Maybe it's our beautiful dogs, or our willingness to work with people and to educate anyone who is willing to learn.
Maybe it's the fact that we will take back our Siberians at any point throughout their lives, and we are always only a phone call away because as we say, “No question is too big nor too small.”
Maybe it's our adoption process. We are not a Wal-Mart; you can't just call us up and say you want a puppy. We expect our puppy customers to fill out our puppy application, and you will have a phone interview before any deposit can be placed. Whether a pup or adult, no dog should ever be brought into your life on impulse, so we want to ensure that each home is a good fit for one of our dogs long before the day they are ready to leave their mother.
Maybe it's the way we “roll” our deposits to any puppy or future litter. We will never force you to take a puppy from a specific litter if you don't feel they will be a good fit for you! Additionally, we will take a puppy back with in the first 10 days and REFUND your money if it is not working out - no amount of money is worth forcing a dog and owner together who don't click!
Maybe it's our written health guarantee. Despite our best efforts and health testing every dog, there are still some things none of us can predict in terms of a dog's heath, and so any owner with a puppy found to have a hereditary health issue will receive another puppy of equal value for free. And yes, we will let you keep your first Siberian, because we would hope he or she would already be a beloved family member. Instead of forcing you to make a heartbreaking decision between giving up your current best friend and bringing home a pup from a different litter (and yes, some less-than-reputable breeders sadly do this), we encourage you to keep them for as long as they are happy and healthy, as well as adding their new "sibling" to your home.
Even so, none of the above it what makes us truly special. The above are all definitely great things but the icing on the cake, hands-down, is TEMPERAMENT. In all the years I've been breeding, the number one thing that I feel a "master breeder" should have is dogs with a great temperament. At the end of the day, if your dogs aren't a pleasure to live and work with then no amount of beauty, sledding ability, or show-ring fame will make them worth owning or breeding.
Puppy owners don't care about ribbons. You don't take home the ribbons their parents earned when you come to pick up your puppy - you take home a living being, with their own unique physical traits and personality. These characteristics are the ones you will have to live with for the rest of the pup's life, which for a Siberian is 12-15 YEARS on average.
Coat and eye color are definitely fun to look at, and a lot of people are naturally drawn to dogs with unusual or flashy markings (trust us, we like the look of them too). You may have your heart set on a male or female; on a black-and-white, blue-eyed pup just like the one you saw years ago on T.V. And there are many breeders who can give you this on-demand, as coat and eye color are their primary focus.
But ask yourself the question: if you get a pup with the coat and eye color of your dreams but his temperament is awful, you can't train him, he has behavioral or anxiety issues, or is destroying your home, do you think you are going to want to commit to keeping that puppy for over a decade? Probably not. And as you can imagine, puppies like this are almost always the ones that end up in shelters or even euthanized, because in the majority of cases a breeder who is not willing to breed for good temperament and place a pup in a home fitted for its unique personality is also not willing to take them back if there is an issue later on.
This is what makes us different from many other breeders. Our breedings are planned based on the dogs' temperaments, health, and structure, with color and markings being our LAST consideration. To borrow a common expression from horse breeders, "A good dog is never a bad color." We will guide and help you pick the best puppy according to your lifestyle, family needs, and your personal experience with the breed, and hopefully there will be a pup that meets these criteria in the color you prefer. We are able to offer this to each puppy customer because of my years of experience with this breed and my background in canine behavior studies and certification as a dog trainer.
That said, one puppy is not better than the other. Each will have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to raising and training them based on their personality types. A new owner must consider what personality type they feel they can train and live with for the rest of their pet's life. This process cannot be done unless you are working with a knowledgeable breeder who A) is aware of different personality types, and B) knows how to handle and work with each personality type.
Nothing is 100% guaranteed, but you can bet that by working with a breeder that puts temperament above coat and eye color you will have a higher success rate in adopting the best puppy for you.
You may wonder why we prioritize the things we do, when it is oftentimes less profitable than taking "the easy way out" and simply breeding for what sells. The answer is very simple: WE CARE! It is all about the BETTERMENT OF THE BREED! It is not about the money. (If it were, we would definitely be cutting a lot of corners and have much fuller wallets to show for it.) At the end of the day, what matters to us is preserving this breed as it was meant to be, for generations of people to love and enjoy just as we have.
This is what makes Echoing Wind Siberians so Special: We place the right puppy in the right home.