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Discussion Starter #1
I have been wanting a puppy for a very long time and so at the beginning of January I finally put the wheels in motion. I researched breeders, found one from back home, and contacted her. She was awesome, very prompt, engaged, and my mind was made up that I wanted one of her puppies.

I asked her about deposits and she said she didn't take them. This made me a bit nervous but nothing else seemed off and it seemed like a win win for me. In case a breeding didn't work out I wouldn't have to possibly try to get my money back. She put my name on a list. I told her what I was looking for.

The breeding went as planned and I hadn't heard much from her. I stayed in contact and at one point e-mailed her again, asking the likelihood of me getting a puppy out of this litter- she responded promptly and said I would have no problem at all.

The puppies came and she didn't have exactly what I wanted so I e-mailed her and let her know what my second pick was. There were 7 puppies- 5 with the same coloring same sex and I wanted to choose out of that bunch. She replied promptly again, and said she had me covered. The next day (the wait seemed like forever!) she sent me an e-mail and said "I overestimated how many people were on my list. I am keeping one out of the bunch you want to choose from and there's a person who's been waiting for a puppy of this color for two years, and I have a couple breeders ahead of you on the list. I promise no matter what color/sex puppy you get it will be awesome". I was a bit frustrated but responded and just said "we will wait till the list gets to us and make a decision, thanks for keeping me updated". A day later she sent an e-mail to me and two other people saying that we had dibs on the 5 red merle female pups (the ones I wanted to choose from).

I responded excitedly and told her thank you. After that, I just kept following her facebook page. After about three weeks with no word I sent her an e-mail asking about payment. She didn't take deposits but I felt like now that I had dibs on a pup I should be able to secure my spot. She said that she doesn't take payment until pick up. During our discussions I actually told her how I plan to fly home to visit my family and pick the puppy up while I'm there.

The puppy is 4.5 weeks old right now. I'm supposed to go home and pick it up in 3 weeks and I still have no idea which pup I am getting or have heard from her. She continues to post facebook pics and shows no indication of people choosing their puppies already but I'm getting nervous.

Is this normal? This is my first breeder experience. I sent her another e-mail today on recommendation of a friend just very nicely asking about the puppies, how they are doing, what their personalities are like so I can start having an idea for when it's time to pick, if the new pup-parents will all be picking up at 8 weeks, etc.

I've made a special point to word all of my e-mails pleasantly and nicely, and really feel out if I'm irritating or bothering her, but I haven't gotten that vibe. She still hasn't responded to my e-mail from earlier today but it was a bit long. I'm just really nervous that this might not work out somehow and that I have no recourse. I've been waiting for a puppy for years.
 

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if it doesn't work out with this breeder there's tons of reputable available. i don't understand the "no deposit" untill
you pick up the pup. if you're picking up the pup i would suspect full payment is in order.
 

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This is why the breeder doesn't take deposits.
You can never guarantee how many pups in a litter,or color or gender. Most breeders don't allow buyers to choose their own puppies anyway. They pick puppies for the buyers based on what the buyer has specified they are looking for.
 

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I won't be getting my puppy for awhile but I keep up with my breeder and she knows what color/sex/temperament I want, my breeder is picking out my puppy...why because she has spent those 8 weeks with those puppies every day and knows their personality way better than I will. It's really not that uncommon for the breeder to pick what puppy you get if you've told her what you want. Also your breeder is very busy with the pups and juggling all these people and trying to decide who gets what puppy. She's probably just busy, my breeder doesn't always respond very quickly with me either but I know she's busy so I know she'll get back to me when she can.
 

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Many good breeders don't let you pick the pup at all. You can choose the gender and color preference, but ultimately they should be picking the puppy that best matches what you are looking for. Many breeders will tell you that color is not what you should be after and that the right fit puppy is more important. Still, if you are dead set on a color, they will usually try to make it work, but it doesn't always. Does this breeder do health testing, spay/neuter contracts etc?

