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Good morning, everyone! After a lifetime with Golden Retrievers, I am venturing into the Standard Poodle world. I am a long admirer of them, and am so excited. We have a large family with children ranging from high school to preschool, an aging golden, and two cats.

I hope people will chime in on this, as the puppy we bring into our home is such a big decision, not only for us, but for the puppy, and the pup doesn't get a say! I think I did the right thing in reserving the puppy I did, but please tell me your thoughts:

Puppy A: A 6 week old heart melter with a really neat personality (I've met him three times), and brings out all the "Where the Red Fern Grows" feels. He's from a breeder who wants to do a good job, and treats the puppies like gold, but the parents don't have the greatest lives in my opinion. This person isn't a puppy mill, but she dances on the edge, some would think. She also has merles, which she does in a genetically responsible way so as to not put dogs in any peril, but even so, I know that makes her a renegade to some degree. The parent dogs are sweet, but not beautiful. Well, mom is sweet, dad is bonkers. Don't know how much is nature or nurture. The puppies are COMPLETELY desensitized to anything small kids can do to them. They are carried around like rag dolls all day long by little kids, which is good for me.

Puppy B: This one didn't pull my heartstrings so much as earn my respect. A magnificent 9 week old from an admired breeder of hunting poodles whose dogs all live glorious lives. This dog followed me around the yard and looked at me like "I promise I'll be worth the extra effort. I promise." He's highly trainable and eager to please, but no rag doll. He's a dire wolf (I don't watch GOT, but I know the concept well). Having this dog well trained will be like having a superpower.

I put a deposit down on puppy B. Why the nerves? Because I see Tom Hanks staring at me saying, "Earn this." Also, he's the one color I didn't want going in to the process, and I don't get that melty puppy feeling over him at all. Puppy A is so sweet and has a neat personality that I believe will win out over his humble origins. Ultimately I made my decision based on the kind of breeder I feel I should support, and knowing that I'm going to have a dog much longer than I'm going to have a puppy. Puppy B is going to be a much more demanding puppyhood, but the payoff will be a dog we will be honored to have in our lives.

Do you think I did the right thing?
 

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Yes I do, because I did the wrong thing, because all puppies are cute. My Beatrice was from a not so great BYB but had an awesome temperament. Beatrice is 5 years old has had two knee surgeries, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at 4 years old and at 5 years she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Buy the best puppy you can or simply rescue, also understand what you truly want in a dog and convey that to whomever you are acquiring a dog from.
 

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It really depends on what you want in your life.

Puppy B would be too much puppy from me. I would not want a dog from working lines. Ever. I thrive for low energy/calm dogs.

Puppy A has the kind of temperament I would be looking for and loving, but he is not from a good breeder and you might risk him having health problems that will cause you heartache and cost you a fortune down the line.

If it was me I would look for a puppy similar to puppy A, from a good, ethical breeder.
 

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Yes I do, because I did the wrong thing, because all puppies are cute. My Beatrice was from a not so great BYB but had an awesome temperament. Beatrice is 5 years old has had two knee surgeries, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at 4 years old and at 5 years she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Buy the best puppy you can or simply rescue, also understand what you truly want in a dog and convey that to whomever you are acquiring a dog from.
Thank you so much for your reply. I am so sorry to hear of Beatrice's suffering and yours. Watching your pets suffer is awful.

I should mention that the "lesser" breeder does health test and offers an excellent health guarantee, but even so, there's no way for me to know how that has all panned out for her previous litters. The "known" breeder's dogs are all "in the spotlight" if you follow such things, so their health is easily tracked.
 

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You are basically asking the chill versus smart puppy question. The health issues of a less well bred pup are always in the background, but it can be a gamble either way. I chose the best bred puppy (health wise) there was in a different breed and still lost him at 4 1/2 to a disease that has no tests for it...
Color should be less of a consideration - I think all colors can look good.
A smart pup is what I have - and he is more of a challenge than I would have imagined. I know some families would not be very happy with him because he would be considered too much of a constant challenge. He thrives in our somewhat quiet house (no kids - not that much coming and going) but could easily be overstimulated into total craziness in the wrong environment.
The question you need to ask yourself is what do you need from the puppy? Partner in crime or relaxed family companion?
 

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You have a busy family with lots of children. If you and the family are interactive with this new puppy - training, especially the early socialization and basic obedience and there will be continued activities with this puppy - going on hikes, walks etc. then I think a dog from a hunting line could work.

A puppy from a hunting line of poodles probably wouldn't work in my house. DH and I are older and less active, our house is quiet - kids live in another city. While I do a lot of fun activities and training for my minipoo, she has a wonderful off switch and is happy to snooze all day on the couch if the weather is bad, or I'm feeling lazy. I think a puppy from hunting lines may be looking for activity each and every day. I could be wrong - I've never known anyone who has a poodle from a hunting line so I'm making assumptions.

