Sometimes when I make suggestions to buyers in this crowded puppy market it doesn’t go down all that well, but I want you to know what, warts and all, is *probably* the most likely tips to being noticed, and making a breeders waiting list.
I get 15-20 emails still a DAY from people seeking a puppy, often thinking that this will be easy…. but often telling me about themselves… and although EVERY BREEDER is different, I know what *I* would run a hundred miles from…..
*. A bit of research:
No one needs to have a ‘degree with honors’ in *Labradors*, of course some buyers are new to the breed or dogs completely. That in itself is not a drawback. Actually coming across like a bossy know all is far more likely to have your email shifted to room 101….
However, firstly, and possibly foremost….
Males are ‘dogs’ and females are ‘bitches’. They are not ‘boy dogs’ and ‘girl dogs’.
Our breed comes ONLY in Black, Chocolate and Yellow.
Using Cream, White, Golden, Brown etc will really show you have done no research at all and put folks off immediately.
*. Your situation:
This might come as a suprise, but at LEAST 60/70% of the people who email me telling me about themselves and their family etc, try and emphasise just how LITTLE the pup/dog is going to be left.
They tell about being a ‘stay at home mum’…. or ‘partners with overlapping hours’, or ‘I now work from home’ etc etc…..
And aside from anything else one of the greatest life skills a pup needs to learn from day one is that it WILL be alone, it will have chunks of the day without company, and that having someone there all the time is an occasional luxury rather than ‘the norm’.
So please PLEASE, if the breeder you are writing to is even half sensible… the idea that you are constantly at home and it’s rarely going to be left is a NEGATIVE not a bonus.
Whether you are or not, it’s not an area that is a selling point at all, so I really wouldn’t be placing importance on it.
Breeders would rather know you are researching training classes, have a lovely vet nearby, have bold confident children with animals, and you understand the dog is yours, not ever ever saying it is for your child or children (and some do!)
* Size and so on:
Your dog will grow into your dog. Therefore putting loads of emphasis on wanting a ‘small framed calm bitch puppy’ or ‘chunky big headed strong boy’ or whatever? It’s too specific.
If you buy from ‘working lines’, you’ll probably get something slightly slighter, leaner, taller ….than if you buy from ‘show lines’ (and 99% of chocolates are from Showlines within one to two generations or so, therefore if you want a chocolate… don’t be saying you want small, lean, or working lines because you mostly are not going to get it…..)
So by all means say ‘I’d ideally like a smaller bitch, but she will be who she grows up as!’
* Colour and sex:
Again this might come as a suprise but whilst it is PERFECTLY understandable and acceptable to state a specific colour you’d like…. it actually smacks of desperation to say you ‘don’t care what colour or sex it is’.
I know that’s harsh, but everyone does have a preference really, even if it’s only dog or bitch…. and a breeder won’t run a waiting list with a section for ‘people who want anything as long as they get a puppy!’ I promise you that….. They need a catagory, or maybe two, to slide you into…. ‘black or yellow bitch please’ type thing.
* General tone:
Everyone is a different sort of a person at heart. But folks may not understand that the majority of breeders want people to be firm, grounded dog owners.
Therefore any mention of ‘fur baby’ ‘fur brother for my son’ ‘add to our fur family’ or some such soppy toecurlingness…. genuinely might get you brownie points if you were buying a Fluffy handbag thing…. but Labradors are big, tough, they drool, eat shit, break stuff, poo in the house, vomit and then eat it, scratch you, mouthe, piss up your furniture or on your best rug, get incredibly muddy, dig your garden up, guard things if of high value, growl at you when they are eating, bugger off and not come back on walks, and knock your kids over and make them wail……
Breeders need to know you’ll be up to this and be a robust, practical owner. ….. Going in making it sound like a stiff breeze would blow you over emotionally, is not the way forward.
* Other quick points:
* It’s perfectly acceptable to ask price, but leave it to the second half of your email/phone conversation at least.
* it’s worth saying healthtested parents is important to you …. but if you don’t really know too much about healthtests leave it there for now…. you can research easily on here what should be tested for and what the results should be …. you will only need the parents names to do that online, so don’t go in demanding copies of everything if you are buying from a Wylanbriar stud breeder…. *I* have done that legwork for you before mum was mated.
* Labradors don’t require hours of exercise a day, and saying how you want to walk for two hours a day, is likely only going to worry a breeder about a growing pups joints and so on…. just say you live ‘near some lovely quiet walks’….
* By all means mention your gorgeous adored dog you lost last year, but try not to make it sound impossible for any future dog to *ever* live up to the rose tinted memories
* One last pointer…..
It is COMPLETELY acceptable and indeed in this day and age ESSENTIAL, to try to be on multiple waiting lists. No need to hide it but no need to feel bad or sneaky about it. It’s natural.
Just try, if you are contacting multiple breeders not to, as I regularly get, blatantly ‘forward’ the enquiry email, rather than cut and paste it.
There is nothing like an email clearly forwarded to you, and a multitude of others, to make you not feel special.
Copy and paste and personalise with the breeders name.
* This is to be helpful, don’t feel you need to take it all on board…. even if you only do ‘some of it’ you have a better chance than you had before *