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Hi all!
I was wondering if I could get some feedback from some of the many poodle-experienced people here? Basically I'm trying to figure out what breeds would be the best fit for my next dog and standard poodles seem to fit really well with what I'm looking for. I was hoping you guys could tell me if I'm off base and maybe answer a few questions I have.

Primarily I want a companion, but would also like a potential obedience/agility dog. So not a show prospect. I'd prefer not white, but otherwise I'm not too picky about color. I'm very concerned with health, so I want a breeder who does good health testing. Overall, I want a dog who will be calm and laid back around the house, good with cats, and although trainable and smart also willing to be a total couch potato when we're not working/training/exercising. I want a dog who will alert bark, but not be prone to barkiness in general. My previous dog was a working-line german shepherd and I was hoping for my next dog to have the trainability and intelligence that I got there, but without the high prey drive.

From what I understand, poodles more than hit the mark on trainability and intelligence, but I was wondering how drivey they tend to be? I'm sure some lines are more so than others, but in general what could I expect? How about alert barking vs barkiness? Also, do they overall tend to be velcro dogs or more independent? No judgement (seriously), but what are the downsides of poodles?

Other basic info: my husband and I have acreage, a walled yard, no kids, and four cats (one who is an absolute jerk about dogs who get near his space). I'm home most of the time and would be with the dog, but would still prefer not to get a breed that's prone to severe separation anxiety. Let me know if there's anything in here that makes you think "oh god no, why are you considering poodles, are you crazy?!?" ("You didn't know that poodles are allergic to cats? Everyone knows that!")

On a practical note, what can I expect price-wise? When I google it, I get an answer of around $1000-$1500, which is basically what I had guessed at and which is exactly what I had in mind for a budget (conveniently), but it seems like there are a lot of breeders asking prices in the $2000-$3000 range. Is google totally wrong? I found an ten year old thread on this forum saying that those higher prices seemed unreasonable to a lot of people here, but that was ten years ago and maybe prices have doubled in the last ten years.

Also, I've read that a lot of people are moving to sending puppies home later than they used to. More like 10-16 weeks instead of 8. This is not a problem for me and the explanations I've read make sense, but I was wondering how common that is with poodle breeders? Is this a thing that I should expect?

Lastly, I'm in Arizona and would take any recommendations for breeders to talk to. I went through some recommendations I've seen on the internet, but as far as google would tell me many of those breeders were no longer in the business. I'd be willing to go anywhere on the west coast, though I did see a comment somewhere saying that CA prices are higher than elsewhere so maybe that's not a great idea. Anywhere in the southwest, through TX and up into CO and UT would be fine. I'd consider further for the right breeder/dog, but would prefer to stay in this general part of the country.

Thanks to anyone who reads all of this and I'd appreciate any info you guys can give me!
 

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Hi and Welcome!

I keep some links handy for folks starting their search. I've got mini's so not much help in the spoo department for your questions, but there are plenty here and I'm sure they'll drop by.

Except for this lol...Oh, jeez, yes! Definitely consider a spoo!

Let us know how far you'd be willing to travel, too.

463081
 

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Welcome to the forum. I am older and have had many dogs, incl.uding German Shepherds. Rottweilers, lbs plus various small breeds during my lifetime. Two years ago I got my first Standard poodle. He was the most difficult but I think that is my age/health and now that I live in a subdivision rather than having more land. They are very smart and easily trained but they are full of energy the first two years. Now that mine has reached two he has settled down some and is a good dog. He can be a couch potato after having playtime. He is not a barker but is a very good watch dog and will alert me when something is different or he sees someone outside my front door. Once I acknowledge him he stops, so not like a terrier who enjoys barking ( I have one of those too). Since you want to do obedience/agility I think a standard poodle would be great. Now cats...I have 3 cats...he will leave them alone after I say no cat! but he does have a drive to chase them if they run. But its doable as I am seeing as he ages it is more and more manageable. Also consider grooming. I take mine to the groomer every 4 weeks on the dot. Many do their own grooming but I haven't really done much myself.
 