I do agree with Dechi, make is clear to the breeder what you are looking for in a dog - the kinds of things you have done with your lab etc.

I personally would pass on the first breeder. Research has shown that a happy well cared for mother during pregnancy passes that onto the pups. Breeding poodles with a merle pattern is a huge turnoff and a clear signal this is a greeder. I wouldn't want to encourage and support them by buying a puppy - but that's my personal choice.
 

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Just my opinion and I am by no means an expert but I'd probably keep looking.
The turn off to me with breeder of puppy A is Merles...I'm really not on board with that mostly because I do not have enough knowledge. PuppyB. will more than likely be a difficult puppy in that it may be more active and require more jobs as it learns. Fine for most but not sure if you have young children the will want to cart it around in their arms. Maybe you could bring two of your youngest and see how they interact. Personally I would want puppyA personality with puppy B breeder. That would leave me with a puppyC. LOL Whatever you do I am sure you will make it work. I find goldnens to be more mellow and laid back than a st poodle.JMHO
 

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I would recommend to any and all to run away from A super fast and far. If there are merle dogs, they are not 100% poodle. The merle gene is not native in poodles. The comment about the parents living condition is a huge yuck for me too.


Separately B would be a fine puppy for me, but not for everyone. A dog from working lines is going to be a high drive dog. The pup will need to be trained as if he will be a worker on an ongoing basis. This pup is not likely to be a great couch potato, but that is what I want since my dogs do work for me in many ways: sports, service, training other dogs (Lily is a great neutral for reactive dogs and also does CGC tests with me).
 

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I would consider puppy B. Puppies are puppies. I described my Matisse in another thread. https://www.poodleforum.com/14-poodle-breeding/269923-reputable-miniature-poodle-breeders-calm-oversize-3.html#post3252283 He was 180 degrees from a couch potato...not laid back. Not nervous. But extremely active. Fast forward couple years later: He's a dream dog for someone who wants chill. And if I did agility (use to) he'd excel at that too. He was a marvelous show dog and wooed the judges and spectators because he is so full of life and beautiful to boot. He had and has that sparkle but has a softness, a tenderness about him that puts him so very in tuned with me. He's got the get up and go AND the go with the flow personality. So, I don't know that you can determine how any pup will turn out just by one criteria. There are so many factors that go into it. Talk to the breeder some more and let her know what you want.

If you are feeling unsure, keep looking. But you could ask for references. As previous buyers how their puppies turned out.

Anyhow, regardless, I'm glad you made the right choice to skip puppy A. That is not a responsible breeder. Best wishes.

PS. I love how you write! :alberteinstein:
 

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I agree with lily cd re that the first breeder sounds terrible. There is every chance that temperament of the parents will be passed on to pups, so a bonkers parent is a really bad sign. I would not buy from a breeder that gave me any doubts about their motives.

Puppy b sounds like a really good pup for somebody who is really committed to their dog. Hunting line poodles will be drivey. He will need a lot of training and stimulation to keep him occupied. I would guess this would be very difficult in a family with children, but you know what your life is like.

Also, something to think about with little kids: poodle puppies are extremely mouthy and bitey. I do not know how this compares to golden retrievers. My miniature poodle puppy would be too much for a young child to deal with in terms of biting, and from what I understand most poodle pups are like this. So I would make sure you have a place to keep the pup separate from the children when he is being too mouthy.
 

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There will be a range of degree of drive in the hunting line also, and some of those puppies will be more laid back than the others. I would talk to the breeder and get their view of how active and driven this particular pup will be.

I would also pass on puppy A, a "bonkers" dad would rule that pup out from the start for me.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I personally feel you should keep looking, and if you want help, people on this forum can suggest good breeders. If you find a good breeder you can tell them exactly what you are looking for in a dog and they will help you choose your dog. It can be very, very stressful to have a dog in your house that just isn't the right fit, and that dog is your responsibility (behaviorally, medically) until he/she passes. Just my thoughts. Good luck with your decision.
 

