HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR ROTTWEILER BREEDER AND BUYER EMPOWERMENT
by West Coast Rottweilers/Bob Flynn
NOTE: The opinions and beliefs expressed in this article are that solely of West Coast Rottweilers.
With the creation of the internet, anyone can generate a web site and make whatever claims they wish. As a buyer seeking a Rottweiler Breeder, it becomes a horrible game of whom is competent, incompetent, lying, knowledgeable, inept. When a prospectus client contacts us, they are flustered, confused and just plain old tired of all the games and lies ...people are not stupid and when you put on your "crap detector" you better trust your instincts when it comes to what a Rottweiler Breeder will tell you.
I will try to take you through many of the lies, pitfalls and scams that sadly, many Rottweiler Breeders utilize to separate yourself from your hard earned money. On the flip side, you the buyers, are ALWAYS in a HUGE hurry to be told what you WANT TO HEAR and are so willing to believe it, thus setting the trap. Don't blame the Rottweiler Breeder if you are uneducated, gullible, afraid to say no, compulsive buyer, etc and they take full advantage of you...that is ALL ON YOU! Why am I harsh on this subject? Because I get the after calls when YOU got screwed royally and the sad thing is that your "crap detector" went off and you disregarded it fully. Calling me to fix what another Rottweiler Breeder did to you is not my problem, though I have rectified many problems between breeders and their upset clients.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
You will always hear me say "you are not buying a Rottweiler Puppy, you are buying a Rottweiler Breeder. The puppy is nothing more than the end product of the Rottweiler Breeder in whole, hate your breeder and I can guarantee you displeasure with your puppy. This is the very first step you need to realize before moving forward. I don't care whom you are in the Rottweiler World, treat me bad and I take my money and business elsewhere, just that fast and simple...and I will let everyone know how I was treated also.
EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE ROTTWEILER
Read what you can in books, though I find the past 30 years the books on Rottweilers to be very poor, just look at the Rottweiler on the cover and you will know what I speak of. If the cover Rottweiler is not of high quality breed type, well I can assure you the rest of the book is a piece of garbage. The most important selling aspect of any book is a cover and they put a light eyed, pink mouthed Rottweiler. Three books I will back 100% is: The Rottweiler, An International Study of the Breed by Dr. Dagmar Hodinar, Complete Rottweiler by Muriel Freeman and Book of the Rottweiler by Anna Nicholas.
For me, no book of Rottweilers will ever replace Dr. Dagmar Hodinar's book The Rottweiler: An International Study of the Breed. This book in my very strong opinion is the Bible of the Rottweiler.
SAMPLE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR ROTTWEILER BREEDER
How long have you been a Rottweiler Breeder : Time as a Rottie Breeder can mean that one is competent and knows what they are doing. While this can ring true, many older Rottweiler Breeders have failed to maintain the quality that they are basing their CURRENT prices and quality upon. This is why I always say "You are only as good as your LAST litter." Obviously you do not want a true beginner either and it is nice to know if they breed other dog breeds. My opinion is that is the sign of a larger scale operation and that is a bad sign in my book; make one breed and only breed and did it very well.
Is the Sire on premise: Buyers have come to the conclusion that quality is assured if the Sire and Dam are on premise ..WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! In my book, a Rottweiler Breeder that breeds SOLELY to their own males is the worst their is. Why? Almost 30 years ago when I started out I swore that I would use only the very best and NO SINGLE MALE is qualified to breed to every single female. Breeding is about fixing faults and adding traits, THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE MALE IN THE WORLD NOR EVER HAS BEEN that is capable of THIS! It is nothing more in my opinion lazy, greedy, sloppy breeding at its finest. It costs a whole lot more $$ to get in your truck, get health cert's, go to the airport, pay the airline ticket, fly your bitch to all corners of the world, pay a stud fee, have to pay to have her transported back to the airport, pay the airline ticket, then go to the airport and get her. It takes me 9 hours round trip just for the airport trip and I do it twice! It is so much easier to go out back and just open the pens and there you go. I will cover the "Import Rottweiler, German Rottweiler, I paid a lot Rottweiler" mis truths that is going to follow up from the breeders mouth. Know this: it is far and so very few between here in the USA that a male is that good, only Carrabbahaus Rottweilers in New York can make those claims. Rottweiler Breeders that breed in their backyards solely is concerned with maximizing their $$$, now you know why.
