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Karlin
26th September 2007, 01:10 AM
This was posted to the main cavalier breeder list and I found it very thought provoking. I agree with a lot of these points -- and I bet many of us would have made better buying decisions had we seen a good breeder ad next to some of the questionable ones.

As permission was specifically given to crosspost, I thought I'd put it out for some discussion:



****Permission to crosspost is granted****

We breeders have come to believe some really dumb things over the years. Some of them had a reasonable basis that's no longer valid, others I have trouble figuring out why we *ever* started believing them.

Probably the dumbest of the dumb is that Good Breeders Don't Advertise. Would someone tell me whom that helps? Not the prospective owner looking for a puppy and is able to find only commercial breeders because "we" don't advertise. Not the breeder who is looking for the best homes for her puppies and is hogtied to the breed club for referrals that may never come. And not the general public looking for information about breeds.

I suppose there is some snob appeal in saying "I don't have to advertise." Well, that may be true, but you do a real disservice to your breed by not advertising. By hiding from the general public, you're limiting breed education to "Here's why a Flat Island Zorcher is perfect for just *everyone*!!! Credit cards accepted, we ship anywhere!!"

Yes, when you advertise in the newspaper, you get weird calls from people who may not know what your breed is. So tell them! You get calls from people just price shopping. Okay, so explain what to look for in a breeder. And please, no "We got back to back majors last weekend blah blah blah." Pet owners don't know what that means and furthermore they don't care.

What makes a good breeder to a pet buyer is 1) health and temperament of the puppies, 2) how the puppies are raised and socialized, 3) breeder support and approachability, and 4) price.

Yes, price. That doesn't mean you have to undercut your local Fluffy x Muffy breeder, but it does mean you should be able to justify your higher price. A pet buyer isn't going to pay $500 more for a show-bred puppy because its mama is a champion (see above -- he doesn't *care*), but he might well be willing to pay that much more for health guarantees, parents who have been screened for genetic health defects, and a breeder who gives a damn where the pet puppies go and will be there to help, and yes, to listen.

Like Naydene, we have ads on every free site we can find, and some of the better ones we pay for. We advertise in the two major Dog Fancy issues every year (Dogs in the fall and Puppies in the spring) and would advertise with them monthly if we could afford it. I don't believe we have ever sold a puppy through that magazine ad, but we have provided a lot of breed information and referrals to other breeders.

On some of those sites and in those two Dog Fancy publications, we are right next to some pretty questionable "puppies always available, we ship anywhere" ads. But our ads say, "Free breed information, AWC members, all health clearances including cardiac, puppies guaranteed, breeder referral." When people look at that next to the "all colors available, credit cards accepted," they start to wonder a little about those other breeders. And when they do email us, we let them know what they ought to be looking for in a breeder.

Major points:
1) Meet the mother. If you don't like her, you won't like her puppies.
2) Visit the kennel. You need to *see* where the puppies were raised, not meet someone at a rest stop.
3) Get health clearances and guarantees in writing. get everything in writing.
4) Ask for references. If the breeder is offended by this, hit the road. If having a puppy shipped to you, this is **absolutely critical.** Ideally, check with other breeders, the breed club, and previous pet buyers. At the very least, contact previous pet buyers.
5) Honesty about the breed's special requirements or drawbacks as a pet.

Notice we don't include showing in there. I don't believe you have to show to be a good breeder. But that's another whole discussion.

Back to advertising. For the good of your breed -- and to find the best homes for your puppies -- we recommend:

-- A website with breed information, not just show wins. That's just bragging and it only impresses other show people. If you want to help your breed stay out of shelters, provide information. Parent clubs are often reluctant to be excruciatingly honest about the negatives of their breeds, and since their site information is usually approved by committee, it's usually watered down just to get everyone to agree on it. It takes while for a website to move up in the search engines, but be patient, exchange links with friends, and ask other dog sites for a link. You'll get there if your information is good. If you build it, they will come.

-- Newspaper ads if you have time to talk to people. We don't advertise in the paper because we live in such a small town (there are three other whippets besides our own here, and we bred one of them!) that it's fairly useless. But newspaper ads, while time-consuming, can help find local homes for your puppies, which is wonderful. I wish we had more living closer to us.

