The dog I have now who is bonded closest to me of ALL my dogs, in fact probably of any dog I've ever had, I acquired when she was 5 years old.
My really truly heart dog, who's been gone almost 4 years, I got when she was 7 months old.
The most important thing to ME is the proper lifetime loving responsible homes for my puppies. I routinely keep several puppies until 4 to 6 months of age to see how they are going to turn out as show prospects.
These puppies are leash and crate trained, on the way to being house and show trained, and very well socialized.
They have had plenty of interaction with other older dogs who have taught them how to respect their elders.
They have no problem bonding with new owners, and new owners are delighted with a puppy who is through most of the housetraining and show training issues.
***Edited By: Redyre_Rotties on 11/2/2005 1:20:26 PM*** Reason: ---
My deposites are non-refundable, but I only take deposits after they have come and looked at the puppies and have definatly decided on one. This can also change if I so decide to give the money back for what ever reason, but it is in writing that it is non-refundable so if I decide not to give it back I have it in writing that I don't have to. I also expect full payment when the puppy is picked up.
If the puppy is being shipped then I only take certified checks from a bank. That way you know the money is there and it gets cashed before the puppy leaves. Since we use that money to buy the crate, get the health certificate and pay the airline fee.
My breeder took a $100 deposit on Chi-Ching but it was non-refundable AFTER 7 days. That gives the person 7 days to change his mind and get his money back. I also went through rigorous(sp?) screening. I couldn't be happier with my puppy and I never had second thoughts about his deposit. But it was nice to know that the option was there.
I have a contract for my waiting list and require a $75 deposit to hold a persons place on my list. I've had WAY too many people who window shop and then back out after the puppies arrive. I spend the waiting period getting to know my families and letting them get to know me and I think the deposit weeds out the window shoppers and lets me concentrate on those that ARE serious about getting a puppy and getting one from me. I have a clause in the contract that states that I can refuse to sell to anyone at anytime, and that I reserve the right to tell a family that any specific puppy will not be right for their family. This is non refundable unless I can't produce a puppy to meet what they are looking for within 6 months - and then they have the option of continuing to wait, or to have their deposit refunded.
This also helps me have confidence when they choose their puppy that they won't suddenly back out, and if they do the $75 covers some of my time and long distance expenses. I give them 10 business days after they choose their puppy to have 1/2 the purchase price less the deposit to me as a "downpayment". This is also non refundable. Again, I put A LOT of time into making sure the communication level between myself and my families is what I consider good and my time and long distance bills are always a factor. I'm not going to spend hours on the phone with someone, or answering their questions in person or via e-mail, or having them come visit me in person several times just to have them decide to take everything I've shared with them and go buy a puppy from a less knowledgable breeder. And I think it's fair - I have money invested in them and they have money invested in me.
I've never had a family back out. Period. Because I do spend so much time getting to know them. Because I run the waiting list I do I don't get impulse buyers who suddenly decide that they don't really want a puppy (who wants to wait 6 months for a puppy if they are impulse buying???). They know this WAY before the puppies arrive and they can even chance being swayed by a cute face. I also know that the family each puppy is going to is the right one for them and is someone I want a relationship with for the next 10 plus years. I've only had to rehome 3 of my puppies in 5 years. 2 of them I took back, and the 3rd puppy was rehomed to a family off of my waiting list for their second puppy from me, that happened to be an hour from the first and had one of the puppy's brothers. All three came to me first to see how I wanted to handle things - because they knew me, knew I was fair, and knew we both wanted what was best for the dog.
Icy - you aren't crazy. I held one of my pups from my Summer 2004 litter who was going to a family in Florida. They didn't want to have to worry about evacuating during Hurricane Season with a small puppy so they asked I hold him 2 months longer until they didn't have weather concerns (they'd been on my waiting list for 7 months and didn't want to wait for my next litter - 4 months later). I didn't have a problem with this at all - in fact, I was thrilled they were so worried about what was best for the puppy. They paid for his rabies vaccine and Heartworm meds for the additional time. I fed him no charge and they got a puppy who was almost completely housebroken, was leash trained, and 75% basic obedience trained. It worked out great for everyone involved and I'd do it again. They were a great home for him and that was the most important thing - and always is for me.
I think deposits are a good idea. I've refunded the waiting list deposit a couple of times - once because the family had someone fall ill and a couple of times when I realized the person and I were not going to work well together or the home wasn't one I liked for my puppies. I'll refund deposits in a heart beat if the person rubs me the wrong way. Otherwise, I think if they find a puppy elsewhere it's my choice to keep the deposit to compensate me for my time. Especially if they've come into my home, or I've returned several long distance calls and answered several e-mails, sent them references, etc... I do agree with Icy on the false advertising thing. I make SURE that my families know the terms of their deposit and how I run my waiting list up front. Honesty and good communication is a BIG DEAL.