puppy sales

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puppy sales

Postby icatchers » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:37 am

I have intended to write for awhile because in the last year or two I see a lot of litters being advertised in places such as Craigslist. I do not have a problem with someone advertising a single dog but when a whole litter is posted I wonder if the breeder had any prospects before doing the breeding. I am also concerned that many litters are produced with NO health checks being done. This is just my opinion but I think it is playing into the hands of those who claim that purebred dogs are all riddled with health defects and that people should buy mutts. Sorry, designer dogs! :naughty: Am I out to lunch on these issues?
Too many of the impulse dogs end up in rescue because the buyers haven't been screened or because the pup doesn't meet expectations. All one has to do is read the 'Find Your Dog' type sites and Whippets are the wonder dogs for apartments and working folks. Does anyone mentor these puppy buyers and are they told what puppies have to have in order to be good citizens?
When you produce a litter do you have your buyers sign an agreement that if something happens that they cannot keep the dog, they are to at least contact you for help placing it or return it to you? There are too many people out there who consider that when the pup is sold it is GONE. I hope that nobody here is one of those!
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Re: puppy sales

Postby Swiftcreek_Hounds » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:51 am

I can only speak for my one litter I was co-breeder on. It was planned 2 years ahead of time, and there were 3 people who wanted pups, plus the other breeders and I would each take one, so there were 5 spoken for. The other 3 people were well known friends who were very familiar with Whippets. Both parents were checked out before breeding, and I did extensive research into the pedigrees looking for anything that could be a problem. Granted, not all problems are disclosed of course. Our breeding was a complete outcross, so while that can be better health wise, you can get a surprise like blue eyes....we didn't though.

In the litter we had 7, and as soon as the pictures hit the web, we had many inquiries, plus I had people referred to me by other friends/breeders. We did not want to have to advertise, so that is why we took the time to plan and gather interest. I don't see a problem with advertising a litter, if you plan to actually screen the people and get referrals. Craig's list...no way....a reputable news paper where you have to pay to take out an ad is much more acceptable.

The thing we also talked about in the planning stage was price. We felt that if anyone was going to get a pup that we didn't know that well, we would ask a higher price than then "friend price", just to be a little more assured the people were serious about getting the dog. Sadly, some people think of animals as property (well, legally they are!) but if they have to pay for it, they might treat it nicer :cry:

I drew up two contracts; one was for a performance home that did not require neuter/spay, and the other was a pet contract that did require neuter/spay (we specified also that males not to be neutered until 12 months and females 8 months). Also in the contract was that if the person for whatever reason could not keep the dog, it was to come back to us, or cleared with us if the person was going to put it with a family member.

Another line said that if the dog was bred, that no puppies could be sold to puppy mills or pet stores.

While these contracts can be hard enforce, they are legal contracts. The idea that breeders are very serious needs to be instilled into the buyers.

Thankfully, all of our pups are with people we know and are all active in racing or showing except for one who is a couch potato ;)

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Re: puppy sales

Postby icatchers » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:10 am

Sounds like you did everything you could to ensure your pups got into good homes! I too have wonderful 'pet'people. My dogs are ALL pets first anything else is a bonus!
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Re: puppy sales

Postby Niffarious » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:35 am

Paulette, keep in mind that that list is global. You see all these litters, but remember that people are posting from all over the world.
I don't quite understand the connection between dogs advertised online (craigslist) and mutts being healthier.

An educated dog buyer knows to find a breeder who has done health checks, checks prospective puppy buyers, etc.

There will always be bad breeders. It's sad, but they will be there - and most don't even realize the problem with what they're doing. There will always be uneducated dog buyers, fueling that trade. People are becoming educated slowly, but it's an uphill battle.

