Thursday, October 28, 2010


Probably one of the hardest things to do when you have a litter of puppies is to find them the best homes that you can. We are all hoping that we can get our puppies into loving “forever” homes. Many people will promise you the world when they come to your house seeking to buy one of your puppies. Most of the time, we are satisfied with the homes that we get our pups into. But there are those other times that can become a nightmare for us. If I had a dollar for every time that one of my breeder friends tells me the horror stories that she goes through dealing with puppy buyers, I’d probably be wealthy by now. Dealing with the public can stretch your nerves to its limits sometimes.

I was probably one of those few people that didn’t have too many problems with the puppy buying market. First of all, I didn’t breed many litters so therefore, thankfully didn’t have to deal with the public all that much. But when I did, I grilled the people ahead of time on the telephone so they sort of knew what to expect when they came to my house. Then the grilling continued when they came to visit me and my dogs. I wasn’t mean to anyone, but if I didn’t think they were the kind of home that was suited for my puppies then I would politely refuse to sell them one. I figured I brought these babies into the world and it was my responsibility to get them into the best homes that I could find for them. Even when I did find the good homes, many times I’d act the fool when the little guys were walking out the door with their new owners. Yup, sometimes my eyes would well up with tears and the people almost felt guilty taking the puppy with them. Every one of my puppies meant something to me!

They are certain types of people that shouldn’t own a dog no less a German Shepherd. Unfortunately when someone comes to your house, they can promise you the world and many times you can still be fooled. There’s no way of knowing 100% if someone is going to be good to your puppy. Most of the times we’ve got to go with our gut feelings about someone. As I said, this is the hardest part of breeding dogs is selling them into the right homes. Sometimes the “right” home turns out to be the worst home.

In certain parts of the country now, there has been more crime being reported than ever before. Someone called me last night to tell me that there has been many break ins in her neighborhood and other towns in the area. People are being robbed, beaten or raped and she has become very frightened by this new criminal activity in her own backyard. She told me that she’s thinking of getting a dog for protection purposes. She readily admitted to me that she’s not a dog person and even though she’s had a couple in the past, after she’s had them for a few years, she ended up giving them away. I told her I didn’t’ think it was a very good idea for her to get a dog. First of all, she has already admitted not to being a dog person. Secondly, she is very fussy in her house. Everything has to be just so. She hates dirt of any kind especially if it’s in her house. Dog hair? Oh my goodness this is a given when you own a dog. She has a son and he already told her if she gets a big dog that he’s not picking up after him. He wants a small dog. I can just see it now. After a very short period of time, I’ll ask her how the dog is doing, and I won’t be surprised to hear her say, she found him a new home.

I’ve had people come to my house and tell me that they want a German Shepherd to be used as their guard dog at their business. I love it when people are honest with me like this because then I tell them that I don’t have the type of dog that they’re looking for. It’s those that tell you that the puppy will be part of their family and you find out its been tied up in their back yard most of their lives that you loose sleep over. No one wants to be fooled especially when it comes to a dog that you’ve bred.

A friend of mine recently told me a heartbreaking story of a gorgeous male puppy that she sold into what she considered to be an excellent home. The puppy had a marvelous temperament and one could tell that he was well taken care of. So my friend sold the puppy to a couple who claimed to love the dog so much. After having him for a few months, he ate something and he became ill. They took him to their vet who did an x-ray and he located the object and said he’d have to perform an operation on him to remove the object. The husband and wife talked it over and they both decided to have the youngster put to sleep rather than have him go through the operation. The vet assured them that the puppy should be fine, but no they decided to have him put to sleep instead. Did they call my friend to let her know? No they called her after the dog was put to sleep. My friend who truly loves each and every one of her dogs like children was hysterical. The puppy was never given a chance. His life was decided for him. He got himself into a little trouble and the people that CLAIMED to love him; decided it wasn’t worth it to try to save the little guy. And the breeder thought she sold him into a loving forever home… was forever as long as there wasn’t any problems!

So I tell people before you get yourself a dog, make sure you want a dog for the right reason. Just to get a dog for protection isn’t the right reason. You’re not doing yourself any favors or the dog. Before you know it, the dog will probably be out the door after a short amount of time. A dog is a lifetime commitment……or should be. This means that adjustments to your lifestyle will need to be made. If you are not willing to change the way you live when you welcome a dog into your home, then in my opinion, you are not ready for a dog. Bring a dog into your life because you would love to have a dog. The dog is so much more than a growling, barking protection dog. If you don’t have your heart to give him, then have a heart not to bring him home in the first place because his heart will become attached to you whether you want him to or not.

Do you find yourself strapped for money? Do you have some puppies that are just not selling? Is the expense of holding onto puppies getting harder and harder for you? Are you considering selling one of your puppies to that guy that came by last week wanting your dog to guard his car dealership? In my opinion if you don’t have homes for your puppies when you decide to breed another litter or have deposits on most of them, then why are you breeding in a deflated economy? More and more people are buying things out of necessity rather then just because they want something. Many times buying puppies is an impulse type of purchase. Sometimes those puppies are returned. If you’re not prepared to hold onto puppies that don’t sell right away, then maybe right now is not the best time to breed your bitch. I have some friends in the breed that tell me that they have puppies that are six months to a year old that they can’t find homes for. Maybe the economy is trying to tell us something.

From the book: "LIVING WITH DOGS" - Man's relationship with the world of dogs is not only universal, but also frequently all-encompassing, influencing how we live, what we collect, and how we spend our leisure time. Living with Dogs explores the multitude of ways that dog owners share their lives with their pets. In 26 delightfully written stories, a witty, admiring text, and 400 full-color photographs, the authors of The Sporting Life and A Passion for Golf capture the experiences of dogs and people--at home, in the country, in the city, and even at work, with a special focus on the nostalgic memorabilia that remind people of their devotion to their pets. The authors visit passionate owners, breeders, trainers, and collectors across the country and offer a look into their dog-filled lives. Profiles include an interior designer who has amassed a lifetime of canine art; a collector with a house full of four-legged porcelain figurines; a bibliophile with an outstanding assortment of dog-literature first editions; an artist who specializes in dog portraits; and a veterinarian who proudly displays antique tools of his trade. The authors also focus on other aspects of dog devotion, including the Philadelphia All-Terrier Show; a hotel decorated with canine appointments; a New England camp exclusively for dogs; a boutique devoted to canine accessories; the American Kennel Club; and a Manhattan gallery specializing in 19th-century dog art. Whether they are devoted to a particular breed or have simply fallen in love with dogs in general, the people featured here have succumbed to the "Slipcover School of Dog Management, allowing their dogs the complete run of their lives as well as their hearts. With an extensive resource list that includes dog art galleries, dog shows, kennel clubs, breeders, supply houses, and more, Living with Dogs is the ultimate tribute to canine companions. In 26 stories and 400 full-color photographs of homes, collections, galleries, meets, shows, kennels, and camps, Living with Dogs celebrates the devotion and passion of the millions of Americans for whom a life without dogs is not worth

My rating: breeding dogs: (4), finding the right homes for puppies: (1 - 4)


  1. Great common sense topic. This also applies to rescue dogs except that they rarely come by your house until they are pre-approved. Great insight Barbara. Enjoy your blog and writing...

  2. Thank you Bruce. Dealing with the public can be trying!