-- The free advertising websites. There are a number of breeder websites that are absolutely free. As someone else said, yes, there are iffy breeders there, but the good breeders "stand out like beacons." (I love that!) Search for "free dog breeder listing" or "free puppy listing"

-- The paid websites. Qualitydogs.com is excellent. Puppyfind and breeders.net get a lot of hits and nextdaypets.com, though the name gives me the willies, is also a good place to advertise to provide information (starting with why the person really does not want a "next day pet.") Prices vary widely on these sites, so don't get discouraged if the first ones you check seem way too expensive.

-- The AKC litter listings. They don't take general breeder ads, but for about $35 you can advertise a specific litter.

Breed club referrals, as has been mentioned, are often problematical. Mostly because of politics and favoritism. (Even if it's not political, let's face it: If your breeder referral person's best friend has a litter at the same time as yours, who's going to get the best referrals? She's only human. Well, most of them are anyway) Our whippet breeder referral person is excellent, but you do have to let her know you when have puppies. Lots of people forget that.

It's hard to break through the "Don't advertise" barrier in some breeds, but be brave. Remember you're doing this for the good of the BREED, not to impress other breeders. A few years ago, you never saw ads for whippet breeders on breeder websites. Now, there are at least five or six on nearly every one I check. And whippets are better off for it.

Sharyn (looking for bathroom walls to write our name on)

Ginger's Mom
26th September 2007, 01:28 AM
I think breeders should definitely advertise and host their own websites if possible.

Before buying Ginger, I did lots of googling and it was the reputable breeders' sites where I found the most helpful information about the breed. I learned the detailed truths about the breed in the breeders' own caring words and many of them put the effort to warn newies like me what to watch out for when buying a puppy.

It was through their effort that I learned what a puppy mill was, otherwise I would have never known and I would have bought from a newspaper ad or a pet store. These breeders used their own words to describe their concerns and you could just tell how serious they were.

Debby with a Y
26th September 2007, 01:47 AM
Heck yes they need to advertise!!! I had to do a LOT of research to find the person who I believe to be a very reputable breeder. I am a trained/educated librarian so I know how to do research. How about the average person? They are simply going to see those ads for iffy breeders and respond. My own partner, who is an educated man but not in research, found local cavalier puppies for $1,200 by looking at ads. Lord only knows what type of situation those poor things came from. He was just about ready to buy one for me! :eek:

My baby boy's breeder does have a website but doesn't advertise. I did a lot of research to find him. He is also very honest. I not only got to meet baby's mommy but also baby's grandmom. I spent 2-1/2 hours in his home enjoying his dogs before writing a check for a deposit. I ask you...how many people looking for a puppy will go to that trouble...and then will spend a LOT more money for a pet-quality dog that is from a reputable breeder when they can get a puppy mill baby for a bunch less?

Breeders, stop being snobby and please, advertise and please, have lots of information on the breed on your website!

Cathy T
26th September 2007, 03:06 AM
I saw that and found it very thought-provoking! I can't tell you how many times someone will say they want to buy a Cavalier but don't know where to begin looking. I always refer them to breeder with websites for guidance. I liked her comparison of her ad vs "free shipping, accepts all credit cards" ... good point!!

Caraline
26th September 2007, 07:05 AM
Excellent points Sharyn is raising there. I love individuals who think things through and don't march to a dud tune just becuase everybody else marches to that tune. Cudos to Sharyn I say.

Karlin
26th September 2007, 11:03 AM
I know that several reputable cavalier breeders do advertise on the puppy selling sites because I see their ads, but most definitely still do feel it isn't the 'done' thing...

With those little online ads, the issue is how to read between the lines when they have such a short space to explain who they are, I think. Some you can really tell are BYBs but others, it's hard til you get to the site and check it out. Eeven then, it can be hard to tell. I keep meaning to do a website analysis tool that people can use to gauge whether they are looking at a BYB or sloppy breeder, or a good one.

AT
26th September 2007, 11:09 AM
I've thought this myself. If you dont advertise you won't get good homes for your pups.

But I dont like it when breeders put cute puppies wearing bows on their websites with paypal to send your deposit.
A text only advert is quite sufficent. Cute puppy photo's just encourage impulse buying.

