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  • Writer's pictureErin Schwartzkopf

The Wrong Idea

Breeders...some of you really are looking at things wrong...

I recently saw a blog post where a breeder was trying to explain to potential puppy buyers why they shouldn't only ask about price. While I get that she was trying to explain to those folks why they get brushed off or why some breeders bristle, the comments from breeders that followed left me in awe.

Here is the thing...People don't know what to ask many they ask price. They have to start somewhere. Most don't know the true value of a well bred dog, either....and that is our fault as breeders. Sorry, but it is. When you shut them down, belittle them, or ignore them for just asking price you lose a chance to educate somebody. Anti breeders are constantly telling them we do it for the money and we do not care...and when we ignore or blow off folks because all we get is "How much are your puppies", we are cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

These folks are absolutely not wasting my time. I create a form letter response for every inquiry through my site. It takes me no time to copy and paste that bad boy and hit send back to them. In that letter, I give value to my breeding program. That is on me as a assign the value...not them. They don't know what to value. They are bombarded with hearing how we just churn out puppies and once they are gone, we forget about is up to us to show them a different narrative.

If your first response is to tell somebody "Do your research" when they ask price, you are failing your role...because you are the first step of their research. You are in the amazing position to get them started in the right direction. Asking price and learning what comes with that IS research. You don't make an investment in anything that you will have for 15-20 years without asking price...why would you think this isn't a normal question when looking for a furry member of the family? Furthermore, why would you take offense because they didn't ask the question the right way? This is the first contact you've had with them...there is no relationship or history to give reason to be offended. It is a simple question. It is a valid question. It is an opening for you to shine...or to give that person a negative experience with a breeder. You have so much power...and so very many of you completely miss that.

My form letter tells them what they get for their money...and it is so much more than just a puppy. For folks not interested in that, I never hear back from them again...not a second of time wasted. I don't take it personally or get upset if I don't hear back. It is part of my screening process. And then there are those who end up even more sold on a puppy from me...some so much so that they have been on the waiting list for years. They have learned the value of my breeding program...because I took the time to put the value on it. Not just a dollar amount. Again...that is MY job. It is up to ME, nobody else, to value the work I put into raising healthy, quality, predictable temperament puppies.

I am happy to respond the same to the person sending an email that only says "how much" as the person who writes me a book. Eventually, I will get the same amount of information out of them before they receive one of my pups...and if they do not get one from me, I at least took the opportunity to teach them a little and perhaps make them a better owner for the breeder or rescue they do go to.

If you are somebody that finds yourself rankled by those inquiries that simply ask yourself, your breed, your fellow breeders a favor and take a moment to see it from a different perspective.

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