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Hi, I’m new here and have never owned a dog before so I’m trying to do lots of research and make sure I go with a reputable breeder. Does anyone have experience with Darla’s Red Standard Poodles? I searched but couldn’t seem to find anything on this forum.
 

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I'd looked at her site recently after the name came up somewhere.

Some background first.

I'm compiling a list of breeders that have been recommended by PF members thru the years. It's located here and is a work in progress


I haven't added Darla's yet but she meets the minimum criteria I set of doing health testing on the breeding parents. What I don't see is the full set of OFA/CHIC Minimum testing results listed for each sire and dam. This doesn't mean it isn't done, or won't be done, but I'd suggest familiarizing yourself with that and asking them when/if you make contact.

That's just a starting point for a conscientious breeder. It's a big challenge to find a breeder who meets every personal criteria, so after you decide what's most important to you, then you can decide what you might want to take a chance on.

There are two other things off the top that I personally am not fond of.
One is the contract requirement to purchase and give a specific supplement to your pup or potentially void her guarantees under the contract if you don't. I've actually seen more than a few breeders requiring or suggesting this supplement.
The other is requiring spay/neuter by 10 months. This is counter to current science which is to wait til any pup is physically mature before neutering. The developing hormonal system is vital to long term health for the whole body.

Read thru any breeder contract very carefully. Make sure you fully understand what they require of you to continue or fulfill the contract and that you're willing to do those things, and be sure you fully understand what they will do under the contract terms in the event of whatever.

Some breeders will amend certain terms if you and they discuss and agree. Generally, tho, I find the contracts favor the breeders.

I'm going to drop in my personal breeder checklist, which doesn't need to be yours, but it might help you when looking at breeders, as will looking thru the resources in the Breeder List.

I'd say it's worth contacting Darla's to ask some questions.

Stay in touch!

--------------

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.

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.


Breeding Program
! to maintain, improve, strengthen the breed
by breeding to standard, for health and genetic diversity,
and will prove their dogs meet these standards by showing or competing
or by breeding from titled parents. It's not the title, but what it shows
! focus is on quality, never quantity
! they do not cross breed
! they limit breeding to one to two breeds
! they limit breeding to only a few litters per year

Breeding Parents
! registry information available
AKC Registry Lookup
Dog Search
! not too old or young for breeding
! not overbred
see Asking questions from a breeder
and Frequency of Breeding a Bitch
! genetic health testing done appropriate to breed and variety
! other health testing by exam such as annual eye, hips, patellas
! results of testing on own website, OFA site or testing lab
see Health Related Publications - Versatility In Poodles, Inc.
and OFA Lookup https://www.ofa.org/look-up-a-dog

Living Conditions
! in home with family
! breeder allows, even encourages home visits

Puppies
! routine and urgent vet care, immunizations, dewormings
! socialization
! first groomings
! registry papers
! they will not require spay/neuter before physical maturity
! health "guarantee" generally favors the breeder, not the buyer.
health guarantee is no replacement for health testing of dam and sire.
beginning housetraining is a bonus
temperament testing is helpful

Advertising
! individual website to detail history of breeder, goals for their program
! information on dams, sires, puppies
! no trend pricing for color, gender or size,
! no marketing gimmick terms like "teacup" "royal"

! Anything not found on the website should be provided by breeder before buying

If a breeder wants me to believe that they believe in their dogs, they won't stop the investment when it comes time to find the new families. If they want to cut costs by using free advertising sites like craigslist or listing on retail marketplaces like puppyspot or puppyfind, or other classified ad sites such as newspapers, I wonder what else they've cut costs on.

Contact a few breeders to introduce yourself. Even if they don't have or don't offer what you're looking for, it can be a close knit community. They may know where to refer you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd looked at her site recently after the name came up somewhere.

Some background first.

