Help with contacting breeders

Information on finding your puppy, the Assured Breeders Scheme, the Kennel Club and issues relating to breeding your Schnauzer are dealt with in this section.
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Please do not discuss breeders or raise issues concerning breeders on the forum. This has created problems in the past and many breeders are not members and unable to defend any claim you may make.
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birdinhand
Posts: 1
Joined: 21 Jan 2021, 21:34
First Name: Margaret

Help with contacting breeders

Post by birdinhand »

Hello, I've recently been starting to contact breeders from a couple of the club recommended lists and was hoping for some advice.

I have been sending a friendly personalised email with a bit of information about myself and why I want a mini, as well as asking a few basic questions. However I've been really surprised at the lack of engagement - I've gotten either a reply of a couple of lines (that don't address my questions), or been directed to a Facebook group. Is this normal? I'd assumed the whole "build a relationship with a good breeder well in advance" thing would be a bit more than that.

I've also come across some breeders who are approved etc, but have questionable views on unproven things relating to vaccinations or neutering. Should these breeders be avoided? I don't want to get into an argument with someone!

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zeta1454
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Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 20 Apr 2010
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is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
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Re: Help with contacting breeders

Post by zeta1454 »

Hello Margaret and welcome to the Forum :)

Just a few general comments on some of the points in your post, initially:

The breed club lists are likely to be simply members of the club who have asked to have their names made available to puppy seekers. Although the breeders on the list will be expected to comply with the ethics and recommendations of the Club, as members, they will not have been independently checked or monitored especially as regards their communication with puppy seekers.

As a general point currently and for the past 9 months the situation as regards breeding any dogs has been critically affected by the restrictions around the pandemic. Very many reputable breeders have been putting all breeding plans on hold until things return to some level of normality as vet visits for health tests and home checks for puppy families have been severely limited. At the same time, the demand for puppies has rocketed due to people working from home or spending long hours unable to go out and about and thinking a dog would fill the hours and provide companionship. Although there will be caring, responsible families and individuals looking for a puppy, there are also large numbers of people who have given little thought to the demands of raising a puppy or the long term care for a dog for its lifetime and are simply looking for a puppy to while away the time until they can return to work. As a result many breeders have been inundated with phone calls, emails etc. for a puppy and some may have begun to ignore them and just not reply. Some, of course, may never reply to an enquiry unless they think they can offer them a puppy. It is not good manners in my opinion to ignore a communication from a puppy seeker but it does happen.

As regards “approved” breeders, I assume you mean members of the Assured Breeder Scheme which should provide reassurance that the breeder has been inspected at least every 3 years and has committed to a range of welfare and other commitments which would include providing advice and support to those who get a puppy from them. Their protocol as regards health issues including vaccination, parasite control, neutering are likely to all be discussed and approved by the Kennel Club assessor and full details provided to the Kennel Club after the inspection visit.

To answer more specifically your queries:

By sending an email to breeders as you describe in your post, you are doing exactly what I would expect from a serious puppy seeker and my personal view would be that, if you are not getting a more helpful reply or even a response at all, then I would disregard that breeder in terms of approaching them again. Although many breeders may have a website or Facebook page which may have useful information or insight into their breeding, I would still have thought a personal reply would be usual to answer specific questions. You do need to feel confident and happy with the breeder on a more personal level as well as regards their breeding protocol so, if you are not getting that reassurance from any breeder you contact, I would keep searching as there are good breeders who will provide the relationship you are looking for as regards sourcing a puppy and having that support throughout his or her lifetime. As I said above, these are exceptional circumstances since the lockdown / restrictions and some good breeders may have become jaded by the frustration of abandoned breeding plans, constant enquiries for puppies from those who are not seriously considering the commitment, etc. If you did want to pursue things with any particular breeder who has not responded to an email, it may be worth phoning them as an additional check that they have received the mail or just to further assess if they seem to be OK.

Your last point about “questionable views on unproven things” is a difficult one with no easy answer.
Many of the best breeders I have come across have been breeding for decades and their decisions on the welfare of their dogs is based on their experience of hundreds of puppies raised by them and followed in their new homes too. These breeders are passionate about the health of their own dogs and of the ones that they breed to live with other families. They will be following the latest research on all matters relating to health and well-being and if, as is likely, they are members of the breed clubs, they will also be advised by the Health Coordinator of the Club if and when any matter relating to a product or a health procedure comes to their attention. Whereas a family or individual who owns pet dogs may have a number of these over the years, a breeder even on a very small scale is likely to have had many more individual dogs and puppies in their care whose health including their reactions (good or bad) to a particular diet, vaccinations, pharmaceutical treatments etc. has been monitored by them and added to the shared experiences of other breeders and their puppy families known to them through the breed club and regular show events.

I would expect a responsible breeder to want to discuss matters such as diet, neutering and pharmaceutical products and procedures with a prospective puppy family, to share their experiences or advice on these matters and possibly to decide whether or not they are happy for a puppy to go to a family or individual if they feel the new home is likely to follow a completely different regime. This may not always be the case as some breeders may offer their advice in good faith but, if other factors regarding care and responsible raising of the puppy are all there, they may be happy to know the puppy has a loving home and not worry about the differing decisions over the other matters. From your own perspective, you may feel happier with a breeder who shares your own views so may decide to avoid those who do not share them but it should not be a matter of getting into an argument over them. The best breeders will have made their choices based on years of experience and their love for the puppies they breed and the dogs they raise in their own family - they are doing what they do because they passionately believe the health of their dogs will be so much better for it. It is not a random whim but a protocol based on what they have seen for themselves with their own dogs or those they know well.

Ultimately, the answer to all your queries, is to keep doing what you have been as regards contacting breeders, try (if you do have one or more that you feel may be the right one for you) to speak to them by phone. Ideally puppy seekers should be able to meet a breeder and see their dogs but obviously that is not currently possible. Try to be patient over the next few months as, fingers crossed, things will get better before the end of the year and it may be easier for breeders and puppy seekers to establish normal communication with less stress! You do want a good relationship with whichever breeder you choose and so it is worth persisting and being prepared to consider the reasons given by a breeder if they recommend anything you feel uncertain about or even opposed to, if you feel that this is the only thing as regards their breeding that you makes you uncomfortable.

Good luck in your search :)
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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