1. Patience is the KEY! Be prepared to wait for the right fit of a puppy, and in the meantime, do your research. More than looking for a puppy, look for a breeder you can trust. And allow them the opportunity to build trust in you. Expect anywhere between 4 months to a year to find the right one.
2. Spend time introducing yourself! Give a thorough introduction of yourself in the first email including your experience and knowledge of Cairns, the physical place the Cairn would live and get exercise with particular attention to the security of your yard, family members and other pets that will be a part of the Cairns life, your commitment and time available to training is information that will get you off to a good start to communicating with the breeder.
3. Price. . . if the first communication has been successful, then this would be a good time to bring up price. Cairn puppies range in price depending on the area of the country, and can fall between $1000. - $2800. Breeders who do the bile acid testing for liver shunt, GCL blood work, CMO genetic test, kidney ultrasound, eye cerf, and physical exam for heart murmurs, luxating patellas, and inguinal hernias can certainly justify these prices, so please do not be surprised. CTCA breeders are required to do these health screens, and it is very costly, and you will find that hobby breeders who charge less do not do these tests. They may offer health guarantees, but do you really want to deal with the heartbreak and vet expenses later on if your puppy becomes sick. Example, what about the adult Cairn that has kidney problems later on in life? It doesn't happen often because Cairns are, in general, a healthy breed, but it does happen that a Cairn is born with only one kidney. You may not know this for years, so a one-year health guarantee is not going to help you. We ultrasound for renal aplasia and renal dysplasia on all our puppies before they leave.
4. Please do not expect to choose your puppy. The breeder will know his/her puppies very well, and hopefully will get to know you and your situation well enough to make the best decision. Example, if we have a pup that is more companion-like versus playful, we might choose that she go to a buyer who is single &/or retired. Also, don't be surprised if the breeder wants to refer you to another CTCA breeder. We all know each other and know each others' dogs. They may know of a better fit for you.
5. Please be honest if you get on more than one waiting list or are talking with another breeder at the same time. Like I mentioned in #4, we all know each other. We are a small community and we support each other fairly well. It's a question of time investment. Please be polite and just let us know. Deal with one breeder at a time is the most polite thing to do.
6. Maintain good communications If you are expecting to be considered for a puppy from a particular breeder, stay in touch. Respond to emails, and check-in every few weeks. Let it be known if your plans change
7. Why are show breeders protective of their puppies? This humorous cartoon is a bit of an exaggeration, but this happens to some degree all the time where the puppy buyer does not have the best intentions. Click on the link: