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How do you choose buyers for your puppies?

This thread is semistarted under the heading of "How popular is the Irish setter..."
But I feel this is such an interesting subject that it realy should have its own heading. Personally I welcome buyers that live in flats. Mainly becourse anyone living in a flat with a livley setter definatly NEEDS to activate that dog. Take it to training classes, tracking-groups etc.
Owners with fenced in gardens can easily fal in to the trap of "just letting it out in the garden" instead of taking the dogs for walks or training.

I also want to see a solution before I sell the puppies as to the workinghours of the owners. Four hours alone is my absolute maximum when it comes to puppies and young dogs.
We have "kindergartens" for dogs here, and if you can not work around those four hours, with the help of friends and relatives, I want to know that the dog is in daycare at least during the hours that exceed the limit of four.
We also have a Kennelclub recomendation of four hours being the maximum to leave a dog alone in the home. Mind you, that is just what it said= A recomendation.
Apart from that, my main object is to find loving permanent homes. All shows, compertitions etc will be a bonus. I try not to push buyers (other than very gently).

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How does a person who works a 8 hour day, manage to only leave their dog for 4 hours? I own my own flower shop and I do go home at lunch for about 45 minutes to change water buckets, pick up poop, and check on the 6 dogs , but even I have to return to work.

I have a husband who is now retired and home most of the day, off and on, but how can you expect people who have to work full time to not leave the dog for more than 4 hours. We don't have doggie day centers, although it would be a great idea if there were some.

What I've found has worked for me to is to always get two puppies at the same time, or close to the same age so they have a yard buddy. The puppies are not allowed to romp with the adult dogs without me there so they don't get hurt, but have their own yard.

I agree there is nothing as sad as a puppy left all day long alone, but sometimes it can't be helped. Toys, chewy items, fresh water, and a safe place to be during the day works for most working people.

Are doggie day centers a common thing else where?

Yes there are more and more dog-day-care centres in Sweden.
And people can be very imaginative when it comes to solving the 4-hour limit. Taking the dog along to work at times (like Ginger) is one that many people do. I have had quite a few salespeople spending their days on the road and taking the dog along.
There are plenty of people that want to look after a dog (but perhaps dont want the responsibility of owning one themselves) that will take the dog half-day.
There are friends, family and a number of ways.
Also many familys work shiftwork, many teachers work halftime only, and so it goes on.
I know that dogs can cope with more than four hours alone, but for the first year at least, thats my limit.
And ALL dog-day-care-centres take uncastrated dogs.
Some will not take bitches in heat.
But even that is not always so.
Yes it is expensive to have a dog like this.
But then everything else is as well.

What I would never ever do is sell two puppies from the same litter to one family. That is a definite NO here! And nothing anyone does that wants to work with their dog.
Two puppies have great fun...
But will not form the bond that you want dog-person.
One of the puppies will always build up its confidence on the other.
>>What I would never ever do is sell two puppies from the same litter to one family. That is a definite NO here!

Why not? I don't always get puppies from the same litter, sometimes its from two different litters. Is there a law against buying two puppies from the same litter? I don't understand. If its a family there are plenty of people to socialize the pups, the pups have a traveling companion for shows, and they have someone to entertain them during the day, someone to chew on instead of you.

>>One of the puppies will always build up its confidence on the other.Two puppies have great fun...
But will not form the bond that you want dog-person.<

Interesting theory. I've not found it to be so. In my last two litters I've kept a dog and a bitch. The litter before these last two I kept two boys. None of them is a follower of the other sibling. All have their own personalities, and if they bonded any closer to me they'd be inside of my skin.

I bought two Welsh Springer Spaniel puppies years ago in the same month, from two different breeders and had no problems with them either.

Maybe its all in the raising of said puppies.

