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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya, I’m an absolute poodle fanatic and my family and I are looking to buy a toy poodle to join our family but we’ve run into a problem. I have several things on my mind and I would appreciate any form of help :)

We’ve been preparing for a poodle pup for a while and we’re almost done (Online ordered food just needs to arrive). however, we can’t afford to pay thousands for a pup from a proper breeder. Our price limit is £1500 but we’re looking online and only considering puppies from parents that are both health checked (with papers) and perhaps KC registered (a bonus).

We’re actually panicking now because it seems that all these pups online are getting taken so quickly. Just this morning, there was a red female pup that was exactly £1500 from a licensed breeder (we were ecstatic) and raised with other pet dogs. the ad was uploaded 5 minutes ago and I called but she had already been taken.

We’re about to visit a toy poodle breeder today but we’re not quite sure. The dad is KC registered and has multiple health checks done and the mum is pra checked. however, dad is 11 inches and mum is 10 inches. I’m guessing dad just grew over the toy poodle height limit as he’s registered as a toy poodle. Obviously since we’re after a toy, we would prefer smaller.
How likely do you think it is the pups will grow over the limit?

My mother is also very particular about the colour of the pup. I personally would accept any colour from a great background but my mum is a perfectionist to say the least. She wants a red pup but would accept apricot. She doesn’t want cream. But there’s another problem here. Looking at the photos online, I’m assuming these breeders don’t know the true meaning of red as I see many dark apricot pups being sold as reds, and creams being sold as apricot.

I want this poodle to be perfect for my mum as she talks about how it’ll be only her and the dog once all her children grow up. I’ll attach some photos below of the puppies (the girls are the darkest pups) and please could you “judge” the colours. They’re advertised as apricot but I’m not too sure if that’s correct...

Last thing, do you think I’m rushing into this?
The pups are only a week old and you have to pay an non refundable deposit to reserve. Under normal circumstances we would only pay after around 6 weeks where we get a grasp of the puppy’s personality but the best we can do is meet the mother, check her build, the papers and her temperament.

I guess you could say we’re anxious because I feel like if I pay the deposit, somewhere over the 8 weeks, a perfect, red toy with the best background will pop up but we can’t get her because of the deposit. But then I also feel like if I pass on this litter, i’ll constantly be looking for the “perfect pup” which might not come in time. (This pup is a birthday gift for my mother whose birthday is in late June). And even if it does (like the one this morning) it will be taken by others...

I’m so sorry this is so long but I’d truly appreciate any advice.
here are some pics of the litter we’re considering:

466556
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also forgot to mention but dad is a red poodle (An actual red) with brown nose and mum is white with black nose.
 

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I'm not surprised you are having trouble. In normal times sought after breeders often take deposits before the dogs are even bred. Toys and minis typically produce small litters, so its not unusual for a well regarded breeder to have sold every pup before the litter is even born. $2000 is a normal price in my area for registered standard poodle puppies from fully health checked parents; I'm not up to date on UK or toy prices. Due to covid quarantining, there's a bit of a puppy shortage right now. Lots of people have decided to get a dog, since they are stuck at home anyway.

Check out the pinned links on how to select a breeder.
 

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Hi and Welcome!

I'm chiming in to agree with PTP and cowpony. Find the breeder you want to work with rather than a "perfect" puppy. It can cost more to go with a quality breeder but when you do that, if they really are a quality breeder, you have the benefit of better health odds when the correct genetic testing has been done on the parents. You have the breeders support thru the life of the puppy, not just a few days after purchase or even just a year or two if they offer a health guarantee (which doesn't have much meaning or actual value to the buyer if it isn't backed up by the proper health testing of the parents, and, generally favors the breeder over the buyer).

A reminder also that red is a fading color. Not every red pup keeps their color. They're as likely to fade to apricot, and apricots are as likely lo fade even lighter. I often refer members to this site for some talk and pictures of colors in poodles.


I don't see any reds in that litter and it's hard to know from only that photo if they're going to be cream or a very light apricot.

For the eventual height of the pups, that's also hard to predict. Several times in the last century or so, there have been purposeful crossing of toys and minis to set certain conformation characteristics, so toy's going oversize aren't that uncommon. Your best bet is to find a breeder that knows their pedigree line back several generations and can tell you whether the pups generally stay in size or if some have gone oversize, how often it happens.

I know it would be hard to wait past your mum's birthday, but, if you're lucky, this is a commitment for 15 years or even more. The wait for the right breeder who will have the right pup is a very good investment.

Ordering food is a bit precipitate since the breeder will have the pup on a specific food, which shouldn't be changed too soon or quickly. A pup leaving everything familiar to them is stressed and lonely and scared enough with all the changes, you don't want to add additional gastric distress to that.

