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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At what point should one be concerned about the number of whelpings for a female dog, when we are talking about a top priced standard poodle breeder who does genetic testing, etc.?

For example, would a 5th pregnancy in an 8-year-old dame give you pause? How about, if asked how many litters the mom has had, the breeder gives a vague answer?

I am starting to feel like some others on this board, that it is hard to trust breeders. Even when they look good on paper, there seems to be a lot hidden things going on. I was trying to help my son purchase a standard poodle puppy with tail and dew claws intact.

His breeder agreed in the contract to leave these intact. Then she accidentally cut off one dew claw, but still says that they "turned down" the puppy (who is still less than a week old) and declines to give back their deposit until the puppy is sold.

That, added to the age and number of litters for the mom, really makes me wonder.
 

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I will be interested in this answer from experienced poodle folks. I have heard anecdotally that females are usually retired by five with fewer litters than their age.
 

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I’ve known breeders to retire bitches by five years old, after 3 litters, maybe a 4th, and they were small dogs, who can live up to 15, sometimes 20 years old.

Personnally, if someone was breeding a female of a medium or large breed dog at 8 years old, I would run away. That’s a big turn off. It’s even borderline cruel, I find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh my, now I feel negligent. We failed to ask the right questions. I had looked on PHR, and assumed every litter would be there. It wasn't. I also failed to attend to age.
 

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some breeders also breed back to back litters. the better ones tend to do it with younger dogs and then retire them young. there are arguments about health reasons for breeding this way that can be found by doing a search.
 

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I think it can really depend on the bitch. If she whelps super easy and enjoys her puppies and is in great shape and health then I don't think 5 litters is an insane amount, but I would say that it's on the higher side and that 3 litters is more average.
 
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