I'm compiling a list of breeders that have been recommended by PF members thru the years. It's located here and is a work in progress


I haven't added Darla's yet but she meets the minimum criteria I set of doing health testing on the breeding parents. What I don't see is the full set of OFA/CHIC Minimum testing results listed for each sire and dam. This doesn't mean it isn't done, or won't be done, but I'd suggest familiarizing yourself with that and asking them when/if you make contact.

That's just a starting point for a conscientious breeder. It's a big challenge to find a breeder who meets every personal criteria, so after you decide what's most important to you, then you can decide what you might want to take a chance on.

There are two other things off the top that I personally am not fond of.
One is the contract requirement to purchase and give a specific supplement to your pup or potentially void her guarantees under the contract if you don't. I've actually seen more than a few breeders requiring or suggesting this supplement.
The other is requiring spay/neuter by 10 months. This is counter to current science which is to wait til any pup is physically mature before neutering. The developing hormonal system is vital to long term health for the whole body.

Read thru any breeder contract very carefully. Make sure you fully understand what they require of you to continue or fulfill the contract and that you're willing to do those things, and be sure you fully understand what they will do under the contract terms in the event of whatever.

Some breeders will amend certain terms if you and they discuss and agree. Generally, tho, I find the contracts favor the breeders.

I'm going to drop in my personal breeder checklist, which doesn't need to be yours, but it might help you when looking at breeders, as will looking thru the resources in the Breeder List.

I'd say it's worth contacting Darla's to ask some questions.

Stay in touch!

--------------

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.

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.


Breeding Program
! to maintain, improve, strengthen the breed
by breeding to standard, for health and genetic diversity,
and will prove their dogs meet these standards by showing or competing
or by breeding from titled parents. It's not the title, but what it shows
! focus is on quality, never quantity
! they do not cross breed
! they limit breeding to one to two breeds
! they limit breeding to only a few litters per year

Breeding Parents
! registry information available
AKC Registry Lookup
Dog Search
! not too old or young for breeding
! not overbred
see Asking questions from a breeder
and Frequency of Breeding a Bitch
! genetic health testing done appropriate to breed and variety
! other health testing by exam such as annual eye, hips, patellas
! results of testing on own website, OFA site or testing lab
see Health Related Publications - Versatility In Poodles, Inc.
and OFA Lookup Look Up A Dog | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals | Columbia, MO

Living Conditions
! in home with family
! breeder allows, even encourages home visits

Puppies
! routine and urgent vet care, immunizations, dewormings
! socialization
! first groomings
! registry papers
! they will not require spay/neuter before physical maturity
! health "guarantee" generally favors the breeder, not the buyer.
health guarantee is no replacement for health testing of dam and sire.
beginning housetraining is a bonus
temperament testing is helpful

Advertising
! individual website to detail history of breeder, goals for their program
! information on dams, sires, puppies
! no trend pricing for color, gender or size,
! no marketing gimmick terms like "teacup" "royal"

! Anything not found on the website should be provided by breeder before buying

If a breeder wants me to believe that they believe in their dogs, they won't stop the investment when it comes time to find the new families. If they want to cut costs by using free advertising sites like craigslist or listing on retail marketplaces like puppyspot or puppyfind, or other classified ad sites such as newspapers, I wonder what else they've cut costs on.

Contact a few breeders to introduce yourself. Even if they don't have or don't offer what you're looking for, it can be a close knit community. They may know where to refer you.

This was super helpful! I read her contract and also was skeptical of the requirement to buy supplements. Looked up the product and there seems to be no proof that it’s even effective. So that gave me pause. Anyway, I’m definitely going to take a look through the links you’ve posted, talk to several breeders and ask lots of questions. Thanks so much!
 

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You're welcome. Another thing to be prepared for is a long wait.
The pandemic brought a lot of "might be a good time to get that puppy we were thinking of" buyers and conscientious, quality breeders do not pump puppies out like a factory.
Typically, a smaller breeder of any size poodle will have 1-3 litters a year. Look at usual litter sizes and you'll see even without a pandemic a wait is not unusual.
As hard as it is to wait, it gives you time to prepare.
As a first time dog owner, you won't have the "but my __ never did that!" to get over but poodles, due to their sensitivity and smarts, can be a real challenge, even for experienced previous poodle owners.
That's not to discourage you, not at all, but to say that prep time will be well spent.
Once I had a poodle in my life, I knew there was no other dog for me :).
 

