Updated: Apr 14, 2022
We have previously written on and frequently discussed the topic of what to look for in a good dog breeder. But there is another side to this equation that is equally important…Breeders want to get to know you!
No, we aren’t trying to be nosy! But just as many buyers are fearful of puppy mills and being scammed when buying a dog, breeders are worried that a potential buyer isn’t what he/she seems to be at first glance either. This is what all those questions on puppy applications are for.
One distinguishing characteristic of a reputable breeder is that they will not sell their pups to just anybody. The long-term welfare of their pups outweigh the benefit of a quick sell. As a potential puppy buyer, you will find that quality breeders typically have an application process. Some also require a phone or FaceTime chat to further get to know their future puppy parents.
Common application questions revolve around family members (both human and other pets!), living arrangements and lifestyle.
Most breeders do not have a very specific set of parameters as far as their potential buyers. For example, at Jenna Lee Designer Doodles, we are equally happy to sell a puppy to someone living in an apartment as to someone living in a large house.
Occasionally, you may find a breeder who does only sell to someone with a fenced yard or other criteria, but most are willing to work with various arrangements, as long as the owner seems to have carefully thought through the requirements of getting a pup.
For example, if asked if you have a fenced-in yard, a breeder would likely love to hear the answer, “No, but we are prepared to take the pup out on a leash for potty breaks and short walks a number of times a day—especially when he/she is house training!” This lets the breeder know you'll take care of your doodle's exercise needs.
Being fully transparent with your breeder is the big key! We want to know the real you and what your lifestyle is really likely so that we can help you on the front end with helping your choose the pup with the right temperament for your situation!
There may be a variety of different questions among the different applications from various breeders. For the most part, each of the questions a breeder may ask are designed to address one of the following concerns.
Breeders look for the following in buyers & new puppy owners
Are all members of the family excited and on board with getting a pup? Raising a puppy is no easy task and can very quickly become a huge source of discord if the entire family is not equally on board. Not only is this potential conflict a bad idea for family dynamics, but it is also a terrible situation for a young doodle pup. The last thing we want to see is new puppy owner regret.
Doodles are very sensitive and intuitive and will pick up on this type of conflict and be uneasy if they are not able to gain the affection and loyalty of one or more members of the household. If you have young kids, have you thought through some of the unique challenges you may face with adding a puppy to the mix?
For example, puppies do not come knowing appropriate manners and will nip your children and/or knock them over by playing too roughly. Adding a puppy to a family with young children requires an extra dose of patience and education for the children. Education yourself on how you can train an 8-week old puppy, or look into professional puppy training.
Breeders want to know you have thought through how getting a puppy will affect each family member from children to cats to elderly parents! If all family members are prepared to put in the work and pitch in with training and you are prepared for the challenge of adding a puppy to a home that already has other pets and/or children, then your breeder will likely feel at ease selling you a pup.
Here's what else breeders will look for in buyers:
You have the time required for socializing, training, and exercising your pup. Again, it does not matter if you work full time or stay at home full time, we want to know if you have thought through how you will rearrange your schedule to accommodate the addition of a new family member! If you do work full time, you may want to let your breeder know that you have considered options for taking care of your pup during the work day. Perhaps you will have a dog walker come by or you are able to come home on lunch breaks to let your buddy out for a potty break and a romp. Have you considered what you will do with your pup if you go on vacation? Whatever your current lifestyle is, you can be sure that adding a puppy will change it on some level. Breeders want to know that you are prepared for this inconvenience and can adjust your schedule accordingly.
You have done some research and have reasonable expectations when it comes to puppyhood and dog ownership: Even if you have all the time in the world to devote to your new buddy, if you do not understand your pups’ needs as far as exercise, training, etc. then you will quickly become frustrated. Breeders hope to avoid this situation and want to know that you have some basic knowledge of dogs in general as well as an understanding of the characteristics associated with your specific breed. Previous experience with dogs is something you may wish to disclose to your breeder. Again, most breeders are happy to sell to a first-time dog owner but may spend some extra time educating you on the challenges of puppyhood and/or suggest helpful resources to get you started with the basic of dog ownership. Have you considered the ongoing costs of dog ownership? Basic veterinary care, grooming and food adds up quickly! Finally, even if you have appropriate expectations when it comes to training, exercise, etc., you may still be met with unexpected challenges! If you find an aspect of training more difficult than you expected, are you willing to hire a professional trainer?
In conclusion, reputable breeders truly love their pups and want assurance that they are going to quality homes. Most breeders are willing to sell their pups to a variety of different types of families and living situations, but they want to know that you have considered how adding a pup will affect all these various aspects of your life.
And before you head home with your puppy, don't forget the official papers your breeder will give you.
Jenna and the JLDD Team