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Now they are saying my deposit was my promise to purchase her? They can’t actually force me to pay the balance can they?? ($500 deposit, $3k total)
No they cannot. That is why it is a deposit and not paid in full. A deposit is a placeholder. I agree this does not sound like a good breeder. I agree with Rose n Poos that perhaps the PCA has little knowledge of this breeder. As I don't know their name, I cannot comment on any reputation they might have. They are within their right to refuse you the deposit back but you certainly have the right to back out. I am liking this breeder less and less as I hear more about them. It's true that you should have done more research on whether the allergy aspect would work out and what would happen if it didn't, but the breeder sounds like they are not trying to work with you at all.

If you are certain you want to back out, I would cut your losses and consider it a lesson learned. And after some time, if you decide you do want a puppy, you know the important questions you need to be asking.
 

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This whole thread has been so strange to me!
If I lived anywhere near you I would say " Bring your boys over! My Spoo would love them and they and you would absolutely love him! ". I so wish you lived here. There would have been absolutely no question in your mind that you would absolutely want a well bred Standard Poodle!!!

I think you have somehow allowed yourself to get a total wrong impression of poodles, probably from handlers/owners that did not raise and train their Standard Poodles in a loving yet superbly trained manner. But that is what you have chosen to do instead of look for loving examples.

You need to look at yourself. Why did you not go visit with poodles before you started this search? Why did you not take your children to go visit them? Why did you not become familiar with the breeder? Are you deliberately trying to fail? Sorry, I am 74 and am now straightforward in my remarks. Who knows how much time is left, I might as well say it the way I see it.

To me it was critical to get to know the breeder and her dogs, and after 11 years we still sometimes communicate! If you can't have a relationship with the breeder, what will you do if you need information?

And why are you being secretive on here? We are here to help you! But you do not even bother to tell us who the breeder is. There is absolutely no way any of the excellent trainers and owners on here can give you any advice with what you have told us. Mea Culpa
Actually being 74 doesn’t give you the right to just say whatever you want. You have now, but wow very rude.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
@kontiki I see your points. We have been very strict with isolating because of covid. My kids haven’t been in school, we haven’t been going to stores, and we’ve just been home and in our neighborhoodReaching out to strangers trying to meet their poodles didn’t exactly seem like a great idea. And the ideas that I had about poodles all seemed to jive with what we wanted. Until I read some things on here and started to worry.

I hate to keep saying “covid” as my reason for everything, but it really has a huge impact on what we are able to do. And unfortunately also impacts our ability to judge what’s “normal” because everything is a little different right now.

I know that I can’t get this puppy!
 

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If they really want you to pay for the poodle, my suggestion is to get your head on straight! Totally change your attitude to being the best poodle owner ever, with an absolutely amazing Spoo! The majority of Spoo owners here are exactly that!

About allergies. That is why I have a Spoo! Because I have allergies ...., otherwise I would never have ended up with one. He is amazing, and I have absolutely no problem with him with allergies, and will never again have any other dog but a Standard Poodle,
...with 2 exceptions for allergic reactions:

1) I have allowed him to play with other dogs or cats who I would be allergic to, so he is covered with their gunk, whatever it is, I don't care whether they say it is hair or dander, or what. Or he has been in the house of an animal I would have allergies to. Then I have a problem with allergies. Someone has to bathe him before I can be near him. And if it has to be me, then yes, I will have allergy problems. So , guess whose fault it is that I am reacting to him?

2) I have allowed people who have whatever that gunk is on their clothing from being with other animals to be around him, etc. Again - problems. Again, that is my own fault for not making sure anyone has clean clothes on who interacts with my Spoo. And yes, people will lie just to be able to pet your dog! Because that dog will attract others to admire him/her.

It is up to you, and your sons. Do you want the possibility of the most awesome dog you have ever had? Or do you want to make excuses for all of the mistakes you have already made, and now give up. It is your choice.
Apologies for being abrupt, but it sounds like you really have no time to decide if they are insisting you 'pay up'.
 

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@kontiki I see your points. We have been very strict with isolating because of covid. My kids haven’t been in school, we haven’t been going to stores, and we’ve just been home and in our neighborhoodReaching out to strangers trying to meet their poodles didn’t exactly seem like a great idea. And the ideas that I had about poodles all seemed to jive with what we wanted. Until I read some things on here and started to worry.

I hate to keep saying “covid” as my reason for everything, but it really has a huge impact on what we are able to do. And unfortunately also impacts our ability to judge what’s “normal” because everything is a little different right now.

