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not that you need another person to tell you to reach out...but reach out and make a connection. Ask if they don't have a potential litter coming if they could refer you to someone who might. Even ask if they by chance have one of their pups within a reasonable time of your home and see if you can arrange to meet that person. Network, reputable breeders have a waiting list and limited puppies available. It can take a year or two...patience.
 

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Pro Snake Wiggler
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This is, obviously, not meant to be taken as gospel or anything, but I've literally never had an issue getting a response from a breeder with the following format:

[Greeting]

[Extremely brief history of previous ventures contacting others re: puppies]

[Vet reference!]

[3 personal references who know what kind of dog owner I am]

[2 dog specific references]

[Background on research of the breed]

[Background on experience in the breed itself]

[Why I specifically chose this breed]

[What I’ve been looking for in the dog]

[How I’ve been preparing for said dog]

[Background on dogs in general]

[Goals for new puppy]

[Trainers and working dog clubs where I’ll be taking puppy]

[Basic information about me]

[Visual/cosmetic preferences for puppy]

[Plans for how I will treat new puppy- training philosophy, feeding, vax schedule, etc]

[Specific interest in any special arrangements, ie coownership etc]

[Closing]
This is not a guarantee that you will get a positive answer!!! Two breeders I contacted 5+ years ago sent me what amounts to "wow, you sound like a great home, but-" which is honestly... a "no". One was because I was not yet 25- which I am now over, so I guess I could probably email that person again and maybe get a puppy from them this time- and the other was because she didn't think her puppies would live up to my wants and needs for a dog- which frankly I appreciated her honesty to say "I do not have what you want" instead of just taking the offered $2+k. One person was rude and patronizing while also still offering me a puppy, but purchasing a dog is a 10-15 year commitment, so I don't really want to deal with someone who's going to be rude for 15ish years. Others I had a lot of back and forth emails before something happened such as the planned bitch being diagnosed with DCM and thus all breeding plans being cancelled, the sire dropping dead, etc until I finally landed on the breeder of my Creed.

Creed is now five :eek11: :eek11: :eek11: and will be six next year :eek: and knowing the ages his sire, grandsires, and granddams passed... I will need to be planning another dog next year so that I can have a head start on training in case Creed also passes at 8-10. I'm looking into a dog from another breed as well, so I followed this same format when contacting someone from that breed too, and...

That person basically went "wow, I don't need to send you a puppy questionnaire to fill out because you've basically already done that, get back in touch with me closer to time and I'll arrange you getting a puppy from me". Now it's a little bit of cheating for me because I met them at a dog show and so they already have spoken to me in person and seen how I handle my own dog in person, but still, I'm really never had a problem getting some form of response with that.
 

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RockhillK9
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Don't give up. I find many breeders slow to reply. Busy with life, shows etc. I dont see any red flags myself. I'm planning on my 1st litter this fall and I would be contacting you back myself. It's hard to tell honesty from type and phone calls help with that. There are a lot of people that you can say no way too just from their answers but I honestly don't see that with what you're saying. O ly additional comment I can say is were are you in relation to these breeders. You won't find reputable ones shipping puppies. You need to pick them up in person. I hope you find someone to work with.
 

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Am I the only person that feels defeated that the OP never replied???
I doubt it--obviously I don't feel totally defeated since after 10 years or more on this forum and another 10 (or more) on a variety of other Dobe lists and forums I'm still answering posts like "I feel so defeated". On a good day I'm willing to believe the best (one of the really good breeders replied and the writer got the puppy of their dreams). On a bad day I'm inclined to think about how Kijii or some other Internet site focused on "get a puppy quick" had a puppy quick and we'll never hear from her again.

And sometimes months and occasionally years down the line we hear back--either thanking us or cursing us.

<VBG> dobebug
 

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joie de vivre
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(bold is mine)

Hey John 🙂
As for specifics:
-Midwest. There are ZERO DPCA-qualified reputable breeders in my state, so I’ve reached out to closer out-of-state breeders up to a 20-hour drive away. But to be honest, if a reputable breeder from, say, New York would give me a chance, I would be on that plane and renting a car to drive that pup home in a heartbeat.
-I’ve reached out to Foxfire (Michelle is very sweet and was open, but after sending in the questionnaire I haven’t heard back and I know she’s popular, so I really don’t want to annoy her by re-emailing her), Poesie, and Starlaine. I’m trying to keep my list as small as possible to not be a “Horace,” but I also really like Old Drum and Merrimac but haven’t reached out.
-I am willing to wait up to 2 years for a pup and let them know I would love to just be on a waitlist.
I've had two Dobermans from Old Drum (Ali Doughty). She is typically very responsive and I would encourage you to reach out. I believe she has an available young male show prospect and she has one girl available, too, although I don't recall if the girl is a show prospect. They're 9 weeks old.

