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Old 01-28-2013, 10:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default On breeding dogs

So, I was reading one of the member introductions and a little discussion got started about poodles versus doodles. A comment was made that lots of good breeders aren't breeding for people who just want a good pet. That made me think about a lot of stuff, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

For example, lots of breeders of quality poodles have so many conditions on who gets their dogs that it is hard to imagine who'd be able to get one: some people don't want to sell to pet homes, they only want to sell if the dog will be shown or if the dog will compete, or the dog cannot be bred or the dog must be bred, or it must be fed raw, or not allowed to climb stairs until it's two years old or it can't go to a house without a fenced yard, or it can't be fed raw ... the list goes on and on.

Okay, so they bred the dogs and should get to choose where the pups go. I get that. But if you are just a regular person who wants a good poodle that's healthy and well-socialized, where do you go? Because if all "reputable breeders" have these kinds of restrictions, someone like me (a student who lives in a small apartment with no yard but loves her mini, walks him, trains him, plays with him, feeds him good food and grooms him religiously and has NEUTERED him) has a very limited pool of potential breeders to buy from.

(In case you think adoption should be an option, consider that many shelters won't adopt a dog out to you unless you have a yard and are willing to promise never to get another pet or have kids. And no, I'm not exaggerating.)

And then I thought about how just about every person who mentions on this forum how they might, someday, want to breed poodles is not merely discouraged, but attacked. I find this peculiar, for several reasons. First off, nobody I know reacts this way when someone says they want to have children (and we ALL know some people who shouldn't reproduce. Just sayin'.) Also, as my brother pointed out, people who are on a poodle forum asking for breeding advice are probably not going to be running a puppy mill.

I, perhaps naively, think that more ordinary people should be doing hobby breeding. Why should it be a professionals-only thing? The fact that there are so few breeders is why pure-bred poodles are so expensive ($1200-2000 in my neck of the woods). The profit motive, in turn, is why there are puppy mill breeders all over the place. A dog owner, who occasionally breeds as a hobby, certainly does not have the expertise of someone who has been breeding for decades, but they probably will raise the puppies in the house, getting handled by a variety of people and exposed to the hustle and bustle of daily life, which is more than the products of puppy-mills have going for them. Moreover, a person who keeps his dogs as pets probably won't endanger their lives by breeding a bitch whose health is obviously compromised. Potential hobby-breeders could seek advice and informal mentoring from experienced, more "professional" breeders on how to find a mate who'll ameliorate minor faults, puppy socialization, and how to prepare for whelping. "Professional" breeders would be helping to improve the breed, disperse knowledge in the dog-owning population and would have a ready referral for someone who wanted to pay $800-1000 on a great pet, but not $1800 for a potential show dog.

I feel like today, most purebred poodles come from one of two types of breeder. Breeder A is trying to create a work of art. This breeder will get new stock from Hungary or New Zealand or wherever the best dogs are to be found. They are creating first-rate lines and take years to turn a profit even selling their pups for $1600 apiece. They earn every penny they make. Breeder B is trying to turn a buck. He acquired a dog, wants to use it as a resource to make some money. This breeder may do just enough testing to appear reputable, but doesn't do anything to shape temperament or build resilience. The problem is, this breeder charges $1200 per pup and makes a handsome profit in so doing. Because most responsible, would-be hobby-breeders have been discouraged from trying their hand at breeding by well-meaning lovers of the breed, there is almost no middle ground. And I think that harms the breed.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for this comment, I hope you will get constructive comments back.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegalEagle View Post
For example, lots of breeders of quality poodles have so many conditions on who gets their dogs that it is hard to imagine who'd be able to get one: some people don't want to sell to pet homes, they only want to sell if the dog will be shown or if the dog will compete, or the dog cannot be bred or the dog must be bred, or it must be fed raw, or not allowed to climb stairs until it's two years old or it can't go to a house without a fenced yard, or it can't be fed raw ... the list goes on and on.

Okay, so they bred the dogs and should get to choose where the pups go. I get that. But if you are just a regular person who wants a good poodle that's healthy and well-socialized, where do you go? Because if all "reputable breeders" have these kinds of restrictions, someone like me (a student who lives in a small apartment with no yard but loves her mini, walks him, trains him, plays with him, feeds him good food and grooms him religiously and has NEUTERED him) has a very limited pool of potential breeders to buy from.
I'm just a regular person who wants a well-bred, well socialized poodle that comes from health tested parents. I don't show and I don't plan to show. I don't breed and I don't plan to breed. I don't have a yard. And both my husband and I work full time. I don't find that I have limited pool of breeders to buy from. In fact, I have too many choices! I had to say no to a few breeders when they notified me that they had puppies for me because it was not the right timing (e.g. no vacation time from my work, planned vacation, singleton puppy, etc.) and none of these breeders disliked me for that. They have been willing to keep me on the list for the next/right litter. I don't have a magic touch with breeders. All I have been doing is writing them a detailed, informative email introducing myself and my living environment and what I plan to do with my puppy. I provide references from my vet, dog trainer and groomer (I didn't have any of these when I got my poodle because I didn't have a dog since my old one passed away 6 yrs ago. I explained to Nickel's breeder why I didn't have any dog-related references. I showed him pictures of my old dog. From the pictures and the exchange of emails, he trusted me and decided he wanted to place a puppy with me.)