I know that I can’t get this puppy!
You need to make the choice that is right for you. I don't think it has anything to do with breed. The stories on here would be the same on any breed forum. I do think what you have said about covid helps to explain some of the issues you have had. We all have a right to be as safe as we want, but it does have costs. I have been interacting with dogs nearly every day since our local parks opened back up. My dog needs to exercise and I live in an apartment. As long as we are outdoors and wear masks, the risk is negligible so I've been willing to take it. We also attend multiple weekly classes with other dogs; all humans masked. But my mother is one who wouldn't be comfortable with these activities. Before long you will be able to rethink things without covid related issues. I think covid has caused many people to jump the gun getting dogs they aren't really prepared for and it's ok to realize that. It's ok to admit mistakes were made. This is a 15 year commitment and no stranger should make you feel poorly for whatever decision feels right.
 

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For sure Covid has made everything about getting a puppy worse this year, and more and more people are wanting puppies because they are so lonely. Sadly, I think it has made unscrupulous breeders grow. I am single, and in the high risk category for both age and illnesses. I am so very glad I have my Spoo! Otherwise I would be even more lonely, and an even crabbier old lady!

If you get this poodle, do everything you can to socialize it correctly, which is of course harder during Covid, and love it to bits and have it turn out to be a wonderful addition to your life:) And come back and let this forum assist for sure.

By the way, is you breeder on the excellent breeder list that Rose 'n Poos developed?
 

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It sounds to me that you are having breeder issues more than breed issues.

If it's not the right breeder - then $500 is very little lost. One emergency vet bill can easily be $500.

Most breeders would be happy for people to drop out rather than have a poor fit so this breeder claiming they want it all, puppy or no puppy, feels scammy. Honestly, $3k is at the high end for a spoo - you may be able to find a breeder who suits you better with dogs for $2-2.5 k, so no real money, just time lost. In the interim, you can meet real dogs. Vaccination is ongoing - if you postpone this 6 months until you can be in public and actually meet the breeder, would that help?

I was nervous about getting my puppy from a new, unestablished breeder. I brought a relative with me when I went to pick her up with instructions they were to hold me back if they saw any red flags, and the firm conviction that if I didn't like what I saw, I would turn around and drive 5 hours home puppy-free! That definitely didn't happen :)

A breeder should be able to tell you how the parents are with children, expected personalities of the puppies, etc. They should be happy to discuss temperament, what socialization they have done, etc. My dogs breeder texted me multiple times in my puppy's first days home checking in on her!

Have you searched the breeder name on this forum? That might provide some help with seeing if others have had good experiences.

All that said - many people on this forum have dogs from less-than-perfectly-up-to-the-high-standards-desired breeders, and adore them anyway - even if they don't adore the breeder.

I wish you the best in whatever you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
I’m not so worried about the deposit. More the balance if they demand that. I searched them on the forum and nothing came up.

every day someone decides they are ready for another dog and they just go to the shelter and pick one out. You are never guaranteed that things will work out but you feel drawn to that dog right? I wish we could do that. I have no desire to deal with another breeder any time soon.
I think the bad vibes I was getting were making me feel uneasy about everything else. Maybe it would have worked out, maybe not but the process has not been fun!

With our allergy issues, I honestly don’t think we will know what works until we bring a dog home unfortunately. No matter how many similar dogs we have him meet first.
 

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With our allergy issues, I honestly don’t think we will know what works until we bring a dog home unfortunately.
This is where a quality breeder will step up, as Dechi had mentioned in the agreements she came to with the breeders she has had dogs from.

Don't think the shelter option is easier or has more happy outcomes. There's as many and more hoops to jump and far less certainty of what you're getting :). Wanting to be drawn to a dog is natural. That alone isn't any guarantee, as you point out.

I hope you don't give up but take the time to regroup. This breeder may or may not be a good breeder but they sure don't seem to be the right breeder for you. I'm sorry that your family is going to have to go thru this disappointment.

For when you're ready. this is my personal criteria for a breeder, and some tips. You may have used similar guidelines but see if the person I describe doesn't sound more like someone you'd want to work with.


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. Simply being advertised as "registered" or even "purebred" doesn't mean that a puppy is well bred.

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 do not cross breed.
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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Health testing of the breeding parents is a good indicator of a quality, conscientious breeder. The Breeder List has info on what to look for in the testing for each variety. Mentioning health testing on a 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 and provide the info.

