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Discussion Starter #1
I think I understand why breeders don’t want to put prices when they are listing puppies. But maybe not.
When I was looking for a puppy, I had set myself a limit, a budget let’s say. I could pay X-amount and know there would be plenty for vet check, toys, supplies, toys, crates, harness, neutering, toys...etc.
So, I’m looking up breeders, hadn’t found y’all yet, so using AKC Market Place, Breeders of Merit. This year puppies are at a premium. I tried other breeds because I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I called breeders and was honest that I needed info about their breed, and was finally led to poodles. Well, that has turned out to be the right choice, within my budget. But when I got Rock, I was looking for a second dog. Sadly my first dog passed, suddenly, we think from cancer or congestive heart failure, leaving me with one dog...Rocky.
Right now he has my husband‘s dog to play with, a female 3 year old chocolate lab. But in April Rock and I go to Tennessee for 6 months and I want a second mini poodle. My dilemma... I don’t want to pester breeders, but I need to know their puppies prices before I put myself on a waiting list or fill out an application. How am I supposed to handle this?
 

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"Hi, I saw one of your pups on the AKC market place. I'm interested in a pup but my husband needs to know your puppy prices because he's a numbers guy first before we put ourselves on a waiting list or fill out an application."

Make something up and blame it on your husband (you're third-partying any blame), they'll never know, and you won't feel like a pest.
 

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I would not ask about prices in the first email. Write a nice email explaining who you are and what you are looking for in a puppy. Leave price out if it. If they respond back saying they think they could work with you to find a good match, then you can find out about waitlists and payment works.

You can use the same original email multiple times. It is nice to include some minor details about what you like about their dogs to personalize it.

But pricing really should not be too hard to predict. Reputable breeders are not raising prices for covid unless it has caused them some increase in costs for some reason. Standard poodles from a good breeder that titles their dogs are typically 1.8-2.5k. Maybe a little less for dogs that only have performance titles. Well bred minis and toys tend to be 2-3k. Much outside of these prices would be a red flag for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, I can do that. Should I say I’m talking to other breeders? Should I talk to multiple breeders? I don’t like feeling that I’m leading them on.
 

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Thanks, I can do that. Should I say I’m talking to other breeders? Should I talk to multiple breeders? I don’t like feeling that I’m leading them on.
No, you don't need to mention your talking to other breeders.

If you want to ask multiple breeders then you can.

It sounds like you're looking for a puppy in April and are just gathering information. I'm just taking what you said is important to you step by step.

Raindrops has great perspective too. Relationship, happiness, a warm loving house are very important part of the process too. Everyone's heart needs to be in the right place for the interest of the furbaby.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to you both. When I was looking for Rocky I felt unsure and it’s probably more my hang ups than the breeders. I expect it will take me till April or more to find the right breeder and puppy. At least this time I know what I want. Rocky will be a year, the end of April and I think that is a good time to get another pup so they will bond.
 

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Should I say I’m talking to other breeders? Should I talk to multiple breeders? I don’t like feeling that I’m leading them on.
By all means, talk to as many breeders as you like. Eventually you may find yourself saying something like "That's interesting. Another breeder said ____..." and you'll out yourself anyhow :).

So long as you're not concluding any communication with anything remotely like a promise to them that you want a poodle from them, you don't need to say that you're simply speaking with other breeders. I just find it easier to be open with the communication since that's what I want from them :).

This is the Cliffs Notes version which explains from a breeders standpoint, and it gets a bit direct. The whole thing is short and worth the read.

7) PLEASE FINISH THE ENCOUNTER WITH ONE BREEDER BEFORE BEGINNING ONE WITH ANOTHER. If you end a conversation with me saying “Well, this just all sounds wonderful, and I’m going to talk it over with my wife and we’ll call you about getting on your waiting list,” and then you hang up and call the next person on your list, that’s not OK.


If you don’t feel like you click with me, or you want to keep your options open, a very easy way to say it is to ask for the names and numbers of other breeders I recommend. That way I know we’re not “going steady,” and I won’t pencil you in on my list. If you are on my waiting list, and you decide that you don’t want to be anymore, call me AS SOON AS YOU KNOW and say “Joanna, I’m so sorry, but our life has gotten a little crazy and I need to be taken off the puppy list.” And I will make sympathetic noises and take you off. If, then, you decide you want to get a different puppy, be my guest. Just keep me apprised and let me close off my commitment to you before you open it with another breeder.


