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Would you get a poodle from a doodle or merle breeder?

  • No, they would be off my list

  • Yes, if they were otherwise reputable

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I am currently looking for my first poodle and have been researching breeders in my area. I am wondering if a breeder that breeds standard poodles as well as poodle mixes or merle poodles (two different breeders) should be off my list for that reason alone. Both breeders are CKC registered, do health testing, have a health guarantee, lifetime take-back policy and seem selective in picking homes for their puppies. From their facebook pages and reviews they do not seem like a back yard breeder or puppy mill situation. We haven't met either in person yet but they do require that before getting a puppy so we would be meeting them and the parents and be seeing the kennel/home to get a better feeling about it if we were to go forward with one of them. Should I steer clear of these breeders solely because they offer poodle mixes or merles? Would that be a deal breaker for you? A lot of other breeders I've contacted have 2+ year wait-lists (which is fine but I would like to have a dog sooner if possible), are out of my budget or just have not replied to me at all so I just want to make sure I am making a smart decision and not an impulsive one. Can a doodle/merle breeder be ethical?
 

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I would never buy a puppy that in doing so would mean I was supporting breeding of mixes. That would apply to both mentioned breeders since the merle gene (which is accompanied by a host of problems in its own) does not naturally occur in poodles, meaning that there are non-poodles in the background of those lines. I would run away.

These breeders can be ethical or not, just a breeders of poodles can be ethical or not.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Merle poodles are a hard pass for reasons mentioned above.

At least in theory, I'm more lenient of poodle crosses. There are ethical breeders trying to establish a new breed, whether they're Golden Doodles or Labradoodles or whatever else is out there now. In practice, however, I don't know how I'd discern which breeders are ethical, or how far along they are in ensuring the health and temperament that I wanted.
 

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If you are looking for a purebred poodle, then no. If not, I would still make sure that the breeder is reputable before adopting. If you can adopt a mixbreed and the breeder is reputable, I would consider the breeder.
 

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I would definitely pass. I’m horrified at how pricey these mixed breeds (they’re basically mutts who used to cost 50$ before this designer dog trend started) cost. You can see them at 3-4 times the cost of well bred dogs, and they can’t even be registered.

As for merle poodles, they’re not purebred, so to me that’s just another way to make more money by selling «rare» dogs.
 

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Merle poodles are a hard pass for reasons mentioned above.

At least in theory, I'm more lenient of poodle crosses. There are ethical breeders trying to establish a new breed, whether they're Golden Doodles or Labradoodles or whatever else is out there now. In practice, however, I don't know how I'd discern which breeders are ethical, or how far along they are in ensuring the health and temperament that I wanted.
I agree with Liz. I would not be interested in a breeder breeding merles as you could end up with a puppy with a merle gene (and possibly all the accompanying health issues) without even knowing it. While I personally am not interested in a doodle, I would not immediately rule out a doodle breeder if they checked ALL my other boxes. But that’s just my opinion. :)
 

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Hi and Welcome!

Puppy fever is well understood here :).

That said, you're smart to question and research what makes a conscientious, quality breeder.

As lily cd re wrote with confirmation by the others, as well as various genetic studies, the merle gene is not naturally occurring in the poodle genetic makeup so it was introduced to poodles by another breed.

This particular link is not from a study but cites many of them:

That means that, a merle poodle is not a purebred poodle and any further breedings of that merle poodle may very adversely affect offspring and future generations.

Additionally, I wonder what quality of poodles would be used? A conscientious, quality breeder would simply not allow their dogs to be crossbred, knowingly. This is a big reason why full registration, including breeding right of their puppies and official registration of their offspring is so carefully thought out and contracted.

Excluding merles, regarding crossbreeding, as Liz mentioned there are organizations such as the ALAA
Home-ALAA
is working to create a new, genetically stable and reproducible breed of the poodle and lab. Sires and dams are health tested to their respective breed standards (see OFA https://www.ofa.org/ for those standards). This is a goal which will take many generations. Again, I wonder about the quality of the poodles (and I'm sure lab enthusiasts feel the same) that are bred.

