Tips for Planning Your Visit to Belle Chiens Farm and Choosing Your New Puppy!
We welcome your visit, and hope that the following guidelines and suggestions will help you and your family to make the most of the time you have invested in choosing a pet for your family:
1) If you are interested in scheduling a visit to our kennel, please complete the request form at the bottom of this page. You may also call if you would like a faster response, but your visit will not be confirmed until you have completed the form. You will be contacted to confirm your appointment. Our puppies are shown by appointment only, with a minimum of 24 hours advance notice.We schedule appointments for viewing puppies approximately 1.5 hours apart.Please be prompt for your appointment, so that you have adequate time to spend with the puppies that interest you while also being considerate of the needs of the customer who may be scheduled after you.If you arrive an hour or more late, it is quite likely that the very puppies you came to see are all "played out" and are ready for a long nap by the time you arrive.
Frequently, our customers drive long distances, and go to considerable expense to make the trip to visit our kennel.We also frequently have customers who fly in for only a few hours, and have to get back to the airport in order to catch a flight home.We want all of our customers to have the same time and attention that they deserve when visiting us, and unfortunately cannot always accomodate "late comers" when we have a busy day.Please make every effort to be on time for your appointment, and to call in advance if you are going to be late! Please don't arrive more than 10 minutes early.
Also, please be considerate of the fact that we spend a signigicant amount of time preparing for your visit, and that once your visit is confirmed, that time has been reserved for you. Please make every opportunity to keep your appointment at the time that was scheduled. We understand that "stuff happens", but last minute cancellations and no shows will most likely result in your not being rescheduled.
Puppy showings are limited to 1.0 hours, which is ample time for making an informed choice. Extended showings may be available by request...please call to make arrangements in advance if you desire an extended showing (more than one hour). 2)You will be asked to identify up to 4 puppies in advance that may interest you.Please don't ask to see "all the puppies"!While it is our goal to help you choose the right puppy for your family, and we want you to take an adequate amount of time in choosing a puppy, we are aware that it is counterproductive to overwhelm customers with too many choices when they come to visit.We strive to present our available puppies on our website in enough detail so that customers have adequate information in advance to spend their appointment time with a reasonable number of puppies that suit their criteria.We are happy to discussthe puppies with you in detail prior to your visit so that you may optimize your time spent with the puppies.If we feel that you are missing out on a particular puppy that may interest you, we will offer you the chance to see that puppy in addition to the ones you have specified. 3)To enhance the quality of your visit, we stongly encourage that you limit the number of people in your party to just those in your immediate family, or those in your travel party. All visitors must be identified in advance when you schedule your appointment. All visitors over the age of 16 will be asked to provide a photo ID and sign a guest book upon arrival. Only the children in the immediate family should accompany you, no friends, cousins, neighbors, etc. No more than four visitors are allowed in the puppy viewing area at once.Too many unfamiliar faces causes puppies to be overwhelmed, and reduces the quality of your visit with them.If there are more than four people in your party, "extras" will be asked to wait in the waiting area while no more than four at a time are interacting with the puppies. Please don't bring anyone who cannot walk 500 ft. or negotiate several stairs. If it is raining, bring an umbrella. Your entire party must come inside, register and be photographed. No one is allowed to wait in the car during your visit. Guests should not be on their cell phones during their visit.