…Which brings us to something that is super important and most puppy people don’t realize:


8 ) EVERY BREEDER KNOWS EVERY OTHER BREEDER. Now of course I don’t mean the bad breeders, but the show breeding community is VERY small and VERY close-knit.

 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you. What is the best age to introduce Rocky to a new puppy. Is it around the age of one. I’m hoping they will bond, become playmates and both want to sit on my lap. Am I being realistic? My vision is someone to have Zoomies (I love that word!) with Rock, I have a fairly good sized farm and plenty of room to run. But what I really want is two snuggle bugs that want to be with me in my purposely bought BIG chair! Rocky likes to snuggle!
 

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Thank you. What is the best age to introduce Rocky to a new puppy. Is it around the age of one. I’m hoping they will bond, become playmates and both want to sit on my lap. Am I being realistic? My vision is someone to have Zoomies (I love that word!) with Rock, I have a fairly good sized farm and plenty of room to run. But what I really want is two snuggle bugs that want to be with me in my purposely bought BIG chair! Rocky likes to snuggle!
I have heard people say it is good to have one dog well trained before getting another because you have to focus so much on the new dog. I think that is good advice. But it will depend on every person's idea of what they want from their dogs. I don't see any reason why 1 year is a bad age. The only bad time is when the first dog is still a young puppy.
 

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To be fair the price range isn't just about your own personal budget. Knowing what the normal price for a well-bred puppy of your chosen breed in your region is extremely important in order to recognise red flags in breeders. For my region the normal price for a good puppy (except the super expensive breeds like Bulldogs) is around 1500 to 2500 euro. Interestingly, anything below that is naturally suspicious BUT so is anything significantly above it too. It is not that unusual to see the worse BYBs and the puppy mills charging more than breeders with champion lines, especially now during the pandemic. I also noticed that the responsible breeders that I contacted did not charge more for more popular colours.

I don't know what your budget is or what a puppy in your region costs. But if you were belgian and would tell me that you refuse to go over 800 euro I would tell you to find a rescue because you will never find a responsible breeder for that amount. But also if you said that you were going to buy a poodle for 5000 euro I would tell you to look elsewhere because that price is very suspicious.

So its a very difficult position to be in as an inexperienced puppy buyer. You can't just google what a normal price for the region is. The only breeders who advertise their prices are very dodgy. You have to contact several breeders and get information on their practices and prices to get a good understanding of what is normal in your region. However, from a social etiquette perspective that approach can be frowned upon.

Its a very difficult balance to achieve. I found it very hard especially as I was calling breeders in several countries so I had to deal with language and cultural differences as well. I did learn that the Germans have no problems discussing the prices in the first conversation 😅
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When I was looking for Rocky I set myself a reasonable budget and used AKC Market place because I knew enough about backyard breeders and mills to be cautious, plus I wanted a healthy, well put together puppy with a good temperament. Since I’m still learning how to look at a poodles confirmation and people cover things with more hair, I felt that was fairly safe for the newbie. I think I did well with Rock. He’s going to be the perfect size, I love his temperament when he’s not gnawing on my arm, hand, or sweatshirt. He’s got lots of confidence, yet he is very loving.
So now I have all this wonderful information, since finding this forum, and I still think my budget is reasonable. However, I am realizing that I may want to be more flexible. I don’t want to loose an opportunity of getting a great puppy because it cost $500 over my budget.
Rocky and I aren’t sure what he wants to be when he grows up. I just love having a dog that is well behaved around others and listens to what I say. So his training takes place as life happens and so far I’m quite happy. He is very different from the last puppy I raised, a black lab that I used to joke “came trained”. He was sooo easy. Rocky is so different! No bad or really difficult, but he’s so much smarter! You work with Rocky on a whole different level. But he catches on so fast. I guess I digress. I think my point is that Rocky and I will be ready when he’s a year.
I am going to begin contacting breeders in my area and just be honest. I guess I can only be myself and if I commit a faux pas, at least i will be polite about it.
Thanks for all the wise words. I needed to hear them all.
 

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I like to mention checking the poodle rankings by state to give you additional breeder names, especially since mini’s are the hardest size to find. Elite breeders have waiting lists, but most will offer other names, since they all know each other or of each other. Sometimes you can get lucky with a “show fail”, a rehome, and folks drop off wait lists all the time. I would budget $2K -$3K.
 