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There is variability within each litter so it is important to identify breeders who will select a pup for you based on your stated needs. (My dog is drivey but also a lap dog. I‘m okay with both.) I have the same experience with Mufar on barking, my spoo will stop after the alert whereas my terrier-X will not. Here is a blog post on selecting the right puppy:

A good source of information about how to select a breeder can be found at the Versatility In Poodles web site. This includes important information such as health testing of parents and questions to ask breeders.


IMO on cost, $2,000-$2,500 is typical for a spoo from fully health tested parents who have been shown in conformation or performance, something that breeders do to ‘prove’ their lines. Many breeders are using the reduced vaccine protocol of Dr. Jean Dodds, sending pups home at 10 weeks.


There’s a lot of information to scan. Please post any questions here, including about specific breeders that you’re considering. PF members will share their experience.
 

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The first two years can be hard. They tend to be full of joie de vivre in a huge way, but then settle down to be really nice companions. They are great for performance sports. We have two standards ad a GSD and they get along really well. I can't help too much on breeder ideas since I am in the east, but I am sure you will get great ideas from people here and if you ask questions about breeders you have interest in we can probably give you feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi and Welcome!

I keep some links handy for folks starting their search. I've got mini's so not much help in the spoo department for your questions, but there are plenty here and I'm sure they'll drop by.

Except for this lol...Oh, jeez, yes! Definitely consider a spoo!

Let us know how far you'd be willing to travel, too.

View attachment 463081
Thank you!
 

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Welcome to the forum. I am older and have had many dogs, incl.uding German Shepherds. Rottweilers, lbs plus various small breeds during my lifetime. Two years ago I got my first Standard poodle. He was the most difficult but I think that is my age/health and now that I live in a subdivision rather than having more land. They are very smart and easily trained but they are full of energy the first two years. Now that mine has reached two he has settled down some and is a good dog. He can be a couch potato after having playtime. He is not a barker but is a very good watch dog and will alert me when something is different or he sees someone outside my front door. Once I acknowledge him he stops, so not like a terrier who enjoys barking ( I have one of those too). Since you want to do obedience/agility I think a standard poodle would be great. Now cats...I have 3 cats...he will leave them alone after I say no cat! but he does have a drive to chase them if they run. But its doable as I am seeing as he ages it is more and more manageable. Also consider grooming. I take mine to the groomer every 4 weeks on the dot. Many do their own grooming but I haven't really done much myself.
All good to know. It helps to hear from someone who lives with them. The grooming aspect doesn't bother me, thankfully. If they had to be kept in a long coat that might be different, but since they can be clipped short I'm all good. :)
 

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Hi and Welcome!

I keep some links handy for folks starting their search. I've got mini's so not much help in the spoo department for your questions, but there are plenty here and I'm sure they'll drop by.

Except for this lol...Oh, jeez, yes! Definitely consider a spoo!

Let us know how far you'd be willing to travel, too.

View attachment 463081
Oops, forgot to say, I'd rather stay in the western had of the US, but will travel pretty much anywhere in the US for the right breeder/dog. Obviously, closer to Arizona would be much more convenient.
 

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There is variability within each litter so it is important to identify breeders who will select a pup for you based on your stated needs. (My dog is drivey but also a lap dog. I‘m okay with both.) I have the same experience with Mufar on barking, my spoo will stop after the alert whereas my terrier-X will not. Here is a blog post on selecting the right puppy:

A good source of information about how to select a breeder can be found at the Versatility In Poodles web site. This includes important information such as health testing of parents and questions to ask breeders.


IMO on cost, $2,000-$2,500 is typical for a spoo from fully health tested parents who have been shown in conformation or performance, something that breeders do to ‘prove’ their lines. Many breeders are using the reduced vaccine protocol of Dr. Jean Dodds, sending pups home at 10 weeks.


There’s a lot of information to scan. Please post any questions here, including about specific breeders that you’re considering. PF members will share their experience.
Thanks for all the info (and good to know about price/homing age)! If I do end up getting a poodle I'll definitely come back here to ask about specific breeders.
 

