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We are about to get a new puppy in our family. The way the breeder does the process is that everyone picks their top three puppies and she places the puppies based on each individual. My question is, is it inappropriate to offer to pay more to get our top choice? I'm afraid our top two picks are going to be other people's top picks as well. I didn't want to offend our breeder by asking but also want to get the best pick for our family. Thank you!
 

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Personally, I would let the breeder choose. They will likely base it off of personality, not appearance, and that's really the best way. I didn't get my dog through a breeder but through a rescue. She was about 8 weeks old when I put the deposit down. I told them about my lifestyle and what I wanted out of a dog and asked them to pick a pup for me. They chose perfectly. Aspen is exactly perfect for my active lifestyle. Her sister, who my friend took, is a complete couch potato 90% of the time.
 

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How well any dog fits into an individual family, is IMO pretty much luck of the draw. We found Samantha at the local shelter, and she is perfect for us in virtually every way. Of course buying from a breeder, gives you more insight into the dogs genetic composition, and general behavior characteristics, but every dog is an individual, and has his or her own idiosyncrasies and behavior characteristics, making them very easy to live with or almost impossible.
 

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We are about to get a new puppy in our family. The way the breeder does the process is that everyone picks their top three puppies and she places the puppies based on each individual. My question is, is it inappropriate to offer to pay more to get our top choice? I'm afraid our top two picks are going to be other people's top picks as well. I didn't want to offend our breeder by asking but also want to get the best pick for our family. Thank you!
Yes. I think in this case it is inappropriate. This breeder already has a process. In my personal opinion, there is nothing wrong with letting the breeder know what sort of personality you are hoping for, but the offer of money might be seen by her as not trusting her process.
And of course if it ever got out that people could buy their way out of her own process, that would perhaps cloud her reputation.
 

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I think it's totally reasonable and also quite common. You'd pay more for puppies from some parents compared to ones from others why wouldn't you also pay more for better puppies?
 

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I definitely wouldn't. This breeder probably does it this way because she doesn't care about which one you think is the cutest. "Cute" only stays cute for so long if the personalities clash and you decide you can't live with the dog. I feel that all breeders should choose the pups for families... personally I only talked to breeders who would! These breeders want to make sure you get the best match for you, and because they've lived with the pups for 8+ weeks they know them much better than you do.
 

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Do you mind if I ask what breed it is? In some more intense/energetic breeds, breeders will do it this way because there is a wide range of intensity/energy level in a single litter and not every member of the litter is going to be good for every home. For example, I'm thinking my next dog will be a Malinois, and while I would like to pick a puppy myself, it seems pretty common for working line breeders to want to match the pup to the home themselves, because not everyone getting that breed is looking for the same thing. Some may want a police K9, some might want a dog for French Ring, some for Schutzhund, some for agility or other sports, and some might just want a very active companion. Not every Malinois is suited for every purpose, and litters can vary WIDELY in temperament, energy level, thoughtfulness/reactivity, etc. My current breed is Boston Terriers. With Bostons, their is a wide range of energy and intensity. My Boston growing up was my family's first dog- pretty easy, definitely intense in her own way but not an energizer bunny type of intensity and didn't really NEED to be worked/trained/given a job to calm down. My current Boston is all go, go, go. She NEEDS a certain amount of physical AND mental stimulation in a day of she'll be a terror at night and the next day, and she is such a good dog largely because she's had very clear rules from puppyhood and I've trained her very dilligently. In another home with less experienced owners, I could see her being a very frustrating dog. She's not aggressive, but she's wildly excitable and a veeery rude greeter, which can get her in trouble. She was actually meant to be my parent's dog, but we all agreed her energy level and intensity is better suited to when I want from a dog (competition agility prospect, as well as one who is a good trick dog and I can take anywhere with me and hike and hang out with anywhere), and not what they want (a low key dog that gets one walk a day, won't get any training beyond very basic obedience, and will just sort of sit around with them except for going on hikes some weekends).

Most people choose puppies based off of either how cute they look/act compared to siblings, or based off of a very emotional evaluation of their temperament. Very rarely do I see people choosing dogs for good reasons, and very often it's "he was the biggest/smallest/fluffiest/I liked his color" or "he seemed to like me the best/he chose us!". A lot of these dogs were probably not the most suited to the homes that took them out of the litter, and in some breeds 'not suited to the home' means that they literally cannot live there once they come into their adult size and temperament and energy level.