I have a hard time imagining myself deliberately supporting a breeder who's producing merles or mixed breeds. Quality purebred poodle breeders are doing so much, health and diversity testing, studying pedigrees and on to bring us the best poodles we can have. I want to support their efforts.
 

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At least in theory, I'm more lenient of poodle crosses. There are ethical breeders trying to establish a new breed, whether they're Golden Doodles or Labradoodles or whatever else is out there now. In practice, however, I don't know how I'd discern which breeders are ethical, or how far along they are in ensuring the health and temperament that I wanted.
The breeder I got Willow from occasionally produced Goldendoodles. I know on the poodle side her stud is UKC champion (parti poodle, AKC registered as well) has had all recommended genetic testing and OFA. It was obviously not a deal breaker for me. I don’t know anything about the golden female but based on how she runs the poodle side of her business I would expect at minimum the golden had appropriate genetic testing and OFA as well.


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Doodle breeders tend to be very profit focused. When I'm looking for a poodle I want a breeder that is focused on producing good healthy poodles that continue the lines that preserve the dogs we love so much.

Merle poodles are not good for the breed. I have stated before in other threads why they are a bad idea. Even if it was naturally occurring, which it wasn't. Any breeder breeding merles is not reputable in my eyes. In other breeds with merle it must be carefully managed. It should not be introduced to a new breed like poodles.
 

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I am fine with Doodles. I'd personally love a Labradoodle or Aussiedoodle in due time, if I went the Doodle route. Currently it seems like Miniature Australian Shepherds (and possibly a Standard Poodle) from here on out though. I am also fine with people breeding, ALMOST, anything - so long as it's to the same morals, and at least somewhat the standards (that's another topic though), of what is considered a reputable breeder. Sure, there are many dogs in shelters needing homes, but that isn't always the route a person wishes to go. And I don't feel it's everyone's responsibility to pick up after those who decide to dump their dogs in shelters, need to bring their dog to a shelter for any reason, breeders not screening their homes and unfit or incorrect homes for such dog deciding to bring their dogs to the shelter because they also didn't research, irresponsible breeders dumping puppies they couldn't sell, etc. Don't get me wrong, I support rescue as well, and would adopt (and currently have two rescue dogs I took in), but also would go to a breeder of what I desired over adopting - even if the breed or mix I wanted was available at the time.
Whether for a mix or a purebred. Paying that amount, is a personal choice, I'm not positive I'd pay that much myself, but if it came down to a puppy I'd really like of a certain breed from a certain breeder, maybe. Though, those who are greedy and selling for that high of price because of demand, I wouldn't consider to be a good breeder, and wouldn't trust their breeding program or them as people.

As for Doodles as breeds, depending on the mix - of course you'll get different personalities and types. I've also heard within each individual Doodle breeds, that there is inconsistency. I don't have much experience with any Doodles though. I've only met one Miniature Goldendoodle and one Labradoodle. Both of which were quite rambunctious, but very nice dogs.
 

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I honestly don't know what I'd do anymore. I like doodles well most of them but I won't pay the kind of money they ask for a mix especially since many of them don't have a genetic background on their breeding stock. However I do see some that are health testing and have been breeding to improve their line of doodle. So I think you need to check health tests before plunking down any money. I don't know much about merle or its problems. If I were to buy a breed that isn't recognized as allowing that color I would not buy but I don't know how it would affect mix breed dogs.
 

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The doodle breeders around me do not seem to guarantee health beyond one year, which is a bit of a red flag, and the cost is insane. The nearest doodle breeder charges $3000 for a doodle puppy with three poodle grandparents, with vague promises of good 'lines' but no actual testing results available - and oh yes, you can't visit. Pick your puppy from a photo!

