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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone! I'm new here and I joined because I'm (finally) approaching a dog-friendly stage of life, and I want to start researching. I am pretty well married to the Standard Poodle as the appropriate breed for me. I'm energetic and I love the outdoors, and I consider myself to be no-nonsense. I've not had a dog of my own before, but my cat was obedience trained. :) I'm a lifetime Horse Girl too, and I believe that my experience with horses effects the way I interact with dogs.

I'd be very interested to learn about how to tell good breeders from less reputable; wheat-from-chaff and so on. In a Standard Poodle I am interested in the following qualities:
* 100% mental soundness (non-neurotic, balanced)
* 100% physical soundness (no allergies, no skeletal or skin/eye conditions)
Color, "typiness" (if you guys call it that!) are not priorities.

What tools do you recommend? Can you help me kinda cut to the chase (ie, "If a breeder professes to be breeding for ___, they are probably lacking professionalism.")

I understand that in dogs, as for horses, German breeders' societies tend to have some rigorous health standards and selection processes. Is this done for poodles as well? If so, to what degree to American breeders follow these protocols?
 

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I can't answer any of your questions because I beed a seperate breed and just happen to have been blessed by a poodle (hoping to be blessed again soon if we can swing it). I personaly am pretty strict about health testing for my tibbies, but it's a bit easier since they don't have as many issues as some poodles face.

Anyway.....
I can say Welcome though :) and wish you the best of luck in finding your perfect poodle.
 

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Welcome! When you do find the poodle of your dreams make sure you post pictures!

I am sure someone else can give you some good info about breeders local to you!
 

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I am not a breeder but did quite a bit of research prior to getting my baby and happened across a wonderful breeder for my first pup.

For mental soundness you could find a breeder who does obedience or agility, someone who is working their dogs to see what sort of nature and responsiveness their dogs have. A purely show breeeder will be breeding for type and (depending on the breeder) temperament. Breeding for type is not necessarily a bad thing as poodles are retrieving dogs so have good stamina, keep eye sight and are very agile so if you find a breeder breeding for type they willa lso be breeding in these traits as it's part of the poodle make-up.

You would definately want to view the parents unless you feel extremely comfortable with the breeder and trust them implicity.

I recommend as a minimum the parents should be tested for vWD (is an eye disease), hips and elbows. IMO any breeder who is not testing for these is a backyard breeder, is purely breeding for money and is not interested in improving the breed and should not be encouraged to continue breeding by purchasing a pup from.

I am not sure about in the US but here in AUstralia pet dogs are sold on limited register and are often de***ed prior to going to their new owners. Because of the huge increase in "oodles" coming from puppy mills and backyard breeders most reputable breeders will not send an entire pup of theirs out into the world to contribute to this practice.

The following is what my breeder does and I personally wouldn't buy from a breeder who didn't do these things: Have the buyer fill in a puppy questionnaire, good breeders care where their puppies end up, pups should be wormed every two weeks from two weeks of age, vaccinated at 6 - 8 weeks, grown inside under the feet of the famly not in kennels, clipped, bathed and blow dried at 4 weeks and every week or two until they go to their new home, car rides, introduced to many different dogs and people, crate training started, will the breeder take the pup back if you have to rehome? Pups should not go to the new owner any earlier than 8 weeks, if the breeder suggests you could take the pup earlier than this run a mile!

Anyway I could go on but I have written an epic already. Find a few breeders and ring them, ask your questions and see what questions they ask you, you will soon get a feel for the breeder. In the end you have to feel comfortable dealing with this person now and hopefully have a good relationship into the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
First, thanks for the welcome!

BlueFox, thank you for your epic. Please don't put the brakes on it if Homer is speaking through you on the subject. "Ignorance is bliss" is for sissies :) Much of what I want to learn about poodle breeders I am hoping to just put into context that I can understand. When I see the website or speak to a horse breeder, I know what red flags and selling points there are. For example, if I were horse-shopping (I'm not; I actually ride hunt seat and the Off-the-Track-then-Off-the-Polo-Field mare I was leasing has an unfortunate set of legs; that's no fault of hers of course) I would be wary of: anyone who coos "Just LOOK at all that white!", registers their horses with a society that does not require breeding stock inspections with a veterinary exam, laryngoscoping and OCD screening, or starts putting the babies over fences at age 3. Those would be big alarms for me.

Thanks for filling me in on what your breeder does. I know that to ask for specific names and families that are known for quality XYZ would be to open a big can of worms. Can you, or anybody else, help me out with the OFA website? I understand how to use it, but what tests are most important? Which ones are not an issue? Are there good, accessible resources that have this information?

I am a sponge :)
 

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arpeggiopoodles.tripod.com
this is a really good site to help you lean nearly anything you can want to know. I hope this link works, but if not I know it is a fave of a few of us. There is so much info on this page I had to list it as a fave because when I get sick of studying for my paramedic school I will go to this page to do something 'fun' anyway I don't think anyone can retain this much info in a day, but boy is it good!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TXTori thank you for the link! There certainly is a lot of information on that website. Some of the color stuff is iffy, and I only know that because coat color is something I know pretty well. Unfortunately, because I don't know the other topics well - the ones I want to learn about - I can't tell whether the other topics are sound. Can anyone speak to this?
 

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I would just go to the Poodle Club of America web-site or even AKC...either one will have breeder referrals and you can learn from their web-sites.

I personally like the web-site that Txtori mentioned...it does have some good basic info in regard to poodle care and I LOVE looking at all the pictures! Even if you don't agree with the information, it does show you visually the difference between what poodle breeders are "calling/naming" their colors...which is nice if you are new to the breed.
 

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I know what your saying about buying horses and knowing what to look for and interpreting what the owner says. I had a wonderful warmblood mare who had hock spavin which was only picked up on vet inspection and x-ray before I bought her and thinking back some of the things the owner was saying were very consistent with the end result, not that I think she knew and was trying to pass the horse off. She was sound but would never have been able to compete at the higher levels of dressage with the restricted movement in both her hocks.

Anyway it is a bit different with a pup as your not generally buying someone elses mental or physical problems as the pup is young. The main thing I think is to make sure the breeders are health testing, while this won't guarantee you a healthy pup it iwll cut down your risk considerably.

Even though I am in Australia I really like the Poodle Club of America site, their info on health is good:

http://www.poodleclubofamerica.org/health.htm
 

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Ohh and sorry vWD is not an eye disease, got my acronyms mixed up :banghead:
PRA (progessive renal atrophy) is the eye disease, vWD (Von Willibrands disease) is a bleeding disorder. Both diseases can be tested for in the parents.
 
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