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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some suggestions from those of you with experience... Sorry for the length of the post. I wanted to ask 4 questions pertaining to the same topic so I figured it best to ask them all together.

The litter I whelped 3 weeks ago is sired by my friend Mark's dog. He's getting pick of the litter. Prior to breeding he said he wanted a yellow male, if there were any, because he wanted a pup the reminded him of his current dog. He came by Sunday to see the pups for the first time and said he's not so sure he wants a yellow male afterall. He wants to visit the litter multiple times before choosing (or being chosen by) the right pup. I agree this would be wise and want to give him the appropriate amount of time to decide.

1) What's the appropriate amount of time??

I'm keeping track of what color / sex other buyers prefer but have been careful to tell them he has not yet picked so the numbers in the litter may not actually be what's available when they get their turn to pick. The first few were easy because they either wanted a yellow male of which there is 3 or had no real preferrence stating they would know the right one when they saw it. The last two have been difficult; they both want black female. I only have 2 in the litter and should Mark choose a black female one or the other (or both should one of the undecided buyers also choose a black female) of these buyers will end up with something else.

2) How do y'all handle this situation?

One person has asked if I will refund their deposit if their desired color / sex is not available when it comes their turn. I'm on the fence because while I want everyone to be happy with their new puppy, I don't want to try to sell a pup last minute either.

3) Thoughts on this?

Lastly, I'm encouraging people to come by after the puppies have had their shots at 6 weeks, but before they are ready to go home, in hopes they will solidify their pick long before the pickup date.

4) What do you do it the pickup date rolls around and buyer #3 hasn't made a pick yet? How long do you allow them to hold up the process, preventing other buyers from picking up their puppies?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I will only comment on #2, if you took the deposit based on certain sex/color and you cannot produce said animal, then yes you need to refund deposit. Mhop
 

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Can't let them hold the litter hostage regardless of their pick position. Give them a date and go from there. Same goes with your friend Mark.

GOOD LUCK
 

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1. I cant comment, dont know the right answer...sorry.
2. Yes, you should refund the deposit if you' cant provide what they put a deposit on.
3. Thats why I tell my buyers that I pick for them. So that #3 can get their puppy at day 49 if they want, and dont have to wait for #1 to pick theirs. It works good here, mostly with exception of some clients who demand to pick their own.
 

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I know you'll probably get a few different answers to your questions and hopefully from that you will be able to decide what works best for you and your buyers.
1) I have no problem giving the stud owner time to make his selection but I would have had a contract, yes, even with a friend, and I would make him commit to at least gender from the start. Same as breeder picks, I reserve first pup of each gender before accepting reservations. If I chose F, all the M buyers get bumped up or visa versa.

2) Absolutely you refund full deposit if gender/color reserved is not available. It is up to you, the breeder to deliver what you promise. My puppy purchase agreement confirms choice, pick order, and deposit paid, and clearly states full refund if gender/color not available. I notify everyone as soon as pups are on the ground and deemed healthy. If I can not fill a reservation, I will offer a different color or gender, but that is totally up to buyer,otherwise deposit is refunded immediately. If you have pups remaining to sell after initial picks, well, it comes with the territory.

3) I encourage buyers to visit litter and start thinking about their pick. I also e-mail weekly updates and photos to help long distance buyers. I chose for those who can't based upon their purpose and preference. Others are requested to chose by the end of the last week before pups go home. I then schedule pick up in order of deposit to move the process along smoothly. People are generally very cooperative.

4) Buyer #3 doesn't get to decide pick up, I do. They need to come after buyer #2 and choose, or tell me which 3 pups they like in case their first 2 choices are gone. Or as I stated above, if they can not be present-I choose. Again, that is why I stay in close contact with buyers.
 

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1) Advise him that you will hold back pick male or female until 6 weeks... If he does not make his choice by then (decide male or female), you must decide the sex for him to be fair to your clients who have sent deposits. (This should have been spelled out ahead of time in a stud contract)

2) Yes, refund.. if the client is not happy with their option if they are impacted by #1.