I was GRILLED by Laika's breeder when I called inquiring about puppies. I was so put off, I knew she was who I wanted to get a dog from. :lol:

I guess I'm confused. This is a board full of people (breeders, pet owners, etc) who are, on average, more involved with their dogs and conscientious of issues with breeding and purchasing/producing puppies. Were you noticing a surge online of backyard breeders producing whippets, or letting off steam about BYB in general? And all off of WW, I assume.
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Re: puppy sales

Postby icatchers » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:00 am

I am only referring to the litters I see in Canada and in the US, I do rescue here so I get notified about the Canadian ones. I believe it is safe to assume that this increase is not just in North America. The part about mutts being considered healthier is connected to the line about so many litters being produced with NO health checks. There are many people who consider purebred dogs overdone and unhealthy and who encourage the purchase of crossbreds therefore it behooves us to be proactive.

Most impulse buyers are NOT educated. Of course I realize that most of the people on this list are concientious breeders, I was commenting on the increasing amount of advertising of whippets. Not very long ago very few whippets were advertised, I also realize that the internet has been a large part of this and therefore, if we are truly concerned about the breed we need to be aware of what is happening outside of our groups. We also need to talk about these things as they will not just go away.
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Re: puppy sales

Postby CoFeature » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:44 pm

I guess I don't see a problem with advertising puppies for sale. In an ideal world every litter would have a waiting list and I know its that way for some breeders, but not for everyone. There is absolutely nothing wrong with advertising puppies for sale in the newspaper, online or anywhere else people want to as long as the breeder does THEIR job in interviewing and checking on the people to make sure they are a good home and then placing a dog with a contract and guarantee.

I know I'm not the only one who has had inquiries from people, either rescue or puppy buyer, that says "I can't believe how hard it was to find a whippet!" or "I got my first whippet off _______.com because I couldn't find a local breeder". If GOOD breeders don't use ________.com or classifieds advertising then the people will buy from whoever is there whether they are a breeder who does health checks and home check-ups or not.

Internet and classified advertising isn't always about an impulse buy. Sometimes its just about tapping into a larger buying pool.

The times they are a changin' :twocents-02cents:
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Re: puppy sales

Postby co2tww » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:00 pm

I just would not purchase a puppy from someone that advertised on Craiglist, period. If you look on Craiglist and Kijiji the majority of dogs for sale are backyard breeders (no health checks, no screening required just hand over the $$$).

In Canada we have the Dogs in Canada magazine and breeders can advertise their website and contact info on there. I have researched breeders in the past from DIC (not whippets), also the Whippet Club of Canada could also advertise in DIC and from there direct any puppy enquiries to reputable breeders that are known to have a litter on the ground. I feel there really is no need to advertise on Craiglist (keep in mind I am not a breeder). I still feel breeders should not have a litter (much less 2 and 3 a year) if they do not have homes lined up or the majoiry of homes. If there are so many pet homes having a hard time finding a puppy then it would seem that there would not be a need to advertise on Craiglist. If people can't wait until a potential litter is born are they really a good home for a puppy? If potential puppy buyers are not willing to do a little bit to educate themselves on the breed they choose and how to go about purchasing a well bred puppy then, IMHO, they really don't deserve a puppy, there is just too much information out there on 'what to expect when purchasing a purebred puppy' and 'signs that you don't want to purchase from a specific breeder'. This technology works both ways. It doesn't take much to research breeders these days.

Is there not word of mouth between breeders? Don't breeders that get inquiries for puppies that don't have any on the ground not pass the contact info to the breeders that do have a litter?
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Re: puppy sales

Postby CoFeature » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:43 pm

I am in marketing and advertising and my specialty is relationship and direct marketing so I probably have a whole different perspective on this.

I'm not going to get into the number of litters per year, ethical breeding or anything else. I want to address this purely from a puppy shoppers point of view.

If you start Googling whippets you find all sorts of links. Everything from drug use to puppy selling websites, AWC, whippet rescue, Craiglist, Ebay etc...Whippet puppies brings up a whole different set of links. Most of them generic puppy selling websites. Even after Googling lots of different places, its hard to find breeder websites, actual pictures of puppies for sale Ie: real people you can contact without having to go through a middle man.