Choosing a pet who will become part of your family is very personal. Most people, even if they have never owned a pet before, are perfectly capable of making the choice that is right for them. Having extra people around when you are trying to choose your puppy may detract from your ability to follow your own heart. I have never once observed a situation where I thought that an "advisor" was actually helpful to the party who was here to choose a puppy, and I am not shy when it comes to asking them to please allow their friend to choose for themselves if I feel they are interfering! Please take my advice...less is more when it comes to making your purchase decision--too many opinions is counterproductive. 4)If you are a parent who is interested in purchasing a pet for your younger child, you may benefit from the following advice:
Most children, especially small children, will be thrilled with any pet you bring home to them, and it is generally best if the parents choose the pet.Unless you plan to actually allow your child to choose the puppy, it is unwise to bring them along thinking that you will convince them to "choose" the one that you would have chosen!It is usually better to select two or three puppies in advance that would be acceptable to you, and then to allow your child to choose from among them, if your goal is to let them participate in making the choice. I have seen what was supposed to be a happy family experience turn into a tearful disaster when parents didn't strategize in advance! Be aware that children typically bond with the first puppy they pick up.If a child holds a single puppy for 45 minutes to an hour while you are evaluating numerous other puppies, that child probably won't want to consider any other puppy besides the one he or she has been holding. If two or three children in a family are all bonding with a different puppy at the same time, chances are that at least some of them will be very disappointed when the final decision is made.All the "decision makers" interacting with the same puppy at once, one at a time, is usually a better way to approach making a group choice. We will show you puppies that are within your stated price range, and are consistent with the other criteria that you have specified.It is not a good idea to encourage your children to interact with puppies that are priced above your desired budget, or that are in some other way not compatible with your criteria.(too small, too large, wrong color, too old, wrong breeed, etc.) 5)Please be aware that puppies of differing ages are at different stages in their social development.Older puppies typically take a little longer to "warm up" to strangers than younger puppies do.This is true and expected of puppies who are well socialized and developing normally.This is analogous to children of different ages and stages responding differently to strangers.Consider the difference in response between a 3 month old infant who has been handed off to a stranger, compared to that of a four year old! The older the child, the more aware they are that they are in the hands of a stranger. Similarly, it is a mistake to compare an 8 week old puppy to a 10 week or a 12 week old puppy in terms of its initial friendliness.As puppies mature, they are more aware that you are a "stranger" to them, and it is normal for them to cautiously evaluate you before interacting with you.It is also a mistake to assume that the puppy who approaches you first has "chosen" you--he may just think you have some interesting smells on your shoes!Plan to spend an adequate amount of time evaluating each puppy before rushing to a decision based on a certain puppy's initial response to you. Ideally, when introducing yourself to a puppy, you should squat or sit down, speak in soft, encouraging tones, and wait for the puppy to get comfortable with having you in his environment.Initially, allow the puppy to take his time in approaching you, allowing him to sniff your clothing and/or your hand before reaching for him to pick him up.This usually takes 5-10 minutes.If after allowing him to get a feel for your presence, he acts interested, but doesn't quite know how to make an approach, you may then gently reach for him or pick him up. Please keep in mind that the names we assign to the pictures on our website are for identification purposes only, and that the puppies do not know their names. NEVER PICK UP A PUPPY WHO IS UNFAMILIAR WITH YOU AND FLIP HIM OVER ONTO HIS BACK AS A TEST OF HIS TEMPERAMENT!!! A puppy rightfully and instinctively interprets this as an outright act of aggression!(imagine how terrifying it would be to a five year old child to have a stranger stride into her nursrey school andbody slam her onto the floor as a test of her friendliness! Most children would run screaming out of the room in this situation.)Only after you have spent 30 minutes or more holding a puppy and gaining his confidence should you gently and slowly see how he responds to being in a supine position! Hold the puppies so that their hind legs are supported, not "dangling".If a small child who is unable to correctly support the puppy wants to hold the puppy, have them sit down "Indian style" on the floor and place the puppy on the floor between their legs.It is very important that you prepare your children for the experience of choosing a puppy, so that it is a happy and memorable event for everyone, including the puppy! 6)Please keep in mind that our kennel is also our home, and the home of our dogs. It is strictly a non-smoking environment.For disease control and liability purposes, we do not provide tours of the kennel and whelping buildings, and we do not allow children or adults free access to all areas of our property.Please instruct everyone in your party to remain within the areas that are designated for visitors, and follow the instructions that we provide you at the time of scheduling your visit as to where to park, etc. 7)For infection control, and liability purposes, we must insist that you do notbring your dog along to participate in choosing a puppy. 8) We frequently get requests from customers who are interested in scheduling a trial visit for the purpose of exposing themselves or a family member to puppies of a particular breed to determine whether they will be able to tolerate them from an allergy standpoint. We encourage our customers to make this determination before purchasing a puppy, and are happy to accomodate such a visit; however, our time and resources are not free, and we must charge a $75.00 fee in advance for the trial visit due to the number of requests that we receive for this service. Customers who do subsequently purchase a puppy from us within one year will be credited back the full amount of the trial visit fee at the time of their purchase. 9)Out of town customers are encouraged to arrange to stay at pet friendly hotels or to plan their visit for early in the day, so that they may take their puppy with them on the day of their initial visit.Please do not assume that we will be available to accomodate a return visit the following day without making prior arrangements.An additional fee will be charged for split visits in which a second visit is requested to return the following day to pick up a puppy before departing for home.
10) We stock collars, leashes, travel crates, soft-sided nylon carriers, food, training pads, water bottles, bowls, beds, slicker brushes, nail clippers, toys, shampoo, and buddy blankets at competitive rates for your convenience.
Appointment Request Form
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