3) I don't allow visits until pups go home, period. It's just too risky to expose puppies to Parvo virus being tracked all through kennel. However, if the client is not happy when they come to pickup the pup, I give a full refund. I also don't allow them to pick a puppy until 7 weeks. Why, because my pups all get a trip to the ACVO for eye exam at 7 weeks. We discuss the schedule on the initial phone call and that I don't allow visits to the kennel. If they have issues with it, there are plenty of other breeders that allow you to come every week if you want to. But I am not one of them. Also, I take the pup to the vet at 6-7 weeks to have the vet examination and what if a heart mumor is found or retained testicle or other health issue (although rare) Do you want to make that phone call when they already have brought the children over and picked a puppy on a previous visit. I sure don't. I do send weekly updates and try to provide photos periodically.

4) I let clients know early on that if they cannot be at my home on puppy pickup weekend, I will make their pick for them. Once I explain it's not fair to hold up another person's selection of their puppy, I've found most understanding. If not, I refund their deposit. If they are delayed or I am shipping, I narrow it down to a couple of pups, provide pictures, give them detailed descriptions by phone, and let them make a choice and give them a cut off date to make their pick.
 

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It depends on what you do with the pups. Sometimes all the pups in a litter turn out to be good. Normally I do Volhard Testing with hunt prey drive tests to place the pups. The birdy ones all go to the hunt homes. I don't look at color or sex for the pick. It a litter that is unbalanced you will have to make the decision. Pick of the litter is just that there normally are several pick puppies. I got a runt and she ended up to be the best one of a litter for health.
 

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A wise friend once told me to sell the litter "from the bottom up". She would assure all but one person that they would have a choice between two puppies. This then allows the breeder to select which two puppies the buyers can select between. Also saves a whole lot of time as someone tries to choose from 6 or 7 puppies, instead of just between two!!

Also found that you can have a mess on your hands if once pups have been selected, you let subsequent buyers see the whole litter. Then they decide that the only puppy they really want is one that is already going to someone else.

Also more recently learned ... it would have been easier to return the deposit than put up with a buyer's "whimsies" that made no sense.

It's also a bit easier when all the pups are the same color :)
 

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Seems to me that you are a little late in your own process. How do you take deposits on pups if you don't even know what you are going to have available?

Here is how I do it.

1. Stud owners that want pick of the litter must declare gender (and color) at the birth of the pups. I prefer a contract but have gone without one on some breedings. Just like buyers, the stud owner has to tell me what he is looking for in a pup.

2. If I do not have the gender (or color) customers want then they have the option of taking a different pup, waiting for another litter, or having their full deposit refunded to them immediately.

3. I NEVER let people pick their own pups. I do a note card on every buyer and on every puppy. I then do temperment testing at 7 weeks. At that time, using all the information at hand, I match up the puppy to the buyer and discuss the selection with the buyer. The pet puppy goes to the pet home, the casual hunter gets the middle of the road pup, and the competition people get the pup that is on fire.

4. Since I match the pups - I never have a hold up in delivery of pups. People can schedule pick up at their conveneince.

5. I don't let lots of people come and pick over the pups. This is not a garage sale and god only knows what diseases they might bring over to introduce to my puppies. I am especially concerned about who sees my pups from the time when they are weaned (no more mom's antibodies) and when they get their shots - plus a few days to have them kick in.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the great replies.

I should have been more clear on the second question... I was not implying that I would not refund the deposit if what they wanted wasn't available, of course I would do that because I want them to be happy with what they get so they are starting off on the right foot. What I am really contemplating is knowing that there's a possibility what they want won't be available, should I:

A) allow them to make a deposit and refund it if not available

B) Not allow them to make a deposit but tell them I will call IF the color /sex they want ends up being available.

After reading these replies, talking with a friend who has mentored me through this process, and having a lengthy conversation with the buyer last night about the situation I decided to go with option B. I put them in line at the pick they would have been had I accepted their deposit. If the sex/color they requested is available at that time I'll let them know. If they opt not to take the pup then I'll go right down the waiting list until I get them all sold.

What I was really trying to avoid is a situation where a buyer places a deposit, gets their hopes up, then ends up with their deposit back and no pup. From reading these replies it sounds like that is more common than I realized.

Thanks again for all the great replies. That's what keeps me coming back to RTF. A wealth of knowledge!
 
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