Puppy Picking Process:
OKAY - So now you are on the list for a Connemara Terrier and anxious about picking your pup. In this section, we walk you through the process:
Every breeder works their selection process differently. Some breeders pick the puppies for the new owner, giving them no say (I personally know of no JRT breeders that operate this way but in some breeds this is common) but most give the owner full reign - as long as you have money, they don't care which puppy goes home with you. Many will even suggest certain pups to you based upon their unusual markings or coloring or because the puppy is “so cute”.
We take a more logical approach, aimed at setting you up for success: We make observations about the individual puppy's temperament, activity level, confidence etc. We may make recommendations against a particular puppy that we don't feel would be a good fit in your home. We may suggest a certain puppy in a litter if your needs are very specific. While we do let the new family have final say ...if it is crystal clear to us that they are picking a pup that will not fit into their lifestyle - we will tell you this as well and encourage you to rethink your choice. If we do not feel there is a puppy in the litter to suit you, we will also deliver this news as well. This is rare, but if/when it does happen, please trust that we are looking out for your best interests, as well as the puppies.
Picking your Connemara puppy should be relatively easy. We have spoken to you a few times by now and will talk more in detail as this day nears. By the time the pups temperament testing is done, we will know a bit about your life style, your activity level, your children and other pets already in your home. All of these things are going to be factors as to which puppy will fit best into your home.
If you were on the waiting list before your puppy was whelped (born) then you already know which litter you are on and when to expect your puppy. Once the litter was whelped, you received an e-mail or phone call telling you the pups were “on the ground”. Here is what happens when it is time to pick:
WEEK SEVEN (7)
PUPPY PICKING TIME:
Puppies are evaluated, photographed one last time and on occasion video(s) made of the litter all together. We will then speak to each family in detail again to go over each puppy. We will help you by telling you which puppies in the litter would be a bad choice for you and explain why. We will also give you our recommendations as to which pups in the litter we feel you would be best matched with. In some cases, a family may come to discover only one pup will work for them. In other cases, they can pick any one of the litter and be just fine. We will go over every last tidbit of information with you.
Hopefully, you will have a choice between a few puppies in the litter... but don’t expect us to “tell you what you want to hear” if you keep focusing on the one puppy in the litter we already know won’t work for you. A bold and headstrong puppy could be a disaster in a home with a more retiring family. And a more quiet, submissive puppy might not do so well in a home with a lot of activity and three busy, fun loving children. Our job is to guide you in the right direction. We take this job quite seriously while also trying to make the entire experience fun and unforgettable for you and your family members.
We guarantee our placements so yes, this is a serious time for us. We will spend all the time needed with you so when you finally do make your pick, you feel very well informed on all levels. With some people it takes 10 minutes for them to pick. Others come to our home and spend 2 hours with a litter and talk with us the entire time before they make their pick. A few have had such a hard time choosing and were so indecisive that we finally had to assist and pick their puppy for them. Some families already have one of our dogs and already trust our process so much that they ask us to pick for them. Everyone is different and we will work with you when this time comes.
Once you have picked your puppy, we will discuss pick-up date or arrange a flight to get puppy home. Puppies go home in week eight (8).
During the weeks leading up to this, here is what you will experience:...
WEEK ONE (1)
Puppies are whelped, families notified and a page set-up for the litter. We will post pictures of the litter and pictures of each puppy individually. On occasion we will even do a video at this time.
We do name the puppies but this is only for our records and so when we discuss the litter with you, we both know which pup we are talking about. We expect that you will give your puppy a proper name and do not ask you to keep the “puppy name” given. On occasion someone does so, but that is up to you.
If you are on a list and were notified of the litters arrival, please start making plans for your puppy to come home roughly 56 days from date of whelping. If you suddenly realize this is not going to be a good take home date, contact us and we can discuss options available. As well, if the timing is simply off and you would like to wait for another litter, don’t be afraid to tell us in this first week ...You will have until week four (4) to move. After that we will consider you as committed as we are. We have no problem moving you to a later litter, but understand we can't have you change say two days before your pup is scheduled to go home. It isn't fair to us, the puppy or others who wanted your spot. We fully agree that your puppy needs to be well thought out... So do this before the puppy is four weeks of age.
While we are busy behind the scenes preparing your puppy for a wonderful life with you, we continue to take photos and post every 7-10 days. The first photos will only show the puppy from above to give you an idea about color and markings. The 2nd set of photos are taken when their eyes open (between days 10-14). In these photos, we will take face shots so you can see their facial markings. After that, our photos are random shots of the litter playing and pups individually. We try to post every 7 days but ask that you give us 10 in the event we are too busy with the litter and we cant get to it right off (or have camera or uploading issues).
At this point, we usually start to get calls and e-mails from families asking if we can tell them anything about the pups temperaments and/or coat length during this time. While we wish we could give you more information, at this point it is impossible to tell the temperaments so soon. Their little brains are not fully developed yet and nothing is consistent yet. Weeks 2-3-4 not much goes on except eating, sleeping and GROWING. In week four (4) we will try to make notes about coat length.
If both Dam and Sire are smooth coats - ALL the puppies will be smooth. If even one parent is a broken or rough coat, the litter will have a mixture of coats and it is still too early to tell for certain.
By now, puppy is now well on his/her way to looking and acting like a little dog. They have discovered their voices and practice growls, barks (more like squeaks) and begin to participate in a lot of play fighting. When they start to become fun and interact like this, we will post our first video of the litter. We can tell you about the puppies coat length too.... or at least give you a very good idea. Some puppies are easier to tell (coat length) than others. We know you are anxious about this and we are too - So we will post this info as it becomes obvious to us.
By this time, you have seen 4-5 new sets of photos and probably already have a pretty good idea of which puppy you like the “Looks” of best. But try to wait a wee bit longer before focusing on one pup. That might be the wildest pup in the litter and you may be looking for the quietest one. We usually have one obviously "busy and in change" pup as well as one very "soft and quiet" one. The rest of the litter should be very middle-of-the road. So don't fret too much about there being a puppy for you. If there is not, we will talk this through with you and move you if needed. We will tell you upfront - for the puppy's sake as well as yours.
During this time, we will start talking with you more and again go over what it is you are looking for in a puppy and so on. We will ask some very specific questions and start making notes about each puppy and each family.
PUPPY PICKING TIME! (see text at start of this page for details of what takes place.)
WEEK SEVEN (7)