Not knowing your experience with poodle breeders specifically, I'm going to give some overview info and then a link to a Breeder List compiled from member recommendations thru the years.
Health testing of the breeding parents is a good indicator of a quality, conscientious breeder. The Breeder List has info on what to look for in the testing for each variety. Mentioning health testing on a site is nice but isn't proof. For proof, look for health testing results spelled out on the breeder's site, then verify for yourself by going to the site the results are published on. If you don't find any evidence of testing or can't find the info but the breeder appeals to you, contact them and ask where you might see the testing they do. Reputable breeders put in a lot of effort to make sure they're breeding the healthiest poodles and will be happy to talk about it and provide the info.
There's two types of testing, phenotype (a visual, physical exam), and genotype (DNA testing for health issues). SA can be tested for, but it's a sort of "snapshot" test of the sire or dam at the time of the testing.
There is no DNA test available to genotypically detect SA. Currently, diagnosis is based on skin biopsy samples, and unfortunately the current screening method may result in false negatives. Because the age of onset varies, and since this is only a phenotypic test reflecting a point in time, retesting is recommended every 1 to 2 years for dogs used in breeding programs.
Recommended (minimum) testing for standard poodles per OFA
- Hip Dysplasia (One of the following)
OFA Evaluation ➚
- Eye Examination
Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist ➚
- Health Elective (One of the following tests) (One of the following)
OFA Thyroid evaluation from an approved laboratory ➚
OFA SA Evaluation from an approved dermapathologist ➚
Congenital Cardiac Exam ➚
Advanced Cardiac Exam ➚
Basic Cardiac Exam ➚
A caution that a health "guarantee" on a puppy doesn't have much to back it if the sire and dam were not given the testing for breed and variety. "Guarantees" without the testing often favor the breeder, more than the buyer.
Conscientious breeders have a waitlist at the best of times and with pandemic puppy seekers, that wait is stretched well into 2021. There have been more than a few serendipitous contacts between seeker and breeder, so don't be put off by the thought of a waitlist. Also, don't be put off if online sites aren't particularly updated. As often as not, breeders may prefer communicating by phone as well as email or text, and are busy with their dogs rather than keep a website updated.
When you start making contacts, let them know if you're open to an older pup or young adult.
Color preferences are understandable but keep in mind that you're limiting your options even further in a very limited supply of puppies. Many poodle colors change thru their lives.
Temperament is lifelong trait.
Be prepared to spend in the range of $2000 to $3500 USD. Conscientious breeders are not padding pricing due to Covid.
Be prepared to travel outside your preferred area.
(Flying a pup with a flight nanny can be done, and is successfully, by many. I personally couldn't as I want to be the person my new pup tries to rely on from the moment they leave their mother and siblings.)
As a very general rule, websites to be leery of are those that feature cutesy puppies with bows and such, little or no useful info on sires or dams, the word "Order" or "Ordering" (these are living beings, not appliances) and a PayPal or "pay here" button prominently featured "for your convenience".
An excellent source for breeder referrals is your local or the regional or national Poodle Club. An online search for "Poodle Club of ___
(your city or state)" will find them. You can also go directly to the national club site.
Some Poodle Club links are in the Breeder List.
As a sort of checklist of things to look for or ask, this is my personal criteria (I have another more detailed but just this for now):
My criteria need not be yours but I think it's important for a potential poodle owner to understand why these things matter in finding a conscientious breeder and to get a well bred puppy to share life with for many years to come.
Simply being advertised as "registered" or even "purebred" doesn't mean that a puppy is well bred.
Every one of these is a talking point a conscientious breeder will welcome, just not all at the same time
My ideal breeder is someone who is doing this because they love the breed.
They want to see each new generation born at least as good as the previous, ideally better.
They provide for every dog in their care as if that dog is their own.
They will be there for the new family, and stand behind that pup for it's lifetime, rain or shine, with or without a contract.
They will know the standards and pedigrees of their chosen breed, health and genetic diversity of their lines, and breed to better them.
They will know of the latest studies in health standards for their chosen breed and variety and do the health testing of their breeding dogs.
They prove their dogs meet breed standards and are physically capable by breeding from sires and dams proven in competition or participating in other activities.
They do not cross breed.
They will have as many questions for me as I do for them.
They invest in their dogs. They don't expect the dogs to support them.
This is not a complete list so be sure to look at the Multi listings too. Every name on the list has been recommended by a PF member or several, or I have found them by searching thru websites for breeders that the recommended breeder also recommends. Then I went to every website and/or the OFA site and/or a general internet search to verify any health testing done. I only did this initially, before adding them to the list. It's up to the seeker to verify the breeders current standing.
Definitely use the Poodle Clubs for breeder referral too.
🐩 Breeders Listed by Location 🐩 Plus Additional Resources 🐩
GEOGRAPHICAL BREEDERS LIST AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES PLEASE READ THIS FIRST What this list is NOT: This list is not an endorsement of any breeder by Poodle Forum This list is not a list to just go buy from without doing more investigation This list is not comprehensive What this list