Hello fellow Doberman lovers,
I've loved Dobermans since I was little, but I've never had the chance to own one before now. And yet, I'm feeling like....for whatever reason, I'm striking out.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong when I try to contact breeders, but I feel so bad. I try to be as polite as possible and as thorough and honest as I can be when I fill out their puppy questionnaires, but once I send it back I never hear from the breeders again.
I don't want to re-email back or call because I don't want to seem like a pushy weirdo, and I've read all the "Puppy Buyer Etiquette" things and don't want to try contacting a dozen different Doberman breeders...I've only contacted a few, and yet I never hear back, and I just feel so, so low about it. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
For reference, I'm a young health professional who is married. My husband is in lucrative family business which is dog-friendly and he would be able to take the pup to work. We own our own house that is fenced, with no kids (and they're not in our future) and no other dogs. I'm active--used to be in cross country--and love to go hiking and have all the time and energy in the world to devote to my first Doberman.
I'm also not asking for "just a pet." I would LOVE to get into show and/or agility or obedience, but would especially love conformation. I let them know I'm more than happy with co-ownerships, limited registrations (even for show), and higher prices--or even just their pet quality puppy from a litter. I just want to be given a chance.
But...I don't know. I guess I'm just not a good candidate. This whole "trying to buy a puppy process" has me saddened to the point of tears.
Someone help me out. What can I do to be a better candidate? How can I show myself to be the type of person who is honest and trustworthy and worthy of a puppy? How do you get a breeder's attention (in a positive, non-pushy way)?
I really feel for you - that's super frustrating, and like Mary&Dobes said, I think sometimes stuff goes to spam, or people get busy... I think this is why a lot of "newbies" get frustrated and end up giving up or going to a less reputable breeder. I really, really commend you for sticking with it and not doing that.
I don't think you'll be pushy or come off badly if you send a follow up email or, better, give a phone call to say something like, "I am not trying to be pushy, I'm not in a hurry for a puppy, but I want to follow up with you to be sure you received my application and am hoping to discuss your breeding program and any questions you have about my application. I'd love to talk more when it's convenient for you, either by email or phone, whatever you'd prefer." I think sometimes either things get overlooked, or some breeders honestly just try to "weed people out" by waiting for those that seem more serious, which is unfortunate. I also wouldn't hesitate to reach out to the other breeders you're interested in - as long as you let people know that you've reached out to a couple of breeders I don't think that's an issue at all.
Like Mary, I had a somewhat similar thing happen - we're looking for a purebred cat within the next few years, in a breed with small litters and long waiting lists. I'd filled out an application with a breeder I'd actually chatted with, didn't hear back. I waited about a month and finally followed up. She had actually typed out a reply to me and it was sitting in her draft email...she just hadn't hit send but thought she had! She's just super busy, too. We were approved - if I hadn't followed up we wouldn't know, and maybe she would have contacted us in like, 2 years...who knows?
In any case, please do follow up! I think it's very worth it to do so and it sure sounds like you're doing everything right.