Q: How many litters do you have a year?
A: Generally, we have one litter a year. However, this is not set in stone. Sometimes we do not do any breedings and sometimes we will do two breedings a year. We know that many breeders have puppies on the ground year round. This is not us. Most of the time our puppies are sold before they are born. We are able to get to know our buyers long before our puppies go to their new homes. Each breeding is personal to us. We stand behind our dogs for their whole lives and we are prepared to take back our puppies in their lives. It does not make sense for us to mass produce puppies. We prefer to take care and time with each litter produced.
Q: When do you let your puppies go to new homes?
A: In the past, we have let our puppies go to new homes at 8 weeks old and not before. This is due to the sociological development of the puppies. However, new research has come out that points to keeping the puppies until 10 weeks due to one of the "fear" periods pointing to the 8 week old time frame. We can keep a puppy longer for our buyers if we need to to work around vacations, school schedules, etc. We do this with buyers who have committed to one of the puppies. We will not sell a puppy to anyone who comes along just because you can't pick the puppy up at the exact time.
Q: Do I get to pick my puppy?
A: No. I pick the puppy based on what you have told me you are looking for. Why do we do this? It's simple. I am with the puppies from the moment they are born. Yes, I am in the whelping box, notebook in hand, from their first little breath. I spend a great deal of time evaluating the puppies on a daily basis. I watch, I take notes, I evaluate. I am looking for who is dominent, who is laid back, who is the first one to explore outside the whelping box, which puppies play together, and much, much, more. The point is this; I know which puppy is going to best fit you and your family. When a buyer comes to look at puppies, they tend to look at outward appearence only..."That one is fluffy, biggest, smallest, pinkest tongue...etc, etc." This can be disasterous. That cute little one, may be the most high drive one in the litter who will NOT be happy in a crate all day with very little exercise. Or, that fluffy one may be too laid back to want to go running with you everyday.....that is what is meant by matching personality with your lifestyle. The only exception to the picking is this: If I feel that two and sometimes three puppies are very close in personality type, then yes, I will bring all of them out and let you choose only because I feel comfortable that any of them would be suitable.
Q: How much are your puppies?
A: Generally, "pet" puppies are $1000-$1500 and show/breeding puppies are $1500-$2000 depending on the breeding pairs involved. We do not get offended if you think this is too much. For those people, I offer to find a rescue....or I will politely refer them to the classified ads, but one thing I won't do is suddenly change my mind and change the price. Because we do not depend on selling puppies to make money, we feel no great urge to sell our puppies to anyone who wants one. In fact, we have refused to sell puppies in the past to those people who we feel are not fully prepared or committed to having a puppy. Generally, we do not have issues in this area and our buyers are people who have thoughtfully prepared for a puppy and have done plenty of research. We know that some breeders find us odd to be so selective, and that is fine. We do things the old fashioned way. We are guided by our own ethics and our own principles and are not concerned with doing things just because "all the other breeders are."
Now, we know this puppy may be an investment. We understand that. I remember my first puppy and "financing" him. Therefore, we DO work with buyers who want to pay a little at a time. We DO, accept credit card payments through secure virtual terminal. We WILL work with our sincere buyers.
Q: Does a pet puppy mean I am getting a bad or less quality dog?
A: No. We strive to breed a whole litter of quality puppies. We are not breeding to get one good puppy in the litter. When we plan a litter, it is with much thought as to the outcome. So what does it all mean then? A pet puppy is sold on limited registration, meaning that you do not have breeding rights in the future. It's not because the puppy is not worthy though. We have placed some puppies that we would have loved to see in the show ring but we know that not everyone wants to participate in the show ring world. We do look for certain things for our "show" puppies...most importantly, movement because this is a major part of the breed standard. It's very competitive in the show ring so to the average eye you may not notice a difference in puppy A and puppy B and it may be subtle, we'll be looking for that suble edge for the show prospects.
Q: Is there a deposit, How much is the deposit, When is the deposit due?
A: Yes, there is a deposit. The deposit is (usually) $200. The deposit is due usually a week after the puppies are born. The deposit is non-refundable. Why is the deposit non-refundable? It is non-refundable for a couple reasons. One reason is the money is going into the cost of raising the little bundles of joy. Another reason is that we usually have a waiting list. If we are holding a puppy for you, and there is someone else wanting a puppy and there are no more available, then that is someone who could have been planning on having a puppy from the litter. We don't take the deposit until we are reasonably sure we can fill your need.
Q: German Bred versus American Bred. What's the difference and which is better?
A: The answer to this question is not an absolute and each breeding and dog should be considered on its own merits. We do not believe in stereotyping. However the short answer is this. German bred or European lined dogs tend to be more high drive. They were bred for intense, high drive work. Dogs bred in such a manner need to have a daily purpose and job. These are not the type of dog that is going to be happy left alone all day while you are at work. We do not reccommend straight working line dogs to the average family. Structurally, European lined dogs tend to have "hunched" backs, and much shorter necks, stockier build overall. American lines are not as high strung, although, again, there are high drive dogs in every litter. American lines still need a purpose and a job, but they do know how to relax and be with the average family. Contrary to some critics, American bred dogs, if bred correctly, can and do "work" just as well as the European lines. American bred lines have more angles and the breeding focuses on herding and tending and being able to cover alot of ground all day long. Now, we have worked extensively with both lines. We value the good in both lines and we have found that the best combination is American-German mixed. You see, we don't believe that the extremes on either side are good and that each side of this debate, refuses to accept the merits and faults of either side. We stand behind our philosophy that the Shepherd should be the Total Dog and despite the debate, we strive to bring the Shepherd back to what it was meant to be...a protector, a baby sitter, a service dog, a herding dog...basically, a dog that can do anything at anytime, for anyone.