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Hello Everyone,

I am new to the forum and found this site while researching about how to find a breeder. After spending a few days staying up late reading posts, i have decided to join in. I am so excited and thankful to be part of this community.

I started out looking for a poodle to be my companion for long walks & jogs. I'm an artist, so work at home and would love my dog to hang out with me while I work. After failing to rescue a poodle, because it went to another family, or because I didn't feel experienced enough to care for the dog's trauma, I've come to the idea of seeking a breeder. But finding a breeder is about more than avoiding a puppy mill! There is so much to understand about the testing, nurturing- socialization, showing and homing of the dogs! What constitutes a "good breeder" is continually being re-defined... I have a few questions.

1.) I have seen a number of people post a preference for breeders who show their dogs. Is this important so as to instill a better puppy culture by the adult dogs, because they are more stimulated and engaged? I was trying to explain this to someone else, and realized, I didn't quite understand why it is important - are there beneficial things that come from that kind of environment?

2.) It seems like some breeders breed their own dogs with each other, and some look for partner poodles outside their own pool of poodles. I'm guessing this is to diversify the gene pool? How many dogs constitutes a "small" home breeder?

3.) The advice page strongly advises seeing the puppy with the mom. Would this be before you have put a deposit on your puppy, when you pick up or is a visit to the breeder before agreeing to a contract advisable and customary? So far, no breeder has invited me for a visit, but I've only spoken with 2 breeders.

4.) Although I see that there are big range of rates for puppies, how much should I expect to pay for a well bred family dog? I've seen 1200- 1500- 1800 and 2000 dollars up to 3500. I want to attend obedience classes, and hopefully more classes so that I can learn how to offer my dog stimulating and engaging interactions, but I don't want to show.

5.) Finally, I live just outside Chicago, and am willing to drive up to 8 hours to get a dog. Any recommendations for breeders is most welcome! I have been combing over the site to find recommendations too.

Thank you everyone, this is such a great forum. I look forward to posting a picture of my puppy or dog once he/she comes home!
 

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Hello Everyone,

I am new to the forum and found this site while researching about how to find a breeder. After spending a few days staying up late reading posts, i have decided to join in. I am so excited and thankful to be part of this community.

I started out looking for a poodle to be my companion for long walks & jogs. I'm an artist, so work at home and would love my dog to hang out with me while I work. After failing to rescue a poodle, because it went to another family, or because I didn't feel experienced enough to care for the dog's trauma, I've come to the idea of seeking a breeder. But finding a breeder is about more than avoiding a puppy mill! There is so much to understand about the testing, nurturing- socialization, showing and homing of the dogs! What constitutes a "good breeder" is continually being re-defined... I have a few questions.

1.) I have seen a number of people post a preference for breeders who show their dogs. Is this important so as to instill a better puppy culture by the adult dogs, because they are more stimulated and engaged? I was trying to explain this to someone else, and realized, I didn't quite understand why it is important - are there beneficial things that come from that kind of environment?

2.) It seems like some breeders breed their own dogs with each other, and some look for partner poodles outside their own pool of poodles. I'm guessing this is to diversify the gene pool? How many dogs constitutes a "small" home breeder?

3.) The advice page strongly advises seeing the puppy with the mom. Would this be before you have put a deposit on your puppy, when you pick up or is a visit to the breeder before agreeing to a contract advisable and customary? So far, no breeder has invited me for a visit, but I've only spoken with 2 breeders.

4.) Although I see that there are big range of rates for puppies, how much should I expect to pay for a well bred family dog? I've seen 1200- 1500- 1800 and 2000 dollars up to 3500. I want to attend obedience classes, and hopefully more classes so that I can learn how to offer my dog stimulating and engaging interactions, but I don't want to show.

5.) Finally, I live just outside Chicago, and am willing to drive up to 8 hours to get a dog. Any recommendations for breeders is most welcome! I have been combing over the site to find recommendations too.

Thank you everyone, this is such a great forum. I look forward to posting a picture of my puppy or dog once he/she comes home!
Hi and Welcome!

I'll try to help with a couple of your questions. I'm just another poodle person, so my info is from the layman's perspective.