IMO, The only breeder website that is completely optimized for search engine results is Timbreblue. Sharyn Hutchens daughter does this for a living and she's done a fantastic job optimizing that site to be picked up by a lot of generic keyword terms like "Whippet breeder" and "Whippet". They even beat out a lot of the top National sites in many of the their search strings. They also always have a waiting list and often refer to other breeders. :handgestures-thumbup:

Most whippet breeders and even our own local clubs don't always have the benefit of having a professional web designer and optimizer at their disposal and you can't compete with the National sites. They have thousands of dollars invested in making sure they are the first and only thing you see when you Google a dog breed, especially with the term "Puppy"

So if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

I don't blame the consumer for getting information from places a lot of people consider inferior, like Craigslist. We treat people as if they should "know better". Well guess what? They don't. Its our job as a SELLER (breeder) to make sure our PRODUCTS (puppies) are where they need to be so those people can make an informed decision and have OPTIONS.
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Re: puppy sales

Postby lassiemel » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:17 pm

I have to agree with Kristen.

As a, at one time, semi-uninformed puppy buyer, I wish more good breeders would advertise on sites like that. I did research on whippets for over a year. I knew not to go to a puppy store. I knew a little of what to look for in a breeder. I expected to get grilled by the breeder, but I also didn't know how hard it would be to find a breeder in my area who was willing to sell me a whippet. I didn't have a fence. I was fresh out of grad school. I'd never had a dog before. The few breeders I did find by searching (I remember finding Timbreblue's website very helpful) essentially said no to me, and didn't refer me to anyone else. Some of those breeders are members of this board, or were at one time. I tried WRAP. They didn't have anything for me. They never replied for my request for a list of breeders in the area. I didn't know what else to do. I never thought of going to a dog show (and probably wouldn't have known how to find a whippet show anyway). No one in my family had ever had dogs. None of my friends had dogs at the time, except for shelter rescues. I didn't know about message boards.

For people completely new to the world of dogs (particularly purebreds), it really isn't as intuitive as it seems. I tell all my friends who are looking into purebreds how to go about it. I know about dog shows now and where they are held. I know how to find lure coursing events. I know about purebred message boards and the wealth of information they can provide. If only I'd had a friend like me. Something else to consider for shy people like myself is that it's just not that easy to walk up to a stranger at a dog show. It's easy for some, but that wouldn't have been for me.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling... My point being that I think it would be nice for more good breeders to advertise where the average public can find them. The breeder certainly has to do their work, but there are some good homes out there. You'd be taking business away from the puppy mills.

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Re: puppy sales

Postby chelynnah » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:25 pm

I feel very lucky, I had a waiting list for Teya's litter - some from while I was still planning the breeding and a last addition after the breeding took place. I actually had one more home than I had puppies and they graciously backed out to let the latecomer have their boy.

My litter that I'm planning for next year again, I already have a waiting list for - some because they want another pup from me (repeat buyers) and some because they are interested in these specific lines. I know things can change, but to be honest my worry now is not having enough puppies (or puppies of the right sex or quality) for the people on my list including myself.

I feel very lucky to be in this position 6+ months before the mating is even to take place. In an ideal world all puppies would be booked before a mating, but the world is not ideal.

I understand the instinctive 'cringe' at the idea of advertising on sites such as Puppyfind, or Craigslist. That has been drummed into us 'responsible' people for years. But don't forget it's only in the last couple of decades that we've really been educated on 'Puppy Farming' and NOT buying from pet stores.

20 or so years ago the average person looking for a puppy (who wasn't in the loop about breeding - and we didn't have the internet then), bought from a pet store! Now we have the internet, and this works both for and against us. It gives more places for unethical breeders to advertise, but it also provides a place for us to advertise as well. But what about those breeders who haven't got the skills for a website - what do they do?

