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Hello! I was wondering if anyone has had experience with Gemstone's Poodles in Tolland, Ct. I've recently left a deposit for a pup in their next litter. First, I'd like to say the owner/breeder was as helpful as can be with all my questions and was the first breeder who took the time to talk to me over the phone. Honestly, she was a delight to talk to. She seemed fair in her pricing, in her mindset about poodles and explained everything. I'm being a cautious buyer and want to make sure my feelings about this breeder are correct- that she is OK and reputable. I've done my research as best as I can, just following it through even further. Thanks all!
 

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Ask them if they do health testing. I also was a little confused by the statement that they have a few miniatures too. I didn’t see that they breed minis, so where are they coming from?
 
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Welcome! It's a very exciting time to be adding a new puppy to the family. I do not have experience with them, but I can comment on some things that I have observed from her website.

One of the important ways to be sure that you're getting a pup from healthy parents is to make sure the parents are health tested. Standard poodles in particular can suffer from some inherited diseases and hip dysplasia, so it is important to see these documented results.

I saw no mention of health testing on Gemstone's website, but I did go onto the OFA (orthopedic foundation for animals) website to see if there are records of them completing tests. It seems like over the years, quite a few of their dogs have had health testing done, though only one has fully completed the tests necessary for CHIC certification. All the dogs listed on OFA have either good or fair rated hips. The number of "fair" ratings I see in Gemstone's lines is something that I personally would not be comfortable with. That said, only one of their current listed breeding dogs shows any records of being health tested (see Gemstone's Show Me The Money). This doesn't necessarily mean the tests haven't been completed for other dogs, but it is most certainly something I would ask about. Hip certification is a standard practice among reputable breeders. You can look on OFA's website to see their list of recommended tests for each breed.

Here is a link Search results for Gemstone's poodles

Another thing that I would ideally look for in a reputable breeder is demonstration of a dog's structural and temperamental quality. Breeders typically do this by titling a dog in conformation, obedience, or other performance events. I think I've seen all the pedigrees of Gemstone's dogs and some of them come from conformation lines, but aren't titled themselves. In addition, many of the dogs look to be of lines where none of the family tree has any titles. Some of them look like they have decent structure, and others look like their structure could be lacking. There are plenty of excellent dogs that don't have titles, but it's nice to see those in a pedigree as evidence of quality dogs.

Other things-

I really dislike that they have a paypal button to put a deposit on puppies. This makes it appear that there is no application, no interview, and nothing to make sure the pups are going to good homes. Maybe this does still happen somehow, but I do not like how easy they make it to put a deposit. My dog's breeder talked to me for many hours before she agreed to allow me to put a deposit. And all reputable breeders that I know require application and approval.

No mention of a puppy contract here, so that is something I'd ask about. Puppy contracts can be very important to consider. Such as what kind of health guarantee do they offer (like if puppy comes down with Parvo 12 hours after you pick it up) and what sort of guarantee do they have against inherited genetic diseases. Also you want to know what rules they have on when you are required to spay/neuter.

This is a breeder that breeds dogs as a full time business to make money. That doesn't make them bad. I would say I personally prefer preservation hobby breeders because their purpose in breeding is to breed better dogs because they love the breed. Many will say that breeding done right is near impossible to profit from. So when I see a breeder that is operating as a business, it raises questions about what corners they're cutting. The best reputable hobby breeders aren't always easy to contact because they have busy lives and only breed their dogs because they are passionate about them.

The question of purchasing from a given breeder is very personal, and I only mention these things to help you make an educated decision.
 

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Welcome! Great insights from Carolinek and Raindrops, as always.

I'm also wondering if you've visited the facility? I think a meet and greet with the breeder and some of their poodles (including the dam and sire) is a good idea whenever possible. Get a feel for their temperaments, make sure they're clean and well-socialized, check out their living conditions... That sort of thing.

It's too easy for puppy mills to hide behind a good website and personable sales folks these days. And for a family pet, you really want a puppy that's been raised in the home, not treated like livestock.

(Not saying that's the case here, but it sounds like a big business, which is doubly worth visiting.)

Good for you for doing your homework! This is such a big, exciting decision.
 

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Yes, a site visit is a great idea!
I wonder if the website is outdated, I noticed the three females they pictured range in age from 9- 13. Too old to still be breeding, I believe 7 is accepted as a good age to retire a dam.

Breeders don`t always update their websites, which doesn`t mean they’re not good. I would visit, ask lots of questions, and keep an open mind. I did notice the pedigrees of the breeding dogs contained a fair amount of titled dogs (champions), although I would hope these females aren’t being used for breeding anymore. If they are, run from this breeder.
 

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I have a 4yo male from gemstone. He has had more than 1 autoimmune disorder. The first one showed up at just shy of 3. He is the only one of his litter with health challenges and she did have some trouble " after the fact" with the sire which is likely where the challenges stemmed from. Christy has been incredible with helping is navigate our challenges and her health guarantee does not expire. When we are ready we can get another puppy "free of charge" and we don't have to give our boy back as some breeders require. Her website is not "updated" as she does do more than breed poodles. The dogs do live in her home. I can honestly say over the past 4 years she has been readily available whether to discuss food, our boys challenges, etc. She has always been open and honest with me! Despite what we have dealt with medically I would recommend her. Our boy is an anomaly in her breeding record! You will be pleased with your pup!
 

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We have purchased two standards from Christy at Gemstone Poodles and we'd absolutely go back to her when we're ready for a third poodle. While I totally understand being cautious about such an important decision -- we visited 4 breeders before choosing Gemstone -- all I can say is that how Christy presents herself and her breeding practices has been borne out in our case. We've had two wonderful standards with zero health problems. And she's always been available to us for advice or updates on the dogs.
 

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Hello! I was wondering if anyone has had experience with Gemstone's Poodles in Tolland, Ct. I've recently left a deposit for a pup in their next litter. First, I'd like to say the owner/breeder was as helpful as can be with all my questions and was the first breeder who took the time to talk to me over the phone. Honestly, she was a delight to talk to. She seemed fair in her pricing, in her mindset about poodles and explained everything. I'm being a cautious buyer and want to make sure my feelings about this breeder are correct- that she is OK and reputable. I've done my research as best as I can, just following it through even further. Thanks all!
I bought from her a few years ago. My guy is great! I’m buying now again. Christina is a gem!
 
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