Both my girls were pets, and I trained and competed in agility with both. Ali is very nice, honest, ethical, and her dogs are lovely. I can wholeheartedly recommend her as a breeder. The website isn't always up-to-date but Old Drum has an active Facebook page. The Old Drum Facebook page is the better one to watch for litter announcements and available dogs. She does a really good job of maintaining it.

Last year I was in search of a Rat Terrier (new breed for me), and I also received lackluster response. There aren't many 'good' breeders near me and, since its a rare breed, people seem to be very protective over where their dogs go. So, many breeders are reluctant to even consider letting their dogs/puppies go more than a few hours away.

As luck would have it, a friend who is "dog family" through Dobermans and agility has a good personal friend who has Ratties and is very successful in agility. Our mutual friend put us in touch and, as it turns out, I had reached out a couple months prior to her favorite breeder who is in Texas (I'm in Missouri)...and I'd heard nothing back. She called her for me and told her about me and said she should check her email. Turns out, this breeder doesn't do much with email. But she did find my email and we set up a time for a phone call. She was able to match me with a great young male who has been an excellent fit, and she dropped him off with me last summer when she was passing through my area on her way to a big show in Michigan.

So...I share that to say two things.

1) Sometimes you just need to pick up the phone! :) My Rattie's breeder hates email but she'll talk your ear off about dogs if you call her.

2) Network! If you're interested in showing, then go to shows, if you want to compete in agility, go to trials, and meet people. The dog world is small. Start connecting with serious dog people and if you don't meet the breeders you're interested in, I guarantee you'll meet people who know them. And if you meet the right people, they might even put in a good word for you and tell their friend to check their messages.


Good luck!
 

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For what it is worth, I just saw a litter announcement float by from health tested parents, one of them a Canadian GCH (the dam, bred by Sioul Dobermans) and the other an American Champion (cobred by Ashtrick and Kettle Cove). An echo confirmed the pregnancy and they saw at least 5-7 pups so there could be more. The owner of the dam lives with her in Quebec, her name is Francine Joly, and the breeder Denise Gallant (Denise Louis on Facebook) lives in New Brunswick.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Again, speaking as a breeder, I really do prefer emails to begin. I realize everyone is different. I do not think of them as junk mail at all. The phone and telephone scammers have me so angry these days that I am immediately suspicious of any phone call coming from a number I don't know. The scammers are really making me hate the phone. I keep weird hours. With email, I get it when I'm ready and looking for email. I can take my time in considering what was said, and I can take my time in considering what I want to say. And I can do it at 2 am if I want! LOL I think email is great! And of course then you have the option of asking if they prefer a phone call and if so, when?

Another thing to consider is that with well established breeders, often they have former and current puppy owners all lined up for their litters already, which is great for them, and not so great for you. That often makes availability poor from the better breeders. That's why a wait is often necessary.
I agree about the scammers!! I always feel like calling as an unknown number (and answering one) is such a gamble nowadays because of all the scam calls, it's a real tragedy. Unfortunately, I know a lot of the better breeders are insanely busy with shows and jobs and their lives and influxes of requests, so I understand why they aren't getting back to me as quickly/forget me. I'm more than okay with waiting for my dream pup, I guess I'm just a little anxious to know I'm approved at all...? Or in the very least, be approved to put a deposit down and then let the wait begin :)

One of the things you should know about contacting breeders is 'when' the best time is. If I was trying reach a breeder who didn't know me I'd send an e-mail first--explaining what I was interested in and what I planned to do with the dog and while not in a hurry I would be interested in getting added to the waiting list.

