I have been looking for a nice farm dog, and found a breeder near me. I spoke with the breeder at length, and the family history, trainability, soundness, etc are just what I am looking for. The kicker is the breeder will not let a buyer come to see the puppies to choose one. The breeder says they will pick one for me, based on what I am looking for, but I have no say in choosing. They will not allow a buyer to come see the pups at all. Only access is pics on the web. Is this common? I have heard of people buying dogs from across the country or out of the country without personally seeing them, but not being able to go and look at the litter when they are close by? (as a by the way, these are $$ dogs)
Last edited by mickeydoodle; Apr. 15, 2010 at 02:01 PM.
Reason: update- went to humane society
Actually, it's not that uncommon among high end breeders. A few reasons. First, you may not always get a true read on a puppy's tendencies based on an afternoon of playing with a litter. Some of the puppies might be tired from a busy morning, feeling under the weather from shots, or otherwise not acting the way they usually would. The breeder, hopefully, has spent a lot of time with the litter and knows their true personalities.
Second, a lot of breeders feel that amateurs tend to pick exactly the wrong puppy. Most people are best off with a middle of the road personality, but the middle of the road types are the ones which don't stand out in a mass of milling puppies. A lot of people will ignore the wallflower puppies and choose the cute one which stumbles up and starts licking their face (or their kid's face.) In many cases, this bold puppy is actually the one that is inappropriate for a family situation. The bold puppy is likely to be the most aggressive, independent, and bullheaded of the litter. Or someone may choose the timid one because they feel sorry for it and want to mother it without thinking through the consequences of owning a skittish dog.
Finally, it's possible that the breeder doesn't feel like dealing with looky-loos. They may have reserved certain pups for breeding or showing and don't want to deal with the argument of "I want the brown one, not the black one," when the brown one isn't for sale. They may also be concerned about various threats like disease brought in on clothing from another kennel, wacko animal rights activists, and other trouble introduced by people they don't know well.
Ugh, tell me about it. I'd like to get a Labrador puppy.
Seems like I have a choice of:
A: rescues that mark all the pit bulls as lab crosses, but then won't let you adopt if you have children or an unfenced yard.
B: places that look a lot like puppy mills, that I'd rather not encourage
C: Places that still look a lot like puppy mills, but charge $2500, want you to fill out a 5 page questionnaire before they will talk to you, want a deposit before they will choose a puppy to assign to you, and want you to sign a contract saying you will forever only vaccinate with Chinese herbs and feed the dog only food bought from the breeder.
If I had my heart set on a rare Majikal Spotted Tricolor Tibetan Curly Coated Weasel Retriever I'd have expected to jump through hoops, but given that labs are only slightly less common than sparrows I did not think I would be so keen to give up and wear blinkers to the puppy mill.
I have bought all of my higher end dogs this way and the breeders were right on the mark with the match up. A good breeder knows their dogs and how to match you up.
With my Czech German Shepherd, we all went as a group and the trainer watched the pups and matched us up right there.
My Akbash, CAO and Fila were all ordered by temperament of what I wanted. After 6+ years of personal protection training I had exact specifications of what I wanted.
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Gee, well that would work in the horse world wouldn't it. I don't see much difference between getting a dog and buying a horse. Would you let a horse breeder pick the "right" horse for you, sight unseen?
Now that you've thought about your answer, does your answer apply to the dog breeder as well?
Not allowing people to meet the puppy litter is not unusual. Our Irish Terrier breeder has picked both our dogs for us, and only allows us to come see the puppies once they are 6 weeks old. By then, they've had shots, etc.
But not allowing you to come meet the parents at all...I agree with others - RUN AWAY.
The kicker is the breeder will not let a buyer come to see the puppies to choose one. The breeder says they will pick one for me, based on what I am looking for, but I have no say in choosing. They will not allow a buyer to come see the pups at all. Only access is pics on the web.
There is a puppy mill fairly local to us that has the same rules... a friend of mine saw an ad online and called on the pups, said the lady was very nice to talk to but had the same rules (red flag to friend who decided to purchase a pup elsewhere). Anyway, breeder said that she would know the best puppies to fit the family, and also referred friend to a website with all the puppy pics and prices....
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done".
That is a very large red flag....you could be dealing with a puppy broker or a puppy mill...either way run! I wouldn't buy a dog, horse, or anything sight unseen. I want to see parents, I want to see where and in what conditions the animal is raised and I want to meet the people. Heck, they can tell you anything they think you want to hear. Seeing is believing.
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Seems a bit odd to me as well. The JRT breeders that I bought my guy from let me come see the pups and interact with them while they asked lots of questions. Then I was told that I could pick from this, this, and this pup. The others weren't sold, but those were the pups they felt would work best in my home. Luckily, both pups I had chosen at first were in that group and I ended up with my original 2nd choice. He's great and exactly what I wanted.
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Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :
As others have said, selecting a puppy for buyers is not unusual, and in fact is the standard, for quality breeders, but not allowing you onto the property at all is a big ol' red flag. It wouldn't be out of line to say "Not until they've had first vaccinations" but not at ALL is wacky sauce.
There is a prolific backyard breeder of great danes near buffalo that plays this card. Her reasoning is is based on all the 'PETA spies' who have attempted to 'sabotage' her in the past. So yeah. Wacky sauce. Look elsewhere. Have you considered a rescue dog?
I have to agree that dog breeders are cuckoo-I was surprised how difficult the breeders were to work with when we were looking for a Doberman pup.
When we found the right breeder, she asked all the right questions, and helped us pick the right pup. When we went to her home to pick the puppy up, she was very proud to show us her all her dogs, and our pup's father was the star of the show-picture Michael Jordan in a dog suit-wow!
I would expect a good breeder to be picky about where the puppies go-but after that, I would want to have an open door policy from them, complete with references. Has this breeder offered to put you in touch with folks who have her pups?
The only dog I have ever raised from puppyhood is currently laying at my feet- and I did not meet her, prior to picking her up. I actually never met the breeder, either- the puppy was sent along home with another puppy, and I picked her up there.
However, the breeder was happy for me to meet her, and the parents. If they had not been in New Hampshire- I'd have done it!
It would be a huge red flag for me. I want to see the conditions that the puppy came from, as well as littermates, and parents, if at all possible.
However, Valentine is the best farm and work and everything else girl, ever- so there you have it!