Why did you choose this male? If you read above and the male is on site, well I hope you already have your "crap detector" in full operation. If they use their male from time to time, that is one thing as they mix it up with other males....all the time is bad in my book. Any Rottweiler Breeder worth their salt will be able to tell you the good, the bad, what they are trying to gain, what they are trying to fix, type of breeding (line, in, out cross) and why this type of breeding, etc. Just naming Rottweilers that are famous in the pedigree is not an answer; everyone has famous Rottweilers in their pedigrees, we at West Coast Rottweilers are ONLY interested in Rottweilers that PRODUCE their lineage consistently. Only a small fraction of each litter might have that ability to do so and if every puppy did have that ability, we would not see all the pieces of junk we see...that is what is truly key here ...Rotts that PRODUCE.They should be able to tell you about that males siblings as this is very important. Any litter can have a shining star and with over 25,000 genetic combinations PER PUPPY, I find it critical to know the siblings. Why? If the majority of Rottweiler puppies in the given litter produced terribly, common sense dictates that the genetics are skewed towards the majority. Junk in is junk out. If I am seeking a certain trait, I look to see how strong that trait is within the siblings and ancestors. Also, I prefer Rottweiler males from strong litters that are uniformed, this tells me that the gene pool is highly compressed and strong in the traits ..simple logic that Rottweiler Breeders fail to see and use.
Just these three questions will tell me a lot about the knowledge of the Rottweiler Breeder. They tell me what effort if any at all was put into the breeding. It tells me how much time is under their belt and you can look further to see if the older established Rottweiler Breeder is still doing great breeding's or just living on the past reputation as they plunge downwards.
MAKING CONTACT WITH YOUR ROTTWEILER BREEDER
This topic cracks me up on both sides of the phone. A rude, aggressive, pushy Rottweiler Breeder should not be tolerated for one second, period. Hang up on them and make sure your friends know also about their rudeness. This is the time where a Rottweiler Breeder is supposed to be on their best behavior and if it is bad now, it will only get worse later, FACT. Do not call during dinner hours, too early or too late either...it is just plain rude ....check the time zones prior. If you call and they do not answer, by all means have the courtesy and ethics to leave a short, brief message and repeat your phone number SLOWLY and twice. Many clients are too fast in speech and garbled. They blame the Rottweiler Breeder for not calling back when in fact the problem was a poor message.
VISIT THEIR HOMES
If a Rottweiler Breeder balks, walk away. EVERY ROTTWEILER BREEDER should make available to you, the PAYING client, their residence. It is important to see the cleanliness of not only the pups, the whelp areas, dog runs...but their own personal home, trust me it tells you a LOT!! Dirty, filthy, run down, fleas, etc is a sign of a shabby breeder at their best, walk away. You will want to see where the babies are raised and I will cover this in detail further sown the article.It also does not hurt to see their family also, this will give you even more insight...remember, you are not buying a Rottweiler Puppy, you are buying a Rottweiler Breeder!
ROTTWEILER PUPPY PRICES
I am going on record here and now: If you pay more than $2500 for a Rottweiler Puppy, then you are a fool. In 1983 I paid $2500 and I did that happily. Here in California, we have the highest prices in the world, this is fact. Is the quality better than the rest of thee world? Oh hell no, not at $3500, $4500 and yes, $6500!!! The old sales tactic is to charge more for a product and the buyer thinks they are getting that much better...and the other old saying is "that a fool and their money are soon parted." I can tell you with pure honesty I have seen better Rottweiler Puppies from first time Rottweiler Breeders that sold them for $1000 than $4500 pups, pure fact. So here is the sales pitch: My male came from Germany and xyz titles and so did the bitch. Ok, let's visit this pitch as I see it. Everyone has a Rott male from Germany or Europe..big deal, whoopee. They sell their junk as they make more junk than the USA does. Biggest hype there is. Because a dog wins shows has NO CORRELATION to what they can and will produce ..guess why the dog is most likely here in the States anyway's?? You keep producers and you sell clunkers. Even the stringent Breed Testing in Germany is ZERO, read this again..ZERO guarantee of breeding successes. That is even MORE HYPE pushed upon you by the "We use nothing but PURE GERMAN ROTTWEILERS" people. Gimmicks used to gain more $$ from your pockets, playing on a buyers ignorance or lack of education. When the top kennels of the world are averaging $2000-2500, you get the idea that you are being sold a bill of hype. We go to great lengths to breed and therefore our costs are much higher out of our pockets, but we charge a price that is very fair for the high quality you get. So tell me how a breeder that breeds in their backyards to the same dog 100x can charge so much more? Exactly, crap detector is going berserk!
