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Old 05-16-2012, 10:51 AM
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Freehold Freehold is offline
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Default How much do you tell puppy buyers?

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.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:00 AM
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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.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:02 AM
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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!"
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:14 AM
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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?
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:53 AM
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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.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:00 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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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.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:15 PM
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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.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:18 PM
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[QUOTE=JessLough;1991707]Honesty is the best policy [QUOTE]

This.

Don't let people push you around and tell you what you should/should not keep hushed up. Do what you feel is comfortable. You don't have to itemizie everything that's been done with the puppies, or what's wrong, but puppy buyers I think would like to know what they're getting themselves into upfront, then later finding out once the "secret" is out.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:25 PM
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[QUOTE=MericoX;1991716][QUOTE=JessLough;1991707]Honesty is the best policy
Quote:

This.

Don't let people push you around and tell you what you should/should not keep hushed up. Do what you feel is comfortable. You don't have to itemizie everything that's been done with the puppies, or what's wrong, but puppy buyers I think would like to know what they're getting themselves into upfront, then later finding out once the "secret" is out.
This and this ...

I disclose everything I feel is important to know. So I don't just write wormed and the date. I write wormed, the name of the wormer, and the amount used. If there is an observation of note I'll mention it and mention if I think it's something to watch or no big deal.

In the end if I have a puppy I feel isn't ready to take the next step on to the potential owner - it stays until it's there.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:04 PM
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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
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