WHY A WAITING LIST?
You are adding a new member to your family, isn't it in your best interest to wait for the correct puppy for your home and your child? For those with children, it is a wonderful way to teach your children the benefits of waiting patiently for something very special. Instant gratification in this situation is a pitfall. Good things are always worth the wait!
We are a small, private home hobby breeder and not a kennel, our puppies are available to our referral network and we do not 'sell our puppes' to the general public. We raise a small number of litters in a year.
In 1989, I started raising our puppies exclusively for my personal students and tutoring clients, and honestly I never intended to EVER work with the general public and strangers from the internet! I didn't consider myself a breeder in the sense that most people think of 'breeders' (kennels, raising puppies to sell on a website or in the newspaper)....this endeavor truly was meant to be a personal experience for a few select people each year, shared amongst friends. People who trusted me and I trusted them. This is not my full-time job, but someting I do for the love of my students, their families and the joy it brings me to develop a special little breed JUST for them. It has been a little overwheming to have such a demand for my dogs from people I have never met personally, so I found a waiting list with a selective pre-screening process was a necessary means to an end. While I rarely have an opening available to the general public (my personal referrals and clients tend to fill up rather quickly), if you happen to be a new fan of my breed, I need to get to know you first, to find out if I can entrust one of my puppies in your home. A waiting list and screening process is crucial in this process.
Many people contact us wanting a puppy right away. They have just decided to adopt a puppy, or want one for a child, etc. When they learn that we rarely have puppies available outside of our waiting list they are disappointed. Usually what follows is the complaint that their children could not possibly wait for a puppy that long, as they will go crazy with anticipation. I then tell them that we are probably not the breeder for them, as we typically work with families that are planning ahead. We are not about instant gratification, or impulsive decisions. We have set up our waiting list to accommodate pre-screening families that meet criteria we feel important for our puppies. The wait can sometimes be 6 months before one of our puppies are available. This is due to the fact that we are purposefully small and exclusive, and working with people needing a therapy or service dog. We also have many referrals from our families. Only raising a few litters a year is important to us, so we can devote the time necessary to give them a good start. We only approve families that have demonstrated to us that they are ready for a long term commitment, have done their research (or are willing to do so), and most importantly, demonstrate the willingness to wait for their pup. This is one of the first things I look for when considering a family for our waiting list. Many times the impulsive people have not thought past the initial cuteness of a little puppy. A few months down the road will want to re-home their pup, when the cuteness has worn off and the hard work has dawned on them. The well-planned family has taken the time to prepare and gear up for the responsibility of a puppy, and they are committed to their puppy for its lifetime. As responsible advocates for our Habibi Bears, we choose to work with families that demonstrate a high level of commitment, as the forever homes of our puppies.
Our main objective is to produce pups with excellent health and temperament first, so they can be potential therapy or service dogs. Our puppies are placed in pet homes as companion animals ONLY. If you want to breed, sorry - we do not place our dogs as breeders.
We also maintain a high level of contact with our new families, answering questions, phone calls, and emails take up a majority of our day - when we have litters of puppies, this contact increases, as we receive up to 200 emails a day during this time. If we had a more puppies to raise, we would never be able to maintain this level of contact. We feel this is important for us to get to know our new families, and love hearing from them. Many keep in contact through their dog's entire life, and we feel they are an extension of our family.
Typically, when you locate a quality breeder, you will be facing a waiting period due to the demand for that breeder's dogs as well as the selective nature of their breeding practices. Their puppies will be raised in their homes to allow for the monitoring, care, and socialization necessary to raise healthy puppies, as well as properly match them to the right family. Another factor to consider is that many breeders will not breed a litter unless they are planning to keep a puppy for their breeding program, AND they have a sufficient number of pre-screened families waiting for each litter. This is key. Most quality breeders don't find the need to advertise in the newspaper, as they have done their screening ahead of time. This is our practice in our breeding program, and YES it takes three times more effort than advertising in the paper, but we would not do it any other way. Try not to feel frustrated or impatient about the delay... it can be an indication that the breeder is breeding for quality and betterment of the breed, not quantity. This waiting period is a great opportunity for you to prepare for your new pup to come home! Take some time to read up on dog behavior and different training methods, find a local kennel or training facility where you will be able to take your puppy for "kindergarten" and obedience training, locate a veterinarian, learn about canine nutrition, grooming, etc, and plan the dog related "spaces" - indoors and out, and toward the end of this time, begin to purchase supplies.
You should also take the time to review the information on our site pertaining to vaccinations, nutrition, supplements, other care such as; puppy proofing, pet identification, etc. A responsible breeder will want to do everything possible to arm you with sufficient knowledge and support so as to best insure a successful and loving, lifetime relationship, between you and your dog.
The worst thing you can do is be in a big hurry and shop for a pup based on it's markings, availability, or the lowest price. Take your time in your search and know what is important to you before you start.