One of the most popular questions I get asked is “How’d you go about finding your dogs?”
Let me start out by saying that our journey is ours. The journey that you and your 4 legged family find yourselves on is your own. With that being said, when I make statements about things being “right” or “wrong”– these are all my personal opinions and the way in which we manage and raise our dogs. Your way works for your fam– and our way works for ours…
The short answer is research, but it’s a long process in our home.
I wish I could say that one day on a whim I suggested we get a Dane , and Jay said “OK!”– but anyone who knows us knows the truth. It was about 3 months of talk between us before we decided to start looking for breeders. In the end– all of my research would have gone out the window, because once I met Willow– it was all over. She was EXACTLY what I wanted in a Dane. She was the right size, her build was just beautiful, she was just the color I prefer, her personality was awesome; and she just had a little sparkle of terrible in her eyes. She was pregnant at that time– and that was all it took. Of course, she met all the other qualifications we had, such as health screenings the like, and while we didn’t want a show pup, we did want one from Champion lines.
With all that being said, Jay and I are more than likely a couple of years away from another dog– and we certainly have not discussed breed, but I always like to envision ‘what if’ and so I pretty much constantly am checking up on various kennels.
Since Danes are my favorite breed, we’ll just roll with that. My first stop would be the Great Dane Club of America. I’ve already done my research on the breed of course, so my next step would be looking at the breeders listed through the club in my state. I generally work my way through most of the breeders listed on the GDCA– checking to see if they are still breeding, if they are still showing, and looking at pictures of their puppies and bitches/studs. But I’m also looking for something ‘else’. That’s probably a little harder to evaluate and quantify though, and has much more to do with personal preference than anything else. So, I guess the real question is ‘What is it I’m specifically looking for?’
- Website: It’s 2013, people. Have a website. Ensure said website is up to date with the new and updated photos, as well as updated information about your dogs. If you don’t have a site, the chance of me giving you $3,000.00 for your puppy are pretty slim. Also, don’t make your website look like it was created by a toddler. Save your money and have sm
- Photos: Again with it being 2013. I’m not anti-cell pic, I’m really not– but for the love of all things good, please make sure you either hire a photographer or get a friend with a good photo eye to help you out. You are breeding Danes. It’s super important we SEE the sort of Danes you’re breeding. We want to see your bitch up close and personal. Not just standing pretty, but I want to see heads up close and personal. I want to see puppies up close and personal. I want to see them one at a time, from different angles. I’m not saying you need modeling shots of your pups, but if breeding danes is your job– then do your job really, really well. If you want to attract the best, highest paying customers– you need to SHOW me.
- Facilities: Show me where your dogs live. Show me where the puppies live. If your dogs are part of your family, and part of your every day life– let me see that environment. I don’t want to just see them stacked– let me see where they sleep, where they eat, where they play. It matters to me. A lot. This sort of falls into the ‘photos’ thing– but you get my drift.
- Visits: If you don’t allow me to see your facility in person, I won’t be purchasing a dog from you. Sure– limit visits to a time where it’s safe– but telling me your kennel is ‘closed’ is bullshit. That’s sketchy and any ‘breeder’ who won’t let you see what sort of environment their dogs are living in is just questionable at best.
- Cleanliness: Please don’t be disgusting. No, really. Don’t be disgusting.
Anyway– these are just a few of the things we’re looking for. Of course, Doodle was a different story all together. HA! How about you? Anything you guys look for in particular from a breeder that you’re interested in?