An Open Letter to Potential Puppy Owners/Buyers who Email Me:
I receive a large volume of emails regarding our dogs, and I try to answer every one of them. Many potential puppy buyers fill out our application form, send me a good amount of background information and describe what they are looking for. I appreciate this. I also receive many emails like the ones I will list here. These emails are like warning bells to me. I try to answer them anyway, and gather more information from people to give them the benefit of the doubt. More often than not, later correspondence does not prove my initial reaction wrong. If you send me emails like the following, I guarantee you, I do not want to sell you a puppy.
“Hi. I want a large, aggressive, dominant male”
What is this? Everyone’s definition of aggressive and dominant is different, but get your definitions down and explain what you want, need and why. I don’t sell families dominant, aggressive dogs. Why would you think you want this?
“Hi, I want a black and red dog in June.”
Or, another favorite of mine,
“ Hi, I want a large alpha male”.
Telling me the color you want and when you need a puppy, does not give me any information about your potential as a home for a puppy. Many of my clients wait months for a puppy that will best meet their needs. I place puppies by their ability to meet client needs/ do a job.. not by color, sex, size… unless size has bearing on their job. For example, many SAR or Agility people do not want a giant dog, because a big bulky frame hinders the dog’s performance.
Why do people tell me they want an alpha male? Either they have been reading outdated (&, in my opinion, WRONG) material about how to choose a puppy, or they have some sort of ego wrapped up in the dog and THINK they want alpha as an indicator of power and toughness. Unless you are an experienced trainer/competitor, why do you want a dog who will challenge your will in training? Guess what? Even my Schutzhund competition homes don’t necessarily ask me for the most alpha male… they ask for the most courageous or outgoing, but they don’t always want the Most Dominant/Alpha puppy.
“Hi, Can I temperament test the puppy & choose it myself?”
I already explain on my website that WE choose the puppy based on information you give us. If more than one is a fit for you, you can choose between them. As for temperament tests… I live with these pups. I observe them for 8 weeks. I form a good impression of each over time. What you see in ten minutes is not a good enough indicator of temperament. What if one is sleepy or just woke from a nap? And the people who want to flip my pups over and hold them in a “submissive position”. This is silly. All my pups are very handled. You can flip one over in your lap and they assume its for a belly rub. They don’t struggle. As for just walking over and flipping one and holding it down to see its reaction… this is just stupid. I don’t appreciate people pinning my babies.
“I want an attack dog.”
This is my favorite pet peeve. If you want an attack dog, go somewhere else. I don’t sell attack dogs. I don’t even want to know what that is or why you want it.
“Hi, I want a big male who is protective, and I have three kids from age 2-7. I want the dog to watch over them in the yard.”
No. you do not want that. You want a nice family pet who will be great with your kids, with their friends coming in /out, and a good family dog. While all GSDs deter would be wrong doers by their mere presence, you do not want to leave young kids unsupervised with dogs for protection. You also need to have time to train this puppy.
“Hi. I want a to buy a puppy for my girlfriend (daughter, sister, parents, kids for Xmas…).
Stop right there. I do not sell puppies to
be given as gifts unless the recipient is in on the choice. I do not sell
“Hi, can you send me a photo and the price, I want to buy the dog you advertised.”
We always have photos on the website & our ads. We also have price ranges. Tell me what you need in a puppy, tell me about yourself, then we can discuss if I have it and what is costs. I do not sell puppies to everyone. I sell puppies to the best homes.
If you are really interested in a puppy, tell me as much as you can about what you need, what your hopes are for the dog, what activities you want to do, what your lifestyle is like. Fill out an application. If we get past that, & you are local enough, drive out and meet our dogs, meet us, and let’s talk. We are VERY careful to place our beloved puppies in homes that we feel are the BEST homes. I turn down far more potential homes than I accept. We do our best to breed really nice, high quality dogs. We raise them with the utmost care. We give them a great start. We certainly do not want to send them somewhere where they will not be appreciated, loved, and a perfect fit. Our clients are family because our dogs are family. We offer support for the lifetime of the puppy/dog. We offer a large volume of literature, & training help. These are special dogs who will only be placed in special families.
To those of you who are legitimately new to GSDs, but, are trying to learn, are doing research, and are willing to commit to training… I applaud your efforts and I will do everything I can to help educate you and help you in your search. Even if I don’t have what you need, I will refer you to reputable breeders I know. I have no problem with the uninitiated who truly want to learn.
To those of you who really think you want an “attack” dog, or those of you who do not have a stable situation and may not be able to KEEP this dog, or have a schedule that is not conducive to a dog’s needs, you need to go elsewhere.