I get this a lot:
I would like to import XXXXX breed. Please send me the best quality dog as I will show it and it will be great promotion for the breeder. Many people will see this dog and it will be great business and advertisement for you and its breeder.
This rubs me the opposite of the right way. And now that I've had a beer, and received this mail for the billionth time, I'm ready to rant (about this and many other things).
IF I was in this for the money, and made my livelihood off of selling dogs, this MIGHT motivate me to send you a better dog. If you have read my blog at all, or even looked at my export site in its entirety (something I hope you're doing if you're trusting me to send you a dog), you might have picked up that I'm in this for the preservation of the breeds. If I like you, and think that you share at least some of my goals, I'll help you, and I will do everything in my power to send you a dog that you will be happy with, and will be happy with you. If all I get from you is that you're running a business and want to win shows, you're turning me off already.
I choose which dogs to send where based on a lot of criteria, but basically I'm looking for the best home for each individual dog. This is based on what the owner wants to do with their dog, and the temperament and type of each dog. And moving right along, us NIPPO members in Japan, while we are happy to see our dogs doing well overseas, our goal is to produce dogs that are correct according to the NIPPO standard, that do well in the NIPPO ring, and to preserve the dogs in Japan. Basically that means the best dogs will almost always stay in Japan (barring special circumstance or large wads of cash). Our 'market' (for lack of a better word) is in Japan, not overseas. We want to impress other kennels and judges here in Japan.
I hope you understand that while you're trying to dangle a carrot if front of our faces, we don't eat carrots.
This is a blanket statement, and I'm generally talking about NIPPO here. AKIHO is another matter since there are a lot of professional breeders who make a living selling Akita. There are also a fair few Shiba breeders who do the same.
Another unrelated issue I'm having to deal with a lot now is helping work out issues with regard to dogs that have been imported. We have different standards, no health testing, temperament we are looking for is different etc etc, so there will often be a gap between what someone overseas was hoping for, and the puppy they receive.
First off, if you're buying a dog over the internet, from someone you found on the internet and have never met, have never visited their kennel, and are using google translate to communicate with them, you've put yourself in a high risk situation. When there's another layer of separation (for instance when they're buying a dog from someone else to sell to you) that creates even more issues.
In Japan, especially when it comes to dogs, we generally have a buy it and shut up culture. The dog is presented as is, and if you decide to buy it in the condition it's in, whatever follows is your responsibility. Dogs are living creatures, and especially with the lack of health testing we have here, issues will arise. In that case we often just deal with it as part of the risk of breeding dogs. If we feel that there was malice on the part of the person who gave us the dog, as in they knew about the issue but hid it, we probably will not work with them again. If we feel they probably didn't know about the issue, depending on how deep our relationship goes with that person we MIGHT discuss it with them. If however you constantly make a big scene about issues that pop up in dogs you purchase, people will just stop working with you. These things happen, and we here basically try to avoid trouble and troublesome people.
Ok. This is also a rather negative tangent, so to swing it the other way, what can you do to find a nice dog? Take time to build personal relationships. Don't be impatient, don't waste people's time, communicate clearly, and make an effort to show you are interested in building a lasting relationship with a kennel and that you want to learn what they have to teach you. Explain why you want to work with them, why you've chosen their dogs. And please, please, please, if you don't speak Japanese, hire a translator. Don't rely on translation software as you can only carry on the most basic rudimentary communication.
In all things, be patient. Take the time to learn, gather as much knowledge as possible. Build positive relationships, build your plan and breeding program. Reputation, show wins, amazing dogs, these are things that follow if you do things the right way.