We have ALWAYS believed in empowering the Rottweiler buyer, it gives them the ability to make sound decisions and eliminates the bad Rottweiler Breeders. The following portion(s) of this article will continue to cover the aspects of a good Rottweiler Breeder, the liar, the hype and all the falsities to give you the ability to make sounder decisions in your investment.
THE GERMAN ROTTWEILER HYPE
Type in "German Rottweiler" into Google and see what returns. Open up the top sites in the search and look at the pedigrees of the dogs they have. How many are TRULY ALL GERMAN ROTTWEILERS? Very damn few at best. So if a Rottweiler Breeder is willing to make that statement, what else are they going to misinform you about? There was a time that the Germans where the Gold Standard of the Breed...with greed came the selling off of their prized producers, leaving lesser's behind to rebuild their future. Lost is the old Rottweiler Breeders that dominated year after year after year. What happened? They sold their consistency to Asia and everyone else. Gone is the endless great German Rottweilers, now they are few at best. So when a breeder is telling me that they are only using PURE GERMAN ROTTWEILERS, I see that as falling behind in progressing the breed and using second hand stock. Germany is no longer the Gold Standard, Europe is in my book. The same Breeders will try to have you believe that European Rotts are not near as good..ummm, guess where the majority of them came from? They came from parents of the one's that left Germany. So if it is not born in Germany, therefore it is not quality? Utter bunk. Sales gimmick, hype. We go were the good ones went...what a concept! The Germans can't as they are bound to their own rules and country, hence the big problem in Germany. Italy, Croatia, Serbia ....making great stuff off of German Rottweilers that left Germany and putting their breeding expertise twists on them. We use Eastern Europe as they have heavier bone, more robust bodies. We take these rugged Rotts and then refine them with a great German Rottweiler line. The Rotts from Germany are much more refined, lesser bone, etc but what we are after is the sleeker coats and temperaments. Once added into a program, it is easily replicated. As bone and size has waned in Germany, Europe is producing it and that is what the Rottweiler was, is and will be about. I will close this section with this: When Germany hits with a great Rottweiler, there is without doubt no equal but again, they are sadly far between.
MY ROTTWEILER IS AN IMPORT
Price and pedigree plus country of origin has no correlation to quality 100% of the time. People boast that they paid $5, 10, 20, 50, 100 thousand dollars for a Rottweiler. All this means is that you bought a dog no one wanted and you got jacked OR you bought a Rottweiler they did not want to sell...HUGE DIFFERENCE! When we are seeking a purchase, we see what we like and we go after it. More often than not the Rottie is not for sale. What this means is that it is going to get expensive if you can actually get the owner to sell, no one is in a hurry to sell their bread and butter plus future of their breeding program. 99.9% of Rottweiler Breeders will buy what is offered up for sale ..I will NEVER buy what is offered for sale. Rottweilers from Germany and Europe make their way here all the time. Many are very famous, heavily titled, beautiful Rottweilers.So they must be the one to breed to, right? Not always true, not very true almost always. German Import Rottweilers have breeding's on file you can access, most often you will find they had very little in stud numbers..this indicates the Germans know something and failed to use them...so they where sold off. If the number of quality producers are limited in their country and this dog is not being used, tells you big things. Rottweiler Breeders will say "I paid $50,000 for this dog." Guess what, you paid a lot for a nothing producer. This is why I have a page devoted to Rottweiler males that PRODUCE excellence. It eliminates the hype. Import bitches are even under more scrutiny from me as they are the gene carrier and your future program. 90% of the time I go after a female I cannot buy and I have spent in excess of $22,000 for a 1.5 year old..so are you seeing the picture more clearly?
Two excellent examples of import females. The winningest female Rottweiler in Europe's history Petra Earl Antonius and the great Naja Earl Antonius
THE PARENTS HAVE CLEAR HIPS AND ALL THESE HEALTH CERTIFICATES, SO NO PROBLEMS ARE ASSURED, RIGHT?
