I started on this list to learn more about standard poodles, and about reputable breeders. Despite so many people telling me I should get a puppy, in my heart I would so much rather adopt an adult dog, so I would LOVE recommendations on rescues, retired breeders, or anything you believe might work for our family. Our closest metro area is St. Paul, MN but we live over the border in WI.
The two biggest issues in my family are: we have an exuberant 3.5yr old son, and we have 4 adult spayed cats. Any dog we have will have to love (not just tolerate, but love) my son's attention...because once he warms up he'll want that dog to be his BFF. Our dog would also have to be willing to mostly leave the cats alone, so they can come be friends on their own time. The cats aren't strangers to dogs, but they don't appreciate being chased (unless they started it...they're bratty that way).
We also really can't fence our yard except with an invisible fence. However, our cats have a covered outdoor dog kennel they can access for fresh air that's 5ft x 5ft x 6ft high that we intend on expanding to 10ft x 20+ft. It would never be my intention to lock a dog outside alone in a kennel run, but the cats sure love the option to have safe access to the outside...I imagine a dog would enjoy this, too. There's a big park across the street with a fenced baseball diamond that people in my neighborhood use to run their dogs.
Why do we want a dog? My husband and I cannot have anymore children. We lost two babies (one before and one after our son was born), and so there's a great loss we feel and a void we cannot fill. My son needs another soul to bond with, and my husband and I need a pet we can travel with - hiking, boating, etc. Athena (one of our cats) travels pretty well with us and will even walk on a leash...but she's a cat, and we'll never be able to take her for a bike ride (at least not one where she's running beside us). Plus, as difficult as it is to find dog-friendly places, it's even harder to find cat-friendly places.
So that's us. Now, who wants to help us find a dog? :-).
Hi, I'm sorry that I can't help you find a poodle, but I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your losses. I have lost a daughter of my own and it was the worst experience ever, so I can only imagine your grief. :(
Best of luck finding your perfect pet though- will this be your first dog?
I'm so sorry for your loss and I wish you the best of luck with your search. I've had excellent luck with two rescue poodles and one rehomed poodle so there are some wonderful dogs out there in the rescues and shelters.
Check your local rescues/shelters first, but keep in mind that many outside your area can and will arrange transport to the right home! You can also check with local breeders as some will rehome retired stud dogs or breeding bitches, or certain young adults on occasion.
I can't help much but you might be able to contact Carolina Poodle Rescue in SC & see if they have any Rescue contacts up your way. If researching for a Rescue you must look at rescues like breeders- there are Reputable ones like CPR & there are o.k. ones, & there are down right horrible rescues that will say anything to get a dog out of their system. I did not know this at the time I adopted 1 of my dogs 10 years ago. He came from a horrible rescue but I didn't know that until later. I love my dog period but what I know now I would have tried & shut down the Rescue he came from. Horrble, filthy conditions & their website was a bunch of lies. The secret video tape I saw of a volunteer going in made my stomach churn. I also know that his phobias & insecurities came from the Rescue itself But after 2 years , a good deal of training he started to settle down.
Take the whole issue slowly, go & see dogs, see how they interact with your family & don't rush. We (humans) often rush, rush, rush & we go on emotions, instead of being rationale. I am sure there is a great Poodle out there waiting for your home.
You know how if you point somewhere, a dog will follow your line of sight, or your pointing hand, to see what you're paying attention to? Dogs can also be trained to point birds, or trained to indicate where something his hidden. This ability to share attention means they have some sort of a theory of mind: the dog knows you might have information that he doesn't have, and he wants that information so he pays attention to you. It also knows that he can have information that you don't, and he will try to share that information with you. At the same time, they need to have object permanence in order for this to work: they need to understand that an item doesn't cease to exist once it can't be seen/smelled/etc.
No one really studies theory of mind and object permanence in cats all that much, so I wanted to see if I could get cats to play a simple game I designed.
I would hide a toy or piece of food and then point to where I put it, to see what the animal would do. Of course, all the dogs ran right up to where I was pointing. The test was what the cats would do. Would they ignore me? Would they investigate the spot that held my attention? Would they go to each location to check, regardless of what I was doing?
I found the following:
Those cats definitely knew there was a food/toy reward to be had even if they couldn't see it anymore. I scented each of the three locations (bowls) before each round, so I don't think they were just sniffing it out. If the cats wanted it, they were going to find it.