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Hi, I’m new here and have never owned a dog before so I’m trying to do lots of research and make sure I go with a reputable breeder. Does anyone have experience with Darla’s Red Standard Poodles? I searched but couldn’t seem to find anything on this forum.
Hi, I’m new here and have never owned a dog before so I’m trying to do lots of research and make sure I go with a reputable breeder. Does anyone have experience with Darla’s Red Standard Poodles? I searched but couldn’t seem to find anything on this forum.
Hello! I have had two of her dogs. They have been the best dogs I have ever owned and I am a long time poodle owner. I currently have one of her gorgeous 10 month old pups! She does complete OFA testing on her dogs and all results are available. She loves, loves, loves her dogs. She is a wonderful person as well. The disposition of her dogs is very hard to beat; CALM, loving, intelligent. Not to mention, the incredible dark red coats! You would be very happy purchasing a pup from Darla- highest recommendation!! Best wishes for a great experience with your first pup!
 

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Hi, I’m new here and have never owned a dog before so I’m trying to do lots of research and make sure I go with a reputable breeder. Does anyone have experience with Darla’s Red Standard Poodles? I searched but couldn’t seem to find anything on this forum.
One more note..., She is wonderful to work with. I would simply ask her about your areas of concern.
 

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Hi, I’m new here and have never owned a dog before so I’m trying to do lots of research and make sure I go with a reputable breeder. Does anyone have experience with Darla’s Red Standard Poodles? I searched but couldn’t seem to find anything on this forum.
Hi knchar2, I saw your post a week ago when I was doing my own research. I'm curious which way you decided to proceed, given that you posted 2-months ago?

My wife and I spent the whole day traveling yesterday to see Darla and her poodles. It was well worth it. They were all very loving, calm and beautiful. We fell in love right away and looking forward to getting our red boy Rouge from an upcoming litter.

A little background, my wife owned a standard poodle as a child, while I owned other dogs. After many months of research, dog shows, seeing breeders, we bought a black standard poodle from AKC champion parents. This was over a decade ago and that guy transformed my entire understanding/view of the breed. No other breed comes close, IMO. Unfortunately he passed away earlier this year.

We've decided to get another poodle, but wanted red this time to match my daughters dark red hair. Also, because it's such a unique/striking color. However, we didn't want to sacrifice the breed standards just to get the color (meaning I still want the same conformation, temperament, health, etc). If you're looking for red, you definitely have way fewer options. We went to see another breeder and let's just say the reality didn't match the online photos. I withdrew my deposit right away. Darla's site looked great, but having had the experience we did, I wanted to go see her dogs in person and make sure that pictures/words matched reality. Happy to tell you that they did.

I'll try and report back my experience as time goes on and looking forward to reading others'. However, wanted to post my initial impression, in case it helps you at all.
 

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Hi knchar2, I saw your post a week ago when I was doing my own research. I'm curious which way you decided to proceed, given that you posted 2-months ago?

My wife and I spent the whole day traveling yesterday to see Darla and her poodles. It was well worth it. They were all very loving, calm and beautiful. We fell in love right away and looking forward to getting our red boy Rouge from an upcoming litter.

A little background, my wife owned a standard poodle as a child, while I owned other dogs. After many months of research, dog shows, seeing breeders, we bought a black standard poodle from AKC champion parents. This was over a decade ago and that guy transformed my entire understanding/view of the breed. No other breed comes close, IMO. Unfortunately he passed away earlier this year.