Where do you start with mess? Hips..just because the the parents are Excellent or Clear means NO GUARANTEE of the resulting same. I can name a half dozen Rotts that have Excellent ratings that produce dysplasia more often than not, that is just in the Western USA. You want to know what the offspring have faired. We sadly get a large number of clients from other breeders that come to us with their dyplastic puppies and $10,000 vet bill and ask how they go about getting the breeder to help ..there is no recourse and even more sad is that I knew they where going to get what they have. One owner had micro chipped their puppy and at the age of 6 months became 100% dysplastic. They paid $3500 for the Rott Puppy and they returned the puppy to the Rottweiler Breeder and walked away and never asked for any monies, they where that heart broken. Now, that Rottweiler Breeder promised to give that puppy the care and attention they needed. Days later, the County Animal Shelter contacted them as the puppy had a microchip with their information on it and asked why it was dumped in a box overnight on their doorstep!!!! This is what $3500 gets you. When they came to me to buy a puppy, all they had to do was mention the area the breeder was in and I named the Sire and Dam and was 100% CORRECT. They are pro Breeders and I will tell you the difference between a Pro and Hobbyist Rottweiler Breeder later. Thyroid Testing, CERF (eye) cert's and etc all have their place except they are done as the Rottweiler is very very young..who tests a Rottweiler thyroid as a youth and not as an older Rottweiler when it actually has a meaning? You can get a thyroid test, find the dog is low, give them their pill and retest a month later and get a cert claiming normal. Same with eyes ...because you have these "cert's" fails to guarantee those Rottweilers will not make it...10 generations/dozens of Rottweilers in the pedigree and not adding in the countless siblings and thousands of genetic codes each contains all have a bearing on outcomes. All nice to have but if you are not doing this every year and getting clearances, then the cert's carry very little importance to me, but then again I know the dogs inside and out before we use them. There are variables that come into play also with regard to siblings with health issues...in ANY bloodline there are problems..it is a matter of how many times this problem occurs. Once in a great while is an acceptable risk if the male is a strong producer overall. There are two great brothers, one died of SAS and the other has never produced it as we know and he is/was used heavily worldwide and his siblings are clear of it... just know this...there is so mcuh that has to go into a male selection that it cannot be readily covered, this is why the mass majority choses incorrectly and this the breed suffers.
THE ROTTWEILER SIRE AND DAM HAVE GREAT PEDIGREES SO MY PUPPY WILL BE INCREDIBLE
Means nothing, zero, nada if the Sire and Dam fail to bring it forward. You grab 20 Rottweilers, guarantee almost each one will have similar to same dogs all over (we are talking well pedigreed Rotts). But if you look at the Rottweilers, they are each very different. Each carries a different genetic codes and only a small number of those Rottweilers may make their excellence. You can have two great siblings but each one will make polar opposites in the whelping box. Akino vd Lauterbrucke and his brother Andro are a great case in point. Both famous, both winners, both producers of two very different Rotts.
Quality over and over is no accident as these three different WCR producing's prove ..all girls so compare them to other Rottweiler Breeders males!!
DEPOSITS ON LITTERS
I cannot begin to come up with a number of people that have contacted us with complaints that breeders kept their deposits, so we shall discuss this and reduce your exposure(s). Virtually all Rottweiler Breeders request some form of a deposit and rightfully so as this show intent and commitment by the client to continue the agreement. If a client backs out of the agreement, the overwhelming majority of Rottweiler Breeders will keep the deposit as a forfeit, and I suppose people can come to the acceptance of this position. Many of those whom spoke with us lost their deposit(s) due to the breeding did not take, loss of litter, not enough pups, etc. It was always been and always will be the position here at West Coast Rottweilers that our problem(s) is not YOUR problem. We strongly urge them to seek Small Claims Court as it is is cheap and very fast. A great many Rottweiler Breeders use YOUR MONEY to do the breeding and the whelp and this is why in many situations you never see your money again. Rottweiler Breeders in many circumstances live hand to mouth and the client FAILED to recognize a poorly funded breeders they failed to do their homework. Rarely is that client ever compensated.
How we do it here at West Coast Rottweilers is simple and fair to all parties involved: a small deposit of $250 is sent to us via Check. The check is placed within a envelope and put away in our records box. Each check has several things unique to them; a number showing the sequence of acceptance as we are a "first come first served" Rottweiler Breeder. The clients will have written onto the check memo line the name of the pairing PLUS the sex of the puppy, this assures in their own handwriting, on their own check what it was they requested. You would be surprised to what occurs when it is time for the Rotties to go home as people claim a different sex than what was requested initially. Anyone that needs to revoke their reservation PRIOR to the whelp will get their money back 100%,. Whom is out anything at this point? No one. After the whelp and the client needs to revoke their reservation, they will be refunded 100% upon the sell of their reservation and not until such time. So with us, you are getting a 100% refund if needed at all times. It is very rare that we have kept a deposit.
