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---Little update for those who have followed with me loosing Dyno. I have seen Dyno a few times. He is doing great and it does appear that my stepdad is exercising him and including him in daily activities. It makes me very happy to know he is getting attention and exercise. Though since I feel uncomfortable with my stepfather I am limiting any visits to see Dyno. Making sure he was getting attention was my main focus and he is getting it---

Well now my boyfriend and I are returning from a month long vacation. We are going to be settling in at home, in our jobs and then getting his dog settled into our life. Then after all of that is settled I am going to start looking into getting my own dog.

I have been seriously considering a puppy from a breeder. I'm keeping the idea of rescue open still. I think this point in my life would be good because of my boyfriend and my schedules for the time for a puppy. We would be looking to get a puppy possibly sometime around October or later as needed. We want to make sure we are settled and my boyfriend's dog is settled before we add in the hectic, stressful life of puppy raising. If that takes a year it takes a year.

Yet I've heard its good to start contacting breeders early to learn about them, their dogs and possibly let them know you are looking for a dog so they can let you know when they have a suitable puppy. I'm not to sure how to start the process of emailing and communication. I don't even know if I should be contacting them at this point. I've picked out a few breeds to learn more about (Australian Shepherds, ACD, and Vizsla)

What should I include in an email? Most say they want to know about you and your family. Though the first breeder I contacted I wrote an essay about me, my life, the household, the type of dog I'm looking for and a few questions about her dogs and process. I got two sentences in response saying that she thought I would be a great home for one of her puppies. She didn't answer my questions or say anything else.

Is this typical? Did I give too much info? Am I contacting too early? I know what to look for in the signs of a good breeder but am unsure about the process. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Also I didn't want to ask this of a breeder but what am I looking at for price for a non-showing/non-breeding dog? I don't mind paying but having an idea would be nice.
 

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That does not sound like a typical response from a breeder. I know some people start talking with breeder a year or 2 before they actually expect to get the puppy.

I think the biggest thing that you need to address first is what breed you are wanting. I would think that a breeder isn't going to take you seriously if they feel you aren't committed. If you are wanting a dog in October, you are going to be looking at breeders that are breeding now or already bred. A lot of people have a waiting list that you are going to want to get on sooner rather than later.

Also, glad to hear Dyno is doing better!
 

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It's good to contact early. I'm contacting breeders over a year out right now (though my breed is rare and the waiting lists are long). I wouldn't start out w a long essay, most breeders have a questionnaire they'll send you and probably additional questions they'll want to ask too; no need to start out w all that immediately(maybe that was part of the problem w the first breeder, your questions got lost in the essay? I'm not sure, doesn't sound like a typical response though). Just introduce yourself and say you're looking for a puppy and were wondering if they would consider you for a home and ask what information they'd like to have, and ask your questions.
This is my first time getting a puppy from a breeder too, but that's what I did and it seemed to work. I recently decided on a breeder and am making the 6 hour drive up to meet her and her dogs(as I have zero experience w this very rare in the US breed) at the end of next month. I'm super excited!
Good luck! Contacting a breeder for the first time can feel intimidating, but remember they're just dog lovers just like us.
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@jclark343 - I guess deciding the breed is a good thing. I'm used to rescuing dogs and keeping an open mind to multiple breeds. I thought it maybe would be good to talk to a few, see who I liked the best since I'm having a hard time choosing. Dyno is doing good so I'm happy and sad I won't really be seeing him still.
@supaflyskye - Okay maybe I will chill out on the essay writing. I always overwrite but I'll tone it down. Well I did end up responding to the message, just saying thank you and re-asking the questions. Its been a few days and they haven't gotten back to me. It was odd to get an instant response but then my questions ignored. Thanks for the info I may stick with that. Good luck on getting your puppy!

Do either of you know the average prices for non-showing/breeding dogs from breeders? I saw one offering these types for $800 is that normal? High, Low? Or does it really vary per breed?
 

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@ThatYellowDog I too am a bit of an essay writer, I will admit. When I was looking around anyone that was willing to give me a puppy with minimal questions asked was immediately off my list.
That being said, the breeder I got my Aussie from was not very computer-savvy. Her website is absolutely horrible, and her e-mails brief and not very well formatted. She lives on a farm, and most of her time is spent with her dogs or doing farm work. So I went to visit, and stayed for quite a while chatting, and both answering and asking questions. She was much chattier in person, and I got to observe her dogs. The same thing happened for the current puppy I'm getting (in 18 days *squeeee*). I had to answer a questionnaire, and go and chat with the breeder (a four hour drive one way...). I always prefer chatting in person because I like to see the dogs, and see the set up.

I think price depends on several factors. Levi is from a show-line breeder, and I paid 1200 for him with non-breeding CKC registration. The majority of Aussies around here seem to go for 1000 plus for "show lines" and around 500-800 for farm-bred, no registration. But this is in Canada (Ontario), so it could be different for you.
This new puppy is a Border Collie from more working lines (they are geese hazing dogs) and she will CBCA and AKC registered (non-breeding) and she is 700.
 

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That seems about average for this area. Honestly if you're not sold on a breed maybe see if there are any dog shows in your area that you can go walk around. That's a great way to get to meet a bunch of different types of dogs, as well as talk to handlers and possibly breeders who are passionate about their breed.

You also want to be realistic on your goals with your dog. You named 3 HIGH energy breeds. Are you looking into a sport? How are you going to mentally exhaust the dog? What about physically exhaust the dog? Are you going to have time to train a puppy with your work/school schedule? All things to take into account when picking a breed.
 

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Echo's breeder is old school and prefers the telephone over emailing. I think this was a huge advantage. I got a much better feel for her and her program. Sometimes I think written word doesn't offer enough context- it lacks inflection and background info (perhaps the breeder has a learning disability and constructing sentences is difficult, or maybe technology is hard to grasp for them).
 

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Every breeder is quite different with everything. I quickly discovered that when looking for a dog. Some have no paperwork except the contract and just talk to you in person or over the phone or email.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Shandula Congrats on getting a puppy in a few weeks, I'm very excited for you! Thanks for that info, its good to know the process of what to expect. I know I would much rather talk in person to, its just getting to that point I find frustrating! I hate starting conversations.

@jclark343 - I will keep that in mind! I know there are shows occasionally in the area. I'll have to see to if I can go to a few. I have actually have personally worked with several dogs of all three of those breeds. I actually was looking for a higher energy dog, I walk/run every day, hike 10+ miles on the weekends, and want a dog that could keep up for 20+ mile backpacking trips. I also want to get into agility and possibly Rally. I am also very into training for obedience and tricks. So a dog with great endurance and a high capacity for loving training would be something I'm looking for. I just graduate so no school, and I just lost my job (Boss closed the company) which is another reason I don't know exactly when I will want to bring a dog home. I want to make sure I will have plenty of time. So this is why I am only in the beginning steps until things get more secure. So I will only have a full time job and the rest of the time for exercise/training, with my boyfriend helping when I'm working.

@laceyj19 Truth be told I was afraid of that. I HATE talking on the telephone. I get stressed over phone calls (hell I rarely talk to my BF or family on the phone) I forget what to ask, freeze up and overall its not great. I would like in person more, but I'm unsure how to get to that point. Most websites do say email them.

So does it sound good if I say I'm interested in their dogs, give a brief few sentences about myself and the type of dog I'm looking for and if they would consider me for a future puppy? Then see how they respond?
 
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