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It appears that a lot of breeders require a deposit to be on the waitlist for a puppy.
is that standard practice? Did all of you have to give a deposit?
I’m not sure that I like the idea of being stuck for months if the litter doesn’t produce enough puppies, when it’s possible that I could find one elsewhere but if I did, I’d lose my deposit.
I’ve never seen anything like this, where people can just keep your money. I’ve heard the rationale but I really don’t agree with it. I assume breeders are registered as businesses and if all businesses charged consumers for getting stuck with inventory, there wouldn’t be many in operation. This post is not to debate the policy and I do NOT consider puppies inventory but I’m making the analogy because I’m assuming breeders have to be registered somewhere and regardless of what anybody says, if you’re “selling” a puppy then it’s a business. People aren't paying $2000 adoption fees. I’ve heard that breeders don’t make money on litters but I’ve never seen anybody continue to engage in anything if it was causing a consistent financial loss. My point is not to debate this either.
Either way, it is not something I agree with and I am wondering if most or all Poodle breeders require a deposit.
 

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Most do, mine didn't unless the pups (toy poodles) have been born and almost old enough to go home. She's a rarity in this regard.

All told, it probably took me 5 months from the beginning of my search to bringing home my poodle. This might take longer now due to Covid unless you simply get lucky.

And if you think a waitlist and deposits on puppies that haven't been conceived is frustrating, some of the contracts I've reviewed are slanted heavily to favor the breeder, so beware. There are some breeders whom I'd trust with a deposit on an unborn litter. If you're still searching, review on Rose's list plus the comments on that thread from other members who share info about their breeder. If you're unsure, just ask us on a new thread in that section with a title like "How are So n' So Poodles?"
 

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Mine didn't require it, but it's pretty standard in the area where I live and I personally would have been happy to! Most reputable breeders that I've spoken to require a deposit. It ensures that you're serious about buying a puppy — a lot of people waitlist or say they want one on a whim and casually change their mind and totally ghost on them.

Other businesses charge consumers deposits before services begin all the time, especially for pricier (over 1k) services and products. But I've never heard of a deposit just going into the void if the litter doesn't produce enough puppies... they're generally refunded as far as I know? Or some will allow you to roll it over to their next litter as you move up on the waitlist.
 

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Yes, most breeders will require a deposit, to prove good faith for them to hold a puppy for you, the person they presumably have also spent time getting to know, to make sure you, they and the puppy will all be a good fit. It will vary from a few hundred dollars to about half the purchase price.

Most conscientious breeders will offer a reasonable alternative, such as applying your deposit to the next puppy/litter that meets your needs. The quality, conscientious breeders that I refer to so often do not do this for profit. It's done for love.

Most small scale breeders are producing only 2-4 litters a year. For toy poodles, the average litter size is 2-3. I did a lot of research on this a few months ago and came up with an average profit of $1200 per pup. For the sake of discussion, 3 pups x 3 breedings x $1200 = $10,800. That's a nice sum, but it's not a living.

They invest a large amount of money into testing, and proving their breeding dogs meet the breed standard, the cost of caring for the mother and each litter thru the 63 days of the mothers pregnancy, the delivery, and the 8 weeks of life the puppies spend with them before your pup goes home with you. I didn't include all of that in my calculations.They may make small profits, or it may be a loss.

That's the difference between someone who is truly doing this for the love of the breed and not to pay their bills

Breeders actually don't register as businesses, not in the sense you mean.

The only regulatory bodies that come into play is for larger volume breeders which are required to be licensed thru their state or the USDA and that is for the protection of the animals. Some of these large volume breeders are still quality breeders, and much of their "profit" goes to infrastructure, staff, and the needs of their dogs.

I think you're already familiar with the not-quality large scale breeders who don't invest in their animals but use them up til they die.
 

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During our last puppy hunt, the loveliest puppy I found was from a breeder who breeds purely to find her next show prospect. There's no way she's making much of a profit off her rare litters.

I regularly fantasize about time travelling and snatching up that darling boy!

As for business licensing, those requirements vary dramatically from state to state and according to the scale of the breeding operation.
 

