately, not just because of my curiosity to go back and look at these old emails, but with all the talk I've been reading lately from a lot of people in the purebred world about declining interest on all fronts from new people. If I wasn't the persistent person I am, I'll tell you, the "cold shoulder" I was given by breeder A might just had turned me off, if I wasn't such an educated person also I could have even ended up in the wrong side of the market! (yes, there was at the time, and even more so now, BYB's in the breed, shamefully) On the contrast, I actually had out of the blue, another breeder (even further away) contact me and about ready to ship the soonest puppy off right then and there, I declined only because I have a solid rule about meeting a breeder in person, although I do still trust this breeder a lot and would get a puppy from her if I had the room, the time was right, and a plane ticket for pup to ride under seat (yes, I'm also paranoid about puppies in cargo).

I guess this also comes up now, because I'm milling over breeders again. No! Nothing's happening any time soon, but I know there will come a day when my much loved old man wont be around, and my mother is, more than interested in another short little furry flurry of teeth. Is it wrong to research how to have the perfect "dog shopping" experience? Well, I guess to the rescue people...BUT HAY not saying that option is out either yet!
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:28 PM
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I have actually had this issue and would like some answers about it, as well.

I was in contact with a Dachshund breeder not long ago and I was super super stoked to get one of their puppies. I had spoke to the breeder, told them about my home, discussed price/shipping, and they basically said that they would let me know when the breeding happened and send me pictures of the puppies.

The puppies were due in September. I have sent a message to the breeder a few times... One before they were due and one recently. I was basically updating them on my own dachshund, while asking about the breeding and when I should expect pictures of the puppies.

I haven't heard a single thing from them. No message back, nothing. The announced the breeding on their site and posted pictures there... But I haven't heard anything back. ): Makes me sad.

Another thing that is hurtful about it is this is the only reputable breeder of the color I want that I could find. If they do not wish to give me a puppy, I would definitely like to know why as I will basically have to give up my want for a puppy of that color that is well bred.
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