Most reputable breeders have a series of steps that involve contacting them, basically interviewing the prospective family, discussing how the litter can meet their needs/hopes, and then a contract that outlines these goals on paper. Drachten is no different in that we want to make sure that our dogs go to the best homes for them and we pride ourselves on matching dogs with their families and working situations. Here's the outline of the steps to obtaining a dog and a brief description of the process at each "checkpoint."
1. Contacting Us I strongly prefer emails as I'm constantly on the go and rarely answer phone calls. The average litter takes at least 500 hours of my time answering emails, taking and making calls, as well as texts and other forms of communication. I try to respond to emails within 48 hours, however I do train dogs and horses full time and have a farm to keep going along with dog and horse shows to attend, so sometimes this time frame gets stretched but I respond as soon as I can. Emails definitely get answered much faster as the average phone call deserves about an hour of time on average. Filling out the QUESTIONNAIRE helps the prospective owner know what I'm looking to learn from them and expedites the process considerably.
2. Outlining what you are looking for in a Drachten dog. As a certified dog trainer and someone that deals with the surplus pet population as a veterinarian professional, I'm acutely aware of what it is like when a dog doesn't match up with a family or person. No matter how badly you want that adorable blue eyed blue dog to listen to you and click, if its is wired to need another human, then it needs to be with that person. Because of this, I don't sell on color but on appropriate personality for everyone's sake and to ensure the best experience for the people who contact me. Ultimately everyone really wants a great companion and that is what I excel at delivering. Adding color and other specifics to the dog will be considered as I do believe a large appeal of dog IS its color and appearance, however the train ability and intelligence should be why you're really wanting one. A good dog is never a bad color.
3. Email List When you've decided that you would like to stay in contact with us, please fill out THIS form to be added to our email list. This is basically a way to update everyone of what is happening with our program, litters, and plans. Once a female is confirmed pregnant, then I post that update and once she gives birth, then I send another update. After that, I aim to send out weekly photos, various videos, and sometimes live streaming for anyone interested normally on Facebook or Instagram. This is not exclusive to people purchasing a puppy as I have many people that simply like to follow the puppies as they grow!
4. Deposits Now we get to the nuts and bolts of things! Once the puppies are born, I'll take deposits from people on the email list giving a preference to previous Cirrus or Drachten dog owners and to those that have had a submitted questionnaire with us longest and are still interested. After that, the order is in order of received deposit starting with completed questionnaires that match what we have available that matches (male vs female and color preferences). This is loosely a "picking" order, however it is (once again) based on what puppy best matches your situation and then your physical appearance preferences as we're able. Breeder and cobreeder always have first pick, then stud dog owner (as applicable), then people on the deposit list. That may sound like a lot of hands in the barrel, but often times only 1 or 2 puppies (and sometimes none) end up being retained for those people. Many times, a puppy that is destined to be shown will be placed in a suitable companion home that has expressed an interest in keeping a puppy intact for the breeder to show. Deposits are nonrefundable and range from $400-600USD depending on the litter.
Due to the amount of inquiries we get, here's how we sort out asking for deposits: 1. Is there a questionnaire filled out already? *required 2. Seniority (when questionnaire was placed) 3. On email list? 4. Still interested? 5. Flexibility (willing to take either male or female, willing to take any color) 6. Home suitability (example: if a more active/performance oriented litter, then active homes that meet the above criteria) 7. Firm preferences such as sex 8. Other preferences such as color
Once the puppies are born, we go with the above criteria in offering the to put a deposit down. This way we know what we actually have to offer.
5. Picking Out A Puppy As the puppies grow and develop, I work with them daily on various exercises and keep track of their personalities and tendencies in certain situations to help determine what type of home they would be best in. I keep the people with deposits informed of my thoughts as the puppies grow and start grouping my choices for certain people and let them know why throughout the weeks. The puppies are ready to go home once they are 8 weeks old and the breeder/cobreeder/etc have made their decisions. Evaluations are during week 7 to determine conformation, performance, temperament suitability along with prior observations. By this point, you will be 80%+ sure of which puppy will be heading to your home but if I have a second or third option for you to look at, I'll make sure you are aware of that along with the pros and cons of the puppies as I see it at that point. Very few people leave with their second option puppy upon arriving :) We do not allow visitors to see the puppies prior to week 8 to prevent the introduction of outside contagions or diseases.
