I'm near retirement and in the market for a best friend and companion and decided to buy a puggle. I took the time to research various breeds and it seemed the puggle had the characteristics to best suit my needs. The cost of a pup was not an issue; finding the right dog to fit my life style and personality was my prime consideration. I wanted to avoid a puppy mill and find a breeder that was interested in matching the unique personality of each dog to the needs of the owner. I'm in California and after some internet searching I found a breeder that I thought could deliver on my expectations, Hugapuggle located in Templeton, CA. At $1,600.00 for a puppy they were the among the most expensive but their website promised, "You receive personal service from the breeder" and went on to say to "Choosing the right puppy is an important decision. We are the most recognized puggle breeder in California. We are confident that you will enjoy working with us as you find the puppy that is just right for you and your family." The website was professional looking and had many photos of cute puggle puppies. I called and talked to the breeder and she told me that the selection of available puppies by clients is determined by the date a deposit is received. I told her that when I received the puppy was relatively unimportant and that I would be happy to wait until I could have first pick on an available litter. She said that would be fine as long as she had my deposit. I sent the deposit through PayPal on December 6, 2012.
Although I've owned two cats that lived to be 17 years old, I've never had a dog of my own. I wanted to really do it right from the start and asked her if she could recommend a good book for the care and training of the puggle. Margie recommended two, "The Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete and "Guide to Raising a Puppy" from the Keep It Simple Series of guide books. I bought both books and read them cover to cover. Both books stress the importance of careful consideration and planning. Different pups are suited to different circumstances, and it is important for a breeder to come to an accurate appraisal of each dogs possibilities.
In late February I made arrangements to visit Hugapuggle. Its a 270 mile round trip but I wanted to see the facility and discuss the puppy aptitude testing with the breeder. The facility was attractive. The kennel area was clean and well kept and all of the dogs looked well cared for. When I asked about the puppy aptitude testing she said that they dont do it and dont believe it is necessary for the puppies they sell, but I could do the testing if I wanted to. On March 28, two of the dams at Hugapuggle had a total 14 puppies on the same day. I thought, great! Ill be able to find the perfect match. I received this message from her, Have you seen the new litter pictures? We had 14 puppies on Wednesday of last week! You have second choice of Sadie's as she has four males to choose from. I tentatively have the choosing weekend set for May 3-5th. Would it be possible for you to come on the Thursday evening, May 3rd at around 6:30 ish? I am trying to get clients that have either first or second choice to come on that Thursday to get their choices picked prior to all those after them. As you live fairly close, is this a possibility. I called her and asked if I was second on the list why did I have to chose from four males from a litter of six. She said that a lot of the new buyers wanted female-only and that I had to have a male because that is all I had talked about. When I reminded her that we had discussed the puppy aptitude testing, not that I wanted a male only, she became in my perception and opinion argumentative and confrontational. She told me I had to come on Thursday, May 3rd at 6:30pm for the choosing weekend and that I would have one hour to decide on a male puppy. I told her I would check with my wife and let her know. I sent her an email that evening stating that the books she recommended stated that the puppies needed to be close to seven weeks old to do aptitude testing. Since the take-home time for the puppies was the end of May, I asked if we could move the selection of a puppy back a week. I also asked to be able to view the puppies late in the morning (as recommended in the books) when they are active rather than in the evening. I offered to take time off work to be on a day convenient to her schedule. I asked her to call me to work out the details. Instead I received an email including this statement, While we respect your desire to use the puppy aptitude test and believe that it is an important part of your choosing process, we are not be able to accommodate your request. We have refunded your $310.00 deposit into your Paypal account. So much for the personal service and finding just the right puppy as stated on their website. If she didnt want to have the aptitude testing as part of the process, why not tell me that in Feb when I was there?