Cathryn
26th September 2007, 11:20 AM
Hmm, Very thought provoking indeed!
I currently don't have a website but am looking into setting one up again in the near future. I won't advertise in the local "freebie" paper as there are several BYB's in my area who already do, nor will I put a card up in the local "Pet's at Home" for the same reason. If I do advertise my puppies it is generally on the Puppy Registers of the Breed Clubs I am a member of. My reasoning on this is that the prospective buyer generally gets these numbers from other breeders or via the clubs internet website's so they will alrady have done some research into the breed on those sites.
The other thing is HOW MUCH info to include? Too much and the person can lose interest before reading all of it, after all they just want a puppy at the end of the day! Hmm, interesting food for thought indeed! icon_nwunsure

Karlin
26th September 2007, 11:36 AM
But I dont like it when breeders put cute puppies wearing bows on their websites with paypal to send your deposit.

The other hackneyed image is puppies in a flowerbed. :confused: From all the images of puppies and adults standing in the middle of flowers, you'd think cavaliers were a hairy form of butterfly or bee! :lol: I have never seen another breed so consistently stuck in front of flowers. The irony of course is that 99% of cavaliers could not give a hoot about flowers. Give them a cowpat to roll in or a kitty litter box to raid, or a smelly dead fish on the beach to roll on, and they will be in heaven. I have the proof living in my house. :cool:

One thing I really agree with in this post by Sharyn is that the vast majority of puppy buyers (and I would say OVER 99%!!) have NO idea that you even should or for that matter, COULD go to a breed club to get a list of breeders. Most will not even know what a breed club is or even a national registry What the vast majority WILL do is check the newspapers for small ads and google cavaliers online. (I didn't really understand this myself. I started like most Irish people do, by looking in the Buy&Sell and then using the net -- but I am pretty good a using the net because it is part of my professional job). Either way they get all the BYBs and puppy farm brokers -- rarely a good breeder. Maybe the national reistries should pay for a small ad to explain about contacting the breed clubs for the puppy registry and give a breed club website. And breeders need to get websites, understand search engines etc. But then so do the breed and local clubs -- the DEARTH of informaion on national and local club sites -- either for the breeder members or the general public seeking information -- is truly shocking to me. The ACKCSC and CKCSC national sites for example are extremely hard to navigate, poorly designed, don't even work with all browsers, with a lot of not very helpful info. They should have very clear easy to find pages on Finding a Breeder for example. They all explain about this to some degree but not in a way that is useful to very many people. I found some breeder websites much better in this regard.

sins
26th September 2007, 01:23 PM
I think even the most reputable of breeder should advertise.Although it very much depends on who they plan to sell their dogs to.I can understand that maybe they would prefer to see their stock go to other breeders who also show dogs.Once the puppy goes into the public domain,they lose control over their "bloodline" and their line that they have worked hard for years to promote and develop may be diluted by breeding with poor quality stock.
On the other hand,the breeder who sold Daisy to me was absolutely fine,cavaliers were her second string breed.The dogs were well kept, had a lovely environment and had medical attention and were registered.
In her case, it was her first time advertising and she got her asking price for all three puppies.There was no health monitoring apart from a check up with the vet when they were microchipped and wormed/vaccinated.She was able to show the dam who was five and the sire who was age eight lived nearby and could be viewed.The grandsire was aged 14(very well known cav) and still alive and kicking.So based on that info I bought her as she was stunningly beautiful.
Also we got a puppy pack and medical history and were given dates for next vaccines and worming and my daughter was given lots of advice on cavalier behaviour.
I know a few people who bought from reputable show breeders(not just cavaliers).I've never actually met anyone who bought a dog on a spay/neuter contract, or who had been sold with any health screening done on hearts/hips or who had a written contract for that matter.
I think that a breeder should advertise, especially older pups who may not be show quality, but then be selective about who they sell to.After all,they're entitled to get the best price for their dogs possible.
Also when I see a photo of a cavalier pup on a site, it's easy to tell if I'm wasting my time travelling to see a puppy.
I agree that many breeders haven't embraced modern technology.But this needs to be led from the IKC and CKCSC.The IKC website has been under construction for ages and the cavalier club website reads to the outsider like nothing more than a mutual admiration society.I learned way more on this site than on any of the above.

Sins

Karlin
26th September 2007, 01:32 PM
I sure agree on the Irish aspect. The IKC site is better now than it has been but whole sections have yet to be completed. The breed club site is little more than a personal site with some links to breeders. I'm actually working on an information site on Irish cavaliers -- I own the domain irishcavalier.com. But for now it diverts to my rescue website. As usual I have not had the time... :lol:. I also have plans for a big expansion of this site and for a CavalierTalk shop of sorts but haven't done that yet either. :rolleyes: It is slowly happening though when I can squeeze in some time. Every time I start to work on this stuff another rescue dog comes in (have three at the moment!) or I get some extra work assignments.