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The first two years can be hard. They tend to be full of joie de vivre in a huge way, but then settle down to be really nice companions. They are great for performance sports. We have two standards ad a GSD and they get along really well. I can't help too much on breeder ideas since I am in the east, but I am sure you will get great ideas from people here and if you ask questions about breeders you have interest in we can probably give you feedback.
Thanks for replying!
I won't hold the first two years against them. ;) My assumption was that most puppies are going to be a a bit of a pain until they reach adulthood, so I figured it's unfair to judge them too much for that. As long as they settle down well as adults, then we're good. Though if they are super extra difficult puppies, I suppose that would also be something I know in advance. Thanks again!
 

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As a first-time spoo owner, my experience so far is that they are VERY unique. At 6 months old, Peggy already stands out from the pack in so many ways that I understand to be characteristic of this breed:

Extremely tuned into our energy (for better or worse).

Hilariously athletic. Peggy's effortless, sometimes unexpected leaps never fail to make us laugh.

Calm indoors, but we've worked hard to make this expectation clear to her. And her brain only clicks off when she's sleeping (and maybe not even then). She's always scanning the room, watching TV, studying our faces, abruptly pawing the phone out of my hands, etc. These dogs could get into SERIOUS trouble if you let them. Soooooooo smart.

Barks but not excessively. Very unlike my old mini mix in this regard. Peggy will alert loudly (and sometimes unnecessarily) but she doesn't launch into hysterics.

Wants to be included in everything, and that includes conversation. We entertain Peggy by narrating our everyday tasks: "The dirty laundry goes in here. The wet laundry goes in here. See how I'm setting the timer?" She hangs on every word.

Extremely trainable. Again - for better or for worse. We're constantly training Peggy whether we realize it or not, and sometimes it's startling what she can do. Without any intentional guidance from us, Peggy, for example, now gets her bone when asked or her ball when asked. She loves digging through her toy box for the appropriate item.

Honestly, watching her brain work feels eerily human sometimes. She will pause and THINK in a way I've never seen a dog do.

In conclusion: My novice perspective is that I think a standard poodle would be a great fit for someone who is comfortable with GSDs. But they have a more independent quality than the working breeds, which you may or may not like. That's not to say they're not prone to separation anxiety. (They very much are if they don't have their needs met.) But they don't have that steady "I only have eyes for my human" gaze that I see from the GSDs, Aussies, and heelers in our class.
 

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Primarily I want a companion, but would also like a potential obedience/agility dog. So not a show prospect. I'd prefer not white, but otherwise I'm not too picky about color. I'm very concerned with health, so I want a breeder who does good health testing.

The most important thing I would tell myself if I had to go back in time to when I got my first spoo 4 years ago is that even if the breeder does health testing, it's no guarantee of a healthy dog. It ensures that you prevent some problems, but not all. Spoos are quite prone to Addison's disease and other autoimmune disease and they are also prone to bloat. Make sure you know that these are not rare occurrences in the breed so you will know if it's worth the risk to you. I would also recommend getting insurance.

Overall, I want a dog who will be calm and laid back around the house, good with cats, and although trainable and smart also willing to be a total couch potato when we're not working/training/exercising. I want a dog who will alert bark, but not be prone to barkiness in general. My previous dog was a working-line german shepherd and I was hoping for my next dog to have the trainability and intelligence that I got there, but without the high prey drive.

As long as you keep your dog WELL exercised, he or she will be a couch potato. But miss a day of exercise and you will pay with mischief and demandingness LOL And this is assuming you get a dog with some drive, as that is what you want for agility and obedience.

From what I understand, poodles more than hit the mark on trainability and intelligence, but I was wondering how drivey they tend to be?

Mine are pretty high drive. One scored all 3s on the Volhard, and the other was mostly 3's. They like to have a job to do every day.

How about alert barking vs barkiness? Also, do they overall tend to be velcro dogs or more independent? No judgement (seriously), but what are the downsides of poodles?

