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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so on the advice from some "real life" folks who know us well, as well as the responses on the board, I've decided to wait another 6 months to a year to get a dog. (I'm too lazy to link to the original thread, but suffice it to say I have two small children and was considering a puppy).

I guess I have to find another breeder, because when I called the breeder to tell her I didn't think my kids were ready and I wanted to move the deposit to another litter in the future, she politely told me she was refunding my deposit and to look elsewhere. I was surprised, because I had mentioned to her in my first conversation that I thought we were ready for a dog, but would I be able to move the deposit if for some reason we weren't ready, and she agreed. Bummer, I feel like I've been "dumped" by my breeder, but i'm telling myself it will just mean I'm getting a different great dog in the future.

Anyways...

So now I'm back to the drawing board. I'd like to make contact with a few reputable breeders in the Michigan / Ohio / Indiana / Midwest area even though I'm not considering a purchase for about a year, maybe even beyond. I guess I just want to start talking to people, and interview them, and let them interview me. I'm having a hard time separating people with great websites from people with great dog raising skills, if you know what I mean.

I know asking for health testing is important, but a very close second to me is asking about temprament and socialization (particularly with kids). I'm also very interested in finding out how one "assesses" a poodle to know if it has a suitable temprament for breeding, as opposed to a very hyper or unstable poodle (think the doodle thread, also...)

My previous dogs have been mutt rescues. I'm not completely closed to an adult poodle, but I haven't been very successful finding one locally that is well-socialized with other dogs and small children, and I've also found that not everyone can be forthright (or know) about what existing issues a dog comes with (lack of socialization with minorities has come up as an issue before, something that would have been high on my priority list for making sure it happened in my puppy's life but was definitely an issue for an adult dog and adult friends). I'm a little nervous about accepting a dog or puppy sight unseen, unless I really trust the breeder.

So here are my questions and thoughts:


-What should I be looking for a breeder to tell me about their puppy socialization program?
-Any tip-offs for distinguishing "ok" breeders from "great" breeders?
-I'm somewhat partial to partis, phantoms and brindles, and I prefer larger Standards to smaller.
-What terms do I use to ask breeders about how they evaluate a dog's temprament to know if it is suitable for breeding, and what kind of answer should I expect in return?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I can't answer your questions, but I just wanted to comment that I can't believe the breeder treated you that way. Does she have any idea how many people get a dog without putting as much thought and honest consideration into it as you did?

You're probably better off finding another breeder anyway. Look at it as a sign.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the commiseration.

I actually suspect it must be tough screening people and trying to predict who is going to be a great companion for your carefully bred baby, and maybe it's just easier to let a potential home go if you have any doubt at all. I actually still like her and think she breeds wonderful dogs, and now it's time for me to move on and find someone else just as wonderful. :)
 

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So here are my questions and thoughts:[/U][/B]

-What should I be looking for a breeder to tell me about their puppy socialization program?
-Any tip-offs for distinguishing "ok" breeders from "great" breeders?
-I'm somewhat partial to partis, phantoms and brindles, and I prefer larger Standards to smaller.
-What terms do I use to ask breeders about how they evaluate a dog's temprament to know if it is suitable for breeding, and what kind of answer should I expect in return?

Thanks in advance!
1. Raised in the home, exposure to children, adult dogs, around 6-7 weeks

2. OK breeder might not show or have champions, but does other things with their poodles like agility, obedience, therapy work. They do all health testing. Great breeder will do all that and showing/have champions.

3. The issue with wanting a larger standard in the "mismarked" varieties is that you will be hard pressed to find a good breeder. There are a few parti breeders that are good, but I can't say there are any good phantom or brindle breeders, or any good breeders that breed for large dogs.

4. A good measure of a dog's temperament would be therapy work, or if the dog has a CGC or higher. Otherwise it's mostly just based on their opinion of their dog. A breeder should be open to telling you the good and bad about their dog and they should have bred to a dog that would balance out the negatives. For example: a breeder might say "Fluffy is so friendly with all people and animals, but she can get overly excited easily. This is why I bred her to Sparky because he too loves all people and animals, but is a very laid back dog"
 

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If you have the luxury of time, and really want the down-low of poodle breeders, and the owners of said poodles, don't just go on what a website says. In addition to local shows (UKC and AKC) chat with any local groomers. They know who has good dogs.
There are yahoo groups galore for poodles- including Standard-Poodle group, agilitypoodle, rallypoodle, obedpoodle, Ohiopoodle, New England poodle, brown poodle, parti-poodle, etc. etc. Plus google groups, PSG, standard poodle world, and non-google- Poodle-L
You can learn a lot just by reading the emails- who is happy with their dogs, and who may be having a problem.
Information won't jump in your lap, you have to go find it.
Carole
 

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I have a question about PSG. It's been recommended to me by a few people but I can only find archives. Is it still active? How do you go about reading/joining?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the suggestions - I especially like the idea of talking to local groomers, as they will have seen a number of dogs. I also hear there is one great "poodle grooming shop" here in town, and I bet they will have references. I've asked people "on the street" but most of them can't remember the name of their breeder off hand.

It's also helpful to hear that I should ask why the breeder chose the two dogs as breeding partners. I didn't think about that.

There are about 5 or 6 breeders in my area that I checked out a while back (phone / email only) while looking for adult dogs. A couple people let me know they had litters coming soon, and while I appreciated the info, I felt a little like "hey, don't you want to interview me a little more to be sure I'm up to the task of a dog and small kids at the same time?"

As I'm writing this, I realize I'm also asking about a "people reading skill" which is beyond the subject of an internet conversation. :)
 
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