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My standard was in a litter of 12 puppies. At $2000/each, that's $24 000 ! Sounds like a lot, right? Well yes and no. Just show handling costs for the mother, plus stud fees, and health testing, puppy vet bills, and puppy food probably took care of most of that, forgetting 3 years of food for the mother, grooming, etc. And also minus a show prospect puppy or two. (Show handling fees alone can be over 10k). With the second litter, the breeder is probably financially ahead, but I am not sure that if you accounted for the breeders time raising puppies and screening owners, or the costs of owning her dogs over a lifetime that she'd break minimum wage ($14/hr here). She breeds one litter/year.

As for deposits, my breeder was a rarity, she accepted deposits after the puppies were born but not before. Most breeders I looked at had a deposit, transferable to the next litter, and I was prepared and willing to do that. I did not see any that you lost your deposit if not enough puppies were produced, just that it was transferred to the next litter.

Basically- no, the hobby show breeders, if they are breaking even, are not doing much more than that. The high volume breeders who don't show or health test are probably making a decent income and tend to have more 'businesslike' deposits, terms, conditions, etc.
 

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I also was not required to give a deposit. My breeders looking to breed looking for show prospects. She held back two from my dogs litter and the others went to homes basically by word of mouth. Her page will tell you a little about their background
 

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My pup came from a breeder whose ad requested a deposit. When I called it turned out that he had a dog available; I asked to come within a few days to check both dog, kennel and test results out, and I asked if he wanted a deposit to hold a dog until we met. He waived the deposit because I was coming that same week.

A breeder who is holding a dog for someone has to know that that person will actually show up to claim the dog. They want to separate 'window shoppers' from serious buyers. They also should inquire about the puppy's new living conditions.
 

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Yeah, however Basil's litter was already born and 3 weeks old when I put my deposit down. I think my circumstance is more rare because I was able to hold, touch, and see them first so any financial anxiety was set aside.

500 deposit, 2500 total cost

My breeder was (is) very protective of her babies still because she told me stories of people trying to scam her.
 

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I've seen a lot of breeders lately that do ask for that, and will keep you waitlisted for the next litter if there isn't a puppy for you this round. But I've also communicated with several who won't take deposits or anything unless they've interviewed and approved you and the puppies are on the ground. Our breeder took deposits after the puppies were born, but didn't take deposits to be put on a waitlist. Because she contacted us after O's original family fell through, I'd guess she keeps a waitlist of approved families. We still made a deposit to hold her even though we'd be picking her in couple of weeks.
 

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My breeder required a deposit but the pups were on the ground. It is not unusual for the deposit to only be required after pregnancy is confirmed or after pups are born. Or sometimes it is a refundable deposit until pups are born.

On profits, I would only buy from a breeder that titles their dogs in conformation or performance. This is incredibly expensive. Average cost to champion a dog is around $10k. Dogs titling in performance are also really expensive. Classes and travel really add up. So no, I think hobby breeders typically break even at best. My dog's breeder also feeds all her dogs raw which is expensive. Plus the vet care and health testing. No way that's a great business. They do it because they love the dogs and the breed and it's a hobby.
 

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My breeder told us that she actually lost money on her last litter.

We did put a deposit down on an unborn litter, and got the last spot, as she had families on her list even before the breeding was confirmed. I think a lot of the good breeders do. When only eight puppies were born (when the vet had predicted ten), she immediately messaged to ask if I would like to go on a waitlist or have my deposit refunded.

Luckily, two families withdrew, and we got the last spot on the list. The breeder did temperament testing at seven weeks, and now we have a mellow, affectionate, smart puppy who suits our family. We are honestly so impressed with him.
 

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Pogo's breeder normally required deposits. I didn't put one down, as Pogo was a leftover from an unusually large litter. By the time I contacted the breeder he was almost ready to go, so she just held him for me.

Galen was also a leftover; the previous buyer backed out. I put a deposit on him at 5 weeks to hold him.

I'm on a waiting list now for another breeding which hasn't happened yet. The breeder is going to ask for a deposit eventually.
 

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I plan to breed Zoe, my miniature poodle next year. I had planned to breed her this fall, but COVID prevented it - the stud dog I plan to use is in east Texas and I live in central New Mexico - 800 miles away! I would require a deposit from anyone who is not looking for a show dog. I can easily research anyone who shows, and it would be beneficial to me to sell to someone who shows (either conformation or obedience).