If I hard nothing back in a month or so I'd call--when you call breeders, remember that the good ones are often actively showing dogs in conformation or some sort of working activity. Dog show happen mostly on weekend or sometimes in cluster where show happen in the same area, same venue on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. So in the height of show season you are not going to find the breeder home waiting for phne calls often. On top of the actual shows during weekends there is travel time so I've found that Wednesday is the best day to try to reach breeders--with Tuesday and Thursday next best. And if I can't make contact that way I'd send another email--asking if they got my first of my phone message--asking what would be the best time to reach them by phone.

The better breeders get lots of e-mail and lots of phone calls--so checking back isn't pestering to me--it's trying to reach a breeder and most breeders understand that.

Good luck...

dobebug
Thank you so so much Dobebug! I did reach out again to Michelle and got a couple e-mails back and she requested I re-send the puppy questionnaire again (and didn't seem to remember me, but I know she's an incredibly popular breeder so I don't blame her!) and then I haven't heard back from a week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I'll hear back from her before I go to the Enumclaw show and hopefully run into her and/or other contacts.

I doubt it--obviously I don't feel totally defeated since after 10 years or more on this forum and another 10 (or more) on a variety of other Dobe lists and forums I'm still answering posts like "I feel so defeated". On a good day I'm willing to believe the best (one of the really good breeders replied and the writer got the puppy of their dreams). On a bad day I'm inclined to think about how Kijii or some other Internet site focused on "get a puppy quick" had a puppy quick and we'll never hear from her again.

And sometimes months and occasionally years down the line we hear back--either thanking us or cursing us.

<VBG> dobebug
Oh no, I would never go to Kijii or get a "quick available Dobe puppy." I desperately want one, yes, but I want a well-bred one.

Thank you for everyone who replied to this! I legitimately took every single recommendation to heart, reached out to the breeder I'd singled out, plan to give calls if I don't hear back for quite a bit, and my husband and I are driving up to the Enumclaw show next Thursday and Friday to meet breeders and network as much as we possibly can. It's a 12-hour drive (my fault for not booking flights much earlier), but I'm desperate to get to know more about conformation and meet some people, what can I say? I'm so nervous I'm a little shaky just writing about it, though.

If I don't hear back from Michelle after the show, I'll give her a call in the recommended mid-week frame someone (Dobebug?) suggested. And maybe reach out to Old Drum and Merrimac if possible, and research the upcoming Texas shows that my husband and I can go out to :)

Thank you so, so, SO much for all your helpful and loving guidance, each and every one of you. The search continues, but you've all made me so, SO much more hopeful and reassured in the process and the wait time ahead of me for my puppy. I'm sorry I haven't gotten back on sooner for any updates for you all, but I did legitimately take all advice to heart and I am so grateful to each and every one of you for taking the time out of your days to reassure me in my search.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I've had two Dobermans from Old Drum (Ali Doughty). She is typically very responsive and I would encourage you to reach out. I believe she has an available young male show prospect and she has one girl available, too, although I don't recall if the girl is a show prospect. They're 9 weeks old.
The Lincoln litter? They were all so so gorgeous! I'll give her a reach-out even if the other two have homes now, maybe I can be put on a list for a year+ or whenever she does breed from now for the next one :)

So...I share that to say two things.

1) Sometimes you just need to pick up the phone! :) My Rattie's breeder hates email but she'll talk your ear off about dogs if you call her.

2) Network! If you're interested in showing, then go to shows, if you want to compete in agility, go to trials, and meet people. The dog world is small. Start connecting with serious dog people and if you don't meet the breeders you're interested in, I guarantee you'll meet people who know them. And if you meet the right people, they might even put in a good word for you and tell their friend to check their messages.

Good luck!
Oh man, thank you so, so, so much for the kind words. I'll be giving Michelle a call soon if I don't run into her at the Enumclaw show :) My husband and I are going next Thursday and Friday--any suggestions for talking to breeders? I know to make sure not to try to talk to them until they're 100% done with the shows for the day, but I'm just scared I'm going to put my foot in my mouth or...I don't know. I'll seem too over-eager they'll just be like "man that girl's a total weirdo."