I do feel that there's an onus on some of us who do understand the technology and can play around with websites to do somthing for 'our' breed even if not a breeder.

Cleo's Person
26th September 2007, 01:48 PM
This is a very thought provoking thread!

I have to admit, I found it very hard when researching where to find a puppy. It was very difficult to find any information about breeders in Ireland - I didn't find this site until after Cleo had claimed me! The information I could find was patchy, and although I knew about potential heart problems and I hope asked the right questions, I didn't know then about SM and so didn't ask anything about it.

If genuine and reputable breeders were to advertise it would certainly help those of us who are new to a breed and who don't know (or didn't at the time) about shows and clubs and where to find such good reputable breeders. At least then we could be sure that as potential buyers we were not inadvertently perpetrating the puppy mill business which I personally find repulsive.

For those of us who are genuinely interested in the breed and who, in good faith, want to ensure we do the best by it and who want to care as best as is possible for our pets and to give them great homes and cherish them as members of our families, it would make the search so much easier if good breeders would advertise so we could find you! :)

Cathryn
26th September 2007, 02:22 PM
Maybe the national registries should pay for a small ad to explain about contacting the breed clubs for the puppy registry and give a breed club website. And breeders need to get websites, understand search engines etc. But then so do the breed and local clubs -- the DEARTH of informaion on national and local club sites -- either for the breeder members or the general public seeking information -- is truly shocking to me. The ACKCSC and CKCSC national sites for example are extremely hard to navigate, poorly designed, don't even work with all browsers, with a lot of not very helpful info. They should have very clear easy to find pages on Finding a Breeder for example. They all explain about this to some degree but not in a way that is useful to very many people. I found some breeder websites much better in this regard.


Here in the UK the various clubs take it in turn to fund a permanant advert in "Exchange and Mart" that gives the various puppy register co-ordinators names and numbers, they are also listed on the Parent Club site along with a wealth of health information and also on The Eastern Counties website Cavaliers.co.uk. I always refer enquiries to both of these sites for further research as well as to find the numbers for their particular area co-ordinator too.

When I do get my website going again, there will a health section and many links to various other sites that I consider appropiate to educating would be owners/browsers.

Couldn't agree more about the "Sweet 'n Sickly" puppy pics, I think as there has been so many of them in the years gone by that it is now considered to be the "norm"??

Bruce H
26th September 2007, 02:43 PM
This is a very interesting thread! We advertise to a point, but not very hard.

Presently we have a web site that I'll be the first to admit needs some work. It's pretty obvious that it's a DIY site, but we do get a lot of calls off it. It probably generates the most calls. Coming in a close second is referrals from past puppy people or other breeders, including people buying a second puppy from us.

We get a few calls from our listing on the Cavalier Club web site as a breeder. Unfortunately, most people just don't know there is a such a thing as the Cavalier Club.

We also have an ad in the Cavalier Club yearbook every year, but I don't believe we have ever had a call from a puppy person off that ad. Which brings up a point I want to make regarding what other breeders think of us as a breeder. It IS important what other reputable breeders think of us if we assume that the goal of breeding is the betterment of the breed. I can tell you that if other reputable breeders think you are not a reputable breeder, you will never get a puppy or stud service from them. That's just a fact of life. And if you don't show on a regular basis, you will also have the same trouble. So if you can't get puppies or stud service from other reputable breeders, you are going to have a very tough time bettering your lines from the standpoint of both health and conformation.

So, I would be interested in hearing more about how people here got in touch with their breeder, especially before they knew anything about Cavaliers, because most of our puppy people have never owned a Cavalier before. Any input would be appreciated.

Cathryn
26th September 2007, 02:51 PM
Good points Bruce!!

when I first got started I started reading the 2 popular dog show based newspapers and rang a lady who advertised in one of them, turned out she was a well known breeder, lived reasonably close and mentored me through my first few shows, when I bought again it was through another advert in said papers and I fell lucky again with a very well known breeder who has been one of my best friends ever since!

As for becoming a reputable breeder yourself, if no-one "lets you in" in the first place, how are you ever going to prove to any-one that you are indeed "reputable" breeder material in the first place? You certainly have to serve an "apprenticeship" over here, that is certainly very true indeed!!