In cats, it's all or nothing. Either they will participate and score just as well as the dogs will, or they will ignore me and not participate at all. We had a couple of "A not B" errors in both the dogs and the cats, but most of my data were significant.
My assumption is that cats do have a theory of mind and they do have object permanence, just like a dog. But cats have a much more variable level of interest in their humans, which probably has a lot to do with how they're raised. My cats, whom I raised as babies in my home with me, are very in tuned with my life. But the barn cat with little human interaction? Meh, not so much. There was a wider variety of cats in my study than dogs. Pretty much all the dogs in my study were indoor house pets. The cats, on the other hand, ranged from my own, to cattery cats (a few breeder friends of mine let me use their cats), to other people's pets...indoor only cats, indoor/outdoor cats, etc. I didn't really have a good enough sample size to study the specifics. I just wanted to prove that cats could do it, and I did.
If you really want to read it, PM me and I can find the document to send. It was for my undergrad comps at Carleton College in MN.
The dogs were also much faster. Usually they'd just come running (often knocking me down, frequently slobbering me...all kinds of fun). The cats, on the other hand, generally took their sweet time coming over. :-)
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We adopted a rescue Standard Poodle last summer from NorCal Poodle Rescue, so I'm speaking from my current experience of assimilating Jack into a household. (By the way, Sue at NorCal could be a good resource for you. She's adopted out thousands of dogs).
A rescue comes with baggage, just as your family comes with baggage on your end. Both will need a fairly high amount of training in a pretty short period of time, for it to work for everybody.
Puppies don't come with baggage, and are programmed to assimilate quickly to whatever rules the pack already has (No fence, don't bite the children, etc.).
If you CAN take your time, and get to know the folks at the rescue operation, and find out some things about the dog before you adopt, it's great.
If you get a dog that was previously trained, you'll have a higher chance of success, I suspect.
If you get a street-runner, or a dog that has had any level of abuse, like I did, it might not go as well. One panic attack and your 'invisible fence' might as well not be there. A child's reckless play might be misinterpreted by a dog used to defending itself on the street.
I don't want to chill your enthusiasm, but it's going to be a challenge, and you'll need to be very careful to get the right dog.
Best of luck to you!
I found my rescued mini poodle from Petfinder.com. She was at a rescue about 2 hours away. She was given up by her breeder along with some other dogs for unknown reasons. She's fantastic, healthy, and about 1.5 years old. She is very athletic and smart so I'm going to take her to agility classes. There are some great rescues that I found on Facebook or through google.
I've rescued all but one of my dogs over the years. None of them have had more issues than the puppy that we bought from a breeder. I screened my dogs and the rescues carefully. I prefer getting a young adult. I like knowing what I'm getting such as adult size, personality, and adult coat. I really don't like guessing what my dog will look like as an adult. I have two toy dogs in addition to my mini poodle. I wanted toy sized dogs so I waited for just the right adult dogs to make sure I didn't get a surprise 16 lb Yorkie or a 12 lb Chihuahua.
These are the sort of responses I get when I contact rescue groups all over the country:
"I don't kid or cat test either and prefer not to place St. Poodles with children under 12 years old."
Well, I guess they don't want us! I'm certainly not going to wait until my son is 12 years old to get our first dog, and I will always have cats in my house.
It's so frustrating because, while I understand that this is ultimately about the lack of time and money...c'mon. How many great families do they turn down because they can't at least cat test their dogs? I understand that rescues have their own issues and come with baggage, but not all dogs are that way. My neighbor rescued a husky/greyhound mix that sat in rescue for over 6 months because no one wanted her and she'd been through all sorts of homes. Her biggest issue? She liked to run away and get lost. Well, she's a husky/greyhound mix...what do you expect? My neighbors adopted her and she is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met. She loves everyone and just gazes lovingly in your eyes. Yes, she's a jumper. Yes, they can never let her off lead. BUT she's excellent with the cats and extremely tolerant of everything...whether it's loud noises or children. What a wonderful, wonderful dog that any of us would be honored to have (and BEAUTIFUL). But, the rescue took the time to work my neighbors (whose son was about 7 at the time) to ensure a good result. Everybody wins.
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