It’s important to us that you visit us to get a better understanding of the breed, and just as importantly identify if we’re the right breeder for you.
We are interested in meeting you, your partner, and any family member that lives with you.
In this first visit that’s who we want to meet, so we can make the most important assessment of whether we are the breeder for you, and whether we think you can cope with the energy of this breed.
As lovely as I’m sure they are, we are not interested in meeting your brother, your mother, your dog groomer, your dog trainer, etc, who are looking to have a day out in the country – at this point. Because of the number of people who want to visit, we restrict our visits to only those who we think we are likely to place a dog with. If you haven’t provided me with a plethora of information, particularly answering those questions on the front page, it is probably unlikely that I will be able to put aside the time to meet with you. This is a working property, and the Portuguese Water Dogs are my passion, but my hobby.
If you are already meeting with another breeder, that’s fantastic. But we won’t waste your time and mine by setting up visit with us as well. We think it’s poor etiquette to get into a comparison of breeders and please don’t ask me what my opinion is of other people’s dogs. I get asked this all the time. I am also a dog judge, so the best way to see what my assessment is of dogs is in the show ring where there is a legitimate assessment going on. In the past, we’ve had people waste a lot of our time by putting their names on multiple waiting lists, and I just don’t have the time or patience for that sort of shenanigans any more. If you’ve read through my site, you already know that I’m a no nonsense sort of person. I tell it like it is, and I like to place pups with people I personally warm to.
Allow 2 hours to get to us – we are north of Melbourne on a large property which we set up specifically for the Portuguese Water Dog – the only one of its type in Australia, and one of very few in the world.
Please wear old clothes. You can have the opportunity to see a lot of dogs, or a handful – which suits most. We will show you energetic dogs, and not the ones that are trained within an inch of their life – it’s important I show you the real dog, not one that is on its best behaviour and sits meekly at your feet for an hour, because that’s not a realistic picture of the breed.
You will get the opportunity to see the breed in action, and see how I exercise them. You will get to see in person if this is the energy level you want. Most love an energetic dog – but it’s not the breed for everyone.
We will talk about how they need to be trained, and if you want to impress me further, you can tell me about the local dog training school in your area and which night/day of the week you can attend their training sessions.
We can talk in depth about health issues, and I can talk about the very small number of genetic diseases we’re able to screen for, and those that no test exists for. We can talk about dog insurance schemes and why they are important.
These sorts of activities below are what I want you to see – these are my dogs working at my place and having a wonderful time:
Please note: during summer if you’re booked to come and see us and the weather is over 30 degrees, we’re likely to ask for a re-schedule. We do not allow our dogs out in the heat of the day, even for a swim. Their safety is important to us, as you’d expect.
This means also when you visit in summer, not only wear old clothes, but wear a hat. And make sure your kids have hats too. And sunscreen. And perhaps even their water bottles. We want to make this fun, not have issues afterwards because of the heat. I will also judge you and not positively, if you turn up here with no hat and no sunscreen for yourself and/or kids. This makes me think rightly or wrongly that you may not care properly for one of my dogs if you don’t care about the sunsafety of your kids.
Also, if we’ve had a lot of rain, we may ask to re-schedule. We tend to have a lot of rain or nothing, which makes the roads impassable at times, but also means getting around our property an issue. And I don’t want to be standing out in the rain for an hour talking to you, and I’m sure, you don’t want that either. You may even want to wear your gum boots – you know those really cute ones you bought that you thought you’d use and you never have – now here’s your opportunity! We can see who has the best boots!
So feel free to ask me questions about weather. We live in the country. We are obsessed by weather.
And please, don’t wear white clothes. Sometimes we have people arrive in the most gorgeous assortment of expensive white clothes with that special white knitted cardigan, and those gorgeous shoes best suited to dining beside the Yarra in a posh restaurant sipping a lovely sav blanc – don’t wear them here. I will laugh if you do. Sorry, I’m like that. <g>
And finally – I have a thing about hours. I run a small boarding kennel where my hours are restricted under our permit. This means there are things I can only do during those times, and outside of those times, my times are usually very scheduled. So just because you’re coming to a rural area, don’t think we’re sitting back under the gum trees all day waiting for people to pop in for tea and scones (feel free to make and bring some though). Often my entire week is scheduled from one hour to the next. I also have a number of clients who have medical conditions, and I am on call to pick up their pets at any given moment if they are admitted to hospital.
We can schedule appointments during the work week or on the weekend. 10am is often a good time, particularly on a Saturday or Sunday morning in summer. Afternoons in summer often don’t work because of the heat. In the cooler months there is often some flexibility. Saturday afternoons are usually off limits due to the fact that I work 7 days a year, and average less than 6 days off per year (including weekends), so I need a little time to spend with my family and/or snooze without the phone ringing.
That being said, I absolutely want you to visit if you meet our qualification criteria. And if you have kids with allergies, I will insist that you visit to make sure this is the right breed for you.