1/ Puppies from a show breeder are a happy coincidence. The reason for buying from a show breeder is because they are breeding their dogs to meet breed standards and maintain or improve the breed quality. "Showing" is generally Conformation, so, breed standards are upheld. Dogs from competition breeders are also desirable. Titles are great but it's the dog behind the title that counts. The breeder invests a lot in the dog because they feel the pup is a great example of the breed. The titles should show that the dog has very good qualities.

2/ Quality breeders are now researching pedigree and genetic traits which include health concerns, looking to improve "faults" in their dogs. So, yes, diversity but also health and physical traits, and temperament. A small home breeder is likely just producing 1-2 litters a year. Health testing is done on the breeding dogs to rule out known genetic diseases and is specific to the variety (size). Those results should be available from the breeder but may not be on the website.

3/ Seeing the pups with the dam, and sire if there, and littermates if any, is for a few reasons. First, you are presumably seeing them where they're raised and how. Is it in the home with the family? Kennels in a separate room or building? The breeder doesn't want you to see where they're raised?
The home environment is preferred for a normal "family" style upbringing. Here's where your question 1 comes in, for socialization. It's so important for puppies to learn from their own family certain behaviors and boundaries. They teach each other. Living in a home likely means they'll be exposed to humans and their activities, handling, grooming, so they get a head start on adapting to living with humans.

4/ $2000 is probably midrange. The range you mention goes to a rather high end, $1500-$2500 sounds more in line to me. Showing as a goal isn't the reason to consider pups from show parents. The qualities they bring and the assurance of being tested clear for certain genetic diseases are :).

5/ I keep some links handy for starting a search. The Upper Midwest and up over the border will have some good choices for you. Other members will drop by to give additional info, or correct me if I missed something.

This link should get you to pages which direct you to folks within PCA who can help with breeder referrals for your desired area.

These are AKC registered breeders but review their websites thoroughly. Look for OFA, CHIC health testing info in the site. If not on the website, ask the breeder to provide all health testing results and links (this will be on the dam and sire fyi). In fact, do that with any breeder you make contact with. A quality breeder will not hesitate to show the health documentation.

"Poodle Breeders" Standard Poodles, Miniature Poodles, Toy Poodles Breeders Directory!
All the breeders listed here are required to do appropriate health testing in order to list on that site.
Breeders here all do appropriate health testing.

Another site with multiple breeders listed. Use the same caution.

Most of us aren't breeders and don't have poodles for the purpose of showing, they are our loving companions. We are grateful tho to the breeders who do take the time and spend the money to prove and health test their dogs so we can have our healthy and well bred pets.
There are some sub forums here where you can find discussions of breeders recommended, and some, not so much. They're listed at the top of Poodle Talk.
If you use the Search at the top of any page, use Advanced search for breeders in your area.
Contact a few breeders to introduce yourself. Even if they don't have or don't offer what you're looking for, it can be a close knit community. They may know where to refer you.

-----------------
There's more links I'll add from PF as I think of them. Good Luck!


And as to looking for a dog that will just be your companion there are still plenty of reasons to seek the best bred dog from show lines you can.