I told my breeder what I wanted. She told me when they were around 7 weeks she would be evaluating them to decide which ones were show quality and which ones were pet/performance. I didn't know I was even getting a puppy until that week because there were others on the list ahead of me and I only wanted a girl. In the end I got my pick of two puppies she believed were close to what I was looking for.

The lack of deposit thing sounds a little weird to me though. Most reputable breeders I've looked at do have them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am more concerned that at 4.5 weeks I haven't been told or gotten to pick, out of the puppies that she mentioned in writing I would have dibs on. Is that normal? I do know she is planning on keeping one for herself. Maybe she is trying to prolong it so their senses are further developed and she can choose whichever she believes would be the best dam?
 

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Thanks! This gives me a little more reassurance that it isn't abnormal that I don't know yet : ) I am still a little concerned about the no deposit/and still isn't taking payment from me issue. My hope is that as a breeder she is well aquantained with turning people down and that if she felt like for whatever reason this wouldn't work out she would have told me immediately so I could try to arrange other plans.
 

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I didn't know which of the two male AKK I was getting until I went to the airport to pick him up. The breeder waited until the pups were nine weeks old and she'd evaluated their structure and temperament before she chose one for me. It's not unusual. It's also not unusual for a breeder to not bother with deposits.

Here's a great blog post from a corgi breeder: Puppy Buyer Etiquette

PLEASE DO NOT EXPECT TO CHOOSE YOUR PUPPY. This one drives puppy buyers CRAZY. I know this, trust me. I have a lot of sympathy because I’ve been there. But the fact is that when you come into my house and look at the eight-week-old puppies and one comes up and tugs on your pant leg and you look at me, enraptured, and say “THIS IS IT! He chose ME,” I’ve been looking at people coming into the house all week, and every single time this same puppy has come up and tugged at them and every single one of them have said to me “THIS IS IT!”

What you are seeing is not reality. You are seeing the most outgoing puppy, or you’ve fallen in love with the one that has the most white, or the one that has a different look from the rest of the litter (when I had one blue girl puppy in a litter of black boys, every human that came in the house wanted her; when I had one black girl puppy in a litter of blue boys everyone kept talking about how much they loved HER), or the one that’s been (accidentally) featured the most in the pictures I’ve posted. Or, sometimes, you have a very good instinctive eye and you’re picking the puppy that’s the best put together of the litter. And that puppy, of course, is mine, and you’re going to have to pry him out of my cold dead hands.

My responsibility is not to make you happy. And that, dear friends, is why I am posting this now, and not when I have a bunch of actual puppy buyers around :D. But it’s the truth. My responsibility is to the BREED first. That’s why my first priority in placing puppies is the show owners, because they are the ones that will (if all goes well) use this dog to keep the breed going. It’s not that I like them better than I like you; it’s that I have to be extremely careful who I place with them so that they can make breeding decisions with the very best genetic material I can hand them. My second responsibility is to the PUPPY. I will place each puppy where I feel that it has the best chance of success and the optimal environment to thrive.
 

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i don't have much faith in the breeder picking out a pup for me. i go to a reputable breeder
trusting all of the pup's are sound with strong nerves. the pup the breeder picks changes
as time moves on. the pupy i get at 8 weeks isn't the same pup at 2 months, 6 months
and so on.

if you go to a breeder and you say you want "pick of the litter" where's the matching
of the pup to you?
 

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I am more concerned that at 4.5 weeks I haven't been told or gotten to pick, out of the puppies that she mentioned in writing I would have dibs on. Is that normal? I do know she is planning on keeping one for herself. Maybe she is trying to prolong it so their senses are further developed and she can choose whichever she believes would be the best dam?
I would be concerned if she DID let you pick or had determined which was your pup already. She's most likely waiting so she can see the temperament of the puppies and make the best matches.
 

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I had a weird experience with the first breeder I contacted - similar situation with minimal contact and her not being clear about my likelyhood of getting a puppy.

Have you tried calling her? I think some people just ignore email, or mean to respond but forget about it. I would call her and talk it out and see what she says.