For what it is worth, I just saw a litter announcement float by from health tested parents, one of them a Canadian GCH (the dam, bred by Sioul Dobermans) and the other an American Champion (cobred by Ashtrick and Kettle Cove). An echo confirmed the pregnancy and they saw at least 5-7 pups so there could be more. The owner of the dam lives with her in Quebec, her name is Francine Joly, and the breeder Denise Gallant (Denise Louis on Facebook) lives in New Brunswick.
I did see this! I do think there's a slight French barrier but I will most definitely be reaching out if things fall through with Foxfire by any means :) I just don't want to be running around trying to be put on everyone's waitlists when I've already been trying to arrange with other breeders, y'know...? I don't want to seem flaky/too desperate to just get a dog that I'll slight other breeders...? If that makes sense? I read the Puppy Buyer Etiquette front and back and now I'm terrified to be blacklisted from reaching out to too many too quick, haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Don't give up. I find many breeders slow to reply. Busy with life, shows etc. I dont see any red flags myself. I'm planning on my 1st litter this fall and I would be contacting you back myself. It's hard to tell honesty from type and phone calls help with that. There are a lot of people that you can say no way too just from their answers but I honestly don't see that with what you're saying. O ly additional comment I can say is were are you in relation to these breeders. You won't find reputable ones shipping puppies. You need to pick them up in person. I hope you find someone to work with.
I think my biggest "red flag" is that I've never owned a Doberman before, so I do understand how that could be a red flag for a LOT of people. There is that controversy with that one Youtuber girl (Brittany Houten or something?) who abused her Doberman pup and the footage is just....so sickening. It seems like she had no idea how to care for, train, or exercise her Doberman properly (no excuse for the abuse, though, I'm disgusted by it) but in that line of thinking, I can see how people would see my inexperience with Dobermans and think, "Oh she probably has no idea what she's getting herself into, will she really be a better home than someone with experience?" and I could understand their hesitation.

I'm between 6-20 hours of all the breeders I've contacted so far, and my husband and I are both committed to road-tripping out to pick up the puppy if given the chance :)
 

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Big Lil pup
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Oh BTW... If you are talking about contacting Michelle S. (Foxfire). Don't give up!

Sometimes she picks up the phone on the first ring or answers emails immediately.

Her situation is a bit odd. She is often outing busy with the dogs.

When home: she live in a very beautiful rural area in Southern Oregon. Sketchy internet, sketchy cell.

Do you have all of her contacts?

Regardless, if she is incommunicado, she is not avoiding you. LOL

In my opinion, you could not go wrong with a Foxfire pup. Beautiful dogs... Great temperaments. (Of course, I am prejudiced!)

John
Portland OR

Edit to say: That would be a heck of a road trip from the midwest. Still... I can't think of a better reason to hither road than picking uo the perfect pup.
 

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Glassdobe,

Don't be afraid of Michelle--she's actually pretty easy to talk to and if you can catch her before the judging starts and briefly tell her who you are and what you want and ask her if she can talk to you after the judging--she usually will do that.

Sometimes she has puppies with her (delivering them to new owners who have arranged to pick them up at sow but it would also give you a change to see some of the younger pups.

What did you want the puppy for? Even if you have never owned a Doberman before I know Michelle occasionally places show prospects with someone entirely new to Dobes--she uses a special contract for this sort of placement. But if ou are looking for a pet only to start to train on your own or that sort of thing--tell her that. Sometimes there re lots of folk looking for show prospects and sometimes everyone wants pets.

Every litter has both--and Michelle is pretty good at making appropriate placements of uppies with prospective owners.

And come back and let us know how Enumclaw went..

dobebug
 

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I did see this! I do think there's a slight French barrier but I will most definitely be reaching out if things fall through with Foxfire by any means :) I just don't want to be running around trying to be put on everyone's waitlists when I've already been trying to arrange with other breeders, y'know...? I don't want to seem flaky/too desperate to just get a dog that I'll slight other breeders...? If that makes sense? I read the Puppy Buyer Etiquette front and back and now I'm terrified to be blacklisted from reaching out to too many too quick, haha.
That absolutely makes sense, definitely get back to us after the Enumclaw show, and of course if you find common ground with Michelle Santana!

For the language barrier, Denise is perfectly fluent in English. Francine gets by with reading and writing English. But I think it makes sense to wait on contacting too many breeders. If you'd like I can keep you posted when the pups are born and if the wait list is full.

Sometimes you have to wait a while to get a pup and sometimes they fall into your lap. Like right now this time of year, and this particular year I see well bred litter after well bred litter being born. Just yesterday Fabert announced they had a black male available on their current litter.

Keep your chin up! Have fun at the show, and don't be a stranger, update us ;)
 
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