I'm sorry that we don't have rec's for breeders in the UK tho we do have several members who I hope will drop by.

Here's a link to The Kennel Club UK

and their "Find a Puppy" page

and a link to a resource here at PF on what to look for in a breeder
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hiya everyone
Thanks so much for replying. I’ve decided not to visit the breeder today (6hours drive was a bit too long for my liking anyways 😅) and I’ve signed up to be notified for litters on Champdogs and KC UK :)
I’ve talked with my mum and we’re going to wait a little longer :)

thanks for your help :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One question :
What do you think is a sensible amount to pay for a toy poodle pup in the UK.
i feel as though I can’t get a proper understanding as the ads in the site I’m on has ridiculous prices (£2000-3000) for pups whose parents are often not even health tested.
how much is a pup from a breeder?
 

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I have found that well-bred pups from a reliable breeder are often less than the silly prices asked by people who are using their dogs as money making machines. Prices are particularly inflated at the moment as many people have decided that if they are at home they may as well get a puppy now, and the mills and BYBs are taking advantage of it being a seller's market. A few months ago prices on the internet were more in the £1200-1800 range, and even that was ridiculous for many of the pups on offer. I think you are very wise to do your research carefully, and take time to find the pup that is right for you. And always consider lifetime costs, rather than simply purchase price - a well-bred healthy puppy from parents who have been chosen for both health and temperament is a wise investment.
 

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After reading thru this thread I am glad you have decided to wait. Waiting will also allow you to save more $ for a well bred puppy. I'm not familiar on how to buy a pup in the UK but I'd take this time to investigate. Find a breeder who knows their line of dogs and who health tests. Some members can tell you all the money a puppy ended up costing them before they were aware of the difference of buying from just anyone who bred their dog and a reputable breeder who knows their line of dogs. There is often a waiting list. Find a breeder you feel comfortable working with and who will be there for you when you have questions. Sometimes paying a bit more up front will save you much $ later on. Good luck in your search.
 

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Your doing the right thing waiting.
Many good breeders aren’t planning to breed puppies until the pandemic is over so you are unlikely to see many quality litters pop up for a while. And as said by fjm back yard breeders are taking advantage of the sudden influx of people buying pups and putting prices up. A quality pup is often half that price! Also as people are not able to visit puppies at the moment you can’t see where pups are raised or assess the temperament of the dam which is a deal breaker for me. Also with the lockdown there are many scammers making fake adverts on sites like pets4homes and taking deposits for non existent pups.

Champdogs and kc are definitely the best route to take as sire and dam have to be kc registered and most are health tested on these platforms. I went on the waiting list on champdogs myself when getting my girl it took over a year though as the litter had to tick the boxes.

There are breeders on champdogs of apricots and a few reds maybe contact a few and see if they have any planned litters? You may have to go on a waiting list. Also ask the owners of any studs you like the look of, if they have mated any bitches.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello everyone
Firstly I would like to thank everyone SO SO MUCH for persuading me to wait.
For some reason, I thought finding a pedigree pup would be a lot harder than it actually is (think secret connections and elite groups 😂)
I spent a few hours this morning messaging all England and Wales based toy poodle breeders on Champdogs, enquiring if they had a litter available. It’s only been a few hours and the majority have not replied BUT we have found a breeder who is planning a litter in two months!
I contacted her and asked if we could be put down on the waiting list and she accepted !! We are beyond ecstatic! By her profile, I can see she mainly focuses on red and apricot pups... this is like a dream come true!

however, now the initial bliss has slightly worn off, I’m not sure how to approach the topic of price, gender and how far down we are on the waitlist. We’ve never bought from a professional breeder and I’m intimidated.

She said she had two litters planned this year and I wouldn’t mind waiting for the second litter but i’m a really curious person...

Would it be rude to ask the price of the pups or how far down I am on the waiting list?
Is there an etiquette around dog breeding that I should know about?
What if I’m added to another waiting list of another breeder? She I let both of them know??

i just don’t want to make a fool of myself...
thank you for your help :)
 

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Congrats that's awesome! This sounds like a good plan. I don't know if it differs in the UK, but I don't think it's rude at all to ask about price, so long as you've had plenty of conversation to make it clear that it's not your top priority and you have an idea of what to expect. Breeders tend to just hate people who contact them and immediately say "how much for __?" as if they don't care about anything else. The questions about health and temperament of the dam/sire should happen before mention of price. I am not 100% sure about waitlist etiquette. Hopefully somebody will chime in. When in doubt, I'd ask the breeder about it as if you have no idea what to do, and just have them tell you how they like to do things.
 