Mine are definitely alert barkers, and one is barkier than the other well past the alert stage if she sees dogs or squirrels walking by the house, or if she spooks at something on our walks. My boy is can be a little barky for attention, but really only if he doesn't get the exercise he needs that day. Both of my dogs are pretty velcro, a 10/10 on the loving scale. But my girl was independent as a puppy--just waaaaay too busy to snuggle.

Other basic info: my husband and I have acreage, a walled yard, no kids, and four cats (one who is an absolute jerk about dogs who get near his space). I'm home most of the time and would be with the dog, but would still prefer not to get a breed that's prone to severe separation anxiety. Let me know if there's anything in here that makes you think "oh god no, why are you considering poodles, are you crazy?!?" ("You didn't know that poodles are allergic to cats? Everyone knows that!")

If poodles are raised with cats, they're usually fine. Mine were not, so they have a high prey drive around them. But I highly doubt they would do anything but chase.

Spoos are not prone to separation anxiety, although mine will go nuts when I come home. But they just curl up and sleep while I'm gone (I have the Ring camera to watch them while I'm away :) ).


On a practical note, what can I expect price-wise? When I google it, I get an answer of around $1000-$1500, which is basically what I had guessed at and which is exactly what I had in mind for a budget (conveniently), but it seems like there are a lot of breeders asking prices in the $2000-$3000 range. Is google totally wrong? I found an ten year old thread on this forum saying that those higher prices seemed unreasonable to a lot of people here, but that was ten years ago and maybe prices have doubled in the last ten years.

You can expect $2,000 on the lower end to $3,000 on the higher end depending on location. Higher prices on both coasts.

Also, I've read that a lot of people are moving to sending puppies home later than they used to. More like 10-16 weeks instead of 8. This is not a problem for me and the explanations I've read make sense, but I was wondering how common that is with poodle breeders? Is this a thing that I should expect?

Most spoos are released at 8 weeks, although I got Maizie at 10 weeks and that was perfect too.
 

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Primarily I want a companion, but would also like a potential obedience/agility dog. So not a show prospect. I'd prefer not white, but otherwise I'm not too picky about color. I'm very concerned with health, so I want a breeder who does good health testing. Overall, I want a dog who will be calm and laid back around the house, good with cats, and although trainable and smart also willing to be a total couch potato when we're not working/training/exercising. I want a dog who will alert bark, but not be prone to barkiness in general. My previous dog was a working-line german shepherd and I was hoping for my next dog to have the trainability and intelligence that I got there, but without the high prey drive.

From what I understand, poodles more than hit the mark on trainability and intelligence, but I was wondering how drivey they tend to be? I'm sure some lines are more so than others, but in general what could I expect? How about alert barking vs barkiness? Also, do they overall tend to be velcro dogs or more independent? No judgement (seriously), but what are the downsides of poodles?

Other basic info: my husband and I have acreage, a walled yard, no kids, and four cats (one who is an absolute jerk about dogs who get near his space). I'm home most of the time and would be with the dog, but would still prefer not to get a breed that's prone to severe separation anxiety. Let me know if there's anything in here that makes you think "oh god no, why are you considering poodles, are you crazy?!?" ("You didn't know that poodles are allergic to cats? Everyone knows that!")

On a practical note, what can I expect price-wise? When I google it, I get an answer of around $1000-$1500, which is basically what I had guessed at and which is exactly what I had in mind for a budget (conveniently), but it seems like there are a lot of breeders asking prices in the $2000-$3000 range. Is google totally wrong? I found an ten year old thread on this forum saying that those higher prices seemed unreasonable to a lot of people here, but that was ten years ago and maybe prices have doubled in the last ten years.

Also, I've read that a lot of people are moving to sending puppies home later than they used to. More like 10-16 weeks instead of 8. This is not a problem for me and the explanations I've read make sense, but I was wondering how common that is with poodle breeders? Is this a thing that I should expect?

