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First off, I'm not looking to get a poodle until 2022, that will be after I graduate from my masters program.

I have a few breeders in mind, they don't breed very often maybe 2-3 liters a year at most and since they are reputable they are in demand. How soon should I talk to them to discuss getting a puppy?

I think that two years would be a little too soon, but they also don't breed that often so idk how soon to actually start discussing with breeders. And life can change so much in that amount of time. Yes, I am saving up for a dog, but who knows what could happen as two years is a long time out!

I also don't want to wait too long to talk to them, I am planning on my pup being a therapy dog. My masters is in behavior analysis and I would absolutely love for my pup to help me in my work with kiddos with autism. So, if in the year 2022 a puppy pops up and the breeder thinks that this dog would make a wonderful prospect for therapy work, I want to have that pup! (I am also well aware that any puppy I get might not actually be fit for the work, I don't mind changing career paths for the pup if needed.)

Anyways, decided to reach out to you lovely people to help me in this process.

Thank you!
 

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Hi and Welcome!

I think it wouldn't hurt to make preliminary contact any time now. By getting acquainted with a few, you'll learn things from each encounter. Let them know what your goals are and when you hope to be in a position to go for them, then ask each breeder when they think would be a good time frame to get back in contact.
 

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I contacted my breeder of choice, what ended up being, two years ahead of time. My needs were very specific, as were my wishes, and I was willing to wait. I emailed a cover letter to introduce myself and we stayed in touch that way until she had a litter that she thought was going to meet my needs. I needed a service dog prospect, and wanted a blue and white parti. When the dam was confirmed in whelp, I sent a deposit. The pup were born, and it did not take the breeder long to choose my pup. Needless to say it had taken me a lot longer to choose my puppy breeder. Funny thing happened, was that my daughter also needed a new service dog, and I was able to secure the last unspoken for pup in the litter for her.We joke and say that I waited two years for a pup and she waited one week. Her pup earned his CGC certificate before he was six months old. Both dogs are now working service dogs, and we are very pleased with them, and the breeder. Best of luck in your search.
 
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