How to earn a great reputation as a breeder

how to earn a great reputation


Something earned, not bought or created.

So…how does one go about earning a good one?

How to earn a great reputation as a breeder

In the rabbit world, reputation is everything. Your personal reputation, your professional reputation, your rabbit’s reputation. It’s something to take very seriously. It’s easy to lose and hard to gain.

  • Stay above gossip and drama. Don’t get dragged into it.
  • Always be professional and polite – online, offline, in private messages, everywhere.
  • Don’t freak out easily 😉
  • High and mighty attitudes come through in any kind of writing.
  • Know your values and what you stand for. Stay true to those.
  • Don’t compromise.
  • Don’t bad-mouth other people. (this is different from politely warning about bad breeders)
  • Know your stock and admit their faults. Don’t gloss over them.
  • Be truthful.
  • Don’t hand out pedigrees right and left.
  • Have a solid sales policy.
  • Want to be trusted? Be trustworthy.
  • Don’t double-cross people.
  • Do what you say you’re going to do.
  • Be willing to admit when you’re wrong.
  • Someone confides in you? Don’t go spreading that around.
  • Be willing to learn.
  • Don’t be a know it all. You can be extremely knowledgeable without being a know-it-all 🙂
  • Be willing to try new things.
  • Enjoy what you do!

Getting a little deeper…

I want to repeat it again. Know your values, your standards, and yourself. Know your personal weaknesses. It’s so VERY easy to get dragged into drama, gossip, and backtalk about others. Please, please, fight it! It will get around.

Be honest – that person who talks badly behind someone else’s back about them – do you really trust that they are not doing that about you?

The line between cautiously warning and badmouthing is very, very thin. It all comes down to where your heart is. What is your goal with sharing that information? Is it to truly help and warn someone about a major disaster or is it because you’re personally annoyed with that particular breeder?

For example, warning someone about a breeder who is negligent, unethical, and has unhealthy stock is very different than ‘warning’ about a breeder who decided to not sell you a particular rabbit.

holland lop buck alberta | how to earn a great reputation as a breeder

Professionalism goes a long way in bolstering a reputation. Skip the text speak. Double-check spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Use peoples’ names – they really like it when you do! You can be kind and encouraging and still use proper wording.

Values and standards. I’m talking about personal and business, not the SOP. If you’re not really sure what you stand for, I suggest sitting down and thinking about what you want to be known for. It is encouragement? Honesty? Kindness? Quick replies? Trustworthiness? Write it down. As you start applying these standards, every time you respond to someone, make sure it lines up with your values and standards.

Always be willing to learn. Be open to trying new things. This doesn’t mean you go to and fro with every new thing. It doesn’t mean you’re constantly wavering and not sure what do to. You can be consistent and know you know your stuff and yet try new things. There’s a balance and it looks a little different for everyone. Don’t be like the old geezers at cattle auctions who do things simply because that’s the way they’ve always done it and don’t want to try a new, better way.

Be willing to admit the faults in your herd. Don’t gloss over them. This doesn’t mean you know exactly how each bun will turn out. It doesn’t mean you can foretell if a baby will lop or not. I’ve had babies who lopped early, and for some reason unknown to me (we ARE talking Hollands here 😉 ), air-planned later on. There have been babies who I didn’t think would turn out nice and I later regretted selling them. Because they were ugly ducklings and turned out gorgeous. Everyone makes mistakes. But know your obvious faults and be honest about them.

Have a SOLID sales policy. Browse around and see what other people have on theirs. (mine is here.) These are incredibly important to have. I have had to use mine before. Sales Policies are some of the ‘legal documents’ of the rabbit world. They can save your backside in many situations.

A good reputation comes quietly. You probably won’t even know when you have gained it. I know I didn’t. Recently, I was floored when a fellow breeder said they wanted one as good as mine…and I was speechless. Humbled. Wowed. It’s always been in the back of my mind, that it was a goal I had, but it’s such a humbling thing to have that said to you. It also makes you that much more careful.

I hope this helps you figure out how you can work toward a great reputation. Please share and comment below on how you work toward a good one.



How to earn a great reputation as a breeder

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