Lastly, I'm in Arizona and would take any recommendations for breeders to talk to. I went through some recommendations I've seen on the internet, but as far as google would tell me many of those breeders were no longer in the business. I'd be willing to go anywhere on the west coast, though I did see a comment somewhere saying that CA prices are higher than elsewhere so maybe that's not a great idea. Anywhere in the southwest, through TX and up into CO and UT would be fine. I'd consider further for the right breeder/dog, but would prefer to stay in this general part of the country.

Thanks to anyone who reads all of this and I'd appreciate any info you guys can give me!
Hi, I am the breeder referral person for the Enchanted Poodle Club in Albuquerque. I have been sending people who are looking for a standard to Desert Reef poodles in Utah and to Donnchada in Texas. These are people who do all appropriate genetic/health testing and who feel a responsibility to breed good, sound, healthy poodles. I have no information on anyone in Arizona who breeds standards.

I agree that $1500 to $2000 is a reasonable price range for a puppy. I think both of the breeders mentioned above will be happy to work with you to select a puppy that best suits you. I have had some standards who had a problem distinguishing "cat" from "rat" - in other words they saw cats as prey. That said, I cannot imagine a poodle who is raised in a home with cats ever being aggressive toward them.

Desert Reef has a very nice web site. Donnchada is owned by Betty Brown, a professional handler. She does not often update her web site and is best contacted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays because she travels to dog shows for weekends. I have a miniature poodle from Betty and have known her for many years. There are several other people in this area who have Donnchada poodles, both minis and standards.

Downsides to poodles: #1 - they must be groomed - not a big issue if the coat is kept short, but they do need to be brushed and combed 2-3 times a week, especially when they are puppies. It is also important to keep up with clipping - at least the face, feet, and tail. Buying from a reputable breeder usually ensures that your puppy has begun to accept grooming as part of life. #2 - health/genetic testing is essential even though it does not cover everything. Reputable breeders not only do thorough testing, they also register certain test results with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). If you go to the OFA web site you can look up how many dogs have been registered there by searching for the kennel name (i.e. "Donnchada" or "Desert Reef"). Do notice that those two kennels have pages of dogs listed!

If you live near Phoenix, plan to go to the dog shows held there the end of January into early February. You'll be able to meet breeders and handlers who can give you some leads on finding a nice puppy. If you need to know how to find info on those shows, post back on this list and I can get that to you.
 

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My two are super dogs, calm in the house, very athletic outside. They are independent thinkers so plan on obedience lessons! They need lots of exercise but less so if what they get can be exuberant, like free play with another happy high energy dog. They are alert barkers but are easy to train so when you say enough, they'll listen. Great with other animals but that fun gene makes a chase oh-so-intoxicating, if they're not exposed to said animal and early impulse control training

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I'm a huge fan of keeping puppies with their littermates until 10-12 weeks. The three puppies that I've had in my life who were that age have also (possibly coincidentally) been the most confident and friendliest with both dogs and people. They've all bonded equally well with their human families, no matter what age we got them; seven weeks, eleven weeks or full grown.

i used to have German shorthairs, so to me the spoos have all seemed like couch poo-tatoes. my husband hates dog hair all over the house though, so poodles have made him a lot happier (one poodle liked to smack the start button on the Roomba to watch it run — your dog sheds, my dog vacuums). Not only do they shed less, but they also seem to have much less doggy odor. I've only owned one herding breed, a sweet and smart but barky rough collie and the spoos are have definitely been more laid back bird dog than working dog.
 

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Jbean, your vacuuming poodle is just too funny! I now wish I had a Roomba so I could teach Zoe to run it. The Lab sheds all over everything!
 

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As a first-time spoo owner, my experience so far is that they are VERY unique. At 6 months old, Peggy already stands out from the pack in so many ways that I understand to be characteristic of this breed:

Extremely tuned into our energy (for better or worse).

Hilariously athletic. Peggy's effortless, sometimes unexpected leaps never fail to make us laugh.

Calm indoors, but we've worked hard to make this expectation clear to her. And her brain only clicks off when she's sleeping (and maybe not even then). She's always scanning the room, watching TV, studying our faces, abruptly pawing the phone out of my hands, etc. These dogs could get into SERIOUS trouble if you let them. Soooooooo smart.

