So...what happened when you let buyers pick their puppies?
Well, I have several stories because as a newer breeder I am learning too. My first litter I placed a sweet soft boy in a home I really shouldn’t have. She already had too many dogs. Because of all her dogs she did not continue socializing as he grew and he was bullied by her deerhounds. Because he was sensitive (like most borzoi are) he became reactive with other dogs. Large males in particular. His confidence was shot…it’s so important in our breed to have a confident dog. They don’t start fights and it’s so easy to live and take them anywhere. Fast forward to me asking to bring him back to the US to finish his AKC CH title. I was so saddened by how he was so fearful of everything. Still such a sweet dog but he was always watching is back as if someone was going to jump from the shadows. I asked to keep him and he’s still with me. He gotten so much better and now gets along with any males I bring onto the property. He lives with 4 intact males now. They don’t fight even when the girls come in season. So that is one example of poor placement.
Another was in my last litter, I placed a very little girl with a person who had gotten a borzoi from my first litter. He was the perfect dog and she had a lot to live up too. Several times I tired getting the owner to change her mind saying she was super high energy. The owner said she could handle it, she’s trained dogs before, nothing she hasn’t seen. Well this puppy girl said challenge accepted and became a nightmare for her new owner. I do give the owner props for trying but at 10 months she couldn’t take it anymore. She was returned to me and I hold nothing against her for returning the dog. It wasn’t sure good fit. Now the dog is in a home where she runs on 3 acres daily, gets to go run in the open field and chase jack rabbits, she just excels at anything athletic and her first home couldn’t provide the exercise to fit her energy level. Which was my fault.
Another puppy from my last litter went to a lady that wanted to get out of IWs but still wanted a bigger dog. She knew the lady I mentioned above. She loved the boy from my first litter and wanted one just like him. *laughs* cuz that’s not a tall order. Well she didn’t want the pups with the short tail which would have been the ideal fit for her. Though he had prey drive he was very bid able and laid back. Actually I gave her the choice of 2. The other had kinks in his tail.( @noodle-dragon ended up with this boy so it was a blessing in disguise.) She wanted a perfect tail *sigh* I argued with her about this for a while. I told her the other males were going to show homes, she kept saying she wanted one of 2 other boys I had not offered her. That was it. I told her the one must go to a show home, the other we were waiting on his testicle to drop and he just wasn’t the right fit. Because by 9 weeks his testicle never dropped I gave in and said fine…he’s yours. Big mistake as well. She never had anything good to say about him. He bites, he barks, he runs around her house like a crazy dog growling….HE’S A FREAKING PUPPY LADY!!!! Well she didn’t take any of my advice. We went back and forth for months, I tried so hard to help her but you can’t help someone who really don’t even want to listen. I kept pushing her to return the dog and I would give her a full refund, I guess I started pushing too hard. She refused and cut off contact with me. She still has the dog and my spies say he looks good but it breaks my heart she won’t send updates and pictures.
This is why a breeder should be completely honest and at time even put their foot down when it comes to placement. I want people to enjoy my dogs and the breed but coming to a person who breeds Borzoi (dogs bred for their athleticism and prey drive) and basically wanting a Labrador in a borzoi suit is just unrealistic. This is why I don’t let people choose. When I evaluate a litter I also evaluate temperament. If someone is looking for lower drive, if I have any, I will give them their choice. Might be 1 dog, might be 3….don’t know until the litter is about 8-9 weeks and I make no promises to puppy buyers until that time. All those that have puppies from me didn’t get to choose them. I placed the dogs in the homes so everyone benefitted.