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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

i am new to posting on the forum. I began my search for a toy poodle before the pandemic hit. At the time it seemed plausible that we’d bring a poodle home in the summer or by the end of this year. Now it feels like it’ll never happen. I could just be feeling frustrated at the moment. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve stayed up late researching breeders. Confused about who may or may not be reputable. And finding that most breeders have closed their wait lists due to high demand. It feels like I’m always two steps behind. I’m sure it’ll happen but right now it is feeling like a distant dream. (Sorry, venting).

In addition, I’m starting to think a miniature might be a better fit for us. Hoping to get some feedback on this. My family and I are home bodies for the most part. However, we love nature walks. We love going on 2-3 hour easy to moderate hikes once a week. We do daily evening walks. Plus I have a young child who is very active. I understand that in addition poodles need mental stimulation but wondering if this type of activity is something more suitable for a miniature than a toy.

any feedback is appreciated.
 

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Hello,

I understand your frustration. It was hard enough to find a good breeder before the pandemic. Now it is especially difficult. But I promise it will be worth the wait when you do find that perfect match. The best strategy is to cast a wide net and see if breeders can refer you to people with upcoming litters.

In regard to size, I think both a toy and a mini are capable of hiking, but I would recommend a mini to families with children under 10 because they are more sturdy. Toys are okay with gentle children but can be injured easily if stepped on or dropped, so you may find a mini safer than a toy for playing with children. Even with a mini, rough play should be monitored carefully as they are still small dogs.

There are some facebook groups that could be helpful to post looking for breeders. I would try "Litters from Health Tested Poodles" first.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Hello and welcome. I'm sorry that families like yours are having difficulties finding a poodle -- with all of your research and careful planning, you sound perfect.

Raindrops gave good advice above. In addition, you might keep an eye out for dogs needing to be rehomed. Many of these dogs are looking for a new home through no fault of their own, have been very well taken care of by their first owners, and will make lovely pets. We just had a gorgeous 1 year old doberman girl come through our kennel club when the owner developed some health problems and became unable to care for her. It's also common for breeders to rehome breeding dogs when they've aged out of the breeding program.
 

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Confused about who may or may not be reputable.
I checked your other thread and saw that someone else gave you the link to the Breeder List so no need for that here but I do have some suggestions on a few things to look for.

Health testing of the breeding parents is a good indicator. The Breeder List has info on what to look for. Mentioning health testing on their site is nice but isn't proof. For proof, look for health testing results spelled out on the breeder's site, then verify for yourself by going to the site the results are published on. If you don't find any evidence of testing or can't find the info but the breeder appeals to you, contact them and ask where you might see the testing they do. Reputable breeders put in a lot of effort to make sure they're breeding the healthiest poodles and will be happy to talk about it.

A caution that a health "guarantee" on a puppy doesn't have much to back it if the sire and dam were not given the testing for breed and variety. "Guarantees" without the testing often favor the breeder, more than the buyer.

Conscientious breeders have a waitlist at the best of times and with pandemic puppy seekers, that wait is stretched well into 2021. There have been more than a few serendipitous contacts between seeker and breeder, so don't be put off by the thought of a waitlist. Also, don't be put off if online sites aren't particularly updated. As often as not, breeders can be old school in communicating and are busy with their dogs rather than keep a website updated.

Be prepared to spend in the range of $1500 to $3000 USD. Conscientious breeders are not padding pricing due to Covid.
Be prepared to travel outside your preferred area.

As a very general rule, websites to be leery of are those that feature cutesy puppies with bows and such, little or no useful info on sires or dams, the word "Order" or "Ordering" (these are living beings, not appliances) and a PayPal or "pay here" button prominently featured "for your convenience".

The Poodle Clubs are an excellent resource. Look for the breeder referral person for your province or city by searching for "Poodle Club of ___".

If you open your search to include mpoos, that will help, and f you're open to an older pup or even a young adult, that further opens your choices.