We've decided to get another poodle, but wanted red this time to match my daughters dark red hair. Also, because it's such a unique/striking color. However, we didn't want to sacrifice the breed standards just to get the color (meaning I still want the same conformation, temperament, health, etc). If you're looking for red, you definitely have way fewer options. We went to see another breeder and let's just say the reality didn't match the online photos. I withdrew my deposit right away. Darla's site looked great, but having had the experience we did, I wanted to go see her dogs in person and make sure that pictures/words matched reality. Happy to tell you that they did.

I'll try and report back my experience as time goes on and looking forward to reading others'. However, wanted to post my initial impression, in case it helps you at all.
Hello!! You will absolutely love your pup from Darla’s poodles. I am on my second boy from her. He is almost a year now- another great dog from her, and still dark red, which is rare. His groomer just entered him into a photo competition because he is so handsome. Her dogs are amazing, Darla is very knowledgeable, and she stands behind her dogs. You purchased from a great Breeder. Enjoy that pup !!
 

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Hello!! You will absolutely love your pup from Darla’s poodles. I am on my second boy from her. He is almost a year now- another great dog from her, and still dark red, which is rare. His groomer just entered him into a photo competition because he is so handsome. Her dogs are amazing, Darla is very knowledgeable, and she stands behind her dogs. You purchased from a great Breeder. Enjoy that pup !!
Thanks for the response, very much looking forward to my pup!! :)

Do you have any pics of yours? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi knchar2, I saw your post a week ago when I was doing my own research. I'm curious which way you decided to proceed, given that you posted 2-months ago?

My wife and I spent the whole day traveling yesterday to see Darla and her poodles. It was well worth it. They were all very loving, calm and beautiful. We fell in love right away and looking forward to getting our red boy Rouge from an upcoming litter.

A little background, my wife owned a standard poodle as a child, while I owned other dogs. After many months of research, dog shows, seeing breeders, we bought a black standard poodle from AKC champion parents. This was over a decade ago and that guy transformed my entire understanding/view of the breed. No other breed comes close, IMO. Unfortunately he passed away earlier this year.

We've decided to get another poodle, but wanted red this time to match my daughters dark red hair. Also, because it's such a unique/striking color. However, we didn't want to sacrifice the breed standards just to get the color (meaning I still want the same conformation, temperament, health, etc). If you're looking for red, you definitely have way fewer options. We went to see another breeder and let's just say the reality didn't match the online photos. I withdrew my deposit right away. Darla's site looked great, but having had the experience we did, I wanted to go see her dogs in person and make sure that pictures/words matched reality. Happy to tell you that they did.

I'll try and report back my experience as time goes on and looking forward to reading others'. However, wanted to post my initial impression, in case it helps you at all.
Hi RougeThePoodle,

I decided to move forward with Darla. You are correct, there are limited options if you want a red poodle. I contacted about 7 breeders who were feasible from where I live and only heard back from 3. One of them was weeks after I decided to move forward with Darla. The other seemed like a big business and the person who answered the phone couldn't even speak to the type of testing they do. I had reservations about the 10-month spay/neuter rule in the contract because there's debate about the best time for that. But I did more research and some argue that spaying before first heat has benefits and the issue with neutering before maturity is that it can impact the growth plates, which is important since poodles are prone to joint problems. So basically, I'll just get good pet insurance and hope for the best in that regard.

I have spoken with Darla over the phone and have put down a deposit for a puppy from an upcoming litter. I live about 13 hours away so I plan to go a couple weeks before the puppies are ready to go home to check things out and then stay with a family member close by for the last couple weeks before pick up.

Thanks for the info!
 

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Hi RougeThePoodle,

I decided to move forward with Darla. You are correct, there are limited options if you want a red poodle. I contacted about 7 breeders who were feasible from where I live and only heard back from 3. One of them was weeks after I decided to move forward with Darla. The other seemed like a big business and the person who answered the phone couldn't even speak to the type of testing they do. I had reservations about the 10-month spay/neuter rule in the contract because there's debate about the best time for that. But I did more research and some argue that spaying before first heat has benefits and the issue with neutering before maturity is that it can impact the growth plates, which is important since poodles are prone to joint problems. So basically, I'll just get good pet insurance and hope for the best in that regard.

