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I am not familiar with this breeder, but like to suggest anyone searching for a poodle make use of the information offered by these websites.

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Versatility In Poodles
Versatility In Poodles

I took a quick look at the breeder's website. I was interested to read she does not dock tails or remove dew claws. I didn't readily spot the health testing she does on her dogs, or come across any info on her titling or competing with her dogs. These things are of consequence to me. Other members who can offer more will likely soon chime in soon.
 

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Personally, I'd be more comfortable with Desjardins (if you had proof of health testing, which isn't mentioned on their site anywhere I could find) only because they don't use any of those "touchy" words (low COI, temperament first, etc.).

Email both and ask them about testing, and see who you're more comfortable...we all have our preferences and whats important to us but...health testing should be paramount, then who does what with their dogs?, then the appearance can come into account
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What is "touchy" about COI and Temperament? Perhaps, I am naive but those are two important criteria for me. I am wondering if anyone has had dealings with either of these two breeders.

Thanks!
 

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COI and low Wycliffe are touchy because many of the top winning poodles in conformation have higher Wycliffe's and COIs. Not all of them, but most. Often they are so closely related as to share 50% of the genetics with each other.

Desjardins is breeding traditional poodles that are good looking. They talk about health, but I would ask what testing they do and if it is posted on ofa. Their dogs look nice to me.

Crabapple Downs is breeding nontraditional poodle colors and dabbling in moyens (medium poodles). Some concentrate on that for health (mixing up the colors and types increases genetic diversity and often immune system health), some do it for experimentation and fun, some do it for the money. But, the poodles are not as nice conformationally. You can't get around that fact, but most people wouldn't know a good poodle from a bad. For a pet that shouldn't matter too much.

Keep in mind that show breeders, like Desjardins, who has the better looking poodles of these two, will have many pet puppies with each litter. If they do health testing and are focussed on maintaining good temperaments in their breeding program, I might go for them over the other. Good show breeders, and there are many, try to breed healthy poodles who are good representations conformationally that have great temperaments. They won't sacrifice conformation in their goals, but they won't purposefully breed unhealthy dogs.

I would call Desjardins and ask about health testing and temperament. Ask about COI and see what they say. I personally like their dogs. The other breeder appears to be a pet breeder only. That's fine, but the dogs don't look quite as good from a looks only standpoint, but their personalities may rock.

I have a poodle with a low Wycliffe who has an extremely diverse pedigree. She is the smartest, healthiest, most athletic dog I have ever had. Her personality is fabulous, but she is also high energy. She rocks. ;) But, she is not perfect conformationally- a little long, a little short and a small girl. I also have a traditional looking black show style standard poodle. He is a thing of beauty, super sweet and seems very healthy. People stop me in the street with him, but not so much with her. He has a very low COI, but a higher Wycliffe. I offer this because you need to decide what you are looking for. Desjardins poodles are more like him. You will have to meet the dogs to assess their personalities.

Just my opinion, of course. :)
 

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What I meat when I said "touchy" is that terms like Low COI%, and temperament first, and non fading colours, etc. have all become marketing terms for BYB's who actually know very little about COI's or temperaments...personally I'd only deal with breeders that have an established line so that they can tell you how your dog will behave, how it will look, and what health disorders might effect it at some point (heaven forbid it should happen...but knowing the risks involved is slightly easier to deal with than being blind)

Personally I don't know either of these kennels, nothing speaks volumes about them but I'm only basing that off their websites. Many fantastic breeders that are active with their dogs allow their sites to lapse for whatever reason...so I don't hold them to accountable email them and ask for references, past buyers, other breeders they've worked with, etc. ask about health testing...and if COI's are important ask about their dogs I suppose...
 
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Good points, Keith. My opinions on these two breeders is based ONLY on the websites. I know neither. I also agree that some of the best breeders hardly maintain a website. They go by word of mouth. I like going to a dog show, looking at the dogs and seeing which ones I like. Then go to the catalog and find out who their breeders are. Most breeders know many other breeders and if they don't have a puppy for you can recommend someone else. If you prefer agility dogs or something else, go to an agility show and talk to those owners where they got their dogs.
 

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I looked into Crabapple Downs when I was still puppy hunting. One thing I wanted in a breeder was someone I would feel comfortable consulting with if I had puppy problems down the road. That takes a special personality. The person has to be caring enough to want to stay involved, but the person also has to be capable of accepting that not everyone will do things the breeder's way.

You know when you are looking to adopt from a rescue? There are some which ask basic sensible questions to assess whether you have the means and lifestyle needed to meet the animal's needs. Then there are others which ask really intrusive questions, to the point where you wonder if they ever actually succeed in adopting out an animal.

Crabapple didn't seem like it would be a good match for me. They had more litters that year than I like to see, and it wasn't clear to me what the goals of the breeding program were. They also seemed a little more uptight than I would be comfortable with. Lots of grilling about my lifestyle (wanted one person to be home all day with the dog, stuff like that.) I just didn't get the feeling I could establish the kind of relationship I wanted.

