As a breeder, I am always trying, to not only improve the breed, but improve myself as a breeder. I have spent over twenty years breeding. Like with anything, trial and error is part of being a breeder. The good breeders learn from their mistakes and move forward. Being a breeder, is always a work in progress, and I always strive to be the best I can be.
When I get a call from someone looking to purchase a puppy, all I can do is educate them. I tell them about myself, my dogs, the breed (and if we really get to talking, my family too sometimes) and the process of purchasing a puppy from me. I will say, I apprecaite those who are educated about the breed prior to reaching out to me. And just as much, those who have viewed my website, to learn about us. If you have been on my website, you can see I’m a pretty open book. Of all the things I talk about, the most important thing I tell someone is, “whether you purchase a puppy from me or not, EDUCATE yourselves”! People, don’t just buy the first puppy you see because it’s cute. Look at the parents; if you want to see what your puppy is going to look like, it’s a good chance it will look like one of its parents (possibly in a smaller or larger version). Make sure the parents are tested with all the breed appropriate tests (genetic testing and OFA testing for example). A responsible/good breeder provides all this information when you purchase your puppy (we includes this in your puppy packet of paperwork). Don’t just take someone’s word for it. Ask questions! An omission of the truth is just the same as a lie. Healthy parent’s means better chance of a healthy puppy. Also, make sure your breeder offers a guarantee.
The reason I am writing this page is recently two things just happened that brought me to realize there are some HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, so-called, “breeders” out there and I wanted to educate you, if you don’t mind.
I once contacted someone (locally) I found through a Facebook page (my mistake). In the years I have been breeding, I usually work by myself (w/the exception of a few respected breeder friends of mine that live out of state and a few in N. California and San Diego county). It would be nice to have someone to work with closer, but I have never found anyone with dogs worthy enough to breed to nearby, at least not to my standards of breeding. There are a LOT of people breeding dogs that have NO BUSINESS doing so, and it’s really sad. These are the ones you want to stay FAR AWAY from! (Learn the breed standard before you begin your search).
Anyway, I asked this person if they had any males (stud) and if they did any testing on their (breeding) dogs. They immediately starting sending me pictures of their (female) dogs (ugly, I might add) and never answered my question. They did mention another “breeder” (and I use the term lightly) and I made a comment about this “wasn’t what I was looking for”. They replied, “This person has the “best dogs in the country”. HA! First of all, I have seen this persons dogs on both their website and online for sale pages, and let me just say this, I wouldn’t touch those dogs with a ten foot pole. Secondly; for anyone to make that type of statement, well, lets just say I thought it out of line. They don’t even show their dogs, so I’m not sure how this person came to that conclusion! After that comment, I pretty much ended the messaging conversation.
The second thing that happened, a friend of a friend heard about someone here in town that just bought a bunch of both young and adult dogs to start their own breeding program of toy Aussies. I was able to meet this person and see their kennels (yes, the dogs were kept in kennels in conditions that made me super sad). Here’s the thing. If you are able to purchase adult dogs for breeding, there’s usually a reason they are being sold to begin with. If they were such quality dogs for breeding, the breeder (who sold them) would have kept them for themselves. Now, of course, there is always an exception to that (like to closely related to use for breeding), but for the most part, there’s a reason they are being sold. Remember that part I told you about trial and error. I learned a LONG time ago if you want quality, you have to be patient and wait for it. The right dog(s) will come at the right time. Not all at once. I have spent YEARS building my breeding program, as most reputable breeders have.
There is a term called “kennel dogs”. It means a dog has spent the majority, if not all, of its life in a dog run/kennel and sometimes even something as small as a crate. They get very little socialization or human contact. It’s a sad existence for any animal to live in. They are kenneled and used only for breeding. That is their purpose in life. If you visit a “breeder” with this set up….run…FAST!
When someone contacts me and asks, “can I visit your facility”, I am not always sure how to respond. So, I usually just say, “I am not a facility/ kennel, I am a home, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, with dogs”. My dogs are part of our family. They do not live in dog runs or live in crates. They have the run of our property during the day and each night they are then put to bed in their crates. Yes, my dogs are crate “trained”, they do not live in the crates, they sleep in their crates at night. Believe me, they would rather be in their warm, cozy crate than outside in poor weather conditions. We also have a rotation system, because I can’t let them ALL sleep in my house at the same time, so they get to take turns. (Right now, as I am writing this, I have three adults on my bedroom floor, one puppy asleep in her crate next to my bed, another puppy asleep at the end of my bed and a third puppy asleep on my sons bed.) So yes, my dogs are family. We also have a “dog room” JUST for our dogs. Trust me, my dogs do not lack being spoiled.
I guess what other people do is none of my business. But when I get on the internet and look at all the people breeding crappy, crappy dogs and it makes me sick! I see photos posted that are so unprofessional. I see dogs living in filth and you can see the kennels in the background, I see adult dogs that are not breed standard, yet are being bred. It’s so sad and a horrible way for them to live. If you, the buyer, educates yourself and learn the breed standards (of any animal you are looking to purchase) and is patient enough to wait for the right puppy from a reputable breeder, then all these “BELOW” standard people breeding below standard dogs, will be out of business. They won’t want to breed something they can’t sell and make money on and that is why those kind of people do it, not for the love of the breed.
As for myself. My home, my family, my dogs and myself, speaks for its self. You will see this when you are here. It’s very rare for someone to come meet us and not want us to be their breeder of choice. I have MANY repeat buyers who come back for a second, third and yes, sometimes a fourth Legends puppy. I also get a lot of referrals. To me, both of those speak volumes and it makes me proud of all I have accomplished thus far. On a side note: My puppies may be a little higher priced, but there’s a reason for that. There is a saying, “you get what you pay for”.
If you walk into a place and it doesn’t look right or you “have a feeling”, walk away people!! Do your homework, talk to different breeders, ask for references, ask to SEE testing that has been done, don’t just let them say it has been done, because that could be a lie. All tests come with results (in writing). OFA and genetic testing should be done on your breeders (dam and sire). Those test results are given and a reputable breeder should provide you (again in writing) with those results. When you find YOUR breeder, you will know. It will just feel right. And that breeder will be with you the life of your dog.
Another thing that tends to be happening more often, is people getting scammed. Please be careful. Don’t just send someone money. I don’t (personally) do any online apps. I accept check/cashiers checks. The checks are your receipt. Because I only do local business, I accept cash deposits too. I am always in communication by text, so that we both have that assurance in writing.
One additional note: Since Covid 19, puppies are in HIGH DEMAND. Reputable breeders will have a wait/deposit list. I personally have a long wait list. Find your breeder, get a deposit in and be patient.