Question: I’m interested in getting a puppy. How long should I expect to be on the wait list?
Answer: A long time. 🙂
To elaborate, there aren’t a lot of “active” Weimaraner breeders in Southern CA, but there ARE plenty of folks looking for puppies.
Let’s talk about WHY it takes a long time to get a puppy:
I’m your average neighbor. I have a husband, mortgage, car payment, and lots and lots of dogs. (And backyard chickens.) To make ends meet, I have a day job that I dedicate about 50 hours a week to. In short, I don’t “breed dogs for a living.” I don’t own a kennel or “have a facility.” My dogs are first and foremost members of the family and live in the house with me.
Ownings dogs, doing fun things with dogs, and then breeding dogs is just what I happen to do in my spare time… As a hobby.
Not having unlimited time or space to keep a lot of dogs means I can’t be pumping out puppies all the time.
On average, I have two or three litters a year. Every breeding is carefully planned so that I can perpetuate the next generation of outstanding dogs. As puppies grow and develop, they’re constantly being evaluated. At some point in time (8 weeks of age, 10 weeks of age, 12 weeks of age, etc.) each puppy or dog is labeled as one of the following:
A – I love this puppy for reasons X, Y, Z, it’s staying in my house so I can see if it grows up the way I hope it grows up. You may know of this puppy as “the pick of the litter.” If everything checks out, the puppy is mine forever and ever. If for some reason I change my mind, that puppy will be placed when he/she is older, likely at 6 months, 12 months, or even 2-3 years.
B – This puppy has some great qualities about it, but for one reason or another, I won’t need to keep it for myself. Because it’s such an awesome puppy, it’s destined for a career in _____, _____, or _____, so it needs to be placed in a home who’s willing to give it a chance to do _____, _____, or _____. (Typically, this has either meant “show,” “hunt,” or “field.”)
C – I’m not sure this puppy is destined for _____, _____, or _____ for reasons X, Y, Z, so I’ll do my best to pick a home that best suits his/her individual personality and promises to give it a great life. As an example, a very willful, stubborn and/or independent puppy is not likely to be placed in a first-time Weimaraner family home because the chances of that family having a good experience training that particular puppy is pretty low, and that frustrating process is the last thing I want for both the puppy, and the family.
Typically, only one or two puppies will be “A” puppies. One might stay with me and the other might stay with a co-breeder, or the owner of the stud dog. A few more might be the “B” puppies… they’re good enough that I want them placed into homes that give them a chance to do what I think they’re capable of. (Sort of like having a child who’s a music or dance prodigy and wanting to give it the chance to attend Juilliard.) Those that aren’t “A” or “B” puppies will then be available for families who are “just looking for a pet.”
In my last litter of eight puppies born in February 2016, two were the “A” puppies. One stayed in my house and the other went to the co-breeder. Four more were “B” puppies. Only two (25%) ended up in companion homes.
One companion home family had been on my interest list since 2013, and the other since late 2014. So far, it appears that the “perfect” puppies landed with them. Unfortunately, there’s also a handful of disappointed families who were asked to wait until the next litter comes along (Winter 2016), and/or start reaching out to other breeders. From my experience, only a small percentage of those families will actually wait for the next litter… most will move on to another breeder, and sometimes another breed altogether.
To those who are looking for a well-bred Weimaraner puppy:
I wish it were a quicker process. On behalf of Weimaraner breeders everywhere, I apologize. There just simply aren’t enough of us. (And I, for one, am looking to change that by bringing in new people to the sport of dog competition.) To that end, for those of who you who might be “open” to the idea of owning a “B” dog, whether it’s for show, hunt, or field, please get in touch with me and I can let you know what it takes. Bottom line, my goal is to have my puppies placed in the best homes I can find for them. Best wishes on your journey.
Cheers! – Kim