This is something I've been reading about and struggling with on the lists for the past couple of years and I think I've come round more to Kristen's way of presenting it. If the good breeders aren't out there where 'Joe Public' can find them, or are being too stand-offish, or 'snobby', then the commercial breeders are more than happy to take up the slack.

If we want to pre-empt the commercial breeders maybe we need to take a page from their books and advertise where we can be found.

I know of a breeder who, in a discussion on this (I can't remember which breeder or which board) said that she regularly pays for an advertisement on a 'Puppyfind' type site whether she has whippets or not. She feels that this means at least some people will then have been in touch with a reputable breeder, she can educate them on what to look for in a good quality whippet puppy, and can even pass them on to breeders she may know who may have a litter, or maybe suss out that they're not really 'whippet' people and encourage them in another direction.

Like any training tool that can be used positively or negatively, commercial internet advertising can be used both ways too.

As a final thought, I drummed into my brother and sister-in-law (back home in Canada) about getting puppies from proper breeders. So they got their mini-long dachshund from a supposed reputable breeder in their area. It had the nastiest temperament I have ever heard of in a 'responsibly bred' mini. They tried everything with this dog (and mini-dachs are what we were raised with so it's not that they were inexperienced). Eventually they had to rehome her because of the kids. They were very open about her issues and she went to a home with no kids, and did relatively well for about a year, then had to be PTS. I can't remember if it was due to health or temperament, I think it was a health issue actually. So they bought a Bassett Hound from the local pet shop (EEK). It's not a pet shop that deals with puppy mills, but will occasionally sell local puppies for people. Knowing the issues that Bassetts can have I was really worried for them. Daisy was really sick for the first couple of months, but once that cleared up she's a happy, healthy and VERY fit Bassett. I was shocked. They decided to get her a companion and saw an ad on Kijiji where someone had to rehome their Bassett, so they got Maggie. They were grilled the way any breeder would grill a potential home. They were given a home check, and were given a 2 week evaluation to make sure she was a good fit or they could return her. Michelle feeds them an amazing diet (my brother cringes at the cost of their food - *I* wish we had that brand over here), they are the fittest Bassetts I've ever seen, with no health issues appearing so far (touch wood).

I can't see myself advertising on a 'commercial' site, and I certainly can't see myself purchasing from a commercial site - however see what happened in my own family with a dog purchased from a 'respectable' breeder, and with two dogs got from less than respectable (supposedly) sources.

Just my £1 (.02 didn't seem enough for the amount I'd written LOL)
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Re: puppy sales

Postby Clemons » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:16 pm

I agree with Kristen in this issue. People in general don't realize how much time should be spent researching breeds, breeders, etc. They are on these sites, see a cute puppy, hand the person money and take it home. IF they had reached a responsible breeder at the site instead, the education would begin. I saw so many people who came to the vet hospital I worked at with their new puppies who had no idea there was another way to go about it. If responsible breeders do not advertise on websites, in newspapers, magazines, etc. This portion of the puppy buying population will not find them.
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Re: puppy sales

Postby co2tww » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:29 pm

I still don't believe a breeder should have to resort to any kind of advertising for their puppies if the litter is well planned and thought out. I have heard that whippets are in high demand, well if that was the case then reputable breeders shouldn't have to advertise in Craiglist. People don't just impulse buy a computer/laptop or car they research and find out what would 'fit' for their lifestyle, these same people can research the breed of dog and find a reputable breeder and well bred dog (if that is what they want). Technology works both ways. They can also do it the old fashioned way and attend dog shows and speak with the breed fancy there? These same people work and today there are more and more people with dogs than there ever was, I bump into people everyday at my job that have purebred dogs and have purchased them from a reputable breeders, so it can be done and is being done.

Maybe I have an aversion to Craiglist, lol. I don't think that is an appropriate place for a reputable breeder to advertise their litter. If I see a litter of pups or a pup advertised on Craiglist the first thing that jumps in my head is puppymill/backyard breeder, not oh that must be a reputable breeder!!