I bought Zoe from a well-known poodle handler and breeder. She would refer people who want a puppy to me - this is typical of people who are involved with dog sports. I paid far less than the usual amount because the breeder was confident that I would show her. That, too, is not unusual. People who show will sell to another person who shows/competes for less than the price of a pet because they know (or even give)
 

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These are some examples of how a quality breeder handles deposits:

"Please be as thorough as possible when answering. Your answers help me choose which pup in the litter will be best suited to you and your family. Complete answers go a long way towards matching the best pups for the best families. Filling out the application is not a guarantee of approval. I require a $500 deposit to hold a puppy for approved families. If a litter does not result from a breeding then I will refund your deposit. Your deposit is not refundable in the event that you change your mind, purchase a pup from another breeder, etc. If you wish to be added to my waiting list complete the puppy application. Once approved you may send me a $500 deposit. Families who have been approved and send deposits are given first priority."


"Step 2: Waiting List


The "waiting list" is a document filled with dozens of potential families for our future puppies. They range in colour preferences, family dynamics, time frames for bringing home a puppy, etc. When we are planning a litter, I will go through the waiting list and contact one family at a time until I find a few homes that are prepared for a new puppy. This is not necessarily a "first come, first serve" basis, but suitable families who have been waiting for 1 year will take priority over suitable families who have been waiting for 3 weeks. The order in which potential owners are contacted entirely depends on what we are expecting in the litter. If the parents of the litter are high energy and known for having more rambunctious puppies, we will be contacting more active and experienced homes. If the parents are mellow and easy-going dogs, we might contact the quieter, less active dog owners on our list.
Step 3: Litter Announcements

Litter announcements are posted on our social media pages, "Puppies" page of our website, and emailed to potential puppy owners (previously contacted and corresponded with before the litter was born). After this announcement, we will maintain contact and provide puppy updates while personalities begin to develop.
Step 4: Matching Puppies to Families

Once the puppies are 4+ weeks old, we will evaluate temperaments and conformation, and decide whether we want to keep back a puppy to show. We typically have input as to which puppy will do best with which family, but the information gathered from 4-6 weeks old will confirm that. We will be able to tell which puppies are shy, high-drive, patient, etc. When possible, we encourage the potential owners to meet the puppy/puppies of our recommendation to ensure it will be a good fit.
Step 5: The Contract

Before taking reservations on any puppies, each potential owner will be emailed a copy of our contract of sale. This document outlines our requirements for spaying/neutering, taking proper care of the dog, and an agreement that the dog will be returned to us if the owners can no longer keep him/her. This contract is to ensure that each party knows their responsibilities, and that the dog will be cared for during their entire life. Any questions or concerns regarding the contract should be addressed before the puppy is reserved.
Step 6: Reservation Fees (Deposits)

A non-refundable fee of $500 is required to reserve a puppy, and goes towards the final purchase price. This secures the puppy to their family until pick-up day. We will then arrange a date and time for pick-up. This is the time to start purchasing supplies, puppy-proofing your household, and brushing up on dog training and behaviour."



Features in common:

There is a planned litter. Each parent has been health tested and then matched to each other for (hopefully) specific results in the litter such as temperament and drive.

The deposit is a good faith guarantee on both sides. The first states that the deposit will be refunded if there is no pregnancy and therefore no puppies. It would not be refunded because the buyer simply changed their mind.

The second breeder requires the non refundable deposit but not til after the puppies are on the ground.


With these types of breeders, they've not only made an investment in all their dogs, they've made an investment in you, the buyer who they've also carefully selected.



Examples of breeders that I'd run from:
  • Buyer understands that a deposit of $500.00 is required to place a puppy on hold.
  • Buyer understands the deposit is non-refundable.
  • Puppy must be paid in full before it will be released or shipped to the Buyer. If payment on the puppy has not been made in full by the
    shipping date, or the set receiving date, the Buyer will then forfeit his/her deposit, and any claims on the puppy.
  • Payment can be made by:
    • Personal checks are accepted for payment of a puppy. Buyer understands that by paying with a personal check, the puppy will not be released or shipped until the check has cleared the bank.
    • Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express. These payment options will incur an extra 3.5% to cover the bank transaction fee charged by the credit card company (PAYPAL) or independent payment processor. Please contact seller with appropriate information."