6. Paperwork/Contracts/Naming Contracts are signed when you place a deposit. We only accept online contracts and payment for this step due to the interest levels in our puppies as well as attempting to be paperless as much as possible. The balance of the purchase price is due by pickup day. Cash or credit card (3% service fee) is preferred, checks must be sent no later than 2 weeks prior to picking up your puppy to allow for bank clearance BEFORE the puppy will be released. We also accept Zelle if you would prefer a fee-less way to pay online. The paperwork for AKC and ASCA registration are done online by Drachten and you should have that 2-4 weeks after you pick up your pup. AKC and ASCA (Aussies only) registration price is included. You will be able to give feedback on your pup's registered name if you have a deposit on a puppy prior to 5 weeks of age. Naming guidelines are given and discussed via email once deposits are received. A co-owner can be specified as well at this point.
7. Getting Things For Your Puppy Quite possibly the most asked question involves my recommendations on what to use and what is being used regularly. Due to this question, I've created an Amazon List HERE to help with shopping. In the future, I'll have a section on the website for what we do, what we recommend, and other ideas.
8. Vaccines/Worming/Vet Checks Puppies are wormed every week from the age of 2 weeks old. Vaccines (puppy) are given at 5 and 7 weeks of age to best prepare them for when they leave our home. We will not alter this vaccination/worming schedule but you are welcome to proceed as you wish after 8 weeks under a veterinarian (DVM)'s protocol and supervision. All our puppies are examined by a DVM and sometimes a team of learning DVM students to ascertain health. If you wish to have your puppy checked out by your own veterinarian after obtaining it, any visit must be performed within 48 hours of obtaining the puppy, no exceptions. If there is a defect that affects the puppy's ability to meet the goals outlined in the contract, then the procedures listed on the contract will be in effect. We also microchip puppies before they head home.
9. Puppy Pickup! The time has come! Its time to get your puppy and everything is set and ready to go. During weeks 6/7 we will set up pickup times for the litter. Upon pickup, we'll review the puppies and my thoughts in person and the final (final!) selection will be made with both parties in agreement. Paperwork is filled out and sorted as well as the New Puppy Packet discussed with tips and information about your new family member. Be sure to bring a small crate with a towel in it to keep them secure and safe on the way home (this is how they will be transported while in our care). If you are unable to pick up your puppy during that 8 week time frame, a boarding fee of $20 a day will be assessed with reasonable accommodations (maximum 2 weeks) before any monies are forfeited and the puppy will be made available to another family. Reasonable accommodations are normally vacations, sudden illness that will improve in short time (such as cold/flu), and so forth. Communication with the breeder is key in these scenarios.
10. What Happens After? Naturally, you enjoy your puppy! However, we are ALWAYS available to help our puppies and their homes out with any issues no matter how big or small. Of course, if it is something that involves veterinarian care ALWAYS contact them first but we will be happy to help explain things they're doing if you need another point of view or have questions about what might be happening. The majority of our clients ask basic care/training questions in the first few weeks and then send us updates as they wish. Us dog people are an extensive network of people, so if you need help in our area with finding a trainer, veterinarian, dog park, etc just let me know and we'll get an answer worked out! Of course, if the unfortunate time comes where you cannot keep your puppy any longer for ANY reason, it MUST come home to Drachten per the contract. This is designed to be a safety net for the puppy as well as the owner as situations change sometimes and this unfortunately happens. Re-homing to a family member is not acceptable unless they are listed on the contract as a co owner.
11. What If I Want To Breed My Dog? Breeding dogs is part art, part science, part immense reward, part tragic heartbreak. It is not something to be undertaken lightly and is not an inexpensive prospect if you do it properly. Because of this and our desire to help improve the breeds while breeding to the appropriate Standards, we limit our "breeding" dogs to those that will show and love them primarily while working towards obtaining a set of criteria that both the prospective buyer and breeder agree upon. Showing/training helps determine many factors that aid in determining breeding quality and can be reflected in many sports (our contracts are not exclusive to those wanting to show in conformation as we feel performance or working events can be as applicable to a dog's potential breeding potential). We outline the criteria for obtaining "full" registration in the contracts at deposit time as it varies based on the cross. Once the criteria is obtained, then we change the limited registration to full. This is to provide a mentoring type situation and to work towards improving the breeds and lines that we have been entrusted with. If your older Drachten pup was registered and then transferred to you (typically a hold back puppy we're growing out), it will be a full registration certificate with breeder name(s) on it until veterinarian proof that the dog has been altered and then the breeder's name will be removed as a co-owner.
Thanks! Thank you for taking the time to review these guidelines about our procedures! Hopefully it helps you understand a little better about our process to obtain a puppy, but nothing can replace chatting with us yourself. If you haven't contacted us already and would like to, definitely do so at any time! We are glad to help however we can!