Give the breeder a list of things you're looking for in a dog, meet the puppies if you can, and ask the breeder to let you know which pups they feel would be best suited. Some breeders may be receptive to you offering more for your first choice, but just as many will be offended/upset at that. I would probably just trust that they're trying to place the pup in the best fit home, and accept that the one I liked best might not be the real best choice for me.
 

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This issue does seem resolved but if a breeder insists on placing the puppies with certain owners I assume it's based on something deeper like temperament and energy level, not just what they want from a photo. I mean naturally most people will pick the prettiest or most unique looking dog. It might not be for money but for successful placement, and therefore she might not even take the money. If it was a first come first serve sort of thing then it might work, but this sounds like a good breeder that really wants to match her puppies up well with families. Since you don't know the puppies as well as she does it might be your first pick in theory might not be the dog that you would like the best in the end. It's good to trust someone who knows their dogs, and even if you don't get the prettiest puppy I'm sure you'll get a great one. And who knows? Maybe the one you want is the one she'll pick for you.
 

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We are about to get a new puppy in our family. The way the breeder does the process is that everyone picks their top three puppies and she places the puppies based on each individual. My question is, is it inappropriate to offer to pay more to get our top choice? I'm afraid our top two picks are going to be other people's top picks as well. I didn't want to offend our breeder by asking but also want to get the best pick for our family. Thank you!
So here's an example of what the process will be when I get my next pup next year: I tell the breeder what characteristics I want. She most likely will have a large litter, so she may pick a top 3 that match these 'wants', but I don't get to pick. I will, however, get an opinion when I go to meet them at 5-6 weeks as to which out of her choices I feel more connection/drawn to. She will take this opinion and see if she feels it's a match to her decision. We'll talk a lot about the choice and then a final decision between us will be made. It's gonna be a long process and she'll most likely have to do this with 9 or 11 other people (since that's usually the standard size of a labrador litter); But I trust her opinion and that she will place the correct dog for me.

To me, to offer more and a breeder taking more for a "top" pick is unethical. It's almost like bribery. "To get what I want I'll pay you whatever". What's the limit? Will the purchase price go from $500 to $1000? It's like breeders who charge more for males than females, or price based on colour. It isn't a sign of an ethical or trusting relationship with your breeder.

Now there is a difference in prices for show quality vs pet, but that's a different situation all together because of the difference in registrations.
 

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@KayWilson How is that unethical? Some breeders charge 500 dollars for a pup some charge $5000. Why do you pay 10x more? Obviously because some are worth more than others

Even with the same breeder some litters range more than others. With our breeder for example in an average litter irst choice of puppy is 5000 last choice is 2000 but recently he published some puppies at 8 because of who the parents were.

Puppies aren't all created the same, if a breeder wants to charge the same price, that's fine but if they don't, that's not wrong either.
 

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Wow, thank you all for these thoughtful responses. I see now that you all are right, it wouldn't be the best road. I think I just had a moment of fear but I know our breeder will place the right pup with us. I mean, we chose to work with her for a reason and that is because she puts her dogs first and wants them in the best place. We find out Tuesday which dog will be ours and I can't wait!

Thank you again!
 

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@Esand - In my opinion it's unethical to charge different prices within a litter, unless the difference is for a show quality/breeding dog vs a pet home. What makes one dog in a litter worth more than an other? again other than show vs pet contract. Prices between different litters are a different issue because they have different parentage, although I know of few breeders that charge differently based on parentage because all of their dogs are breed for confirmation, temperament, and health so there isn't really a difference between parents.

Reputable breeders in my area have one price for pet homes and that price comes with a spay/neuter contract and limited registration, regardless of parentage, regardless of colour/markings, regardless if you want to use your pet for a service dog, and regardless if it is a male or a female.

For example my breeder would be mortified if I tried to bribe her, pay her more, to get a dog I wanted over her pick for me. She does 1 price for all dogs, show or otherwise, because they are all bred with their health and temperament being top priority. They don't do discount pups, clearance sales, 1 price for a chocolate vs a yellow, different price for a female vs male, "that breeding is worth more so let's charge more", and theres no breeding for the purpose of unique colours for the purpose of charging more (i.e.: Charcoals, champagnes, and silvers) - although I'm sure if they did pop up in the lines she wouldn't charge more and sell them as per labrador breed standard and for the standard pet price.

If I were to be purchasing a show quality/breeding dog then I would expect to pay a different price, although that price would should be uniform throughout the show puppies, for a full registration because the breeder is selling a top quality standard and allowing me to use their "product" for lack of a better word.
 
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