I don’t want a show dog; I just want a pet.
by Joanna Kimball on July 13, 2010, 51 comments
"This is one of the most pervasive sentiments that puppy buyers, especially families, express when they're looking for a dog. What they really mean, of course, is that they don't want a show BREEDER – don't want to pay the high price they think show breeders charge, don't want to go through the often-invasive interview process, and think that they're getting a better deal or a real bargain because they can get a Lab for $300 or a Shepherd for $150. I want you to change your mind. I want you to not only realize the benefits of buying a show-bred dog, I want you to INSIST on a show-bred dog. And I want you to realize that the cheap dog is really the one that's the rip-off. And then I want you to go be obnoxious and, when your workmate says she's getting a puppy because her neighbor, who raises them, will give her one for free, or when your brother-in-law announces that they're buying a goldendoodle for the kids, I want you to launch yourself into their solar plexus and steal their wallets and their car keys.
Here's why:
If I ask you why you want a Maltese, or a Lab, or a Leonberger, or a Cardigan, I would bet you're not going to talk about how much you like their color. You're going to tell me things about personality, ability (to perform a specific task), relationships with other animals or humans, size, coat, temperament, and so on. You'll describe playing ball, or how affectionate you've heard that they are, or how well they get along with kids. The things you will be looking for aren't the things that describe just "dog"; they'll be the things that make this particular breed unique and unlike other breeds. That's where people have made the right initial decision – they've taken the time and made the effort to understand that there are differences between breeds and that they should get one that at least comes close to matching their picture of what they want a dog to be.
Their next step, tragically, is that they go out and find a dog of that breed for as little money and with as much ease as possible. You need to realize that when you do this, you're going to the used car dealership, WATCHING them pry the "Audi" plate off a new car, observing them as they use Bondo to stick it on a '98 Corolla, and then writing them a check and feeling smug that you got an Audi for so little. It is no bargain. Those things that distinguish the breed you want from the generic world of "dog" are only there because somebody worked really hard to get them there. And as soon as that work ceases, the dog, no matter how purebred, begins to revert to the generic. That doesn't mean you won't get a good dog – the magic and the blessing of dogs is that they are so hard to mess up, in their good souls and minds, that even the most hideously bred one can still be a great dog – but it will not be a good Shepherd, or good Puli, or a good Cardigan. You will not get the specialized abilities, tendencies, or talents of the breed. If you don't NEED those special abilities or the predictability of a particular breed, you should not be buying a dog at all. You should go rescue one. That way you're saving a life and not putting money in pockets where it does not belong. If you want a purebred and you know that a rescue is not going to fit the bill, the absolute WORST thing you can do is assume that a name equals anything. They really are nothing more than name plates on cars. What matters is whether the engineering and design and service department back up the name plate, so you have some expectation that you're walking away with more than a label. Keeping a group of dogs looking and acting like their breed is hard, HARD work. If you do not get the impression that the breeder you're considering is working that hard, is that dedicated to the breed, is struggling to produce dogs that are more than a breed name, you are getting no bargain; you are only getting ripped off."
 

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There are many smaller responsible standard breeders within driving distance of Chicago. Here are some that I included on my list 4 years ago when I was searching for a pup. Also, an excellent resource for how to find a poodle is the Versatility in Poodles organization,
Home - Versatility In Poodles, Inc.. They provide sample questions to ask a breeder when phoning.


I also spoke to Cherie with Arreau in Canada. At the time it was more challenging to import a poodle (due to rabies vaccine requirements that equate to age), but this has changed so Canadian breeders may be another option.

In my opinion, there is no shortage of good breeders. They may not heavily advertise so aren’t always easy to find. I asked the breeders that I spoke with if I could talk with current owners of their dogs. Once you identify some possibilities, you could search the forum for feedback or ask members specifically for information about them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi and Welcome!

I'll try to help with a couple of your questions. I'm just another poodle person, so my info is from the layman's perspective.

1/ Puppies from a show breeder are a happy coincidence. The reason for buying from a show breeder is because they are breeding their dogs to meet breed standards and maintain or improve the breed quality. "Showing" is generally Conformation, so, breed standards are upheld. Dogs from competition breeders are also desirable. Titles are great but it's the dog behind the title that counts. The breeder invests a lot in the dog because they feel the pup is a great example of the breed. The titles should show that the dog has very good qualities.

2/ Quality breeders are now researching pedigree and genetic traits which include health concerns, looking to improve "faults" in their dogs. So, yes, diversity but also health and physical traits, and temperament. A small home breeder is likely just producing 1-2 litters a year. Health testing is done on the breeding dogs to rule out known genetic diseases and is specific to the variety (size). Those results should be available from the breeder but may not be on the website.

3/ Seeing the pups with the dam, and sire if there, and littermates if any, is for a few reasons. First, you are presumably seeing them where they're raised and how. Is it in the home with the family? Kennels in a separate room or building? The breeder doesn't want you to see where they're raised?
The home environment is preferred for a normal "family" style upbringing. Here's where your question 1 comes in, for socialization. It's so important for puppies to learn from their own family certain behaviors and boundaries. They teach each other. Living in a home likely means they'll be exposed to humans and their activities, handling, grooming, so they get a head start on adapting to living with humans.

4/ $2000 is probably midrange. The range you mention goes to a rather high end, $1500-$2500 sounds more in line to me. Showing as a goal isn't the reason to consider pups from show parents. The qualities they bring and the assurance of being tested clear for certain genetic diseases are :).

5/ I keep some links handy for starting a search. The Upper Midwest and up over the border will have some good choices for you. Other members will drop by to give additional info, or correct me if I missed something.