Maybe local breeders should put an ad on Craiglist as a contact for puppy buyers to contact when researching their breed, to answer questions or point them to any litters on the ground?

When I first was looking at adding a dog to our family I steered away from any newspaper advertising, period (Craiglist was not around at the time). I researched breeders and the breed (Vizsla) for over a year before adding a Vizsla and went to visit a few breeders first before I made my decision and luckily the breeder agreed :) (that was going back 11 years).

I also found out what a vast difference from one breeder to another in puppy contracts. Some, I thought at the time, were just crazy.
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Re: puppy sales

Postby CapaWhippets » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:20 pm

I know of a few Rescue organizations and reputable breeders who regularly advertise in the Newspaper and places like Craig's List in order to help seekers find reputable breeders/groups. They don't necessarily always have puppies or available dogs when placing ads but do it for the sole purpose of guiding people in the right direction.

I applaud this approach. It also raises fewer eyebrows as they aren't typically looking to sell something, just to better educate those interested in their breed. :clap:
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Re: puppy sales

Postby chelynnah » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:30 pm

co2tww wrote:When I first was looking at adding a dog to our family I steered away from any newspaper advertising, period (Craiglist was not around at the time). I researched breeders and the breed (Vizsla) for over a year before adding a Vizsla and went to visit a few breeders first before I made my decision and luckily the breeder agreed :) (that was going back 11 years).

I also found out what a vast difference from one breeder to another in puppy contracts. Some, I thought at the time, were just crazy.


As I said, in an ideal world Carol you are absolutely right, and I still can't imagine myself doing it (advertising on something like Craiglist or puppyfind). But you (and many of the members of our board) are the exception. You figured out where to look. Many people really honestly don't have a clue where to start.

co2tww wrote:I still don't believe a breeder should have to resort to any kind of advertising for their puppies if the litter is well planned and thought out.

Would that it were true. But a responsible breeder still has to do some kind of advertising - whether it's on their website, or by word of mouth or on forums/email lists that allow it. Just like whippets don't fall from the sky, puppy buyers don't fall from the sky either. If I don't tell them where to find me then how will they? Without advertising somewhere to find the general public who want our dogs as pets (their primary job surely) then basically what you're saying is that our dogs should just go to the people who already know us. This pretty much means that it'll be the circle of show and/or race/performance friends all selling to each other - but that resource dries up pretty quick once we all have a couple of dozen dogs each (joke - exaggeration to make the point).

Before I got Savannah I hadn't a clue where to start. I happened to be on a whippet list and talking about getting one in the future and happened to be contacted by a wonderful breeder. That was LUCK - nothing more and nothing less. Once you break into the inner sanctum and learn the secrets of where to find good breeders and good dogs, then it's easy to look out and expect that everyone else knows too. But in the real world, they don't. And somehow we need to do something about that. For some that means advertising on those types of lists or forums - just to give the general public a reputable option. Sometimes it's not even a matter of 'having to' or 'resorting to', it's a choice so that the general public HAS a resputable option.

It's taken me a while to see how this can be a positive thing. Like I said, I don't see myself doing it, but I don't look down on another reputable breeder who chooses to for their own reasons.

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Re: puppy sales

Postby kentruth » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:32 pm

co2tww wrote:I still don't believe a breeder should have to resort to any kind of advertising for their puppies if the litter is well planned and thought out.


I have to ask the obvious, how is 'anyone' going to know they exist if they don't advertise? Word of mouth from another breeder, attending/entering a dog show, business cards, websites, stopping and talking to someone when they ask about your dog, all are forms of advertising. None of us exist in a perfect world, how a breeder interviews a prospective client and the after sale support are far more important than how the client found out about the breeders existence.

