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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!
This is true, it's definitely always best to do our own research. Even the crappiest of breeders can produce good reviews from people who are happy with their dogs. There's a backyard breeder of blue Danes that lives near me. She has several letters from happy puppy owners on her site...and also many of her dogs have dropped dead at age 5 from heart problems, she has no old dogs in her home at all (wonder why that is, huh?), and she doesn't bother to show or health test. She's breeding "Euro" Danes just because she can sell them to ignorant buyers for thousands. Even if you get a recommendation from someone you know for a breeder, always educate yourself and do your own homework!
 

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I know backyard breeders who, although they don't show and aren't performance households, nonetheless breed responsibly. Someone who dumps 17 dogs on a rescue and lies about the reason why ("I had two 16-puppy litters back-to-back and couldn't sell them all") is not running a responsible breeding program. And when you find out she does this regularly - so often that NOT A SINGLE RESCUE IN THE ENTIRE NORTHEAST UNITED STATES will take her dogs - then she's a puppy mill.

It's not that I won't support her dogs, it's that I don't support her.

Don't believe me? Ask around. She has a nasty reputation.
 

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I know backyard breeders who, although they don't show and aren't performance households, nonetheless breed responsibly. Someone who dumps 17 dogs on a rescue and lies about the reason why ("I had two 16-puppy litters back-to-back and couldn't sell them all") is not running a responsible breeding program. And when you find out she does this regularly - so often that NOT A SINGLE RESCUE IN THE ENTIRE NORTHEAST UNITED STATES will take her dogs - then she's a puppy mill.



It's not that I won't support her dogs, it's that I don't support her.



Don't believe me? Ask around. She has a nasty reputation.

Not that I don't believe you, I just don't know you personally. And I don't know the rescues either. Rescues in my experience tend to be really hateful towards breeders, as do breed clubs towards breeders who are not in their inner circle.
Were I looking for a new breeder (which I hope never to have to do), I would try to find as many puppy buyers as possible to hear their personal experiences from, weighting their opinions by how poodle knowledgeable they appear to be. I would not judge them by what one or two angry people write on the Internet. In my experience angry people are much more prone to post their feelings on the Internet than happy and content people.
Again, I am not speaking of you, just in general terms....
And I don't have a horse in this race, just giving my opinion...
 

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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
Follow up :)
I did find the perfect pup and he does have a show docked tail. Ultimately, health and breeder and availability topped a tail.
He is from Winter's Wind Poodles and I am getting him in late July.
 

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Follow up :)
I did find the perfect pup and he does have a show docked tail. Ultimately, health and breeder and availability topped a tail.
He is from Winter's Wind Poodles and I am getting him in late July.
Wonderful news PoodleTail! I do think you were wise to focus on health and breeder over tail. But I would love to see more natural tails. When I bred Cammie, I wanted to leave the puppy tails and dewclaws untouched, but I got out-voted by my puppy buyers and my mentor/co-breeder. (I had buyers lined up before the pups were born, and my mentor/co-breeder was hoping to show one of the pups.) It seems that tails are gradually getting cropped at longer lengths, so maybe someday we'll see show dogs with natural tails. I hope so.
 

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I made the same choice, PoodleTail. I found a great breeder who doesn't dock (Shyre) but we would have had to wait until the end of the year for a dog. We had a disappointment with a dog my kids thought we were getting in May, and I just didn't want to make them wait that long for their puppy. I also didn't want to house train in a Chicago winter! I am happy with our decision- but if we ever get a second poodle, I will plan well in advance and go with Shyre or a like-minded breeder.
 

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I would STRONGLY urge anyone who is thinking of getting a poodle or any other dog from Arlene Mills and Crabapple Downs in Colebrook NH to look elsewhere. I'm glad to see that there are some on here sharing what is whispered. In my opinion, Arlene Mills is operating a puppy mill, and my experience with her was not a good one. Here is a link to the review I posted elsewhere:


It's always a good idea to talk to your vet's office and ask for reputable breeders. They know. That's how we found the breeder of our current standard poodle, and he's been fantastic (and healthy - not a single genetic disease unlike Arlene's dog, who came with all the major ones). And we plan to get another dog from the same breeder.

It saddens me that operations like Crapabble Downs exist that seem to pump out large numbers of dogs, many of which appear to have a great risk of being unhealthy (which only becomes apparent later in life). There are many good choices for standard poodle breeders in New England who are first and foremost about producing excellent dogs. I do not believe Crabapple Downs is one of them.
 

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Thank you for sharing, Skimeister. Best wishes for a long and happy life with your new spoo!
 

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We had a heart-breaking experience buying a puppy from Crabapple Downs. He required surgery on both eyes and and developed gastrointestinal lymphoma and died right after turning 5. The veterinarians who treated his conditions indicated they were genetic. We found out some pretty sketchy info about them later, but not in time to prevent what we went through with vet expenses and the loss of a very young dog.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your dog, JBM. I hope you find solace in knowing that your post will help others.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your dog, JBM. I hope you find solace in knowing that your post will help others.
Thank you, that is all I hope to do by sharing our story. The hard lesson we learned is that you can’t judge the health of a dog or the integrity of a breeder by a web site or our former groomer, we needed to investigate more, and hope this spares others of the heart-break.
 
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