This link should get you to pages which direct you to folks within PCA who can help with breeder referrals for your desired area.

These are AKC registered breeders but review their websites thoroughly. Look for OFA, CHIC health testing info in the site. If not on the website, ask the breeder to provide all health testing results and links (this will be on the dam and sire fyi). In fact, do that with any breeder you make contact with. A quality breeder will not hesitate to show the health documentation.

"Poodle Breeders" Standard Poodles, Miniature Poodles, Toy Poodles Breeders Directory!
All the breeders listed here are required to do appropriate health testing in order to list on that site.
Breeders here all do appropriate health testing.

Another site with multiple breeders listed. Use the same caution.

Most of us aren't breeders and don't have poodles for the purpose of showing, they are our loving companions. We are grateful tho to the breeders who do take the time and spend the money to prove and health test their dogs so we can have our healthy and well bred pets.
There are some sub forums here where you can find discussions of breeders recommended, and some, not so much. They're listed at the top of Poodle Talk.
If you use the Search at the top of any page, use Advanced search for breeders in your area.
Contact a few breeders to introduce yourself. Even if they don't have or don't offer what you're looking for, it can be a close knit community. They may know where to refer you.

-----------------
There's more links I'll add from PF as I think of them. Good Luck!


And as to looking for a dog that will just be your companion there are still plenty of reasons to seek the best bred dog from show lines you can.

I don’t want a show dog; I just want a pet.
by Joanna Kimball on July 13, 2010, 51 comments
"This is one of the most pervasive sentiments that puppy buyers, especially families, express when they're looking for a dog. What they really mean, of course, is that they don't want a show BREEDER – don't want to pay the high price they think show breeders charge, don't want to go through the often-invasive interview process, and think that they're getting a better deal or a real bargain because they can get a Lab for $300 or a Shepherd for $150. I want you to change your mind. I want you to not only realize the benefits of buying a show-bred dog, I want you to INSIST on a show-bred dog. And I want you to realize that the cheap dog is really the one that's the rip-off. And then I want you to go be obnoxious and, when your workmate says she's getting a puppy because her neighbor, who raises them, will give her one for free, or when your brother-in-law announces that they're buying a goldendoodle for the kids, I want you to launch yourself into their solar plexus and steal their wallets and their car keys.
Here's why:
If I ask you why you want a Maltese, or a Lab, or a Leonberger, or a Cardigan, I would bet you're not going to talk about how much you like their color. You're going to tell me things about personality, ability (to perform a specific task), relationships with other animals or humans, size, coat, temperament, and so on. You'll describe playing ball, or how affectionate you've heard that they are, or how well they get along with kids. The things you will be looking for aren't the things that describe just "dog"; they'll be the things that make this particular breed unique and unlike other breeds. That's where people have made the right initial decision – they've taken the time and made the effort to understand that there are differences between breeds and that they should get one that at least comes close to matching their picture of what they want a dog to be.
Their next step, tragically, is that they go out and find a dog of that breed for as little money and with as much ease as possible. You need to realize that when you do this, you're going to the used car dealership, WATCHING them pry the "Audi" plate off a new car, observing them as they use Bondo to stick it on a '98 Corolla, and then writing them a check and feeling smug that you got an Audi for so little. It is no bargain. Those things that distinguish the breed you want from the generic world of "dog" are only there because somebody worked really hard to get them there. And as soon as that work ceases, the dog, no matter how purebred, begins to revert to the generic. That doesn't mean you won't get a good dog – the magic and the blessing of dogs is that they are so hard to mess up, in their good souls and minds, that even the most hideously bred one can still be a great dog – but it will not be a good Shepherd, or good Puli, or a good Cardigan. You will not get the specialized abilities, tendencies, or talents of the breed. If you don't NEED those special abilities or the predictability of a particular breed, you should not be buying a dog at all. You should go rescue one. That way you're saving a life and not putting money in pockets where it does not belong. If you want a purebred and you know that a rescue is not going to fit the bill, the absolute WORST thing you can do is assume that a name equals anything. They really are nothing more than name plates on cars. What matters is whether the engineering and design and service department back up the name plate, so you have some expectation that you're walking away with more than a label. Keeping a group of dogs looking and acting like their breed is hard, HARD work. If you do not get the impression that the breeder you're considering is working that hard, is that dedicated to the breed, is struggling to produce dogs that are more than a breed name, you are getting no bargain; you are only getting ripped off."
Oh my, thank you so much for good information and advice. I will check the links above and continue to research. This is really an evolving education for me, and I'm looking forward to feeling confidant about choosing a breeder and with their help, my future companion!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There are many smaller responsible standard breeders within driving distance of Chicago. Here are some that I included on my list 4 years ago when I was searching for a pup. Also, an excellent resource for how to find a poodle is the Versatility in Poodles organization,
Home - Versatility In Poodles, Inc.. They provide sample questions to ask a breeder when phoning.