I never did end up getting a puppy from that first litter, but I got a puppy from another breeder who is fantastic. There are plenty of reputable breeders out there who will be happy to sell you a puppy so don't feel too discouraged (though I know how hard it is). You haven't given her any money yet, so you really don't have anything to lose except your time. It'll work out in the end.

ETA: As far as not picking the puppy yet, most breeders don't make the final decision until 7 weeks or so. So that's normal. I would be more concerned about the lack of communication and want to clear that up.
 

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It's funny... at least in most of the breed-specific forums I'm on, taking deposits is sometimes even said to be a sign of a less-than-reputable breeder. At least with Newfs (and at least in the US), pups have to wait until 10 weeks to have their hearts checked by a cardiologist, so a breeder isn't even sure until that point that all of the pups are healthy enough to go to homes.

I've also always been told that, unless you're looking to buy and possibly co-own a show dog, the breeder will be choosing your pup for you. That said, our breeder let us pick between the last two females. We got to hang out with them and get to know their personalities a little, asked questions... We went into it, however, assuming that she would pick the puppy for us. She's known them this whole time, after all.
 

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i don't have much faith in the breeder picking out a pup for me. i go to a reputable breeder
trusting all of the pup's are sound with strong nerves. the pup the breeder picks changes
as time moves on. the pupy i get at 8 weeks isn't the same pup at 2 months, 6 months
and so on.

if you go to a breeder and you say you want "pick of the litter" where's the matching
of the pup to you?
If you don't trust the breeder to know her dogs and to properly evaluate the pups, why are you going to that breeder? As for "pick of the litter", why would you get that? The very best puppy in the litter is going to stay with the breeder for future breedings, or go to a co ownership situation.
 

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With both of my dogs, I didn't give a deposit or picked them myself. Most ethical breeders won't take deposits or let you select the puppy you want. Stuff happens and I had been on a list for a possible litter with a different breeder...and I wanted a male. There was only one male in the litter of 8 puppies. The person who got the male was on the waiting list longer. So I didn't get that dog. Lars and Ocean's breeder matched them to me...and I am so glad she did because they are suited perfectly for what I do with them and our household.
 

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Yes, it is common for breeders to pick your pup. Some breeds it is very discouraged to require a certain color. Pups are usually matched based on which temperaments match which homes and not color.
 

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Yep, and some breeders don't mind if you have a color preference, as long as you understand that you may have to wait longer to get a pup that's both suitable in temperament and the color you like. A good breeder won't give you a pup that's a bad match just because it's the colors you like best. A truly good breeder will hold onto their pups until the right home comes along, no matter how long it takes.
 

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Unfortunately for all concerned, the best time for determining puppy temperament (and show potential) is at around 8 weeks. A good breeder who is trying to match pups to suitable homes will generally be stand-off-ish about the question of 'pick' when the pups are less than six or seven weeks.
 

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My Sheltie breeder didn't demand we take a certain pup or none, she made great suggestions, based on what you told her you were looking for. She was great when we were visiting, them we liked this one male, and she was honest he is gonna be higher energy then the two I picked for you, if you are certain he is what you want here is what you will have to do and so on. We ended up goin. With one of the pups she had originally selected an she was a perfect match for my fiancé, couldn't have asked for a better dog for him.

Royce, my Aussie. His breeder picks puppies, she takes into consideration sex and color preference, sets up times to meet them all, but ultimately the decision is hers, she likes to get people talking and hear the truth really come out lol. I wasn't apart of the initial conversation with his breeder as he was a surprise from my fiancé, but after we got there and told her everything we were wanting, Royce took an instant liking to me, the other pups said hi and left, Royce was with us the entire time, he went back to the puppy room for awhile and then came back out to find me.

I will always trust the breeder. They know what they are doing.
 

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It's common for breeders to pick the puppy, but a lack of communication would annoy me. I don't expect constant updates or to be their BFF but an occasional "here's how the litter is doing" even if it's a mass email to puppy buyers would be nice.
 

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Oh ya I agree with that. Luna's breeder almost became a pen pal we were so in contact. And Royces breeder was alright, she wasn't like Lubas, but she kept in contact and answered my emails quickly until it was time for Rouce to come home.
 
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