Now on my list I have 3 red mini poodle breeders that I will buy from - one in the midwest that there's direct flight to my home city, the other two are in the South, one ships and the other doesn't. I have 6 silver and silver-beige mini poodle breeders that I will buy from and they are everywhere from the West to the East. I can go on and on. I just wanted to say: There are plenty of good breeders that are willing to place a puppy with a regular person like me. I have talked to over 100 breeders now (poodles of 3 varieties and a few other breeds) and none of them has turned me down because (1) I don't have a yard (2) I haven't had a poodle before (3) I don't know how to groom (4) of the type of food I'm planning to feed the pup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegalEagle View Post
First off, nobody I know reacts this way when someone says they want to have children (and we ALL know some people who shouldn't reproduce. Just sayin'.)
I have told and yelled at a few friends that they should do testings before planning to have a human baby, knowing that some genetic diseases run in their families. I had a little brother that died from a genetic disease that runs in the family. Back in those years, my parents didn't know of the testing. I know the pain of losing a child by looking at my parents. I know the guilt of not being able to avoid passing down the disease to a child. So here I am, not planning to have a child because I'm a carrier and I told every single boyfriend about this as soon as things get serious. I think if I still plan on having a child knowing that I'm a carrier of a certain type of genetic disease, I deserve the attack of anyone who loves human babies. Same here - people who see "bringing lives to this world" as a HOBBY deserve to be warned or even yelled at. Lives is NOT a hobby. Swimming is a hobby. Reading is a hobby. Breeding is NOT a hobby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegalEagle View Post
Also, as my brother pointed out, people who are on a poodle forum asking for breeding advice are probably not going to be running a puppy mill.
Really? Did you see the someone who didn't even know this color shouldn't be bred to that color here on the forum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegalEagle View Post
The fact that there are so few breeders is why pure-bred poodles are so expensive ($1200-2000 in my neck of the woods).
I don't think well-bred poodles are expensive/not cheap because there are not enough breeders. A well respected breeder explained well about the cost of the puppies. I copied and pasted here but please see: Safranne Poodles, Specializing in Performance Miniature Poodles, Winona, MN

What goes into the Cost of a Puppy?


Before Birth:

1.) The cost of putting a AKC Championship and Performance titles on the parents.
2.) The cost of all health genetic testing of each parent.
These include Optigen (Screening for Genetic PRA), annual Cerf eye exams, Hip, Patellas, Leg Perthes exams/X rays and reports sent to OFA. DNA testing/report on Parents.

3.) The Stud Fee.

4.) Transportation for the Dam to get to and from the Stud.

5.) Any medical needs for the dam. Possible C section, vet assisted births etc.

After Birth:

1.) Medical needs for the puppies. Dew claws and tail docking and worming. Cerf eye exam and vaccinations. Well puppy exams at 10 weeks of age.

2.) Puppy Temperament testing.

3.) Grooming

Limited and Unlimited AKC registration.


Please see some of the videos of what good breeders do for the puppies. I think this is the reason why they can ask for more than puppy mills. These breeders provide love, care, knowledge and a service.

desertreefpoods - YouTube
dschnulle - YouTube
TheSafranneSilvers - YouTube
ADELHEIDPOODLES - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/feed/UC4KL1GL2bGEatGm8XrtW_ww

I don't agree that there's no "middle ground". Plenty of reputable breeders sell their older puppies, retired show dogs at a more affordable price.

ETA: I paid $1200 for my well-bred poodle from a reputable breeder. My boy's parents are health tested. If my boy can live to 14 years old, that means this loyal, obedient, funny, smart, supportive, affectionate, loving friend of mine costs me $85.70 + food per year! I think it's the best deal in the world.

Last edited by schnauzerpoodle; 01-28-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the feeling that many breeders on this forum are frustrated and pass their frustration here. Maybe it`s not the right place?
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well put Schnauzer poodle! And we do not want "hobby breeders" those are called Backyard Breeders. We breed to improve lines, and to improve the breed. When we are looking for a new prospect, we breed a litter as we believe it may produce what we are looking for in our next poodle. Of course we can not keep the whole litter, so we then find responsible homes and sell on non breeding contracts so as uneducated backyard breeders do not breed without permission. We want to preserve our lines and the breed!

Also, if you have gotten many negative comments about wanting to breed, perhaps it is because the breeders have not liked how you view breeding? Saying you want to breed for fun will not attract reputable breeders and you will get negative remarks. If you are truly interested in breeding, you need to do more research so as you understand why posts like these are viewed negatively. Get a good mentor (again that will be up to your research on finding a good breeder) and learn from them. Understand that you can never learn enough. Seek out different opinions etc. Then you will be welcomed into the breeding world with open arms.