Barks but not excessively. Very unlike my old mini mix in this regard. Peggy will alert loudly (and sometimes unnecessarily) but she doesn't launch into hysterics.

Wants to be included in everything, and that includes conversation. We entertain Peggy by narrating our everyday tasks: "The dirty laundry goes in here. The wet laundry goes in here. See how I'm setting the timer?" She hangs on every word.

Extremely trainable. Again - for better or for worse. We're constantly training Peggy whether we realize it or not, and sometimes it's startling what she can do. Without any intentional guidance from us, Peggy, for example, now gets her bone when asked or her ball when asked. She loves digging through her toy box for the appropriate item.

Honestly, watching her brain work feels eerily human sometimes. She will pause and THINK in a way I've never seen a dog do.

In conclusion: My novice perspective is that I think a standard poodle would be a great fit for someone who is comfortable with GSDs. But they have a more independent quality than the working breeds, which you may or may not like. That's not to say they're not prone to separation anxiety. (They very much are if they don't have their needs met.) But they don't have that steady "I only have eyes for my human" gaze that I see from the GSDs, Aussies, and heelers in our class.
Thanks for all of this. Really interesting, especially that last paragraph. My GSD definitely had that quality that you're talking about. While we were working, nothing else in the world existed to her, and I have to admit that while I don't expect that in my next dog, I will miss it. Unfortunately those breeds just aren't going to work for me right now, but it's not like I'll love my next dog any less for being different. And from your whole description, I'd love to try a standard poodle!
 

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Primarily I want a companion, but would also like a potential obedience/agility dog. So not a show prospect. I'd prefer not white, but otherwise I'm not too picky about color. I'm very concerned with health, so I want a breeder who does good health testing.

The most important thing I would tell myself if I had to go back in time to when I got my first spoo 4 years ago is that even if the breeder does health testing, it's no guarantee of a healthy dog. It ensures that you prevent some problems, but not all. Spoos are quite prone to Addison's disease and other autoimmune disease and they are also prone to bloat. Make sure you know that these are not rare occurrences in the breed so you will know if it's worth the risk to you. I would also recommend getting insurance.

Overall, I want a dog who will be calm and laid back around the house, good with cats, and although trainable and smart also willing to be a total couch potato when we're not working/training/exercising. I want a dog who will alert bark, but not be prone to barkiness in general. My previous dog was a working-line german shepherd and I was hoping for my next dog to have the trainability and intelligence that I got there, but without the high prey drive.

As long as you keep your dog WELL exercised, he or she will be a couch potato. But miss a day of exercise and you will pay with mischief and demandingness LOL And this is assuming you get a dog with some drive, as that is what you want for agility and obedience.

From what I understand, poodles more than hit the mark on trainability and intelligence, but I was wondering how drivey they tend to be?

Mine are pretty high drive. One scored all 3s on the Volhard, and the other was mostly 3's. They like to have a job to do every day.

How about alert barking vs barkiness? Also, do they overall tend to be velcro dogs or more independent? No judgement (seriously), but what are the downsides of poodles?

Mine are definitely alert barkers, and one is barkier than the other well past the alert stage if she sees dogs or squirrels walking by the house, or if she spooks at something on our walks. My boy is can be a little barky for attention, but really only if he doesn't get the exercise he needs that day. Both of my dogs are pretty velcro, a 10/10 on the loving scale. But my girl was independent as a puppy--just waaaaay too busy to snuggle.

Other basic info: my husband and I have acreage, a walled yard, no kids, and four cats (one who is an absolute jerk about dogs who get near his space). I'm home most of the time and would be with the dog, but would still prefer not to get a breed that's prone to severe separation anxiety. Let me know if there's anything in here that makes you think "oh god no, why are you considering poodles, are you crazy?!?" ("You didn't know that poodles are allergic to cats? Everyone knows that!")

If poodles are raised with cats, they're usually fine. Mine were not, so they have a high prey drive around them. But I highly doubt they would do anything but chase.