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I think it’s unrealistic for any breeder to expect people to finish an entire encounter with one breeder before starting with another. Maybe I misunderstood? You have to do what is best for you and that is to get to know as many breeders as you can before you make a decision. Breeders and buyers don’t like to admit that this is essentially a business transaction because it feels icky, but you’d be best advised to take emotion out of it and treat it as such. Most breeders I’ve encountered won’t put you on a list without a down payment anyway, so the talk before is expected.

In my lifetime, I have met many dog and cat (and hamster and guinea pigs too) breeders as my mother always insisted on pure bred pets. We vetted out many breeders of all varieties before making a decision. I have met a few breeders that think they are God’s gift to the animal kingdom and your personal gatekeeper to the best animals on earth. I drop these breeders immediately because they are a headache to deal with. Anyone who isn’t realistic and humble isn’t likely to be able to spot problem areas in their breeding program or help you with issues and that’s a big problem.

I know breeders deal with a lot of headache too, but your job isn’t to make their lives easier, your job is to pick the best dog and situation for your home so that the whole thing will be a success and that’s what we ALL want in the end anyway.

Good luck!
 

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I think it’s unrealistic for any breeder to expect people to finish an entire encounter with one breeder before starting with another. Maybe I misunderstood?
If you read the whole article you get a better overview of what the author means.

Think of it like time compressed dating when the intent is to eventually find a lifelong partner. While you're still learning what you want in that eventual commitment you don't need to tell every date that they aren't the only one, but once you start narrowing your choices by knowing better what you want in that commitment down to a small number, you're also not going to make commitment noises by letting them think that they are the only one before you know for sure,

Or using your business model, let's say you need a new ___ but you don't know a lot about ___ so you contact several purveyors of ____ to learn more. This is where the business model and dating model part ways.

If you tell a purveyor of ___ "That sounds great. I'll get on your list for when that's back in stock..." and then choose to go with someone else, there no emotion involved on either side. They're not making arrangements around your decision.

If you tell a breeder "That sounds great. I'll get on your list for this/the next litter..." and then choose someone else after they have made arrangements around your decision, that's what I understand the author to mean.

It shouldn't be an issue for anyone that you're contacting more that one breeder in order to find the one or two that you think you would commit to. It is considered bad etiquette to let more than one think you are committing to them.
 
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If you read the whole article you get a better overview of what the author means.

Think of it like time compressed dating when the intent is to eventually find a lifelong partner. While you're still learning what you want in that eventual commitment you don't need to tell every date that they aren't the only one, but once you start narrowing your choices by knowing better what you want in that commitment down to a small number, you're also not going to make commitment noises by letting them think that they are the only one before you know for sure,

Or using your business model, let's say you need a new but you don't know a lot about so you contact several purveyors of ____ to learn more. This is where the business model and dating model part ways.

If you tell a purveyor of ___ "That sounds great. I'll get on your list for when that's back in stock..." and then choose to go with someone else, there no emotion involved on either side. They're not making arrangements around your decision.

If you tell a breeder "That sounds great. I'll get on your list for this/the next litter..." and then choose someone else after they have made arrangements around your decision, that's what I understand the author to mean.

It shouldn't be an issue for anyone that you're contacting more that one breeder in order to find the one or two that you think you would commit to. It is considered bad etiquette to let more than one think you are committing to them.
That makes sense. I guess I didn't think of that because most breeders I know will require a non refundable 200-500$ deposit to get on a list which usually fixes that problem. I am surprised that there are any that wouldn't require a deposit to get on a list!

Breeders will find a way to protect themselves just as every business owner does. I just hate to see obviously conscientious and responsible people feeling like they have to dance around a bunch of unspoken etiquette to please and placate the almighty breeder in order to get a dog. If a potential dog owner is too worried about possibly offending a breeder, that's all they will focus on. They won't feel free to ask difficult questions or eliminate a breeder that is too difficult to deal with and in the end they will succeed in pleasing the breeder, but what about getting a dog that is great and fits with the family? In the end it's the dog that matters because even though you should be able to continue a relationship with a breeder, you aren't taking them home with you and making a lifelong commitment.