I also spoke to Cherie with Arreau in Canada. At the time it was more challenging to import a poodle (due to rabies vaccine requirements that equate to age), but this has changed so Canadian breeders may be another option.

In my opinion, there is no shortage of good breeders. They may not heavily advertise so aren’t always easy to find. I asked the breeders that I spoke with if I could talk with current owners of their dogs. Once you identify some possibilities, you could search the forum for feedback or ask members specifically for information about them.
Thank you! I started a spreadsheet last night to keep a list. I also emailed Cherie at Arreau with just that question about importing a Canadian dog to the US. I have not heard of Versatility in Poodles before, so I look forward to visiting that site, sounds very helpful, -as I have been wondering if I'm asking the right questions.

Many thanks again!
 

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LOL! I also started with a spreadsheet! With too many data fields. The puppy search was pretty stressful for me, and at one point I was concerned that I’d make it on more than one list. But I believe that things work out as they’re meant to. After 4 years of following the PF (and traveling to shows with my spoo’s breeder) I’ve learned a lot and I’ll be more patient for the next puppy.

One criteria that was important to me was for the breeder to make puppy placements based on their assessment of the puppy personalities compared to prospective owner’s desires. There are other breeders who use ‘first come, first served.’

I’m kinda hooked on puppy searches. There are a bunch of breeders that I follow just to see what type of matches they’re making and how the puppies turn out. You never know! (It’s a common topic in my agility group and I hope that we all get our next puppies at the same time so that we can bring them up together.)
 

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Rose n Poos thanks for reposting the blog piece that is my usual answer about working with breeders who show. I also will add for myself that I think breeders who show tend to produce pups with better temperaments than some others. A dog that can earn a Ch or CCh title will have to have loads of tolerance for being handled for the show ring, being around many other dogs and also for being driven around, being in noisy show environments and all sorts of conditions that may make many dogs melt.
 

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Have fun in the process of looking. You can really meet some lovely people along the way. I phoned, instead of using the website inquiry forms. Breeders have busy lives, so I left a message that I was a serious, qualified buyer, that they had been recommended by PF, or whomever, and to call when it was convenient. If you have found a breeder that you feel comfortable with, don’t be put off with the news that the next planned litter is sold. People drop out all the time. Another option is to put a deposit on the next litter and get a priority pick. I commend your due diligence. You won’t regret taking time finding your best match.
 

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LOL! I also started with a spreadsheet! With too many data fields. The puppy search was pretty stressful for me, and at one point I was concerned that I’d make it on more than one list. But I believe that things work out as they’re meant to. After 4 years of following the PF (and traveling to shows with my spoo’s breeder) I’ve learned a lot and I’ll be more patient for the next puppy.

One criteria that was important to me was for the breeder to make puppy placements based on their assessment of the puppy personalities compared to prospective owner’s desires. There are other breeders who use ‘first come, first served.’

I’m kinda hooked on puppy searches. There are a bunch of breeders that I follow just to see what type of matches they’re making and how the puppies turn out. You never know! (It’s a common topic in my agility group and I hope that we all get our next puppies at the same time so that we can bring them up together.)
Thank you for the encouragement! I'm hoping that the breeder will match me to the puppy that's right for me.
 

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Rose n Poos thanks for reposting the blog piece that is my usual answer about working with breeders who show. I also will add for myself that I think breeders who show tend to produce pups with better temperaments than some others. A dog that can earn a Ch or CCh title will have to have loads of tolerance for being handled for the show ring, being around many other dogs and also for being driven around, being in noisy show environments and all sorts of conditions that may make many dogs melt.
I keep going back to re read it! lots of helpful advice. So helpful to have.
 
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