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I would consider puppy B. Puppies are puppies. I described my Matisse in another thread. https://www.poodleforum.com/14-poodle-breeding/269923-reputable-miniature-poodle-breeders-calm-oversize-3.html#post3252283 He was 180 degrees from a couch potato...not laid back. Not nervous. But extremely active. Fast forward couple years later: He's a dream dog for someone who wants chill. And if I did agility (use to) he'd excel at that too. He was a marvelous show dog and wooed the judges and spectators because he is so full of life and beautiful to boot. He had and has that sparkle but has a softness, a tenderness about him that puts him so very in tuned with me. He's got the get up and go AND the go with the flow personality. So, I don't know that you can determine how any pup will turn out just by one criteria. There are so many factors that go into it. Talk to the breeder some more and let her know what you want.
Puppies behave different than when they're grown up. But if you have an active puppy and don't work with them accordingly, chances are that they don't turn into a chill adult. Sounds like you did a lot of training with Matisse (Agility and Showing), I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be a chill adult had he had the wrong owners. If I had kids I wouldn't get a high drive puppy, just too risky to screw up.
 

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Welcome - I would pass on puppy A too. With puppy B I would think it important to talk to the breeder about hunting lines and activity. May be too much to handle with your family. Agree that puppy C is out there for you and maybe members of the forum can point you to some great breeders that may have the perfect puppy for you. BTW, my Asta was a very active puppy with so much smarts. He has grown into a rather chill dog who sticks by my side and is such a great help to me in so many ways. I would never have imagined that he would turn out to be such a marvelous boy looking back at those puppy days. My only suggestion is to have a training plan from the get go.
 

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Looking at all of this again I am also more inclined to think that puppy C could be the best choice for you. If you tell us where you are located and/or where you are willing to travel to to find a great pup we may be able to steer you towards a stellar breeder who will be able to match you for a pup that will be a good fit for your family.
 

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In my complete ignorance/experience with the breed, I described a performance dog to my show breeder as my ideal puppy. I was operating from a baseline of Scottish Terriers, darling, charming dogs, but aloof. They are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, either. Poodles are the 2nd smartest breed and Scottie’s are 60+ points behind. Even puppy A, which I would never seriously consider, is going to be more challenging than a GR. Your advantage is you’ve trained a smart, big dog. You will be training a MENSA member whether you go with puppy B or C. With patience, persistence and ongoing support from PF members, as needed, you will have the dog of your dreams by age 2 or 3. P.S. Buck needed the full 3+, because I didn’t have smart dog with a JD experience. Welcome to PF and let us know what you’ve decided.
 

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Puppies behave different than when they're grown up. But if you have an active puppy and don't work with them accordingly, chances are that they don't turn into a chill adult. Sounds like you did a lot of training with Matisse (Agility and Showing), I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be a chill adult had he had the wrong owners. If I had kids I wouldn't get a high drive puppy, just too risky to screw up.
Oh...sorry for the misunderstanding. I didn't do agility with Matisse. I did agility with my Doberman quite a number of years back. (rip Lyric) Anyhow, I haven't done that much with Matisse... really, just basics, good manners, a few extra things and conformation showing, behaviors that are necessary when hiking, things to keep them safe etc. I'm not really interested in doing those sports anymore but rather enjoy hiking with them in cool places and just being pals. But I think it's mostly his temperament. He just needed to grow up a little and have some direction.

His breeder told me he would probably be like his mother...he was showing signs. And he thought Maurice was like his mother. I have no idea. I just went with his good reputation and what many people told me who had puppies from him. I talked to a kazillion people...buyers, exhibitors, fellow breeders, show people. And I met his dogs. I got 2nd pick. He would tell me a little about what he thought and let me have two. I got one of each; a wild child and an instant couch potato. It's been fun and I love having two very different personalities. Matisse is as big as he should be for a toy. Maurice is much smaller. He's a little pip squeak. They're both perfect. lol.:angel::angel:

You will find the perfect pup too. They all turn out to be perfect because they grow on us in no time flat. (usually)
 

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Good for you for walking away from A. You made a smart and ethical decision.

I also vote puppy C. I have no idea what a dire wolf is, but it doesn't sound appealing, especially as a family dog. I would look for a breeder of the quality of B, but who breeds for a less performance-y type. In your shoes with young children, I would want a puppy who is confident, but not cocky. Threes and 4s or mostly 4s on the Volhard.
 

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Welcome to PF! I too am glad you walked away from puppy 'A' for all thesame reasons as noted by others
You say you have already put a deposit on puppy 'B' and I'd like to say that if you let us know the name of the Breeder/Kennel you are purchasing it from, there may be others here with dogs from the same breeder, or know the breeder through other sources, and they can chime in about their experiences with this breeder's line of dogs.
BTW what color were you 'wanting' and what color did you get?LOL!
 

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I am a huge proponent of choosing your breeder first. So, I would go with Breeder B, laying out on the table my situation, and lifestlye with the utmost honesty to the breeder and then, I would rely on what the breeder suggests. There is variance within a litter and a good breeder will take all these things in mind when placing a pup. Just be sure you are ready for the huge time commitment that any pup is going to demand of you for the next two years (minimum). You can't skimp on those first two years. Good luck.
 
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