As a buyer, you may be having flashbacks to the nerve-wracking feeling of applying for a new job and wondering what this whole process is all about! Rest assured that breeders want to sell their puppies and most are open to selling their puppies to a variety of different family types and situations, they just want to make sure their new puppy parents have really thought through the decision of getting a new pup.
Most of the typical questions on a puppy application are not “deal breakers” if you answer them “wrong.” Rather, the breeder is looking to make sure you and your family have thought through various aspects of puppyhood and dog ownership.
Some typical puppy application questions may include…
1. Have you ever owned a dog before?
If you have owned or currently own a dog, this is often viewed positively by breeders. Your experience will come in handy when it comes to training a new puppy. Breeders love getting to know their buyers, so any details on your previous dog(s) will likely be appreciated. Any dog experience is a plus, but specific breed experience is even better as each specific breed is known to have their own quirks.
If you have never owned a dog before, this should not be a deal breaker. We all have to start somewhere! However, your breeder will likely take some extra time to educate you and/or send you extra resources. They may follow up with questions such as “are you prepared to hire a professional trainer if needed?”
Communicating that you have done your research when it comes to various aspects of dog ownership will set your breeder’s mind at ease. Your breeder will also take your experience or lack thereof into consideration when it comes to helping match you to the right puppy based on temperament. Dominant or extra-confident puppies often benefit from an experienced dog owner, while more submissive personalities tend to easily forgive their novice owner’s mistakes as they are generally more eager-to-please!
2. Another common puppy application question - do you have a fenced in backyard and/or describe where you live?
Ideally every owner would have a fenced in yard as this is often the easiest and safest way to have a dog potty and exercise outside. However, as mentioned previously, breeders are not always looking for a perfect owner and a lack of a fenced in yard is generally not a problem as long as you as the owner are prepared for the extra challenge of always taking your puppy outside on a leash.
Puppies have to go out to potty often! Sometimes as often as every half hour if they are awake and playing. This is something to think about if you live in a third floor apartment and have a busy lifestyle. Additionally, puppies, and especially doodle puppies, need quite a bit of exercise. Without a yard to play fetch in, you will need to be prepared to walk your dog on a leash and/or take him to other locations to exercise such as your local dog park.
So, even if you do not have a fenced in yard, as long as you can convey to your breeder that you are prepared for the responsibility of safely taking your dog outside, then you are showing yourself to be well-prepared as a future puppy owner.
In fact, even if you do have a fence, this does not mean you are off the hook with spending time outside with your pup! Doodles are incredibly people-oriented dogs and will not simply play by themselves all day in the backyard. They will likely stand by the door just waiting to be let back in if you are not outside with them!
Finally, if you do not own your own home, make sure you communicate with your breeder about whether or not your apartment complex or landlord allows puppies. Not checking with your landlord ahead of time shows a lack of preparation and can be a red flag for a breeder.
3. Tell us about your family and/or other pets?
Breeders aren’t trying to be nosy for no good reason! This question helps your breeder know what litter and/or specific puppy may be a good match for you. If you have several young kids, your breeder may recommend a certain size or specific breed of doodle that they trust will be good with children. We love our standard Goldendoodles and Bernedoodles for this job! If you are an empty nester, an active young single person, etc. you may be a good fit for an entirely different size or type of doodle.
Even within a specific litter, puppies often have very different personalities. Experienced breeders can tell these temperament differences even from a relatively young age and will want to help guide you based on your family dynamics.
If you already have another dog, your breeder may have additional questions about his/her personality to help pair you with an appropriate puppy. When it comes to answering this question, red flags for breeders would be if it seems your entire family is not on board for getting a puppy.
All members of the household should be aware of and on board with getting a puppy. Training a puppy is a huge undertaking that will test everyone’s patience, so it is important that all family members are excited at the outset.
Finally, specific to applying for a doodle puppy, you may get asked about any dog allergies in your family. Often people are drawn to doodles because they are low-shedding and typically hypoallergenic. However, not every doodle is created equal.
Varying generations and percentages of poodle in your dog’s heritage will affect his coat and how much he sheds. Your breeder will want to be able to guide you on which litter would be best for your allergies as well as making sure you are well-suited for a doodle as some people with severe dog allergies may react even to a purebred Poodle!
4. One of the most important application questions: Why do you want a puppy? Or why this specific breed?
Breeders want to know you have thought through your decision to get a puppy carefully and have done necessary research both when it comes to understanding puppies developmentally as well as specific needs related to the breed.
A person who wants a puppy for a companion and shows they are prepared to put in the time and energy to train their pup is a good candidate. A person who decided last minute to get a puppy for the kids’ Christmas present may not have actually thought through all the aspects of puppy ownership!
When it comes to specific breed requirements, some breeds require more exercise, training, etc. than others. If you are applying for a doodle puppy specifically, make sure you have done your research on this breed.
As mentioned previously, doodles are very people-oriented and not a good choice for someone wanting a more independent dog who can stay in the yard all day. They also require regular brushing and grooming that can definitely be time-consuming and add significant cost to the yearly budget of owning a dog!
5. Lastly, what is a typical day in the life of this new dog going to look like?
Breeders may want to know your occupation or how long your dog will be left alone each day. Working a full time job is typically not a deal breaker, but showing you are prepared to make sure your dog is cared for during your time away from home is critical. Many of our puppy parents utilize dog walkers or doggy daycares on days that they are away from the home 8+ hours.
Your breeder will want to know that you plan to play with or exercise your dog on a daily basis. Other details to note would be your plans for when you travel. If you travel often do you plan to take your dog with you or do you have a trusted pet sitter? When you are home, will your dog be with you—will he/she sleep in your room at night or left alone somewhere else in the house?
In conclusion, your breeder may ask these questions as well a number of similar ones to try to get to know you. Their goal is to carefully screen potential buyers to ensure their puppies are going to homes that are well-prepared for a puppy. Be honest on your application so that your breeder can help guide you to the right puppy!
Breeders know their puppies best as they spend countless hours with them during their first 8 weeks of life. Letting your breeder in on the details of your day to day life and family dynamics will help ensure that you get the right puppy for your lifestyle.
Doodles are an overall adaptable breed that are a good fit for a variety of different families, the key is that you have thought through various aspects of puppy ownership and are prepared to put in the time and energy to train and bond with your newest family member!
We hope this preview of puppy application questions helps you on your quest to being a puppy parent.
Jeanna and the JLDD Team