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I don't think it's unreasonable to ask about what it means to be on their waitlist. At what point does it become a commitment, before or after a deposit is given? And it's fair to let them know that you were so happy about finding some quality breeders to connect with that you have messaged a few in hopes of finding choices in the right combination of breeder and pup. Just by looking over a few of the listings on Champdog I can see that some of these breeders are obviously in communication with each other since one has the sire and another has the dam of a joint litter. It's best to be open but do ask as soon as you can so they know they can trust you too. Good breeders tend to be fairly close knit community.

As for pricing, our UK members will be your best guide but for some comparison, I'd say a general range in the US would be $1500-$2500, with variance on both sides. I'd also say the range is less to do with quality of the pups and as much to do with cost of living in their area.
 

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Well done and congrats!
We Brits don’t like to talk money :LOL: it’s awkward but you need to know. I would ask how they do things as it differs one breeder to another. Some match pups to owners, based on temperament. Some breeders may keep a pup, the stud owner may take one and pick some show prospects for show homes. It may be in order of enquiry so first person picks first. Some take deposits so ask if they do and when they take that. I think the more questions the better it shows your interest and dedication.
 

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I would start drafting an email, starting with how much you enjoyed talking with her, saying this is your first pup from a breeder and how excited you are. And then simply ask your questions - would it be wise to follow up with one or more other breeders, in case there is not a suitable pup for you in this litter, although you would be happy to wait for the next? How are pups allocated - buyer choice, or by the breeder? Will she require a deposit, and at what stage, and what proportion of the total price? Which is how much?

Then leave the draft for a few hours so that you can come back to it afresh before sending it. These are the questions anyone would ask when buying a pup, so don't feel embarassed.
 

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It just depends a lot on what you're wanting. I've never honestly had a lot of luck with full time breeders. I personally prefer small time breeders, I don't search for papers bc our pets are just that, pets. we don't breed or show so papers usually just sit in a cabinet and never get filed at our home. I'm sure I may get a lot of bad responses for that but when I search for puppies, I go with my gut. If the family's polite, if pups are raised in the home, I ask tons of questions and look for how the person responds and interacts with all the questions. we recently just picked our pup out yesterday and its a very friendly older senior couple who raise the pups inside with them, so they get a lot of love and attention. They were open and answered all questions. They're about 3hrs from us and she sends me tons of pictures and keeps us updated with all vet appointments. I actually found her on a classified type website and had her put us on a waitlist. she's honestly the only one out of all the waitlists I've been on for 3+ yrs to ever keep us in the loop with all upcoming pups. This obviously doesn't work for everyone. Some people prefer to pay more and have the papers,etc. I've just had better luck with home raised puppies. In the area we live in now though I've noticed the bigger breeders aren't very friendly and get frustrated with even a few questions, so that really bothers me and makes me uncomfortable.
 

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Hi and Welcome!

Your distinctions between "full time breeders" and "small time breeders" aren't spelled out but, if I'm following your train of thought in that, "full time breeders" are probably what I'd define as a breeder who is doing it for profit. In that, we'd agree. A quality breeder isn't doing this to make money, they do it because they love their chosen breed and want to see the breed maintain and improve in quality and health. The "small time breeder" as I think I understand your definition would be folks who may love their dogs and the breed, but they aren't investing in the dogs by showing or competing to prove their dogs meet the breed standards or performance expectations, and they aren't investing in health testing to reduce the known issues of their breed. Sort of like how most of us used to get our family pets and how many still do. These are choices that everyone makes for themselves. As a member of PF, I want to make sure people know of the choices they have by giving information they may not have known. It's not elitist, it's Poodlist :).

You make a point and possibly miss a point about the registration papers. It's very true that once the papers are in hand, they often do just go into a file, but what the papers are intended to prove is that the pup one gets is 100% the breed one wants. I never looked for a show quality pet but I sure wanted to know that I was getting a poodle.

To answer the question not raised yet, here is an excellent explanation of why buying from a show/performance breeder makes a difference to many. It's not about the titles per se, it's what the breeder invests in their dogs and the breed.

"I don’t want a show dog; I just want a pet.
by Joanna Kimball on July 13, 2010

This is one of the most pervasive sentiments that puppy buyers, especially families, express when they're looking for a dog. What they really mean, of course, is that they don't want a show BREEDER – don't want to pay the high price they think show breeders charge, don't want to go through the often-invasive interview process, and think that they're getting a better deal or a real bargain because they can get a Lab for $300 or a Shepherd for $150.