I have spoken with Darla over the phone and have put down a deposit for a puppy from an upcoming litter. I live about 13 hours away so I plan to go a couple weeks before the puppies are ready to go home to check things out and then stay with a family member close by for the last couple weeks before pick up.

Thanks for the info!
Sounds like we may be part of the same litter in that case :love:. I'm about 4.5 hours away from her, but it was worth the drive to confirm everything and meet Darla and the dam/sire.

Our last poodle was neutered at 6-months with no negative side-effects; didn't curb his growth or have any health problems. He ended up being a big guy... 70-75 lbs. I wouldn't stress out over that.

Congrats to both of us, I guess... see you around!
 

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Sounds like we may be part of the same litter in that case :love:. I'm about 4.5 hours away from her, but it was worth the drive to confirm everything and meet Darla and the dam/sire.

Our last poodle was neutered at 6-months with no negative side-effects; didn't curb his growth or have any health problems. He ended up being a big guy... 70-75 lbs. I wouldn't stress out over that.

Congrats to both of us, I guess... see you around!
Well I was already excited but now I'm even more excited! Good to hear you didn't have any issues with your previous poodle. And pretty cool to connect with my future puppy's littermate's human lol
 

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Hi, I’m new here and have never owned a dog before so I’m trying to do lots of research and make sure I go with a reputable breeder. Does anyone have experience with Darla’s Red Standard Poodles? I searched but couldn’t seem to find anything on this forum.
We have a beautiful ten month old red boy from Darlas!!!
 

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I had reservations about the 10-month spay/neuter rule in the contract because there's debate about the best time for that. But I did more research and some argue that spaying before first heat has benefits and the issue with neutering before maturity is that it can impact the growth plates, which is important since poodles are prone to joint problems. So basically, I'll just get good pet insurance and hope for the best in that regard.
Hi,

Happy to hear you've found the breeder you want to move forward with. I'm not adding this info to discourage your choice but to give additional information about current studies on timing for spay/neuter. It's far more that growth plates that can be affected. The early loss of the hormones affects the full body systems, not just growth plates. I'd still ask the breeder if you can hold off til your pup is physically mature, 18-24 months.

A link to some current threads:

Excerpt:
I am learning about poodles and came across this study, published in July posted on FB, Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for 35 Breeds of Dogs: Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence.
Just wondering if anyone read it

Here's the summary advice part for poodles, if you link to the article, you can see the data in appendix 1:

Poodle, Standard
The study population was 47 intact males, 88 neutered males, 53 intact females, and 87 spayed females for a total sample of 275 cases. The AKC registers the Toy and Miniature, along with the Standard Poodle, as all being Poodles. However, because of differences in size, the varieties of Poodles are dealt with separately here. There was a 2 percent occurrence of joint disorders in both intact males and females. In males neutered at <6 mo., there was a non-significant increase to 8 percent, and in spayed females, there was no occurrence of joint disorders. The occurrences of cancers in intact males and females were 4 and 2 percent, respectively. In males neutered at 1 year of age, the occurrence of one or more cancers rose to a significant 27 percent (p <0.01), all due to the increased risk of LSA. In females, there was no significant increase in cancers with spaying. There was a 4 percent occurrence of MC, and a 2 percent occurrence of PYO in the females left intact. Just one female spayed beyond 2 years later developed UI. The suggested guideline for males, based on the occurrence of one or more cancers with neutering at 1 year, is to delay neutering until 2 years of age. Lacking a noticeable occurrence of increased joint disorders or cancers in neutered females, those wishing to neuter should decide on the appropriate age.

From the thread:

This is a study done thru UCDavis. Golden Retrievers were studied first with results published in 2013, then Labs and GSD. The study was expanded to 35 breeds (counting the three varieties of poodles) and those results were published just this year.

They're using the data collected by the teaching hospital over many years, and following the subjects thru their lives, as much as possible. This was not only to determine effects on the various breeds but to also have breed comparisons.
The size of the individual breed samplings vary but it is overall a reasonably big sampling.