BarbMazz
26th September 2007, 03:08 PM
This is a very interesting thread! We advertise to a point, but not very hard.

Presently we have a web site that I'll be the first to admit needs some work. It's pretty obvious that it's a DIY site, but we do get a lot of calls off it. It probably generates the most calls. Coming in a close second is referrals from past puppy people or other breeders, including people buying a second puppy from us.

We get a few calls from our listing on the Cavalier Club web site as a breeder. Unfortunately, most people just don't know there is a such a thing as the Cavalier Club.

We also have an ad in the Cavalier Club yearbook every year, but I don't believe we have ever had a call from a puppy person off that ad. Which brings up a point I want to make regarding what other breeders think of us as a breeder. It IS important what other reputable breeders think of us if we assume that the goal of breeding is the betterment of the breed. I can tell you that if other reputable breeders think you are not a reputable breeder, you will never get a puppy or stud service from them. That's just a fact of life. And if you don't show on a regular basis, you will also have the same trouble. So if you can't get puppies or stud service from other reputable breeders, you are going to have a very tough time bettering your lines from the standpoint of both health and conformation.

So, I would be interested in hearing more about how people here got in touch with their breeder, especially before they knew anything about Cavaliers, because most of our puppy people have never owned a Cavalier before. Any input would be appreciated.

Gosh, I'm trying to remember exactly how I found my dogs breeder! While I think about that, I can offer some input about how I was gradually educated about pure bred dogs in general.

Up until my present dogs, every pure bred dog I've had over the years had what I consider early-onset cancer. A Bassett that was overcome by a very fast-growing lymphoma. She had to have been a puppy mill dog because we "rescued" her from a pet shop when she was six months old. She died in my arms when she was six. Then came Molly, a home bred English Springer, so a byb dog, although raised within the home and nicely socialized... nice family. She was afflicted with a urethral tumor at age seven, and died in my arms at that age.

I was completely heartbroken in both instances, and it just didn't seem right to me that these dogs were cut down in their prime. Somewhere along the way I learned about puppy mills, pet shops, byb's... so I knew I had to look elsewhere.

So, I started my search because of dog health. That's how I began to learn about health testing and certifications. I was determined that I would have longer living dogs. Before I found my Golden I had begun researching Cavaliers because I just love any kind of spaniel. I love the ears, the soft eyes and faces. At that time, probably about 2000, I remember being a bit put off by the health things I read so I started a file, and looked into different breeds. So, time passed, and I was able to find my awfully good Golden breeder in 2001, and my Ozzy came from her (still in touch!) My ESS breeder I thought was good at the time, but I think back and there are some things I would now see as alarms. And, I do remember now that I found my Cavalier breeder through a Google search. I don't believe she is listed on the breed club website. Her website has lots of good Cavalier information, about care, health, feeding, training... you name it! Plus, she is a very straightforward person who doesn't hand out any BS, if you know what I mean! And, her handle on genetics was obviously extensive.

I don't know if this helps you, Bruce. I think my motivations may have been different than a lot of puppy buyer's may be. As a pet owner, I do agree that having reputable breeders advertise would be helpful in getting better breed information out there. However, I can see and understand your concerns about how other breeders view you, and how that can affect your ability to actually help the breed along. That, plus the convention of NOT advertising is pretty much ingrained, so it would definitely take some time for that to shift around!.

Crittercall
26th September 2007, 04:31 PM
I come from a different place than most of you guys, since I'm definately not a breeder. And although I can see the valid points listed concerning advertising it's going to take a bit more thought before I'm convinced that it is the right thing to do.

My knowledge of dog breeders in general comes from working in the vet business and meeting them there. I formed a quick bond with the breeder that two of my girls came from. She also breeds a big dog so she was in a lot with one or the other and if it was Cavaliers she would usually drop a litter of pups in my lap as she walked in.

To the best of my knowledge she has never advertised. She has shown dogs (in both breeds) and is well known throughout the communities here in the US. I got Wallis when she found out that Wallis had a birth defect and she gave her to me. Years later when I decided to get a puppy I called a few ads that were in the newspaper in Lexington but decided to give her a call too. Roxie was the only puppy born to a blen and a black & tan and there was no waiting list because no one knew that the two had bred. Kismet - she was my dog! We had talked about puppies throughout our years at the clinic and I knew that she always had lists of people waiting for puppies from her.