I ended up going with a different breeder, one I clicked with after I discussed my horses. She talked about the personality of poodles and asked if I planned to make the dog sleep in the barn at night. "Oh god no," I said, shocked. "That would be a miserable life for a dog as sociable as a poodle. I just want a dog that's athletic enough to enjoy farm life without having an over the top prey drive or herding instinct. Jack Russells and Border Collies are just too intense for me." My comment reassured her, and her assessment of her dogs' good and bad points reassured me.
 

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Just in case anyone stumbles upon this old post while researching breeders, do not use Crabapple. She's notorious in the poodle world. Over-breeds and dumps what she can't sell on rescues. She's done this so much over the years that no rescue in the entire northeast region of the US will take her dogs. So very sad.
 

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I'm glad to be useful, even though I'm embarrassed to have been so blunt. I have a lot of feelings about Arlene after seeing so many of her dogs in rescue.

I don't know your situation or how old this pup is/will be when you would pick it up, but anytime she rejects an owner it's for one reason: $$$. My guess is she has three more litters on the way, needs the space, and already has a rescue lined up to take away her older pups and bail her out. It's an awful business.
 

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Liz -- I have heard similar things about Crabapple. Thanks for having the courage to share.

Poodletail -- I know you want a natural tail, but I hope that you will make sure that you are fully vetting the breeders that you are buying from. You want a healthy dog with a good solid temperament attached to that full tail, right? If you haven't already done so, take a look at this: http://www.poodleforum.com/5-poodle-talk/33522-buying-puppy-safely-basics.html
 

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Wow - thanks for that info - she just rejected me for a girl puppy today though, apparently as I could not pick her up in time to bond appropriately. I'll keep looking!
It's probably just as well she decided not to let you have one of her pus. Don't let any breeder tell you you have to get a pup at a certain age just so they "bond better". I have had 8 & 9 week old pups who have bonded to me just the same way the one I have now has bonded and she was 13 weeks when I got her. She bonded beautifully. And look at one of the most reputable breeders on the forum, Arreau, Cherie Perks. Her pups come from Canada to the US and are 4-5 months old and never have trouble bonding with their forever families. The early socialization of the pups by the breeders is more critical than you getting thpup by a certain age.

Keep searching. The perfect pup is out there for you.

Viking Queen
 

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Liz -- I have heard similar things about Crabapple. Thanks for having the courage to share.

Poodletail -- I know you want a natural tail, but I hope that you will make sure that you are fully vetting the breeders that you are buying from. You want a healthy dog with a good solid temperament attached to that full tail, right? If you haven't already done so, take a look at this: http://www.poodleforum.com/5-poodle-talk/33522-buying-puppy-safely-basics.html
Thanks for the link - very useful! Yes, definitely doing my research on anyone who will leave the tail. Just does not look like we will find one for this summer; looks like I started my poodle search too late :(
 

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It's probably just as well she decided not to let you have one of her pus. Don't let any breeder tell you you have to get a pup at a certain age just so they "bond better". I have had 8 & 9 week old pups who have bonded to me just the same way the one I have now has bonded and she was 13 weeks when I got her. She bonded beautifully. And look at one of the most reputable breeders on the forum, Arreau, Cherie Perks. Her pups come from Canada to the US and are 4-5 months old and never have trouble bonding with their forever families. The early socialization of the pups by the breeders is more critical than you getting thpup by a certain age.

Keep searching. The perfect pup is out there for you.

Viking Queen
Thank you! I did reach out to Arreau; they dock tails. Beautiful dogs and clearly a great breeder, though.
 

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IF a natural tail is that important to you check out the breeders that post in Pure Undocked Poodles, AKC, UKC & CKC Just as the name says the puppies posted there are undocked and often have their dewclaws left on also. At the very least it is a good starting point but still do your own research.
 

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IF a natural tail is that important to you check out the breeders that post in Pure Undocked Poodles, AKC, UKC & CKC Just as the name says the puppies posted there are undocked and often have their dewclaws left on also. At the very least it is a good starting point but still do your own research.
hey, thanks! I just requested to join. Looks like a great resource.
 

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Hi, we have a Crabapple Downs Moyen poodle pup, 5 months old. She is healthy, happy, smart, energetic pup. Learns fast, very curious.
We named her Schnitzel Mayhem Houdini. She lives up to her names.
Arlene Mills has a close group that have and enjoy her pups. She is not a breeder for everyone.
Happy to,answer any questions if you like. We are not sorry we purchased from her, Schnitzel is a marvelous pup.
I can't figure out how to get a picture of both our older Annie and Schnitzel,pup on this or I would share a photo!
 

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Hi, we have a Crabapple Downs Moyen poodle pup, 5 months old. She is healthy, happy, smart, energetic pup. Learns fast, very curious.
We named her Schnitzel Mayhem Houdini. She lives up to her names.
Arlene Mills has a close group that have and enjoy her pups. She is not a breeder for everyone.
Happy to,answer any questions if you like. We are not sorry we purchased from her, Schnitzel is a marvelous pup.
I can't figure out how to get a picture of both our older Annie and Schnitzel,pup on this or I would share a photo!

Just goes to show you that there are many viewpoints on every breeder, and one should not take one person's opinion posted on the Internet as gospel!
 
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