They focused on these conditions:
joint disorders examined included cranial cruciate ligament tears or rupture (CCL), hip dysplasia (HD) and elbow dysplasia (ED). The cancers examined, which previous studies found could be affected by neutering, were lymphoma/lymphosarcoma (LSA), hemangiosarcoma (HSA), mast cell tumors (MCT), and osteosarcoma (OSA),
and what effect the age had on the incidence.

Another recent thread:

An option not often mentioned by breeders or vets is, for males, a vasectomy rather than a typical neuter. The comparable procedure for a female dog is either to remove only the uterus which leaves the ovaries and therefore hormones and the heat cycle but no bleeding or possibility of pregnancy or to remove only the ovaries which also removes the possibility of pregnancy but also removes the protective hormones.
 

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Hi,

Happy to hear you've found the breeder you want to move forward with. I'm not adding this info to discourage your choice but to give additional information about current studies on timing for spay/neuter. It's far more that growth plates that can be affected. The early loss of the hormones affects the full body systems, not just growth plates. I'd still ask the breeder if you can hold off til your pup is physically mature, 18-24 months.

A link to some current threads:

Excerpt:
I am learning about poodles and came across this study, published in July posted on FB, Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for 35 Breeds of Dogs: Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence.
Just wondering if anyone read it

Here's the summary advice part for poodles, if you link to the article, you can see the data in appendix 1:

Poodle, Standard
The study population was 47 intact males, 88 neutered males, 53 intact females, and 87 spayed females for a total sample of 275 cases. The AKC registers the Toy and Miniature, along with the Standard Poodle, as all being Poodles. However, because of differences in size, the varieties of Poodles are dealt with separately here. There was a 2 percent occurrence of joint disorders in both intact males and females. In males neutered at <6 mo., there was a non-significant increase to 8 percent, and in spayed females, there was no occurrence of joint disorders. The occurrences of cancers in intact males and females were 4 and 2 percent, respectively. In males neutered at 1 year of age, the occurrence of one or more cancers rose to a significant 27 percent (p <0.01), all due to the increased risk of LSA. In females, there was no significant increase in cancers with spaying. There was a 4 percent occurrence of MC, and a 2 percent occurrence of PYO in the females left intact. Just one female spayed beyond 2 years later developed UI. The suggested guideline for males, based on the occurrence of one or more cancers with neutering at 1 year, is to delay neutering until 2 years of age. Lacking a noticeable occurrence of increased joint disorders or cancers in neutered females, those wishing to neuter should decide on the appropriate age.

From the thread:

This is a study done thru UCDavis. Golden Retrievers were studied first with results published in 2013, then Labs and GSD. The study was expanded to 35 breeds (counting the three varieties of poodles) and those results were published just this year.

They're using the data collected by the teaching hospital over many years, and following the subjects thru their lives, as much as possible. This was not only to determine effects on the various breeds but to also have breed comparisons.
The size of the individual breed samplings vary but it is overall a reasonably big sampling.

They focused on these conditions:
joint disorders examined included cranial cruciate ligament tears or rupture (CCL), hip dysplasia (HD) and elbow dysplasia (ED). The cancers examined, which previous studies found could be affected by neutering, were lymphoma/lymphosarcoma (LSA), hemangiosarcoma (HSA), mast cell tumors (MCT), and osteosarcoma (OSA),
and what effect the age had on the incidence.

Another recent thread:

An option not often mentioned by breeders or vets is, for males, a vasectomy rather than a typical neuter. The comparable procedure for a female dog is either to remove only the uterus which leaves the ovaries and therefore hormones and the heat cycle but no bleeding or possibility of pregnancy or to remove only the ovaries which also removes the possibility of pregnancy but also removes the protective hormones.
Hi Rose n Poos, thanks for the additional information. I did speak with Darla and ask her explicitly about her spay/neuter policy and whether there was room for negotiating that part of the contract.
 
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