I am back from my sunny California road trip to the Nihon Ken Invitational. Driving for a week with 4 dogs is not an easy task, and I am immensely thankful to my friends in California who helped me along my journey - which had many ups and downs and surprises. You are the kindest, most welcoming people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and always so accommodating to my hectic road-life.
I couldn't have done this trip without you, and I only hope that I can do even a fraction of what was done for me, for others when they are in need.
But that said, there's a lot of thinking you can do when mostly driving for a week or two, and this time around, I thought about the future of my kennel quite a lot, and where I am going as a breeder, and where I want to be when I'm twice as established.
The first thing I have decided to do is alter a few things: my puppy cost, how my wait list works, and how my co-ownerships work. Please continue reading if you are currently on my news list. I promise I'll break this up into easily digestible chunks so it isn't too long of a read for you.
News-List vs. Wait-List
Effective immediately, I'm altering the way my News List versus my Wait List works. My News List is a free listing that you are automatically entered onto when you fill out a puppy application and touch base with me. Once we get to talk for a bit, I put your information on a spreadsheet to be able to update you for future litters. This will not change, and individuals on the Waiting List will still be on the News List.
What is changing is the introduction of a hard waiting list. My waiting list and my news list were once one in the same, and I would give puppy owner prospects the option of sending a holding fee for a puppy out of a litter of their interest. This is going to become stricter.
The way the Wait List will now work is as follows. When you fill out an application, and we touch base, you will have the option of entering onto the waiting list by submitting your puppy holding fee. The puppy holding fee is $500 and guarantees you a puppy out of an upcoming litter. This $500 holding fee goes toward the total price of your puppy. Only those entered onto the waiting list, with holding fees paid, will be considered for upcoming litters.
If you would like to stay on the News List and enter your holding fee when a litter of your interest comes up, that is still fine, but it will not guarantee you a puppy from that litter, as there may already be 10 people in line on the Waiting List ahead of you, who may all be good fits for puppies produced.
The Waiting List will be have numbered priority married with my policy of picking the right puppy for you. Being on the Waiting List with a holding fee paid will guarantee you a puppy from an upcoming litter, but still I reserve my right to abstain from placing a puppy I do not feel is a good fit for you. This has not happened yet in my litters - I ask a lot of questions about your preferences in order to best pair you with a pup you will be happy with.
My 2017 and 2018 litters were placed at a cost of $1800. This price is going up to $2000 also effective immediately. I have been very, very hesitant to raise the price of my puppies, as I would like to keep Kishu affordable and easily available to the appropriate homes, and I understand that $2000 is not chump change everyone keeps lying around. I still don't feel great about the necessity to change the price of my pups, but please rest assured that it is a necessity, and I am going to use the rest of this space to explain exactly what I do with puppy fees.
When you pay for your puppy, you are paying me to rear your puppy for 8-12 weeks of age, depending on when you would like to pick your puppy up. I take my time out of work during this process to make sure that your puppy is raised as I would want a dog in my own household to be raised, if not better. I have developed my own early neurological stimulation and foundations to training programs to work your puppies' minds and bodies from as soon as they are born. I have full-time puppy cameras (which may become 24/7 now that we are established in a new house) which cost money to maintain, and all of my puppies are fully vetted and registered by the time they go home. This is what any good breeder will do for you, surely.
In addition, your puppy fee pays for the care of your puppy's mother - which is typically far less costly than the puppies themselves, but a worthy footnote.
I am currently the only Kishu Ken breeder with all of my dogs screened for diversity and genetic illnesses by genotype evaluation. I am the only breeder in the USA with all of my dogs' pedigrees publicly available, as well as these genotype reports to tell you medical information on your puppy's parents. I am extending this in 2019 to the OFA database. I will become the first Kishu breeder with my dogs in the OFA health database, which is something I am still coordinating and working on.
I also donate my time and money to help people do the same for their dogs. In 2016, I coordinated the purchase and distribution of 15 genetic tests for Kishu Ken all over the continent, to get a better idea of what our population looks like.
Your money pays not only for your puppy, but helps us come together as a community and learn more about our dogs. None of this is written in the manner of one-upping other breeders, but to present you with the information of what I am dealing with when I am breeding my dogs to produce healthy, sound puppies for you to take home.
If the $2000 price tag is a little much to chew, I also invite my prospective puppy homes to be honest and open with me about it. I am happy to work with well-qualified homes.
Edits to Co-Ownerships
One last note and change to my ownerships and kennel, effective immediately, is how co-ownerships are handled.
Co-ownerships will be offered to well-qualified puppy owner prospects going forward. A Co-ownership will be managed on the puppy owner end exactly how they would rear and manage their pet dog. However, co-owned dogs will not be neutered until approved, and may be called upon for breeding by myself, the breeder. If your dog is bred, the puppy owner will then be guaranteed a return on their puppy fee.
Co-owners of female dogs may either return their pup to my house for breeding (if such a time occurs), or they may rear their dog's litter in their house. Co-owners of male and female dogs alike may be required to transport their dogs for breeding and pre-breeding exams, or be responsible for genetic testing swabbing and mailing, at the breeder's expense.
If you are interested in co-owning a Kishu Ken, please be upfront and communicate this with me.
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