The Puppy Buying Process
So, you are ready to get a puppy. This is such an exciting time! When looking at a breeder you want to work with, it is important to have an idea of what the process looks like as well as expectations on both ends being clear in the puppy buying process. In the following paragraphs, we will outline some of the policies and procedures we have in place for our puppy buying process. These can change, are not permanent, and can change or be altered without notice, but this is currently how we are going about this process for our program.
Currently, we do not have a wait list or require a deposit or financial amount to be placed on a wait list. This is because we don't have constant litters on the ground and we only want people on a wait list that are serious about getting a puppy from us. When we have a confirmed pregnancy, then we will start taking applications from interested owners for that litter. For those homes we think will be a good fit for one of our puppies, they can be placed on a wait list. We will only place families on the wait list if they are serious about getting a puppy from the litter of a confirmed pregnancy.
Being placed on a wait list does NOT guarantee you a puppy. Being placed on the wait list means that you have the potential to get a puppy from the current litter being born dependent on how many puppies are born, your placement on that wait list, as well as other factors. Placement on the wait list is determined by a few different factors, but it is not just "first come, first serve". We want to make sure our puppies go to homes that will be the best fit for the puppies and the new families. Placement on the wait list can be impacted by several factors that we look at in the application process.
The Application Process:
We start looking at applications when we are near a time of a potential litter or breeding. If you are interested in a breeding a few years' out, that is excellent, but we recommend not submitting an application until it is closer to time of a breeding (which we keep updated on our "litters" page) because a lot can change in a couple of years and you want your application to be the best representation for your current life situation and what your future plans are with this new puppy.
Anyone interested in a puppy is required to fill out an application. This is required before we will go over any more detail on litters, puppies in a litter, etc. If an application is not filled out in detail or has areas left blank, your application will not be considered and you will not be able to move forward in the process. The application is about getting to know you, your family, your ideal puppy, and your goals. We want to not only make sure that one of our dogs would be a good fit for your home, but also that we can best match you with the right puppy.
In terms of the order in which we review applications, we review applications for homes we already know and people that have shown a consistent interest in our program, whether that be through contact or interaction in our social media channels, receive priority in who we review first. If based on the application it appears our program may be a good fit for your needs and wants, then we will contact you to set up a phone interview or video interview to get to know you a little better. Again, we are wanting to ensure that one of our dogs would be the best fit for your home and your goals.
After the interview process, if it seems like it would be a good match, we ask you if you would like to be placed on the wait list for the upcoming litter and if you do, then you will be placed on the wait list.
The Puppy "Choosing" Process:
Once you are on the wait list, there is no requirement of money down until we have puppies born. We reserve the right to keep back ANY puppy that we choose. Essentially, we get "first pick" for litters that we whelp. Depending on stud contracts with outside sires, the owner of the stud may have "second pick" depending on our contract. However, it is not recommended to get hung up on "first pick, second pick, third pick, etc" because the puppy you get isn't necessarily dependent on your placement on the wait list, it is more dependent on which puppy will best fit your family in that litter.
When puppies are born and we have an idea of not only how many puppies we have from that litter, but also if we are interested in potentially keeping a puppy back or the stud owner is considering a puppy, we will contact people on the wait list based on the amount of puppies potentially available. When we reach out at this stage, if you want a puppy from that litter, we require a non-refundable hold fee of 50% of the purchase price of the puppy. This fee is to hold you a puppy from the litter, but not a particular puppy in the litter. If we cannot provide a puppy to you from that litter due to a puppy illness, injury, death, we decide to keep another puppy back, or any extenuating circumstance on our end, we will allow that hold fee to go to another litter in the future. If you no longer wish to receive a puppy or are getting a puppy from another breeder, you forfeit that hold fee and will not receive a refund or be able to extend that hold fee to a future litter.
If you are on a wait list for a litter, but are not contacted when we have puppies on the ground, that does not necessarily mean we won't have a puppy available. For example, if we have a litter of 7 puppies, we may only contact 4-5 people on our wait list to leave wiggle room in case we decide to keep a puppy or two back or the stud owner chooses a puppy. As decisions begin to seem more finalized, we may reach out to more people next on the list we think may be good matches for the puppies currently on the ground.
When puppies are close to the 6 weeks of age mark, we will have a starting idea of some personalities and temperaments that are forming. Based on what we are seeing in that regards to the puppies, we will contact those that have placed a holding fee for puppies we think best fit what they are looking for in terms of personality and temperament, as well as what may best fit in their home situation. This is NOT a guarantee of future temperament or personality, but gives an idea of where the puppy is in that moment in time and if it has the potential to be a good fit based on what we are seeing at that time. Then if you agree that you would like that puppy that seems to be matching your lifestyle and personality, we require the second 50% of the price of the puppy to hold that specific puppy for you. Until we receive that second 50% payment, that puppy is not guaranteed to be your puppy.
Sex & Color:
You may have a preference for a certain sex of dog or a certain color of dog. We completely understand and it is normal to have a preference. In your application, we will ask if you have a preference for sex of dog and/or color. However, we match puppies based on personality and temperament that best fits your goals and household. For example, if you prefer a blue merle male, but we have a black tri female that would be a better fit for your home, that is the puppy we are going to recommend or offer to you. However, if we have two blue merle males and either one would be an excellent fit for your home and goals based on what we are currently seeing, from the puppy, then based on where you are placed on the wait list we will let you pick between the two puppies. So please, let us know if you have a preference and what those preferences are, but also please be open to getting a puppy that looks different than what you originally wanted if the personality and temperament will be a better fit for you and your family.
Getting Puppies Home:
Puppies will go home no earlier than 8 weeks of age, no exceptions. You will need to come to us to come get your puppy. At this time, we will not ship puppies or send puppies on a plane to their new destination. We want to make sure to meet the actual families for these puppies in person before they are sent off to their new homes. We also are not currently traveling to take puppies to their new homes. It is best to plan to come and pick up your puppy in person.
Your puppy will be sent home with a copy of their worming schedule, a copy of their vaccination schedule, some of the food that they are currently eating, a toy that smells like the littermates, and a copy of their health certificate.
All puppies will be registered with the American Kennel Club, AKC. Puppies will be sold on limited registration. This means that puppies will NOT have breeding rights and cannot be bred. This also means that your puppy will not be eligible to be shown in conformation. We require that your dog is spayed or neutered when they are 18-24 months of age. Spaying or neutering a dog too early can set up a potential for joint health issues if they are no longer producing needed hormones while they are developing. However, it is also your responsibility to prevent your dog from reproducing. With limited registration, you and your puppy can still compete in other sports like rally, obedience, agility, scent work, dock diving, earn trick titles, and are able to participate in all AKC events with the exception of conformation.
Selling puppies on full registration would only be done on very rare circumstances for homes meeting very specific guidelines and criteria and only on puppies that have the potential to be show prospects. Puppies sold on full registration would only be considered for a proven show home, on a co-own contract, with requirements that puppy would be shown in AKC and/or ASCA conformation until achieving at least a championship title at a minimum, along with specific performance titles to a certain level, health testing and requirements done before breeding would be considered, as well as requiring my approval for any matings being done and I can receive a chosen pick from a desired litter out of that dog and/or the ability to use that dog for breeding in my own program. Again, selling on full registration would be done on rare occasions and on co-own contracts only, no exceptions!
You get to choose the call name of your dog. The call name is your dog's everyday name. For example, Zap's registered name is "Chaver's Lightning Strikes Twice", but her call name is "Zap". Litters of puppies may have a theme and names associated with them when we are posting pictures and/or videos on social media, etc. However, when a puppy is yours, you can change the call name to whatever you wish as long as it is an appropriate name (no curse words or slurs for names, please!) and when you have decided on a name, I will try to start calling your puppy by that name to help them start learning that name. In terms of the registered name, ALL puppies must be registered with the starting name "Lightning Rnd's ...". If we don't have a registered name picked out already, you can pick the registration name, but do know it will start with "Lightning Rnd's". We may keep up with a theme for a litter and if that is the case, we will let you know what the registration name will be. If there is a theme for all of the registration names, we may have a list of names and let you choose which one you would like your dog to have. Again, you get to choose the call name, which is what you will call the dog at home. The registration name is only something that will be seen on documentation.