As a sort of checklist of things to look for or ask, I'll drop my personal criteria:

My criteria need not be yours but I think it's important for a potential poodle owner to understand why these things matter in finding a conscientious breeder and to get a well bred puppy to share life with for many years to come.

Every one of these is a talking point a conscientious breeder will welcome, just not all at the same time :)


My ideal breeder is someone who is doing this because they love the breed.
They want to see each new generation born at least as good as the previous, ideally better.
They provide for every dog in their care as if that dog is their own.
They will be there for the new family, and stand behind that pup for it's lifetime, rain or shine, with or without a contract.
They will know the standards and pedigrees of their chosen breed, health and genetic diversity of their lines, and breed to better them.
They will know of the latest studies in health standards for their chosen breed and variety and do the health testing of their breeding dogs.
They prove their dogs meet breed standards and are physically capable by breeding from sires and dams proven in competition or participating in other activities.
They will have as many questions for me as I do for them.
They invest in their dogs. They don't expect the dogs to support them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you. I love this.

I think I have my eye on a couple breeders that do health testing and are happy to provide proof. Although both are out of state and both have closed their waiting list. I am waiting to hear back for one other breeder. We shall see! It is looking like bringing a poodle home will not happen until next year. This makes us sad but at least it gives me time to research and ensure that I feel confident in the breeder I choose.

Thanks all for your help!

I checked your other thread and saw that someone else gave you the link to the Breeder List so no need for that here but I do have some suggestions on a few things to look for.

Health testing of the breeding parents is a good indicator. The Breeder List has info on what to look for. Mentioning health testing on their site is nice but isn't proof. For proof, look for health testing results spelled out on the breeder's site, then verify for yourself by going to the site the results are published on. If you don't find any evidence of testing or can't find the info but the breeder appeals to you, contact them and ask where you might see the testing they do. Reputable breeders put in a lot of effort to make sure they're breeding the healthiest poodles and will be happy to talk about it.

A caution that a health "guarantee" on a puppy doesn't have much to back it if the sire and dam were not given the testing for breed and variety. "Guarantees" without the testing often favor the breeder, more than the buyer.

Conscientious breeders have a waitlist at the best of times and with pandemic puppy seekers, that wait is stretched well into 2021. There have been more than a few serendipitous contacts between seeker and breeder, so don't be put off by the thought of a waitlist. Also, don't be put off if online sites aren't particularly updated. As often as not, breeders can be old school in communicating and are busy with their dogs rather than keep a website updated.

Be prepared to spend in the range of $1500 to $3000 USD. Conscientious breeders are not padding pricing due to Covid.
Be prepared to travel outside your preferred area.

As a very general rule, websites to be leery of are those that feature cutesy puppies with bows and such, little or no useful info on sires or dams, the word "Order" or "Ordering" (these are living beings, not appliances) and a PayPal or "pay here" button prominently featured "for your convenience".

The Poodle Clubs are an excellent resource. Look for the breeder referral person for your province or city by searching for "Poodle Club of ___".

If you open your search to include mpoos, that will help, and f you're open to an older pup or even a young adult, that further opens your choices.

As a sort of checklist of things to look for or ask, I'll drop my personal criteria:

My criteria need not be yours but I think it's important for a potential poodle owner to understand why these things matter in finding a conscientious breeder and to get a well bred puppy to share life with for many years to come.

Every one of these is a talking point a conscientious breeder will welcome, just not all at the same time :)


My ideal breeder is someone who is doing this because they love the breed.
They want to see each new generation born at least as good as the previous, ideally better.
They provide for every dog in their care as if that dog is their own.
They will be there for the new family, and stand behind that pup for it's lifetime, rain or shine, with or without a contract.
They will know the standards and pedigrees of their chosen breed, health and genetic diversity of their lines, and breed to better them.
They will know of the latest studies in health standards for their chosen breed and variety and do the health testing of their breeding dogs.
They prove their dogs meet breed standards and are physically capable by breeding from sires and dams proven in competition or participating in other activities.
They will have as many questions for me as I do for them.
They invest in their dogs. They don't expect the dogs to support them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you. I will keep this in mind as I am doing my research. I have noticed some breeders state they may have older puppies at times but have yet to see any actually available.

