Getting a Drent
If you are seriously interested in taking the next step and joining the Drent fraternity, your patience might be in for a test. At this time, there are only four breeders in the US, and one in the Maritimes of Canada. Not all have litters every year. In general, breeders will only breed once they have a full list of homes for the pups. Many breeders, ourselves included, will give priority to hunting families. Some will not place in non-hunting families, at all.
Pups are, of course, available from a number of breeders in The Netherlands, and most have top-notch stock. The breed club maintains what they call a "puppy contact address", which is essentially the club's clearing house for puppies. If you are looking for a dog, this would not be a bad place to start. Be warned, though, that it is considered bad form to put yourself on a waiting list at a breeder and at the puppy contact address at the same time.
The world may have gotten a lot smaller, but that doesn't mean there will not be hurdles in your quest for a pup. Not all Dutch breeders are fluent in English, and they may not be able to answer your questions in a telephone conversation. Off-hand, I can only think of one breeder that is willing to ship their pup. This means you may get to go to The Netherlands to pick up a puppy. In reality, this is a good thing. Discount tickets to Amsterdam can be had for as little as $500, while shipping a pup runs as high as $350. Pups under about 8 weeks can ride with you in the cabin for a nominal fee. For a minimal increase in cost you get the benefit of seeing at least the dam, and getting valuable information from the breeder.
There are, of course, costs involved. Pups currently run between 700 and 1000 Euro, on average. Some breeders will add fees for such things as export pedigrees. There will be airline fees, kennel costs, etc. Before deciding you must have a Drent, weigh the costs against the benefits.
Importing a young pup is simple. The pup needs a health declaration from a licensed veterinarian. The only vaccination requirements are rabies, and only if the pup is over 6 months. The airline may have additional requirements, however. It's easier for the pup to get through immigration and customs that it will be for you!
In the last seven years, we have had the opportunity to meet quite a few breeders in The Netherlands, and visit their kennels. Universally, we were impressed with the quality of their operations, and the dedication of the people. There may be differences in "likes" between the breeders, and some of these differences can get quite heated -- but in the end, all are dedicated to their vision of the breed.
We would be happy to share our knowledge with you, and put you in touch with a breeder with dogs that suit your situation. In those cases where the breeder isn't comfortable with English conversations, we can translate on a limited basis.
When it comes to the world of Drents, we don't have all the answers, but we know where we can ask the questions!