It never crossed my mind to look on-line for a puppy, because we had said that if we got another Cavalier it would come from Wallis's breeder in KY.

hbmama
27th September 2007, 03:45 AM
Hi Bruce and all. As a mama in waiting, (no pup yet) I will share how I found my breeder. I was visiting my mother in law at her assisted living apartment on a day when a group of therapy dogs and their people came to visit. One stand out was a darling blenheim cavi who was so sweet and gentle and precious. I asked about the breed and then went home to start my research. When I read about all the health problems and indiscriminate breedings going on, I was quite dismayed. Then I went to the Cavalier Club site and looked through the list of recommended breeders who were in California. I then looked for any of those who had informational web sites to go to. One was a MAJOR standout, and had so much wonderful info, links, and BEWARE OF PUPPY MILL and BYB comments that I figured this must be someone who loves their dogs and wants to better the breed, not make a fast buck. I sent her an email and received a response back, suggesting that my husband and I attend the Eukanuba Nationals dog show in Long Beach last December. It was there that I met this breeder who was so lovely and patient with all our questions and excitement! She requested and we submitted a detailed application, complete with pictures of our home, inside and out, yard, fencing, and other pets (two very ornery parrots). She accepted our application and so we have been waiting, very patiently for 9 months so far. We are hoping for some news in the next few months. Waiting for my human babies took nine months each, and that time was used to read up, accumulate supplies, interview doctors,etc. SO....as hard as it has been to wait, I look at it as time well spent, so when MY perfect puppy starts doing some of these goofy cavi things I can just say, oh, I read about that on Cavalier talk, that's just what they do! We live in an internet world now, so I say reputible breeders SHOULD advertise via their websites if for no other reason to educate the public!

Harry & Heidi's mom
27th September 2007, 11:27 AM
i think it is very important for GOOD breeders to advertise, and totally true that most people looking for a pet will not be bothered if it comes from a show line.
Harry comes from a cruft runner up, but to me he's my dog and i love him as just that, by beloved pet.
When we were looking for a 2nd dog, we looked and looked (as most of you know) and found many that we liked and all of them ended up being from a BYB, i only know this by being on this site, and all you good poeple educating us that otherwise wouldn't have known the difference, luckily through this website we met cathryn and have an adorable HEALTHY puppy joining us soon, that i'm paying twice the price for than a local BYB as i want my pets as healthy as possible

sunshinekisses
27th September 2007, 06:44 PM
how are prospective cavalier owners suppose to find a good pet if nobody advertises?...seriously though, I find it hard to believe someone is a great breeder if all they do is advertise pups for sale. I think advertising your dogs is enough. I found all my dogs by searching internet; if their information online didn't send a big red flag then I would call the breeder and/or email. I like to look at breeders websites, it gives me alot of information about them and their dogs before I decide to bother them with my questions.

I would like to add, my rottweiler I had a friend reference and then looked her up on the internet. With my cavalier I searched the internet and found local breeders and then visited my breeder many times before buying. I think it is still up to buyers to question their breeder of choice and make sure they aren't giving money to the wrong person.

Gingers Mommy
27th September 2007, 07:24 PM
When we decided we wanted to get a puppy, I started with a search through Google. I emailed some breeders in my area and began getting responses right away.
Luckily one of the websites i stumbled on right away was the american kennel club (akc.org) There they have breeder referrals, and a lot of information on breeders and how to find the right one. The first woman I spoke to talked to me for an hour on the phone. She was very informative and told me a lot of things I didnt know. Specifically warning me about certain byb's in the area that seem convincing, saying things like their dogs come from excellent stock directly from Ireland when in fact they are selling unhealthy dogs. She also asked me many questions about how i planned to care for my new puppy and about my life and home. I felt very comfortable with her, she didn't have puppies at the time but gave me the name of another breeder who did. I then spoke to that breeder, who ended up being where we got our pup from. We visited with her a week after we spoke and then 2 weeks later we brought Ginger home! I know we lucked out, and our timing was just right. This breeder did not take deposits and only sold the pups to homes she believed would be best for them, and the pup chose us, we did not choose it! We went in thinking we wanted a ruby male, which she had, along with a tri female. She said that she did not think the ruby's personality was right for us, living in the city, he was a bit shy. But the tri (ginger!) was very outgoing, and she felt that she would be the type of dog to be up for anything-which she is!!!