Hello and welcome. I'm sorry that families like yours are having difficulties finding a poodle -- with all of your research and careful planning, you sound perfect.

Raindrops gave good advice above. In addition, you might keep an eye out for dogs needing to be rehomed. Many of these dogs are looking for a new home through no fault of their own, have been very well taken care of by their first owners, and will make lovely pets. We just had a gorgeous 1 year old doberman girl come through our kennel club when the owner developed some health problems and became unable to care for her. It's also common for breeders to rehome breeding dogs when they've aged out of the breeding program.
 

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I think it is certainly worth looking into miniature poodles as well as toys. My childhood dogs were 14 inches tall; it was a great size for the active kid I was.
 

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I have noticed some breeders state they may have older puppies at times but have yet to see any actually available.
This is a place where the caution about outdated websites can come into play. There is a saying "Find the right breeder and the right poodle will find you".

If the breeder meets the criteria for a quality, conscientious breeder that you would like to work with (quite possibly for the next 15 years or so) then shoot a quick email introducing yourself, what you hope to find in a poodle, and why you like what you see about this breeder particularly, and see what kind of response you get.

If you don't get a response within a few days to a week, try calling. No time communicating with breeders is wasted since every encounter is a chance to learn more.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, I think mainly I'm thinking about my sons age. A couple breeders have already told me they won't place pups in homes with small children.

I think it is certainly worth looking into miniature poodles as well as toys. My childhood dogs were 14 inches tall; it was a great size for the active kid I was.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is a place where the caution about outdated websites can come into play. There is a saying "Find the right breeder and the right poodle will find you".

If the breeder meets the criteria for a quality, conscientious breeder that you would like to work with (quite possibly for the next 15 years or so) then shoot a quick email introducing yourself, what you hope to find in a poodle, and why you like what you see about this breeder particularly, and see what kind of response you get.

If you don't get a response within a few days to a week, try calling. No time communicating with breeders is wasted since every encounter is a chance to learn more.
Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. I always wonder if to even try to send a message when wait lists are closed. I have read so many that say they are being bombarded with messages right now.
 

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They will have as many questions for me as I do for them.
It wouldn't be unusual, I think, to close wait lists, especially if the breeder keeps wait lists for specific litters, but I can't recall seeing a breeder website stating not to contact them at all. That's how you both get a feel for whether you want to work with each other. A short email detailing the few things mentioned above, possibly asking if there might be a good time to reach them by phone for a short "get to know each other" talk should be ok.

Actual wait listing for a puppy isn't something that a quality, conscientious breeder typically does until there's been back and forth communications between you both. They're just as concerned with the families their puppies will go live their lives with, as you are with finding a breeder who's puppies are a good match too.


And now, more info than you asked for :)

There seem to be two main ways that breeders handle wait lists and deposits.

To some breeders the two are essentially the same. The new family and the breeder have had back and forth communications, vetted each other (an application also may or may not be required), and there is agreement between all parties. The good faith deposit is placed to hold a suitable puppy but there may not yet be puppies on the ground.

The other way is to follow the same procedures listed above but the waitlist and deposit are treated separately. The waitlist is the breeders way of keeping track of who wants what in a puppy, who's ready for a puppy, but the deposit is not required until puppies are on the ground.

There is a third way that can happen and that's serendipity. Possibly the new family and breeder have already gone thru this process with a prior dog and both feel comfortable with each other. Possibly the new family and breeder are introduced by someone known to each other so they feel comfortable. Waitlists and deposits may not figure in at all, puppies may be on the ground or planned, but the vetting either has been done before or is being vouched for.

Pros and cons to each way but that is between the breeder and the new family.

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

Example A

"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."

Example B

"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 sa
le. 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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