We are always looking for good, knowledgable and dedicated breeders
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think the original poster has some great points. Everybody who buys a purebred dog wants a good representation of the breed who is healthy. Still, I do think that a new breeder should be working with a respected breeder. I bought my whippet from a woman who had a couple dogs, but was working with a breeder. Breeders who are really trying to make a difference with poodles can benefit from those backyard people raising some of their puppies in a loving home. You can't normally run out and buy a show quality breeding dog. I wanted a show dog and had no relationship with any bigtime show breeders. I seriously doubted I could purchase a show dog from one of them and went with someone I had a relationship with. It's all very political. Breeders are understandably wary. It takes a long time to develop the contacts you need. ninapoodles, getting a mentor for showing dogs is easier said than done, not to mention a mentor to breed them. I've have tried...

A hobby breeder can often be a great breeder if they start with a good dog without any glaring faults and breed to only other great dogs. Nothing says those puppies won't be as nice as a show breeders puppies.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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"ETA: I paid $1200 for my well-bred poodle from a reputable breeder. My boy's parents are health tested. If my boy can live to 14 years old, that means this loyal, obedient, funny, smart, supportive, affectionate, loving friend of mine costs me $85.70 + food per year! I think it's the best deal in the world. "

Schnauzerpoodle,

Have never considered it that way. But they are, indeed, the absolute best deal in the world!!

Thanks for that!

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Interesting observations..I dont see breeders as one of 2 types as the OP listed..I think many good breeders are breeding to improve the breed and to try to get the perfect poodle..they try to combine a dog they have and love with a dog from another kennel to improve upon structural faults. Everyone would love to have a litter of show pups..but Id imagine that in the real world..a litter of say...10 you are lucky to have 2 or 3 show prospects if you are lucky! But what happens with the other 8 pups? The breeders want a good home for those puppies..and if they are sold as pets..(with a spay neuter contract) they still will look like gorgeous poodles to 99% of the dog population. The things that make a poodle a winner in the show ring are not evident to the average eye..So Id imagine that you have many gorgeous poodles to choose from if you do your homework and get to know some breeders..develop some trust. Its not that all the poodle puppies are show quality..its that the best breeders really care about their puppies and dont want to sell to just anyone..unless you can prove you will be a good home. And as pointed out above it is costly to rear a litter..Im sure some make a profit..I think many do it to support their dog hobby of showing.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for taking the time to reply, Schnauzerpoodle. I probably should have done what you did - send an email to a large number of breeders. Instead, I looked on their webpages, and I can assure you, many did list the sorts of restrictions I mentioned.

I want to quickly respond to two other points you've made.

1) I think the point my brother was making was that, unless someone wanted to do a good job breeding, they wouldn't be asking for advice. That's why people come to a forum like this - to ask for advice to avoid making mistakes. If all they want to do is make money, they would just get a poodle with another poodle, breed them and sell the pups. I've had a half-dozen strangers stop me in my neighborhood and offer to help me find a mate for Laszlo, saying I'd be able to get $800-1000 for letting him mate. Those people are NOT going to come to this forum to ask for advice.

2) Breeding is, for most people, a hobby. Just look at what people say here. "You can't make a profit." "Don't think of it as a business." If you need a job in order to pay for your activity, it's a hobby. The only question is how deep you are into it.

3)Finally, you know as well as I do that there are a LOT of breeders who don't title their dogs, who own their own studs (no stud fee), do not do annual hip exams (no testing fee), do not temperament test, and do their own grooming. They charge the SAME PRICE as the people who do all the right things - the people I call Type A breeders. To me, that speaks to a supply and demand problem, as well as an informational deficit on the part of puppy buyers. Don't you think so?
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninaspoodles View Post
Well put Schnauzer poodle! And we do not want "hobby breeders" those are called Backyard Breeders. We breed to improve lines, and to improve the breed. When we are looking for a new prospect, we breed a litter as we believe it may produce what we are looking for in our next poodle. Of course we can not keep the whole litter, so we then find responsible homes and sell on non breeding contracts so as uneducated backyard breeders do not breed without permission. We want to preserve our lines and the breed!

Also, if you have gotten many negative comments about wanting to breed, perhaps it is because the breeders have not liked how you view breeding? Saying you want to breed for fun will not attract reputable breeders and you will get negative remarks. If you are truly interested in breeding, you need to do more research so as you understand why posts like these are viewed negatively. Get a good mentor (again that will be up to your research on finding a good breeder) and learn from them. Understand that you can never learn enough. Seek out different opinions etc. Then you will be welcomed into the breeding world with open arms.

We are always looking for good, knowledgable and dedicated breeders
There is a big difference between a backyard breeder (see Type 2 breeder, in my simple taxonomy) and a hobby breeder. A hobby breeder knows and loves the breed, has a great dog or two and when the opportunity arises to breed a bitch with a good temperament and good conformation to a compatible stud, does so. The hobby breeder does so for the pleasure of continuing the breed and breeding a new generation of pups, and usually keeps one or two of the pups. But it isn't done as a quick way to make money, mostly because it isn't quick and it doesn't make any money.

See this webpage for a description of the difference: http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/comparison.html

Last edited by LegalEagle; 01-28-2013 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Adding a link
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