"Deposits:
WE DO NOT ACCEPT DEPOSITS ON ANY PUPPY 6 WEEKS OLD OR OLDER. AT 6 WEEKS OLD ONLY PAYMENTS IN FULL WILL BE ACCEPTED. ALL PUPPIES MUST BE PAID FOR IN FULL ON OR BEFORE THE DAY THE PUPPY TURN 6 WEEKS OLD TO HOLD THEM UNTIL THEY ARE 8 WEEKS OLD AND THEY ARE PICKED UP, SHIPPED OR DELIVERED.
When you have decided to purchase your new Standard Poodle puppy from __, prior to the date the puppy turns 6 weeks old you will need to pay:
• $250.00 non-refundable deposit but transferable for Limited Registration on our male or female pups
• $500.00 or $1000.00 for Unlimited Registration on our male or female pups (The $1000.00 deposit price is for our ____)
• You may pay by Credit/Debit Card. On the right side of each page of the Website you will see the Side Bar. Scroll down on the Side Bar until you see the “PAY NOW” button. Right above that button you will see a drop down box with prices listed, select the appropriate deposit amount of either $250.00 or $500.00 and then click the “PAY NOW” button. You will then be directed to the page where you will enter your credit/debit card information. At the bottom that page you will see, “To pay by credit or debit card click here”. It may also say “Check Out as Guest”. Click there and follow those directions.
• You may also use your Paypal account. Send your PayPal payments to ____
• Fill out the contract. Please follow the directions carefully at the top of the contract.
Payment of Balance and Payment in Full:
• If you have put a deposit down on a puppy, PAYMENT IN FULL , minus the deposit amount, and including any shipping charges, is due on or before the day your puppy turns 6 weeks old. If we are delivering your puppy to you in person, you will be required to pay the delivery fee in cash when the puppy exchanges hands. If you are using our flight nanny services all fee must be paid in advance except the $250 flight nanny fee that will be paid in cash directly to the flight nanny.
• If you are purchasing a PUPPY that is 6 weeks old or older and have not previously put down a deposit, PAYMENT IN FULL is required at the time of the commitment to purchase.
• WE DO NOT ACCEPT CHECKS FOR BALANCES OR PAYMENTS IN FULL.
• If you are visiting ___ and picking out, paying for and taking home a puppy all in the same day we only accept Cash or Credit/Debit Card.
• You may pay by Credit/Debit Card. On the right side of each page of the Website you will see the Side Bar. Scroll down on the Side Bar until you see the “PAY NOW” button. Right above that button you will see a drop down box with prices listed, select the appropriate deposit amount of either $250.00 or $500.00 and then click the “PAY NOW” button. You will then be directed to the page where you will enter your credit/debit card information. At the bottom that page you will see, “To pay by credit or debit card click here”. It may also say “Check Out as Guest”. Click there and follow those directions.
• You may also use your Paypal account.
• Send your PayPal payments to __
• If you are purchasing a LIMITED REGISTRATION PUPPY, fill out the Limited contract
If you are purchasing an UNLIMITED REGISTRATION PUPPY, fill out Unlimited contract"



This all sounds reasonable until you see what is and isn't mentioned. What is mentioned: plenty of talk about payment and nothing else.

No talk of waitlist, no talk of alternatives, no talk of planned litters, planned results, puppies matched to owners needs...just send the money.
 

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Rose n poos thorough description of a quality breeder is what I would search for in a breeder, if I were to add a poodle puppy to our family. I would want to feel confident that the breeder is invested in each puppy bred, really cares about bettering the breed and takes matching healthy puppies, by temperament, to the famlies wishing to adopt.

Where I live, wait lists for a puppy, from a reputable breeder, can be quite long. Deposits are very common, although some breeders do not require a deposit until puppies are born. While searching, I would have felt like I had won the lottery to be asked to place a deposit! That would have meant that I was that much closer to actually getting a puppy from my chosen breeder.

During my search, I found that most great/good breeders do not advertise. I had to do alot of research just to find them. Most do not have much of an internet presence and do not respond to emails as fast ( if at all) as an anxious pup parent -to-be would like. I found phone calls to be the most effective in connecting, with a breeder of merit.

I would feel much more confident buying from a breeder that scrutinized the home environment and expectations of the adopter. From what I have learned, most very good breeders are NOT in this for the money, really don't make a profit and invest alot of themselves into each litter.

Although some deposits may seem high, it is a sign of good faith from both parties. The financial cost of owning a poodle, throughout his/her lifetime, is quite high. The emotional ( and financial) cost of loving a poorly bred poodle would be more than I could afford.

