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Hello to everyone!

I am new to the forum so please apologise if I make any mistakes in following the correct etiquette or if I use any incorrect terminology (I'm still trying to learn as much as possible). :) I am looking for a Toy or small Miniature poodle in any of the brown shades (Brown, Cafè, Silver Beige) or Red. In terms of temperament I prefer a dog to be very cuddly and slightly on the lazy side (rather than a very high-drive dog). Despite the very high demand due to COVID-19, I was able to narrow down my selection to around five breeders (after contacting more than 30!). The breeders that would meet my overall requirements for size, color, expected DOB are the following:

Aria's Friends already emailed me the results of the OFA hips examination for both parents of the sire which resulted in a evaluation of "good". On the dam's side, only the sire was tested for OFA good for hips and OFA normal and no indication of luxation patella’s was found. I was told that "some" of their poodles have had their eyes tested, but not all of them, since they "have been breeding poodles for over 30 years and haven’t had a single eye problem". They also "have their separate bloodlines so they know the lineage and if there were to be any health issues. They "offer the LIFETIME genetic health guarantee on all of their puppies since they're confident with their health and stand behind them life- long. The puppies are also vet checked prior to going to their new homes."

Regarding Amity Kennels, Anne seemed very experienced and knowledgeable. I just had the impression that she is an extremely busy person, so I wonder if they have enough time to dedicate to each puppy and socialize them enough during their first 10 weeks after birth? Also, she requested a 50% cheque deposit to be mailed to her before the litter is born. Do you know if this is a common request by the breeder? I was a bit surprised by the amount, since normally breeders only require a deposit of approx. 10-30%. She said she would return the check if the litter would not produce a puppy with the necessary requirements.

Safranne poodles also seems to have very beautiful and active dogs, but, if I understand correctly, from what I could read on her website - she does not provide any health guarantee after the dog is sold: "As indicated in the purchase contracts I have exercised every practice known as an ethical breeder at this time to produce sound, healthy Miniature Poodle puppies; no other health guarantee is offered or implied." Source: Safranne Poodles, Specializing in Performance Miniature Poodles, Winona, MN

Do you have any experience with any of these breeders or would you be able to tell by checking their website if they are all reliable and transparent enough (especially about the puppies health and early training/socialization)?

Thank you in advance for any support and suggestions! :)
 

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Hi and Welcome to PF!

You've narrowed down to two breeders that I'd feel comfortable recommending following up with, Amity and Safranne, two that I'm not knowledgeable on, Azizi and Aria's friends (but I'll go look at their sites and review Safranne's again), and one that I had contact with when I was on my quest and did not feel met my personal criteria, Krista's Poodles.

Next thing I'll do is drop in my personal list for choosing a breeder. Krista did not meet several of those criteria so I left her in my rear view mirror. I also had several email exchanges with Anne of Amity. I would have proceeded with her comfortably, and yes, some breeders are asking for a larger deposit so if you like her otherwise, don't rule out on that account.

Two things that are pretty non-negotiable for me are proper, documented, health testing for the variety they're breeding and being able to visit the breeder, dam, and puppies where they live. In compiling the Breeder List I'm also going to drop a link to, I've learned that few breeders do the full minimum recommended, if OFA is the only source you have to check. It's also possible for sire's and dam's to be "cleared by parentage" for one generation, per OFA, for some of the testing and it's also true that some, especially long time breeders, will know the pedigrees and lines so well that they don't feel some of the testing isn't needed because it hasn't presented in the lines. Eventually, you find the best combination of proof of much of what you're looking for and confidence in the breeder standing behibd thei pups and new families, whatever happens.

If you have the kennel name, or the dog's registry name of number, you can search the OFA site yourself. If the results are published there, you'll find them. That link is in my criteria list below:

My Personal Breeder Requirements
My criteria need not be yours but I think it's important for a potential poodle owner to understand why these criteria are important in choosing a conscientious breeder and to get a wellbred puppy to share life with for many years to come.
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.
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.

Breeding Program
! to maintain, improve, strengthen the breed
by breeding to standard, for health and genetic diversity,
and will prove their dogs meet these standards by showing or competing
or by breeding from titled parents. It's not the title, but what it shows
! focus is on quality, never quantity
! they do not cross breed
! they limit breeding to one to two breeds
! they limit breeding to only a few litters per year *

Breeding Parents
! registry information available
AKC Registry Lookup
! not too old or young for breeding
! not overbred
see Asking questions from a breeder
and Frequency of Breeding a Bitch
! genetic health testing done appropriate to breed and variety
! other health testing by exam such as annual eye, hips, patellas
! results of testing on own website, OFA site or testing lab
see Health Related Publications - Versatility In Poodles, Inc.
and OFA Lookup https://www.ofa.org/look-up-a-dog

Living Conditions
! in home with family
! breeder allows, even encourages home visits

Puppies
! routine and urgent vet care, immunizations, dewormings
! socialization
! first groomings
! registry papers
! they will not require spay/neuter before physical maturity
! health "guarantee" generally favors the breeder, not the buyer.
health guarantee is no replacement for health testing of dam and sire.
beginning housetraining is a bonus
temperament testing is helpful

Advertising
! individual website to detail history of breeder, goals for their program
! information on dams, sires, puppies
! no trend pricing for color, gender or size,
! no marketing gimmick terms like "teacup" "royal"


! Anything not found on a public online site should be provided by breeder before buying.

* Many people prefer small scale breeders because they feel the puppies will have better socialization and it's very unlikely to be a puppy mill-like operation.
This doesn't mean that larger scale breeders can't do things right. The breeder of record may not be hands on with every pup or poodle on the place but they should make sure that all the quality of life and attention are paid to all their dogs.