I want you to change your mind. I want you to not only realize the benefits of buying a show-bred dog, I want you to INSIST on a show-bred dog. And I want you to realize that the cheap dog is really the one that's the rip-off. And then I want you to go be obnoxious and, when your workmate says she's getting a puppy because her neighbor, who raises them, will give her one for free, or when your brother-in-law announces that they're buying a goldendoodle for the kids, I want you to launch yourself into their solar plexus and steal their wallets and their car keys.

Here's why:

If I ask you why you want a Maltese, or a Lab, or a Leonberger, or a Cardigan, I would bet you're not going to talk about how much you like their color. You're going to tell me things about personality, ability (to perform a specific task), relationships with other animals or humans, size, coat, temperament, and so on. You'll describe playing ball, or how affectionate you've heard that they are, or how well they get along with kids.

The things you will be looking for aren't the things that describe just "dog"; they'll be the things that make this particular breed unique and unlike other breeds.

That's where people have made the right initial decision – they've taken the time and made the effort to understand that there are differences between breeds and that they should get one that at least comes close to matching their picture of what they want a dog to be.

Their next step, tragically, is that they go out and find a dog of that breed for as little money and with as much ease as possible.

You need to realize that when you do this, you're going to the used car dealership, WATCHING them pry the "Audi" plate off a new car, observing them as they use Bondo to stick it on a '98 Corolla, and then writing them a check and feeling smug that you got an Audi for so little.

It is no bargain.

Those things that distinguish the breed you want from the generic world of "dog" are only there because somebody worked really hard to get them there. And as soon as that work ceases, the dog, no matter how purebred, begins to revert to the generic. That doesn't mean you won't get a good dog – the magic and the blessing of dogs is that they are so hard to mess up, in their good souls and minds, that even the most hideously bred one can still be a great dog – but it will not be a good Shepherd, or good Puli, or a good Cardigan. You will not get the specialized abilities, tendencies, or talents of the breed.

If you don't NEED those special abilities or the predictability of a particular breed, you should not be buying a dog at all. You should go rescue one. That way you're saving a life and not putting money in pockets where it does not belong.

If you want a purebred and you know that a rescue is not going to fit the bill, the absolute WORST thing you can do is assume that a name equals anything. They really are nothing more than name plates on cars. What matters is whether the engineering and design and service department back up the name plate, so you have some expectation that you're walking away with more than a label.

Keeping a group of dogs looking and acting like their breed is hard, HARD work. If you do not get the impression that the breeder you're considering is working that hard, is that dedicated to the breed, is struggling to produce dogs that are more than a breed name, you are getting no bargain; you are only getting ripped off."

This doesn't mean a breeder who doesn't compete with their dogs can't produce wonderful dogs too. In a way, the breeders investment in proper breed testing, competing, socializing puppies, all these and more are like insurance for the new family. They're not absolute guarantees, but they can sure be a benefit.

I didn't know til I joined PF and started learning all kinds of things, for an example, that the over 400 distinct, modern dog breeds we know today have only come about since the Victorian era, and thru human intervention by breeding for generations for distinct looks, abilities, and traits. Careful breeding is required to keep them all as we expect them to be, healthy and to standard.

I hope you don't feel bashed by this, just presenting a counterpoint.
 

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Rose and poos as I was reading through this thread I was thinking I would need to pull out that blog on pet vs. show dogs and you beat me to it, which is just fine since you saved me the trouble. As various people here can say saving on price of a puppy can end up being no bargain in terms of later problems resulting in big vet bills. That said I wish the OP great success.
 

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I by no means meant one that skips health testing. I guess what I meant by my terms of breeders is
Large breeders- numerous dogs being breed, usually not in the home. Papers, health testing,etc. wants to provide healthy show quality breeds.
small breeders- usually only one to two pets being bred in home. Health testing, paper optional, their dogs are usually papered to so lineage. Want to provide healthy happy pets to families.
Backyard breeder- usually in it to make a quick $, no papers, no health testing, proof of breed, usually cheaper pups with little to no vet care.
that’s just my breakdown of how I have it in my head. I was just trying to say that there’s options. Some people aren’t aware that their are some breeders who offer options. My last poodle was from a large breeder and she usually sells her pups around $1300 and up and she offered us her tiny pup, bc she didn’t want her to go to a breeder bc she was so little. So we offered to sign a no breeding contract and we paid $800 for her. Best dog I’ve ever owned. She turned out to be 1lb full grown and she lived a happy 13yrs in our home. She was actually my first contact when looking again, but she no longer breeds full poodles. We lived in a different area then and she was very nice and welcoming. Where we live now though I’ve noticed the larger breeders being very short with questions which makes me uncomfortable. When buying a pup I want to feel like part of the family or a good friend for lack of better words. Open conversation, updates, if I have questions I like knowing I can feel comfortable calling them.
 
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