If a Rottweiler Breeder is requesting large deposits and no chances of refunds, it is ON YOU to walk away and find a breeder with sound ethics and business sense.
TELLING YOU WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR
This is my biggest complaint with clients; YOU wanting to hear what only what you WANT TO HEAR! You set yourself up into the biggest rat trap of them all with the "I want a male Rottweiler, 145 pounds, great temperament and no hip problems ....tomorrow!" Read that sentence again and tell me how many Rottweiler Breeders can tell you with 100% accuracy that is EXACTLY what you are going to get? Try ZERO! So you tell them that is what you want, they tell you "no problem, send me your money" and the lock is set. We as Rottweiler Breeders have little control over what we can make, that is pure fact...what a quality Rottweiler Breeder shoots for is a well balanced, excellent type, beautiful and sound Rottweiler regardless of size constraints. Hate to burst your bubble but this is not Burger King, you do not order what you want exactly and get what you want exactly ...Mother Nature has provided over 25,000 genetic combinations PER puppy, so tell me otherwise and prove it to me. As the client, YOU better know what the Rottweiler Breeder makes by looking at what they have been making in the past. Look at the parents, the grandparents, etc.Is this a repeat breeding and how did that one turn out. The best proof is in prior breeding's and seeing the offspring, this is the very best proof of all.
So, when you call a Rottweiler Breeder up and they tell you what they make and how their program has been doing, etc...this is a good sign that they are trying to be honest in this department. If they are telling you that they make these huge, gorgeous, powerful Rotts that weigh 150 pounds and heads the size of trash can lids...you are being set up.
EDUCATING THE BUYER
How many Rottweiler Breeders truly take the time to educate you, they client, on the breed, their program, their thoughts and where they are going, the stud, the bitch, etc? Very few...very very few. We are passionate, I MEAN PASSIOANTE about our breeding program and our great Rottweiler breed. When you call me, make sure you have some time to spend as I will cover a ton of ground in order for you to make educated decisions.
PRO -VS- HOBBY ROTTWEILER BREEDER
In many businesses, trades, etc the term "PRO" or "Professional" is the highest level one can achieve, not in the Rottweiler World per my definition. For me strictly speaking, the Pro Rottweiler Breeder is the lower level as that person(s) makes their living off of the breed entirely. Allow me to state that those whom are retired, unable to work a "normal" career are excluded here. More often than not, the quality of dogs they own and/or use are in my opinion sub-par. They cut corners to amend their bottom line costs and to cover their overhead and this is where quality hits the skids. Seen it over and over and over. They must produce in volumes and quality does not come like that. Yes, they will have some nice puppies but if you look at the overall ratio of puppies made to puppies that are truly nice, you see a ratio that is not so good. Most often they own their own stud dog(s) and use solely those males. They try to make you believe that they are the "end all, be all" male for their bitches but that is far from the truth as now singular male anywhere or ever has that ability. I'll call it for what it is, lazy-cost-effective-breeding. I don't care what his titles are, I don't care what his pedigree is, I don't care who his breeder was, I don't care how beautiful he is ...garbage out is garbage out and a lot of them make just that ....period. I don't care how much they claim they paid for the dog....they got screwed. Price is NEVER EVER indicative of quality, EVER.
The Rottweiler Hobby Breeder is the most common of all as a great many have their own jobs/income and enjoy breeding Rotts for fun and personal enjoyment. Within this grouping is varied levels of playing fields: those with money to spend to do big gun breeding's and those without the finances to do big breeding's. Those with the knowledge to do great breeding's and those without the knowledge to do great breeding's. Those with access to great dogs and those without access to great dogs. Those WILLING to get out of their backyards, get out of their towns, get out of their states or countries and really do it right and those whom just want pure breeding convenience. Now take all of these groupings and take the highest level of each group and make that into one breeder type and you will find the numbers of that type of Rottweiler Breeder is very very few.
In today's worldwide economic economy, the level of play to separate you from your hard earned money is very high. Hopefully we have provided to you some answers, questions and food for thought. Again, this article is based around my opinions and beliefs plus 28 years as a Rottweiler Breeder respected around the world for our breeding's, honesty and integrity.
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