WAITING LISTS -:
CONSTRUCTING, ORGANISING AND CARRYING THEM THROUGH……..
Waiting lists are a difficult area, and we have toyed with many ways of running them over the years. By far the most straightforward method we have hit upon for many years now is as follows:
Before the pups are born.
As people contact you interested in your upcoming litter, I take names and contact details in the order they come to me. As a rule of thumb for a litter expected with only 1 colour of puppies I will take 4 people for dogs, 4 people for bitches and then a couple of names as ‘reserves’ for both sexes. The folks involved are aware they are ‘penciled’ in at ‘number 1…2….3 or whatever, and that this is pending us meeting them/them us. We do not allow people to say ‘I wouldn’t mind either sex…. or can I tell you when I see them?’ No…. we get things straight as soon as possible. However if someone say third or fourth for bitches would also consider a dog, i’m happy to put them as first reserve so they would have first call if there are more boys than people on the waiting list. We do not take deposits at this stage, I have no way of knowing how many pups will be born, what sex they will be or even, at this stage if the bitch will be in pup!! So their word they are interested and their contact details are enough at this stage.
When the pups are born……
I tend to give it 2 or 3 days to check, chances are, all pups will ‘make it’, and then I ring or email the people, in the order they came onto the waiting list, to say there *is* potentially a puppy of the sex they are looking for available if you wanted to make a booking to come visit. I allow these visits from 3 weeks onwards. Obviously if at this point anyone says ‘thanks but no thanks’ the people below them bump UP the waiting list and the reserves come into play. If after the reserves are rung I still have pups available I will then advertise that fact on my website detailing what sex we have and how many.
This ‘3 week old’ visit is purely for the buyers to meet us (if they haven’t already), us them (ditto), and meet the pups and the parent(s) of the litter. To check we all like each other AND for them to look at the litter as a whole and say if they are happy to lay a deposit on ANY of the pups of that sex in the litter. Obviously at this stage they MIGHT see a puppy they quite like for some reason, but we do not allow picking or selecting at this stage.
Puppies at 3, 4 even 5 weeks, have little in the way of personality. They are cute, fat, happy and lively, but they do not show anything other than brief flashes of the personality they will eventually have. Obviously a lot can change over time with how a dog/puppy is raised, however I like my buyers to have as much information as possible on the litter they are selecting from. For example if the older retired couple picked at 4 weeks and picked what by 8 weeks when they came to take it home, was obviously the thug, lively little beast of the litter…. and the family with two young lively children had, at 4 weeks picked the sensitive little snail of the lot, it would make for a most unsatisfactory arrangement. Picking puppies, when very young based on ‘having nice ears’…. or ‘it sat on my shoe….’ or …. its got a nice dark coat… is extremely common but very haphazard, and I do prefer, seen as there IS a better way to USE that better way.
Between 6 and 8 weeks I identify all my puppies by placing blobs of tippex in different places on their coat… and keep a book with notes about each pups personality formed over watching them closely for 2 weeks (plus bits stored up from previous to that on individuals). It gives me a fairly sound bit of info on each pup of the sex people are selecting from to help them make their decision. THEN armed with that info, the decision IS theirs but to at least as great an extent as possible at 8 weeks of age, its an informed one.
On Taking home day….
Appointments are made on ‘picking out/taking home’ day in the order folks are on the waiting list for each sex. So for example:
10am – First pick bitch people
11am -First pick dog people
12pm -Second pick bitch people
1pm – Second pick dog people
……. etc till about 3pm. then if its a big litter we split this over to the next day if possible to ease them ALL vanishing in one day for mum, and also because the pups get so tired being played and played with all day they just have no energy to show themselves properly for more than 2 or 3 hours in one day at that age.
So at 10am, the girls are separated from the boys, first ick bitch people turn up. And I will put them on the patio with all the girls and will take them through my notes on each puppy. I will leave them with the notes on those puppies to reread, then leave them be for half hour or so. When they have selected their puppy, hard as it often is, I put the other girls back to bed for a rest and we go in the kitchen, do the paperwork, and they go home with their pup. This is the repeated at 11am with the dog puppies. Then the girls come back out and the pups left are the ones second pick people have to choose from….. and so on.
This often goes absolutely tickey boo. However of course there are hiccups, for example, first pick people can’t get there *that* day. That’s easily overcome. they are offered a choice…
* either they send someone to pick their puppy out that they trust that day in their timeslot.
* They come a day or two earlier and select their puppy even if it doesn’t leave with them that day.
* They trust me to pick a puppy to match what they tell me ideally they would like in her/him.
* They forfeit their first pick place and take the last puppy of that sex (as they are all likely to be gorgeous anyway – grin!!) after everyone else has selected that weekend.
In the scenario, say second or third pick people can’t get there in their timeslot, again we can work it exactly with the above options, however the slight difference would be if they came a day or two early to select their puppy and leave it with me, if they had second pick they would need to select TWO puppies they would be equally happy with… so that when FIRST pick people come on taking home day, they have free choice of all pups, and if they pick ONE that the second place people have previously selected, at least the SECOND puppy they loved and wanted was put aside for them before the third place people come.
Obviously if I am torn on whether to keep from a litter, in constructing the waiting list I would leave first choice for both sexes open for myself to hop into if I decided to. THEN if I decided not to OR when I had decided which se I would be keeping, I can bump everyone on the OTHER sex list up a place without upsetting anyone by jumping infront of them when they were expecting 1st/2nd/3rd pick etc etc and suddenly haven’t got it because I decide to keep!!