Spoos are not prone to separation anxiety, although mine will go nuts when I come home. But they just curl up and sleep while I'm gone (I have the Ring camera to watch them while I'm away :) ).


On a practical note, what can I expect price-wise? When I google it, I get an answer of around $1000-$1500, which is basically what I had guessed at and which is exactly what I had in mind for a budget (conveniently), but it seems like there are a lot of breeders asking prices in the $2000-$3000 range. Is google totally wrong? I found an ten year old thread on this forum saying that those higher prices seemed unreasonable to a lot of people here, but that was ten years ago and maybe prices have doubled in the last ten years.

You can expect $2,000 on the lower end to $3,000 on the higher end depending on location. Higher prices on both coasts.

Also, I've read that a lot of people are moving to sending puppies home later than they used to. More like 10-16 weeks instead of 8. This is not a problem for me and the explanations I've read make sense, but I was wondering how common that is with poodle breeders? Is this a thing that I should expect?

Most spoos are released at 8 weeks, although I got Maizie at 10 weeks and that was perfect too.
Wow, lots of helpful info! Thanks for addressing each of my questions, I really appreciate it. Your first point is a particularly good one and although I didn't mean to imply that I thought that health testing was a guarantee, I will definitely bear in mind what you said.
 

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Thanks for all of this. Really interesting, especially that last paragraph. My GSD definitely had that quality that you're talking about. While we were working, nothing else in the world existed to her, and I have to admit that while I don't expect that in my next dog, I will miss it. Unfortunately those breeds just aren't going to work for me right now, but it's not like I'll love my next dog any less for being different. And from your whole description, I'd love to try a standard poodle!
I only had a GSD for two weeks (I was fostering her) and honestly I miss it, too. It's a very special kind of companionship. But their intelligence is very similar, which I think you'll like. And poodle sensitivity is a whole new thing, which you'll have so much fun with. Prepare to have your mind read!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi, I am the breeder referral person for the Enchanted Poodle Club in Albuquerque. I have been sending people who are looking for a standard to Desert Reef poodles in Utah and to Donnchada in Texas. These are people who do all appropriate genetic/health testing and who feel a responsibility to breed good, sound, healthy poodles. I have no information on anyone in Arizona who breeds standards.

I agree that $1500 to $2000 is a reasonable price range for a puppy. I think both of the breeders mentioned above will be happy to work with you to select a puppy that best suits you. I have had some standards who had a problem distinguishing "cat" from "rat" - in other words they saw cats as prey. That said, I cannot imagine a poodle who is raised in a home with cats ever being aggressive toward them.

Desert Reef has a very nice web site. Donnchada is owned by Betty Brown, a professional handler. She does not often update her web site and is best contacted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays because she travels to dog shows for weekends. I have a miniature poodle from Betty and have known her for many years. There are several other people in this area who have Donnchada poodles, both minis and standards.

Downsides to poodles: #1 - they must be groomed - not a big issue if the coat is kept short, but they do need to be brushed and combed 2-3 times a week, especially when they are puppies. It is also important to keep up with clipping - at least the face, feet, and tail. Buying from a reputable breeder usually ensures that your puppy has begun to accept grooming as part of life. #2 - health/genetic testing is essential even though it does not cover everything. Reputable breeders not only do thorough testing, they also register certain test results with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). If you go to the OFA web site you can look up how many dogs have been registered there by searching for the kennel name (i.e. "Donnchada" or "Desert Reef"). Do notice that those two kennels have pages of dogs listed!

If you live near Phoenix, plan to go to the dog shows held there the end of January into early February. You'll be able to meet breeders and handlers who can give you some leads on finding a nice puppy. If you need to know how to find info on those shows, post back on this list and I can get that to you.
Hi! I guess I really lucked out that you saw this, and thank you for commenting with the referrals! I'll check out both the breeders you mention. Phoenix is a bit of a drive for me, but depending on the dates it might be doable. Google wasn't any help, so if you could point me in the right direction to find more info about those shows, I'd appreciate it.
 
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