Exclusively Setters

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Selling puppies is one thing, finding the right buyers, quite another.
How do YOU tell the good from the bad?
I think all breeders have come across buyers that seemed OK to begin with but turned into total nightmares.
So how do YOU choose?
And whom would you NOT sell a puppy to?

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I find every litter teaches me more about people... sometime good, sometimes not so. Quite often the ones I have been doubtful about turn out to be the ideal owners, whilst with others you feel 'it can't go wrong' ... and it will.

Some breeders I know say they rely on their intuition... I don't! I've found that my intuition is no good. I expect buyers to visit at least 2-3 times, preferably more. I spend hours interviewing and talking - but sometimes wonder what goes in. I give details in writing - but fear it does not ger read...

I have a written sales contract saying I give support where I can and that in case of any kind of problems the dog must be returned to me. I also give a refund guarantee for the first 1 1/2 years in case of certain (inherited) health problems cropping up. I also encourage all puppy owners to have their dog's hips scored and give a refund on that... This all helps to increase awareness of the puppy buyer. But admittedly, if the worst comes to the worst, even the best written contract won't help...

Who would I not sell a puppy to? Worst impression for me: when the first contact is by mobile phone from a drivnig car and the first question is 'what is the cost of a puppy' (and on being told the callers reply: "but you can't ask that much for a male, surely...")
When it comes to price, I once had a phonecall from an elderly gentleman that replied to the price of a puppy : "Oh no, Im not interested in buying the WHOLE litter! I just want ONE dog!"
I did think that was very funny.

The not so funny ones are the "know-it-all-experts". They are the ones that will not listen to your advice as they know it all due to having had a great-aunt that bred poodles (or some other breed that is miles appart from an IS).
Bringing along an "expert" to question me is another type I am not overly keen on.

Unfortunatly I am like you Susan, I feel I can not trust my intuition. In fact most of the doubtful ones have ended up being the best :-)

So nill marks for being a judge of humans, but I think this is like anything, you start off by thinking you have got a grasp of things... but the more puppy-buyers I have come in contact with, the less I know!
I love having my puppies but hate selling them, i have found some of my best owners have been people who have never had a dog but have done lots of research and found out about the breed and most importantly will listen to you and actually take in what you are saying. i regularly keep in touch with these people to see how they are getting on and they get in touch if they have a problem, so far they are doing a fantastic job. What amazes me are people who have had setters over many years and don't know what bloat is. One lady said she had never heard of it and when i explained she said that was interesting her last dog must have died of it.
All we can do is the best we can and to be there if ever there is a problem.
Quite correct Kirsty, its much easier with owners that feel they perhaps dont know it all. Those ones you can normally help a lot more than the ones that "know it all" to begin with.

And yes, it is amazing to see how people can have dogs for years and know nothing about them at all...does not only apply to setters but right across the board.
i do not breed , i am a owner , i can imagine how hard it must be to find the right owners , and already said sometimes the people who at first opnion you are doubtful about , turns out to be the most ideal puppy buyers , you can never see in someones head/mind , i can tell you the most wonderful stories just to get want i want and when i got it , i forgot all the stuff i told you
luckely i am not that person but i can imagine that there are lots of people in this world that works that way , also strange e mails from people who send mails all over the world , to ask for a puppy , to pay by western union and ship the puppy to some place unknown without even looking at the puppy

about asking about the cost of a puppy , i did it also once , in my first contact to the breeder , and why?? , because in that period i had to save up money for a puppy , and if i start emailing or by phone you that i am interesting in a puppy , i visit you on regular base to look at the litter , and when the times come that they can leave , it turns out that i cannot pay for it.
Luckely it was no problem for us , but i can imagine that it could be for someone else
so i would not have a problem with it if people ask me what the puppy cost , if they are realy interested they will come back to you.
Oh I dont mind people asking the price! So they should!
But its not the best way to start of a phonecall, before even asking about background etc. :-)

As for not taking things at face-value, an ex-puppy-buyer explained to me she had told her puppy-buying-friend (who was not the slightest bit interested in showing) to tell the breeder she wanted to show. That way she would get a better puppy!
I must say I was quite upset at hearing this.
Also people are getting very tuned in to WHAT to say and what NOT to say. Like if they hear that you will not sell a puppy if you work full-time, they will just tell you they work at home, or have a part-time job.

All these are things you can not check out before if you are a breeder.
I was told once by a breeder that she would never sell a puppy to somebody she did not 'like'...well interestingly enough this is exactly the way I feel too...if there is something in the back of your mind that says to you this buyer would not become a friend of mine, ask yourself why and start asking yourself if your puppy will be happy in that home too! Of course there are other things to look for too!
I agree, some truth in your statement... I am quite convinced there are good setter owners amongst people I don't like... but if I want to keep in touch with the new owner it will make it so much easier if I do like these people...
Good question!

The breeder we got Anton and Gina from must have relied on her intuition. We have never had puppies before, let alone Irish Setters. We expected heaps of questions and were willing to give all the answers, and I certainly had a whole list of questions myself. But Sandy (the breeder) didn't even ask whether we had a big enough back yard. She knows that I am a long distance runner, maybe that was enough for her? However, no matter how willing you are - Puppies are challening and can bring out the best or the worst in their human parents. How can a breeders make sure their judgement is right? I've been reading a lot. Actually, all I know about Irish Setter is from books or websites. Maybe Sandy made her judgement based on my piles of books ? She has been breeding Irish Setter for 30 years, she should know...
Illona, it sounds to me as if you bought TWO puppies at the same time.
That would not work with me, even more so when you have never had dogs before.
I find that two dogs too close in age always means trouble.
Mainly when it comes to training.
They tend to form their own little flock and dont actually need humans in the same way as a single puppy will. They become far more independent and difficult to work with, if that is what you had in mind.

If, on the other hand, you just want them to dig up your garden, two certainly is the ultimate choice!

But the fact that you are a long distance runner would most certainly have been a mega-pluspoint in my books and the fact that you were interested enough to find out as much as you could about the breed!
On the other hand, that would only apply to buying ONE puppy :-)
So far with just three litters I have had lovely puppy owners!! Some are first time setter owners but who have read about the breed and are going to training classes etc I also have owners who have already got adult setters and want to increase the family!! All so far are lovely people and that is important to me too! I had a few people that I would not sell to- one wanted a surprise birthday gift for his wife!!! Another wanted a setter but I often watched her going for walks but never with her dog(so I wonder would she have ever walked the setter??) I get to see some of my pups years later and quite a few stay at my kennels for their holidays(I love that!!) I keep in touch with all new owners and they let me know how thay are getting on!! As far as two pups going together I dont allow that unless they are very experienced dog owners/trainers. I kept two myself and had no problem with training etc.
I think if you breed for long enough, you will get to meet them all!

I have also had ones wanting to buy "surprise-puppies" (one for his aged mother, who had never had a dog before) and I have had ones that had dachshound for the last 20 or so years but felt dachshounds pulled too much on the lead so the wanted to change breed!

One wanted an irish setter as a guard-dog, basing this on the fact that he grew up with an irish setter that would not let ANYONE on to the property.

I have also had ones that wanted to "swap". Two lots acually...one wanted to give me a great dane he had bought a few months ago and now, on second thought, found it was too big. So he wanted to do a swap for a setter and pointed out that I would win on the deal as the great dane was more expensive than my setterpuppies. The other swapper was someone that had bought a german shephard and his wife did not like it...:-)

No, none of the above became my puppy-buyers...




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