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How Puppies are Matched Up

As a puppy buyer, you have done your homework to decide upon a breeder, a litter, and you have
chosen a color and sex preference.

As a breeder, I spend years with the parent dogs, months planning a breeding, and every waking
minute with the puppies. Thus, I am well equipped to notice subtle differences between the
puppies, and I will  be the one who makes the final determination on which puppy ends up in
which home. It would seem silly after all of this evaluation (explained below) to require you to pick
your future companion based on a few photos! We believe that their is no 'first pick' puppy that is
best for all families, and choose to evaluate each puppy individually in order to best match them
to a suitable family.

The Evaluation Process

1) When the puppies are first born, we generally are able to narrow down which group of puppies
you might be matched with, based on your sex and color preferences.

For example, if your first choice is a black male, and there are four black males, then the puppy
that comes home with you will be one of the black males- as long as you were one of the first 4
families to place a reservation that preferred a black male. If you were 5th in line, then the black
male puppies would be matched to the families who had placed their reservations earlier, and
you would be offered to be matched with another available color/sex combination, a refund on
your deposit, or the chance to apply your deposit to another litter. ( Being flexible on either your
sex or color preference (or both) puts the odds in your favor of getting a puppy from a specific
litter regardless of when your deposit is placed.) Note: Being first in line does not mean that you
pick your own puppy. It only means that if there is a limited number of your preferred color/sex
combination of puppy, you will have the first opportunity to be matched with that puppy provided
his other traits turn out to be complementary to what you are seeking.

2) From birth to six weeks, each puppy is exposed to a variety of new things. We observe and
record any significant behavior patterns. At six weeks, puppies visit our vet for a checkup and
vaccinations. By now, we are starting to get a very good idea of their temperament - which puppy
is the bravest, who is laid back, which one is crazy for birds, etc.

3) At 7-7.5 weeks, the puppies are evaluated structurally based on Helen King's philosophies.

4) By combining the temperament and structural evaluations, we are able to determine what
puppies are best suited for a performance home, which ones will make great hunters, and which
puppies will make the best family pets. Most of our puppies are suitable for several purposes but
usually there is one puppy that is best suited for each family. By comparing each puppy's
evaluation to our reservation list, we can determine which puppy is your perfect match.  In this
sense, every family gets a 'first pick' puppy!

COMMON QUESTIONS about puppy selection:

1) Who gets stuck with the runt?
First of all, true runts are few and far between. There is always a 'smallest puppy' in every litter,
but there isn't always a runt. A runt is a sickly puppy that fails to thrive. Most of the time, a true
runt will not survive. Sometimes there are tiny fighters that just take a little longer to blossom. In
any case, we do NOT sell sickly, unhealthy puppies - any runt born here will stay here until he or
she is 100% healthy, even if that means that we keep the puppy for several extra months.  So
don't worry about that!

2) What if I reserve a puppy and none of them are suitable for me?
This is a possibility, although fairly uncommon. Prior to reserving a puppy, we will discuss your
needs with you to ensure that the litter you are interested in is expected to produce puppies that
will meet your needs. However, in the event that none of the puppies have the correct
temperament, structure, or drive for what you are looking for, we will let you know and allow you
to have your deposit refunded or wait for another litter. It is in everyone's best interest (ours,
yours, and of course the puppy's) to ensure, to the best of our abilities, that each puppy is placed
into their ideal situation. That said, we cannot guarantee that any specific puppy will be suitable
for any specific purpose - training plays a HUGE role and all we can do is provide you with a puppy
predicted to be successful -  the rest is up to you!

3) What if I'd rather have a different puppy?
Puppy matches are final. No swapping/bumping/trading puppy matches. We take this process
seriously, and if you aren't happy with the puppy we match you with, we will refund your deposit.
Which puppy will it be???