To be perfectly honest-- if I was searching for a breeder and I was talking to a couple of them and they each would agree to put me on a list without a deposit, I would totally take them up on it. Why not? It's not our job to make sure the breeder's life is easy or butt is covered. Does the breeder make our lives easier without being asked? Or cover our butts? No they do not. They would just as easily dispose of us as we would them if things didn't work out. How many breeder's websites say they reserve the right to refuse a dog to anyone at anytime without warning? And really-- how many breeders would hold a dog without a deposit and just wait and wait turning down many suitable owners because they got this one email one time with someone saying they want to be on a list? That would likely never happen, and if it did, the breeder would correct that and never do it again. It's much easier to correct your own behavior than expect to control the behavior of everyone you come in contact with. That's what drives me crazy about some breeders and if I encounter one of them I turn and RUN. Deal with reasonable and humble people and you will never regret it.

Both breeders for my spoos stated their prices up front and did not make me jump through the psychological hoops that so many others do. Both transactions and relationships were wonderful experiences and both have been immeasurably helpful when I had questions. I still have regular contact with both of them.
 

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That makes sense. I guess I didn't think of that because most breeders I know will require a non refundable 200-500$ deposit to get on a list which usually fixes that problem. I am surprised that there are any that wouldn't require a deposit to get on a list!
There've been some recent threads touching on waitlists and deposits. There seem to be two main ways that breeders handle these.

To some breeders the two are essentially the same. The new family and the breeder have had back and forth communications, vetted each other (an application also may or may not be required), and there is agreement between all parties. The good faith deposit is placed to hold a suitable puppy but there may not yet be puppies on the ground.

The other way is to follow the same procedures listed above but the waitlist and deposit are treated separately. The waitlist is the breeders way of keeping track of who wants what in a puppy, who's ready for a puppy, but the deposit is not required until puppies are on the ground.

There is a third way that can happen and that's serendipity. Possibly the new family and breeder have already gone thru this process with a prior dog and both feel comfortable with each other. Possibly the new family and breeder are introduced by someone known to each other so they feel comfortable. Waitlists and deposits may not figure in at all, puppies may be on the ground or planned, but the vetting either has been done before or is being vouched for.

Pros and cons to each way but that is between the breeder and the new family.

To be perfectly honest-- if I was searching for a breeder and I was talking to a couple of them and they each would agree to put me on a list without a deposit, I would totally take them up on it.
You've made a key point here. If a breeder offered or agreed to put me on a waitlist but there hadn't been careful vetting of each other, as you described your process above, deposit required or not, I'd walk away from them. I would have to ask myself just how much the future of that pup means to them.

I'm not following how being courteous and open with a breeder and expecting the same from them can be a negative experience. What you describe sounds like the kind of breeders I wouldn't recommend.
 

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There've been some recent threads touching on waitlists and deposits. There seem to be two main ways that breeders handle these.

To some breeders the two are essentially the same. The new family and the breeder have had back and forth communications, vetted each other (an application also may or may not be required), and there is agreement between all parties. The good faith deposit is placed to hold a suitable puppy but there may not yet be puppies on the ground.

The other way is to follow the same procedures listed above but the waitlist and deposit are treated separately. The waitlist is the breeders way of keeping track of who wants what in a puppy, who's ready for a puppy, but the deposit is not required until puppies are on the ground.

There is a third way that can happen and that's serendipity. Possibly the new family and breeder have already gone thru this process with a prior dog and both feel comfortable with each other. Possibly the new family and breeder are introduced by someone known to each other so they feel comfortable. Waitlists and deposits may not figure in at all, puppies may be on the ground or planned, but the vetting either has been done before or is being vouched for.

Pros and cons to each way but that is between the breeder and the new family.



You've made a key point here. If a breeder offered or agreed to put me on a waitlist but there hadn't been careful vetting of each other, as you described your process above, deposit required or not, I'd walk away from them. I would have to ask myself just how much the future of that pup means to them.

I'm not following how being courteous and open with a breeder and expecting the same from them can be a negative experience. What you describe sounds like the kind of breeders I wouldn't recommend.
That’s really interesting to see all of the different ways breeders handle deposits— I had only encountered one way.

It sounds like we are basically on the same page. I definitely think both parties need to be considerate and respectful!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I think when it comes down to it, that when I start looking I have to be myself. If a question comes to me and I feel comfortable asking it I will. I am generally a person that gets along with everyone, and I do this by just following my gut. I do appreciate all of your comment, it is all information that will play into that gut feeling.
 
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