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This topic came up between a friend of mine and me -- I am on a waitlist for a litter that has just arrived, and my breeder asked for references. My friend, who is listed as a reference, got a poodle last spring from a different breeder who did NOT require references, and told me she thinks it's nuts that breeders would require references. I said I thought it was fairly common. So here's my attempt to determine just how common it is. What has been your experience with providing references (or requiring references, if you are a breeder)?
 

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two differnt breeders neither asked for references.
 

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Galen's breeder required vet references.

I can't remember if Pogo's breeder did. However, she was a horse person, so she asked me a few insightful questions about horse handling. I think if I had answered wrong about the way I was treating my horses I would never have got one of her dogs.

It seems like increasing numbers of breeders are aligning their purchase process with what rescues are doing with adoptions.
 

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I found the reference thing mildly hilarious. All the breeders I looked at said they wanted references. Fine. I have never yet had a job call references. Only once had a landlord call my references. No one has ever phoned my references for my passport applications or various security clearances for work. I used one of the same people I use for security clearance type stuff on my puppy application and was like "hey, if someone calls, say nice things, please". Its so normal for me to use him as a reference, he didn't even bother asking what it was about (I'd intended to surprise him with the puppy).

My breeder called ALL my references, and was a bit hesitant to give me the dog because she couldn't get a hold of the vet because it was a Saturday and they were closed, and said that she intended to call the vet again after I got the puppy (no idea if she did or not).

So yeah - my breeder asked for references, and I found it kinda crazy.
 

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No, but I have no doubt she would have asked for references and then called them if we hadn’t answered her questions to her satisfaction but were still in a gray area. The first time my husband called her, they talked for 2 hours.
 

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Mine asked for references both personal and vet but I am sure the personals were not called. Didn't bother me. I have to give references to rent an apartment, why not to buy a dog?
 

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I have filled out applications that asked for references but was not asked for references by the two breeders I actually worked with. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get a dog from a good breeder without animal-related references, but I was.
 

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From what I've seen scanning through puppy applications personal references aren't too terribly common, but they do like you to have a vet they can call. My wild assumption is that the application process is usually super in depth so they don't feel the need/don't think about it. Wouldn't be surprised if the breeder did ask for references, though.
 

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We've never been asked. But the poodle breeder did tell us that he was refusing to send a dog by air w/o an escort. So he was trying to do right by his dogs.
 

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I wasn't asked (10 years ago, so YMMV). But I know of a breeder who not only asked for references, but also had an assigned reading list for prospective owners.

TBH, the reading list was kind of thoughtful - Jean Donaldson, Patricia McConnell, Ian Dunbar, etc.
 

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Yes! I spoke with three breeders, two asked for personal references and all three asked for vet.
 

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My breeder did not ask for references, but I had sent a letter that she loved (all about us and why we want a spoo etc), and then we talked for an hour on the phone and had a great conversation. I was in touch with two other breeders who had potential availability, and I think that one of them reserved the right to ask for references (but we never got that far with them, since we found a breeder who was accepting deposits).

She did ask for vet and groomer contact info. I don't think she called either, I think more just to make sure we'd thought about it? Not sure.
 

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When I got Bella 3 years ago, her breeder didn't ask for these, but she talked with me in person for nearly two hours; part of the reason was we enjoyed our conversation so much. I later got Sachii from her too. We still talk sometimes.

Also many years earlier I had gotten a poodle pup from a breeder she's good friends with, so this made it an easy decision for her. I doubt that she would have asked for references; her style was spend a lot of time talking on the phone then in person with potential buyers and most of these comes from people she knows personally.

My brother recently bought a West Highland Terrier from a breeder. This lady had been breeding and used to do shows for 30 years and had her dogs happily running around in her house. He talked her on the phone, then he and his wife drove pretty far the next day to meet her and the puppy, and got him that day. No references needed.
 

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Yes, all of the breeders that I contacted had reference requirements on their puppy applications, usually a groomer, vet and/or trainer. I strongly support this. If they were my puppies, I'd be very picky about the homes that they went to. Having the money to spend on a dog doesn't make one qualified to care for one. (Many breed rescues take it a step further and conduct home visits before placing a dog.)

I'm a long time foster home for a local shelter and feel the same concern for the future homes of my charges, who ended up in a shelter because of unthinking humans. Even the best intentioned owner may not be aware of the depth of responsibility, or up to the task, of life-long responsibility for a dog.
 

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@Phaz23 I have heard of Clarion’s extensive references request. I’ve also heard that they DO call them. That’s a lot of references for an introvert to come up with, so I figure they mostly sell to extroverts or people with big families 😄
 

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@Phaz23 I have heard of Clarion’s extensive references request. I’ve also heard that they DO call them. That’s a lot of references for an introvert to come up with, so I figure they mostly sell to extroverts or people with big families 😄
Lol well Im an introvert and used a combination of family, co-workers, and professors that Im close to, it wasn’t too hard, just a little awkward to ask lol
 
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