When looking for a breeder, how early do you contact them? What do you say? When do you start the process of trying to acquire a dog from them?

Very much confused

I contacted quite a few breeders when I started looking just to get an idea on what was out there. I wasn’t looking for a specific time to get a puppy (but my circumstances of losing Kilo was also v unexpected and I didn’t want to wait up to a year). 

I was very honest and just explained my life situation and what I was looking for in a dog and the type of lifestyle I had with Kilo. Some breeders were very vague, some just told me which litter was upcoming, or told me what was currently available. I worried my opening email was too long but I figured they could get an idea on what I was looking for and I wouldn’t waste their time otherwise.

Bjorn was originally going to a working home only so I didn’t think I would end up with him, but I sent his breeder Kilo’s instagram so they could get an idea of the type of home he’d have, and then just ended up talking to them about HSA and health issues in general (I was trying to get the best chance of a healthy dog and his breeder was v knowledgeable on his lines) and anyway he ended up coming home to me. 

It was kind of intimidating contacting breeders at first. Disappointing that some didn’t even respond. Others were harder to contact (different generation that doesn’t do a lot of online I think). There were some that were not easy to get info from (and I just ended up giving up. Like they list their dog’s names on their website with zero info or anything about them. Searching the names online gives nothing. Then when I ask for more info they refer me to their website. lol.) One breeder was super helpful in regards to cancer, nutrition etc even though I wasn’t getting a puppy from her.

Anyway. I don’t think there is any ‘too early’ unless you aren’t actually getting another puppy for like 5+ years. From what I’ve experienced it’s best to establish that connection so they know what you’re looking for (and might be aware of other puppies becoming available that might fit your needs etc). I would just remain open minded and know even though they might look great online might not be what they seem (or a breeder with little info online might have amazing dogs etc) just have to do some digging. 

Sorry for the novel