I also kept two pups from Rua's first litter(Milo and Megan) and they dont look to each other for guidance and they dont depend on each other! They are equally happy as individuals or as part of the family unit(4 dogs) I just kept their training sessions independent and brought Megan to agility one day and Milo to obedience another day! I often bring one or two dogs for a run on a certain day and another day bring everyone! I find all my dogs look to me first for guidance and each other only when I want to sit and relax!! I thought it would be difficult rearing two from the same litter but was pleasantly surprised how easy it was! Maybe the fact I am with my dogs almost 24 hours does help! I think I would be less happy sending two pups to someone who works all day(I think that is asking for trouble!!!) I think in that situation an older dog with a pup is better!
This is an interesting question! I dont think you will find many responsible swedish breeders of dogs that are of a fair size (and are supposed to be worked with) that will sell two puppies to the same home unless under very specific circumstances. Like it being a big family that has a lot of experiance in dogs, where the one dog will perhaps be trained by one person and the other dog by another.
I think this all goes back to tests done in the statly-dog-training centre.
Each puppy has to be socialised seperatly, learn to ride in the car on its own, face difficulties ontheir own etc.
We also strongly recommend an age-gap of at least one and half year between dogs. So also there, I would never sell a puppy to someone that has a for instance 9 months old dog and now wants another one.
This of course is very much dependet on the type of dogs! Toydogs are a slightly differant matter, and if the dogs are kept only for show. Or if you have a set up like Lomas perhaps. But talking about an ordinairy family wanting to buy two puppies...that would be (and always is) a no from my side. I know people wanting to get two at the same time have actually got anoyed with me.

I have only had one single personal experiance (and that in certainly nothing to base this one) but I got a setterbitch from a breeder that was 9 months old. She had spent all her life with her littermate and was VERY social and a super dog whilst at the breeder. (So it looked to me)
I bought her and took her away from her brother and she was a total nervous wreck in my home for a month. She did not dare to go near anyone at all and instead tried to run away as soon as someone arrived.
She totally lacked any confidence in her self.
As I was going to compete and train this dog, it just did not work, so the breeder and I thought it would be better if she went back. Once back with her litterbrother, she quickly became the same as she was when I first saw her. Friendly and social...knowing what I did then, I could see she was at all times just slightly behind her litterbrother. He was very forward and took all the initial contact and then she followed suit...
This is late 70s and my experiance with dogs was more limited.
I hope I would have spotted this today.
I certainly would have taken a halfgrown dog on a seperate walk and seperatly in the car BEFORE agreeing to take it.
But then you live and learn.

Perhaps it needs a weak dog to end up like this?
Here is my reply on the subject, copied from the thread 'How popular is the Irish Setter in your country':

Wendy, your story about Meave just shows how owner's situations can change dramatically, causing great suffering to the dog - and I'm sure not all are as lucky as Meave.
I find the hardest bit about breeding is not the choice of stud, the rearing of pups, the socializing etc. but interviewing and trying to size up the potential puppy buyers in just a couple of visits. Quite often I find in theory they know all the right answers but when it comes to everyday training and living with the dog things look very different. Personally I am quite sceptical of people who have no animal experience whatsoever.
As to placing a puppy in a home where the owner is out all day - sorry, no, I don't do it. Personally I find 6 hours is the abolute maximum for leaving a dog alone regularly. I know the dog can cope, but I do not consider it fair on the dog, who is a social animal and needs the other pack members. Depriving a dog of company will lead to the typical problems like barking, destruction, separation anxiety etc. So my recommendation to potential buyers is to reconsider and maybe wait until circumstances have changed.
I have to agree with Susan! I refuse to sell a puppy to someone who is working full time, and does not have anyone to take care of the puppy while they are at work.
To find good homes for puppies is always difficult. I also dont mind when people want irish setter, but they live in flat. I live in flat and I think my dogs get to walk and run much more than many others who live in houses.I always want to see all family member and not once, for me is very important to see how children are with puppy. Also in the contact I always write that new owner cant sell or give this puppy to anybody else than back to breeder. Also it is very important that puppy will be full family member (I dont sell any puppy to live in kennel), also people have to have time for their new dog. (I have to work, so here is a girl who helps me to walk dogs at day time), so I dont mind to sell puppy to people who also have to work, but they have to have solutions.
Hi Piret!

Very important as you said, that you like to see how children are with puppies. Because than you can see how the grown ups are to.

I live alone - go to full time job every day - the dogs spend their days alone at home that time.
Maybe selfish but if someone came and said that I mistreat my dogs and they are not fully taken care of, activated, socialised and happy...well so`ll be it but know they live a full life and I do a lot of things with them. But in my case maybe I could never get a dog from some of you breeders.

I pay a lot of attention to the very first impression of the puppy buyers. That they know what they are looking for, they are giving a good description of that. They have done some research and the answers to the questions are not just copied from books but you can notice that they have really given the matter some thought.

Wether the dog goes into the flat or house - that doesn`t matter to me. In both cases keeping the dogs activated is important.

Piret`s point of seeing the whole family is very good. All of the members in the family that live with the dog should get along with it and be willing to take care of the animal. Sometimes you see couples or families that you could immediately tell that the other part is not into a new family member. Wouldn`t sell then - who knows how the dog is treated by this person who doesn`t care about the dog.

Glad to have dogs in nice homes. They are loved and taken care of.
This is a great discussion. I am a dog buyer not a seller. I don't think you can judge a potential owner by their living arrangements. I don't envy you all having to evaluate an owner based on a 30 minute meeting. And so many times a life event can change things - a death, marriage, divorce, child, moving, etc.

Laura - Odin, Danka, and you may live in a flat but you can tell by your photos that they get out and have a blast.

I have a good sized home but relatively small back yard with a doggy door. I work full-time but have a pet sitter who I have used for probably 10 years. She comes by, walks them, refills water bowls, gives treats and attention, etc. Spends about 30 minutes each day. She charges $10/day and then an extra $2/day for each extra dog. So my weekly bill is $50, $60, or $70 depending on whether I have 1, 2, or 3 dogs. This is why we walk morning and night and then mid-day on weekends to, no matter what the weather. I am sure my neighbors think that I am nuts the amount I walk them.

Wendy - sounds like you have a great spread for dogs. I wouldn't worry about not having a pond. I want to have something like that one day and have a half-dozen Setters.

Not exactly related, but something I have found interesting. When I have had rescues, they don't spend a whole lot of time outdoors, even with the doggy door. When I come home, they are usually on my bed, the sectional, or one of the various dog beds. I think this is because they have grown up living outside and being mistreated. The two dogs I have now I got from a breeder who had 10 dogs, all in indoor dog runs during the day. They like to stay outside. It's almost like the are making up for the side of life they didn't have before.
This really has turned into a terrific discussion! Very interesting observations from many points of view. Here are some of mine: I want every home that I place a puppy in to be a pet home, even the competition homes. I feel that every competition dog, no matter how successful or in how many venues, will spend the majority of its life as someone's pet. I want buyers to commit to the dog itself, not just the competitive aspects. I will never sell to someone who says if the dog doesn't work out, I'll find it a good home. Never. Every pup that leaves Bright Star does so on a contract promising me the right of first refusal to repurchase the dog at its original price if the buyer is not able or willing to keep it, for whatever reason. I screen my inquiries with 30 years of instincts from placing puppies. For my Irish I want a home with a fenced yard, the dog being indoors at least when the family is home, no single puppy being left home alone for more than four hours at a time. If the house is empty of people longer than four hours, a single puppy must have a dog walker, kid next door, family member or friend who will come in and spend some time with the pup and see to its needs. I prefer that the family be an active one and the dog welcomed to join in all appropriate activities - hiking, jogging, hunting, camping, fishing, swimming, and other such activities as therapy work, visiting institutions, school activities, etc.

I will also never place littermates in the same household. I have known of several horrible examples of littermates growing to detest each other and not even being able to be crated in the same room. This is a little bit more of an issue with Gordons than with Irish, but it just doesn't work out well. For this reason: within each litter there is a social pecking order - often it is fairly easy to pick out the dominant male and female pups, but every set of two pups will have one dominant (albeit sometimes very slightly) to the other. This relationship is set in the litter, and will dissipate when the pups go to their own homes. A very submissive pup in a litter will often bloom with self confidence in his new surroundings. But pups that travel together to new homes will take their relationship with them. And they will automatically seek out one another in times of stress. This isn't fair to either pup in terms of developing into a well-socialized adult dog.

I just recently had a couple, who had owned one of my male Irish previously and lost him at age 13 last winter, call and want to purchase two pups from my then current litter. I told them that I would not sell them two littermates, but I happened to have a great solution for them. A very good friend of mine in the St. Louis, MO area happened to have a litter exactly one week older than mine. So I arranged for the couple to take one from my litter and one from the other. Even with virtually no age difference between them, the pups were meeting on neutral territory, with no established relationship, and each was able to bond to the people first and to the other pup secondly. They didn't know each other well enough to seek each other out when comfort was needed, although they will also grow up to be each other's best friend.

I do think that dogs are much happier when they have another of their own species to associate with. Most of dogs' social interactions are based on age, with the older dog generally taking on the role of leader, unless it is a very submissive and insecure animal - then it might be very happy to let the younger dog lead their pack. I do think the ideal age between dogs is about two years of age, and 6-9 months an absolute minimum.

Finally, I want to say how honored I was that of our April litter of 13 Irish pups, over half of them went to homes that had owned dogs from us previously. I think that's about the best tribute a breeder can receive!




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