If a breeder wants me to believe that they believe in their dogs, they won't stop the investment when it comes time to find the new families. If they want to cut costs by using free advertising sites like craigslist or listing on retail marketplaces like puppyspot or puppyfind, or other classified ad sites such as newspapers, I wonder what else they've cut costs on.

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.
Happy Puppy Hunting!

The link to the List is below. There are resources there beyond breeder names that might be helpful.

Back with updates in bit...
 

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I personally would pass on Azizi for several reasons. I'll list some. They're using terms that are not breed standard, such as "chocolate" brown (no matter if accurate), "teacup" poodle, their warranty makes no mention of exactly what health tests were done on the breeding parents, and specifically rules out conditions don't usually become life-impacting til after 1 year of age, and, that if testing had been done, wouldn't need to be so guarded in the warranty wording.

Personally, the more exclusions I see in a contract/warranty and the more any breeder stipulates for "won't do", "must do", the less I want to have to rely on them for the next 15 years, if we're lucky.

I'm also never happy with the phrasing of "ordering" a puppy. This isn't a pizza or a washing machine but a companion for myself and my family.

Aria's Friends is also one I would pass on. "Chocolate" again, pricing by color and size is just marketing - what the market will bear (it's not s if it takes more or costs more to breed this size vs that size, this color vs that color) and mixed breeding suggests to me that purebred's are not their focus.

They don't seem to be breeding poodles to poodles to improve the future of poodles. I didn't feel an interest to look any further at their site.


Safranne is a well known, long time breeder. I'd be very comfortable following up with them,


The wording that concerns you is predicated on their purchase contract "As indicated in the purchase contracts I have exercised every practice known as an ethical breeder at this time to produce sound, healthy Miniature Poodle puppies...".

I'd ask to see their purchase contract, and I'm hopeful that it will look rather different from Azizi's.

I didn't limit the OFA search for Amity to just poodles, but the non-poodles are not theirs (or at least are not a mixed breed).

To recap:
I'd be comfortable following up with for myself or recommending to someone else Amity or Safranne.

I would not be interested in following up with for myself or suggesting to someone else Azizi, Aria's Friends, or Krista's.

When you start looking thru the OFA results and start looking thru the other kennel names that they choose to breed with and to, and for many years in some kennel's cases, you get a feel for who has been breeding poodles with not just a love for the breed, but with an eye to breeding sound, healthy, beautiful poodles for the future.
 
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@fedi_a, Rose covered it well, so I'll only add this.

As you search for a toy or miniature poodle, here are the DNA conditions that parents should have been tested for. Make sure you see original documentation.This is done with a simple saliva test. Also ask any breeder for documentation that the parents were vet checked for normal patellas (knees). This is to vastly lower the odds your puppy won't end up with luxating patellas, which depending on the severity, often requires expensive surgery.
 

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Vita is correct. There are many tests that can be done. Generally the focus for recommendations are the OFA/CHIC recommended tests as the minimum (with some allowed exceptions mentioned in previous post). I would want to see any testing that the breeder states has been done with my own eyes at the source. If OFA, the info should be there, if PawPrint or any other lab that does testing of the DNA conditions, those results can be set to be seen by the breeder on the site. Trust and verify :).

There are conditions more common than others, some that are quite rare, and some that the results are technically only good at the time of testing, which is why some tests are repeated periodically to be current.

So as not to get paralyzed by the testing portion of the equation, it helps to know what's most likely to be a consideration, and what's most likely to have a serious impact on health and life. It's very unusual for breeders to do all these tests, so deciding what will be acceptable risks for you and your pup will help you navigate thru this part of choosing a breeder.

The OFA/CHIC testing for the varieties of poodles is primarily phenotype testing (loosely means physical expression of the DNA determined by physical exams, xrays etc, lab testing of samples...) with the exception of PRA prcd for toys and minis. That is DNA (genotype) testing and there are many more conditions which can be tested for.

I've noticed that many toy breeders only mention the PRA prcd testing, so that's an asking point.

Being a carrier is generally not an issue for a non-breeding pet. Breeders are using these results to try to breed away from the diseases or conditions so poodles will have a healthier future.
 
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Rose n Poos said everything I would say. If Safranne doesn't offer a health guarantee I'd say it's a bit unusual but it's something I would probably be okay with when it's a breeder that has many generations of health tested dogs and is very well respected with in the performance/show community. I think my own dog's contract had a 6 month guarantee against congenital/hereditary issues that cause death of the dog. But that's also on the lighter side. I care more about health testing of the parents because health guarantees often aren't as useful as you might think. They typically heavily favor the breeder. I'm also suspicious when a breeder has a health guarantee that excludes certain heritable conditions. Often times health guarantees are a breeder's excuse for not health testing the parents so they can say the puppies are "guaranteed" anyway. So I wouldn't say it's a deal breaker for me if all other conditions are met.

With Amity, I would follow up but I would make sure I was super clear on what is meant when she says "if the litter would not produce a puppy with the necessary requirements." I would want to know if this includes all the things that may be important to you like temperament, sex, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so much Rose, Vita and Raindrops for your detailed feedback! :) This is all extremely useful information which will guide me through the choice of my final breeder. After reading some previous posts on PF I was aware that only Safranne and Amity Kennels were more renowned breeders, while I had not found much information (if anything at all) about the other three breeders, that's why I decided to ask for your opinions about the remaining three. I'm very glad I did! :)
 
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