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It's been a stressful few weeks and I guess that being chastised by a breeder that I was excited to contact is making me feel down lol...I'd love to hear about any mistakes you guys have made when searching for a dog just so I feel a little less stupid....and maybe some tips in general so I don't make the same mistake again.

I've been wanting a second dog for a long time now. We're finally a place in our lives both financially and lifestyle-wise to act on it. We adopted my first dog, so I don't know much about poodle breeding so I spent a lot of time educating myself. I found a bunch of questions people recommended both on this forum and websites that were along the lines of "how to choose an ethical breeder."

I spent ~2 hours compiling a list of 29 questions boiled down from everything people were saying to ask. I then wrote a little bit about myself, my family, my existing dog, and why we were interested in a miniature poodle and sent it off to the breeder.

This morning I was super excited to see an email back from her, but when I opened it up I realized she was unhappy with me. I won't post word-for-word what it said in case she's on this forum, but it was essential that my questions were ridiculous, that they were outdated, that these kinds of questions drive breeder nuts....stuff along those lines.

So I just feel kind of stupid and sad, I tried to do my best based on what I learned from my research. Does anyone have tips on what I should do moving forward? Should I try to apologize to see if I can continue forward with this breeder, or is that relationship shot?
 

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Hum, that’s a hard one. Your questions were probably not outdated and stupid, but it might have been too much, too soon for the first contact. I would try to keep the email to asking if they have puppies the age/sex you want and introducing your family briefly.

Then, if they answer positively, I would contact them by phone and ask more questions.

But, having said that, it might be a red flag that she’s reacting this way. If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t mind the questions and you should be happy the prospective buyer is taking his quest very seriously.

If the reviews about this breeder are outstanding, then maybe you can try to pursue, but there is a possibility things will remain awkward with the breeder and we often need them throughout the life of the puppy. Safer to move on probably !
 

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Yep, what Dechi said.

While I don't think the breeder's response was very kind (and I don't understand what could have been outdated about your questions) she probably was reacting to the scope of your initial contact.

Don't let this deter you, even as it stings. On to the next breeder on your list! :)
 

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Agree. Your questions were likely appropriate, but it may have overwhelmed the breeder. Start by introducing yourself and asking if they have any available dogs in upcoming litters (even if their website says so). Keep it short and sweet.

Also, I'm super excited for you! PF is where I work out my vicarious puppy fever, lol!
 

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Being good with dogs does not make people good with people. Professionals expect 'dumb' questions from non-pros. (Think about the truly dumb stuff we've all asked our doctors, vets, and repair folk.).

It's your call. She may have good reasons for not being a people person, but do you want to deal with that? If so, continue with her. If not, move on.

Don't waste a good day worrying about it.
 

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I would have limited my first email to an introduction of myself and family/home circumstances. I would have given a compliment along the lines of I see that you have great experience producing pups that I am very favorably impressed by. Then since I think you have expertise to offer me would you mind if I emailed a few questions or if more convenient could we speak by phone.

It is kind of like the idea of getting an email from a new student in a new class on the first day grilling me about my teaching experience and credentials. My gut response would be "wow is this person going to be nibbling at my heels like this everyday?" I would prefer to show my product so to speak than to spend time trying to convince someone that I had a decent product to offer. Not quite the same concept but close.
 

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...It is kind of like the idea of getting an email from a new student in a new class on the first day grilling me about my teaching experience and credentials. My gut response would be "wow is this person going to be nibbling at my heels like this everyday?"...
Oh, I can relate...

MPL1990, when I read your post, I began laughing quietly so hard I got tears in my eyes. I can visualize this breeder opening her email to an essay about you followed by a written exam of 29 questions. 😂

I've been excessive myself plenty of times in being way too wordy on paper, and still get that way sometimes particularly if I'm writing late at night or if I haven't talked to an actual human all day, thanks to quarantine isolation.

On to the breeder. She sounds like she did the same thing you did - use the written word to communicate instead of picking up her darn phone and calling you. I'm sure it would have taken her less time to do that than to write an email chastising you.

I also don't trust that she so easily blew off your questions as being "outdated and ridiculous". Hmmm, now what kind of questions might be like that which you got from PF? Lemme guess what might have a stinky breeder squirming...
  • Do you do DNA testing and which ones, and are your dogs clear of testable genetic conditions and the results posted to the online lab website that did the testing?
  • Has the sire and dam had hip x-rays and other tests recommended by the OFA, and are those results posted on the OFA website?
  • Do you kennel your dogs outside?
  • How many times have you bred the bitch of this litter and how old is she?
  • Are the parents or any of the grandparents show champions in AKC?
  • Do you breed doodles?
  • Can you email me a copy of your standard contract?
These and other questions are better done over the phone. She may have gotten squirmy, however, if her answers in writing reflected something not desirable and and her answers end up on the Internet as a "don't buy from this breeder" exposé.

Many buyers don't care about any of that, they only want a cute puppy that's had it's shots and the vet exam said it's healthy. But you've been on PF, and learned much more than the general population is aware. To someone "just breeding poodles", you are a problem. Not their breeding program, but you, as a potential threat to their reputation and livelihood.

This breeder lost my trust by calling your questions "outdated and ridiculous", which smacks me as a statement to push you away.

Be glad.
 

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You have no reason to feel stupid.

You are doing your very best to find a well bred, happy, healthy puppy from a breeder that you can trust to have that puppy's and your back for the next many years.

People skills aside, I have to wonder why someone would become seemingly defensive to the point of going on the offense, even if your approach was a bit zealous. It wasn't your intent to make them feel bad, so why should they try to make you feel bad?

Of the breeders I've become familiar with on PF, I can't imagine any of them replying to an excited and inquiring potential owner like that.

As for apologizing, you don't owe them an apology for trying to do your best to find your puppy, but if you think you might want to pursue a puppy from this breeder, you could write a short note letting them know that this is all new to you and you weren't sure how to approach them. How or if they respond will tell you a lot more about this breeder, but unless there's a special reason to proceed, I'd also say this is one I'd pass on.
 
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@MiniPoodleLover1990 Don't feel stupid. Your doing your due diligence. Even if the breeder was overwhelmed by your information and questions on the first contact, the fact that she responded critically is a red flag to me. A reputable breeder will answer all of your questions and appreciate insight into you and your family.

Keep posting updates on how things go in your search for your pup.
 
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