So, long winded that I am, I think it is more frequent than not that a good breeder requests a deposit and I would feel protected giving one. Do your due diligence, find a reputable breeder and be patient. There are alot of scams out there. I would be very leary of a puppy priced too low.

Good luck on your puppy search!
 

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It appears that a lot of breeders require a deposit to be on the waitlist for a puppy.
is that standard practice? Did all of you have to give a deposit?
I’m not sure that I like the idea of being stuck for months if the litter doesn’t produce enough puppies, when it’s possible that I could find one elsewhere but if I did, I’d lose my deposit.
I’ve never seen anything like this, where people can just keep your money. I’ve heard the rationale but I really don’t agree with it. I assume breeders are registered as businesses and if all businesses charged consumers for getting stuck with inventory, there wouldn’t be many in operation. This post is not to debate the policy and I do NOT consider puppies inventory but I’m making the analogy because I’m assuming breeders have to be registered somewhere and regardless of what anybody says, if you’re “selling” a puppy then it’s a business. People aren't paying $2000 adoption fees. I’ve heard that breeders don’t make money on litters but I’ve never seen anybody continue to engage in anything if it was causing a consistent financial loss. My point is not to debate this either.
Either way, it is not something I agree with and I am wondering if most or all Poodle breeders require a deposit.
 

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I think it’s standard practice for good breeders to require a deposit. I did tons of reseach on breeders before choosing one. I Knew what I was looking for and I waited for the puppy I wanted. Earlier this year I put a deposit on another puppy from the same breeder. I had to back out for multiple reasons. The breeder offered to Hold deposit for the next litter but I know I won’t be ready. I forfeited my deposit. When I am ready I will give another deposit to the same breeder and wait for my perfect puppy. 🐩
 

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Puppy mill breeders and ones that have to advertise or sell through places like Craigslist and pet stores seldom require a deposit. But I would never buy a dog that way, and unless you don't care about the breeding and health testing of your dog you probably wouldn't want to either. Really good professional breeders are not in it for the money and often have waitlists even for a couple of years or several litters out. I am super tired tonight so hope I am not coming across too crabby.

I too suggest you really do your research, and Rose n Poos list is great :)
 

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It appears that a lot of breeders require a deposit to be on the waitlist for a puppy.
is that standard practice? Did all of you have to give a deposit?
I’m not sure that I like the idea of being stuck for months if the litter doesn’t produce enough puppies, when it’s possible that I could find one elsewhere but if I did, I’d lose my deposit.
I’ve never seen anything like this, where people can just keep your money. I’ve heard the rationale but I really don’t agree with it. I assume breeders are registered as businesses and if all businesses charged consumers for getting stuck with inventory, there wouldn’t be many in operation. This post is not to debate the policy and I do NOT consider puppies inventory but I’m making the analogy because I’m assuming breeders have to be registered somewhere and regardless of what anybody says, if you’re “selling” a puppy then it’s a business. People aren't paying $2000 adoption fees. I’ve heard that breeders don’t make money on litters but I’ve never seen anybody continue to engage in anything if it was causing a consistent financial loss. My point is not to debate this either.
Either way, it is not something I agree with and I am wondering if most or all Poodle breeders require a deposit.
I am a former breeder. I took names for a wait list before I would breed a litter when I knew a heat was coming. I had a female/male choice list. I did not take deposits til there were puppies on the ground. You could say you wanted a male. You could be 1st on the list (after breeder pic.) Or 1st on list for female preference. So when pups are born, breeder makes their pick of each for stud fee payment or to keep for themselves to maybe show. If only females are born and no males. People with 1st choice go in order of giving deposit. If they don't want a female. They can wait for another litter for a male. Then choice goes to next in line til no pups available. Breeder and stud fee can choose to opt out of their pics. It happens sometimes. Sometimes you may be 1st for a male but 3rd for a female if you would take either. There are real costs associated with breeding. Stud fees, genetic testing, updating boosters prior to breeding, pregnancy diets and supplements, then pup first and possibly 2nd vacs, post delivery vet checks and mom and baby well care after birth. Registration fees for litter. The purpose of breeding is to better the breed. It is not really profitable if you do it right. You try to break even. It is not a business. The money goes back into the dog raising necessities for cleaning, feeding, grooming... boarding, equipment, collars, ... you have the right to withdraw your deposit before pups are homed but its pretty rude. I never have had "surplus pups." That is just offensive. They are our family 1st and foremost. If they aren't you're dealing with a business.
 
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