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Old 02-24-2012, 11:46 PM
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Default How soon is too soon to contact a breeder?

If I'm looking at a puppy in 2013 or possibly early 2014? I'd like to explore options a bit and research quite a bit. Meet dogs if possible in person and all that.

How soon did you guys start trying to email breeders? I emailed Mia's breeder and then had her within a week. So I'm kind of hesitant to email just yet (lol).
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:56 PM
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I am probably not the norm but I am/was looking at a 2013 - 2014 timeline as well, and am pretty sure I first began e-mailing breeders around a year or a year and a half ago. Still in touch now and keeping up with this breeder's program and plans, but at this point I no longer think I'll be getting a dog from him (just a matter of having no dogs I am currently interested in, I am still keeping tabs, though). In my case, however, it was because he did not have a website nor did he advertise much at all, so I really would have had nothing to go on unless I contacted him.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:01 AM
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I'd say as long as you are honest about your time frame, 2013-2014 is totally reasonable!
I started contacting/talking to future pups breeder in december and will be getting said puppy hopefully around october so yea lol nearly a year!
I was in the same kind of spot as you. I wanted to talk to the breeder and really get to know them, the dogs, their breeding philosophies, meet the dogs etc.. BEFORE litters/puppies were planned.
I also wanted them to really get to know me and what I'm looking for in a dog/puppy (more-so than a questionnaire could really tell them)
The way I saw it. I'd rather find a breeder that I LOVE and wait around for the right litter/puppy.. then wait til I'm ready for a puppy and have to run around doing questionnaires, looking at breeder websites til my eyes bleed, and feel pressured by litters on the ground already/waiting lists.

The breeder I found was happy to talk with me, email, invite me to meet the dogs and really just talk for all this time. She keeps me updated on the on-goings and I'm really happy with the whole situation

That said, when I had narrowed my potential breeder list down to 5... I emailed/questionnaired them all and got I think two "please email when you are closer to being ready for a puppy" kind of emails and that's fine, but it wasn't what I was looking for in a breeder..
So keep in mind that some breeders DON'T really go with the whole "long term relationship" lol kind of thing with people.. and try to decide how important it is to you.
I'd say 1-2 years is a totally acceptable timeframe. More-so even as long as you are honest about your time frame and what you want to talk to them about (breed info, their dogs, breeding philosophies, visit, etc..)
I don't expect them to keep an IM chat convo with me at all times or answer my phone calls lol They are busy (with other people, raising dogs, showing, puppies, other potential homes for puppies) obviously.. but I do appreciate emails back/forth, even if replying takes them a while.

Personally, a breeder without a very open communication policy was a no-go for me. So part of contacting so early was kind of just weeding out what I didn't want lol I wanted someone who was happy to talk dog and really wanted to get to know me and happy to answer my questions.. regardless of me not being able to put money down on the litter on the ground now, or the next one.

Their answers are also a great way to get a FEEL of a breeder. Some breeders have the BEST websites and BEST reputations but you just..don't mesh.. and that was important to me. I spoke to a few who I just.. didn't like lol some have policies you aren't aware of until you speak to them etc..

So might as well inquire now and find out, instead of pinning all your hopes on them, waiting all that time and then finding out they aren't what you expected them to be.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:03 AM
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It doesn't hurt to start now. When I started emailing BC breeders, letting them know that I was 2ish years away from being ready for a puppy... I'd say pretty much all of them told me to get in touch with them again when I was ready, or getting closer. But it's a good way to get a feel for a particular breeder and start weeding through them - and in my case, I ended up running into a couple that don't even breed anymore, and one that wouldn't sell a puppy to me. Those are nice things to get out of the way early on lol.

But to be honest my early contact never led to anything productive, as far as getting to KNOW a breeder.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
But to be honest my early contact never led to anything productive, as far as getting to KNOW a breeder.
^^ This... 6 months out or when a pairing is being announced is when I'd suggest it
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:08 AM
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Mia's breeder was one that told me to come back closer to when I was ready for a dog. I think I emailed her a year before I got Summer, actually. I don't mind that at all and understand the sentiment behind it.

One breeder though I'd like to contact so I can meet the breed in person before deciding on breed/breeders.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
One breeder though I'd like to contact so I can meet the breed in person before deciding on breed/breeders.
There's nothing wrong with this and I'd just present it as such. Honestly a short list is better than having your heart set on a particular breeder who may not be breeding when you're ready for a puppy.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:11 AM
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I started searching about 18 months before I was planning on getting a dog. That being said, I got a dog 6 months earlier than expected and from a breeder I had not ever contacted until I heard she had a dog available.

I think it's fine to find and contact breeders well ahead of time. Sometimes breeders have long waiting lists, and you HAVE to get on them pretty early if you ever want a pup.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:40 AM
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Well, the earlier the better so that you'll have more options to choose from.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:01 AM
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Early is fine. I contacted Kaia's breeder almost two years ahead of time. She became a great friend and mentored me in the breed before I ever got a puppy from her. Like she helped me groom Strider for the borzoi specialty and taught me little tricks and stuff for how to do it well. She didn't have a litter available until two years after we met, so that was when I got one.
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