I was honestly shocked when I started enquiring with Better Bred poodle breeders to find that a purebred puppy with OFA-tested parents and grandparents would actually be considerably cheaper than a cross-bred labradoodle or goldendoodle without any meaningful testing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone for the replies, the puppy fever is real here so its helpful to get some feedback from poodle lovers. Just to clarify we aren't interested in getting a poodle mix or a merle poodle, I'm just considering if these breeders should be out of the question because of the fact that they breed doodles or merles as well as purebred standard poodles in solid colours. I agree with what everyone is saying about breeding merles and mixes in general, my dilemma is coming from the fact that otherwise they offer what I'm looking for in a breeder.
 

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The doodle breeders around me do not seem to guarantee health beyond one year, which is a bit of a red flag, and the cost is insane. The nearest doodle breeder charges $3000 for a doodle puppy with three poodle grandparents, with vague promises of good 'lines' but no actual testing results available - and oh yes, you can't visit. Pick your puppy from a photo!

I was honestly shocked when I started enquiring with Better Bred poodle breeders to find that a purebred puppy with OFA-tested parents and grandparents would actually be considerably cheaper than a cross-bred labradoodle or goldendoodle without any meaningful testing.
This is so true, re reading...if I wanted a poodle what I wouldn't do is buy one from someone who sells doodles. (just not ethical in my opinion) I think your either into poodles and their genetic testing or your into doodles and whatever is their testing. Regardless I would want to see testing as both breeds have genetic health issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The doodle breeders around me do not seem to guarantee health beyond one year, which is a bit of a red flag, and the cost is insane. The nearest doodle breeder charges $3000 for a doodle puppy with three poodle grandparents, with vague promises of good 'lines' but no actual testing results available - and oh yes, you can't visit. Pick your puppy from a photo!

I was honestly shocked when I started enquiring with Better Bred poodle breeders to find that a purebred puppy with OFA-tested parents and grandparents would actually be considerably cheaper than a cross-bred labradoodle or goldendoodle without any meaningful testing.
Both of these breeders have a two year guarantee and price wise are at the lower end of normal for my area.
 

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I understood that you were not looking for a doodle but I still would cross these breeders off because they are producing dogs that I don't think should be purpose bred even if they have what you are looking for. As a loose analogy if you wanted to buy a computer but the company also promoted policies that interfered with net neutrality then I would look for a different company producing computers that would be useful to me but that was an active advocate in favor of net neutrality.
 

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I’m surprised by the number of people who voted they would buy a poodle from someone who breeds “merle poodles”. Merle poodles are a mix, they are not a poodle. I wouldn’t trust them because those “poodles“ they are selling are probably the puppies from the merle x poodle breeding that didn’t come out with a merle pattern. IOW you are unlikely to get a quality, 100% poodle puppy from this kind of breeder. It’s doubtful the poodle parents will have all the appropriate testing done, nor will care be put into choosing the right dam and sire to achieve a health quality puppy.

My friends who breed often travel great distances and spend a lot of time researching before they find the right dog to breed to their dam. OTOH I know someone with a smart and sweet mini poodle with very bad conformation (including short legs) who will use him as a stud dog to anyone willing to pay the price. I suspect he’s part of the DNA of a number of poodle mixes in my community.

I’ve seen several vision impaired deaf double merle mixes and it’s sad to see dogs that were deliberately bred with lose of vision and hearing to have more expensive pretty merle puppies to sell for high prices.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I understood that you were not looking for a doodle but I still would cross these breeders off because they are producing dogs that I don't think should be purpose bred even if they have what you are looking for. As a loose analogy if you wanted to buy a computer but the company also promoted policies that interfered with net neutrality then I would look for a different company producing computers that would be useful to me but that was an active advocate in favor of net neutrality.
No that's a good analogy and really reflects how I'm feeling. If it's not ethical to breed merles and mixes than it doesn't really matter what else they're doing. I do want to support a breeder that is passionate about breeding the best poodles possible, its just a little disheartening not hearing back from some or facing a two year wait. But I think we will keep waiting.
 
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