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Re: puppy sales

Postby sdwhippets » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:47 pm

We haven't ever advertised in a newspaper, Craigslist or any similar places (other than litter announcements in Whippet News or on ewhippetzine), BUT then you can also consider having a website and announcing your puppies on your website as advertising (which it pretty much is) - then in which case, every single one of our litters has been 'advertised' since they are on the web for the public to view. Thankfully, because of our website and the fact that I work from home on websites and I am able to update it very very often, I get maybe 90%, at least, of our inquiries through the website. Others come from referrals, or inquiries from people who already have a dog(s) of ours, or people we know personally in the Whippet world. I have nothing against advertising, especially if you don't have a website that is updated often, you can't place your puppies if no one knows you have them - so you have to advertise somewhere. But no matter how you get your inquiries, it is the breeders job (like most people have said on here) to talk to the inquiry, get an application, find out what kind of home they are and what dog would do best in the home, or maybe it's just not a home for a Whippet (or puppy, maybe they would do better with an adult), make sure they are educated about Whippets and dog ownership in general, etc. I know some breeders who have advertised in local newspapers and have found some of their best homes through them. We haven't had to do that ourselves as the website does a good job of getting us inquiries, so we usually have no problem placing our puppies. Sometimes we hold on to certain puppies longer, though we have had inquiries for them, but sometimes the inquiries that come in just aren't the right kind of home for that puppy and you just have to hang on to them longer for the right home to come along. I do believe in health testing and making sure you are there for that Whippet and their owners for the rest of their lives. I keep in touch with every single one of ours owners, and make sure they know before getting a dog from us that we are breeders that WANT to hear from them and get frequent updates and love to see pictures of them as some people who have not had any experience buying from a breeder before sometimes assumes that they get the dog and the breeder doesn't really want to hear from them after that.
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Re: puppy sales

Postby icatchers » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:02 pm

Great discussion!
I am soured on those list sales because I know some of the breeders who advertise their entire litters there. They do not do any health checks, they do not have any contracts or take dogs back, and screening is often not done. I agree that 'good breeders' may have to get their names out there more BUT buyers need to educate themselves as well. If they can find their way to the sale lists they can find their way to information on what to look for in a breeder or breed of dog for that matter. Breeders can put information on their websites advising how to find a good dog, they can post other litters there as well. Most of the breeders I know are very willing to pass names along if they are comfortable with both parties.

There are many sources telling people to not buy from pet stores and how to find breeders etc but people just do not pay attention or do not care. If I have to keep a dog until the right person comes along, so be it, I hope that my puppies go to people smart enough to find them. :clap:
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Re: puppy sales

Postby co2tww » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:20 pm

kentruth wrote:
co2tww wrote:I still don't believe a breeder should have to resort to any kind of advertising for their puppies if the litter is well planned and thought out.


I have to ask the obvious, how is 'anyone' going to know they exist if they don't advertise? Word of mouth from another breeder, attending/entering a dog show, business cards, websites, stopping and talking to someone when they ask about your dog, all are forms of advertising. None of us exist in a perfect world, how a breeder interviews a prospective client and the after sale support are far more important than how the client found out about the breeders existence.

JMO


Oy vei, I should proof read. What I meant was Craiglist and/or Kijiji and/or those other sites that are strictly for selling litters/puppies (I came across a few over the years and it is just simply selling pups). Basically, a breeder that breeds just because they have a female dog in heat and a male available to them, no health tests, etc. and uses those areas to 'hawk their wares' (repeatedly). They may be members of the breed club, does that make them reputable!!!

These are the breeders that are advertising on those websites. They aren't going to get word of mouth from other breeders because what they are doing is frowned upon by their fellow breeders. Those 'breeders' as well as puppymillers use Craiglist, et al. So, when I see a breeder advertising on those sites I do not think reputable breeder, jmho.

To circumvent this maybe the breed club(s) and/or Rescue should put an ad in those lists to re-direct puppy buyers to reputable breeders.
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