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. Do they rule out coverage for something the sire and dam could have, possibly should have, been tested for?

Conscientious breeders have a waitlist at the best of times and with pandemic puppy seekers, that wait is stretched well into 2021-2022. 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 may prefer communicating by phone as well as email or text, and are busy with their dogs rather than keep a website updated.

When you start making contacts, let them know if you're open to an older pup or young adult.
Color preferences are understandable but keep in mind that you're limiting your options even further in a very limited supply of puppies. Many poodle colors change thru their lives.
Temperament and personality are lifelong traits.

Be prepared to spend in the range of $2000 to $3500 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".


An excellent source for breeder referrals is your local or the regional or national Poodle Club. An online search for "Poodle Club of ___ (your city or state)" will find them. You can also go directly to the national club site. Look there for the Breeder Referral contact.

Some Poodle Club links are in the Breeder List.
 

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I'm sorry your experience has not been good so far. I agree, this particular breeder seems a little suspect. It's crazy to me that they would expect you to return the pup to them if it doesn't work out, but not return any of your money even if it's been a very short time.
Please don't let it turn you off poodles/poodle breeders though! There is certainly a huge variation, but there are enough breeders out there who truly care about finding the best homes for their pups- it sounds like the breeder of your Brittany was like that.
I know quite a few breeders (not poodles specifically), and most of them are at least doing outdoor visits of some kind. I feel that it would be highly beneficial for you and your kids to be able to interact with a few standard poodles before making a final decision.
As far as family-friendliness is concerned: I have four kids, oldest is almost 14 and the youngest just turned seven. My Spoo is a year and a half. He adores all children, mine and visitors. He is very gentle with toddlers even though we don't have many around. Of course the experts say you should never leave any dog alone with a child, but I have no concerns about trusting him- even with food or toys. My kids are pretty dog-savvy though, having lived with dogs their whole lives. My middle DD (who is now 11) did a lot of the training with him when we did obedience classes.
He doesn't like strange men reaching out to touch him (but, ya know, neither do I 😉), and certainly he can get riled up and wild, but just like any dog.
 

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@kontiki I see your points. We have been very strict with isolating because of covid. My kids haven’t been in school, we haven’t been going to stores, and we’ve just been home and in our neighborhoodReaching out to strangers trying to meet their poodles didn’t exactly seem like a great idea. And the ideas that I had about poodles all seemed to jive with what we wanted. Until I read some things on here and started to worry.

I hate to keep saying “covid” as my reason for everything, but it really has a huge impact on what we are able to do. And unfortunately also impacts our ability to judge what’s “normal” because everything is a little different right now.

I know that I can’t get this puppy!
I think right here you’ve summed up why now is not a good time to bring home your poodle puppy. It would be very hard to adequately socialize your new addition with the constraints you’ve described. Let’s all cross our fingers that things improve soon.

In the meantime, I’d turn puppy hunting into a fun experience. Start off on the right foot! Hang out here and chat poodles with us. Learn about fabulous breeders and their fabulous dogs. Get yourself excited. :)
 

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With our allergy issues, I honestly don’t think we will know what works until we bring a dog home unfortunately. No matter how many similar dogs we have him meet first.
I can't help much on the breeder side of things (Whiskey was from a shop, there are no breeders here :( there are regrets but he's mine now and that's all that matters).

Allergies wise, my family all have allergies to different things. When we were with Whiskey at the shop, we were all fine over the 2 days. Then when we brought him home, my sister and I both started to have allergy issues. At the time, we thought "Can't be Whiskey, he's a poodle". Then his stepping in pee and poop resulted in a bath and that's when we found out we were allergic to the shampoo they used on him just before we brought him home.

Also, I continued to have allergies after and it wasn't until the vet deciphered what his vaccination record said that we realized he was also given topical flea and tick treatment (which I am also allergic to).

Point is, the allergies may not be because of the dog but because something else is on the dog.. and poor Whiskey is now waiting for his hug which I can't give him because he is covered in dust from trying to retrieve something from under the couch and I don't want to trigger my allergies before a long day at work..
 

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I think you are absolutely looking at the right breed. With one returned Brittany puppy due to allergies, I would recommend you only consider poodles.

I believe you want a dog, but perhaps revisit the question of if you want one or not. It is your desire for a dog plus your commitment to the dog and its wellbeing that will make your situation a “good puppy home.”

If a poodle does not work out in your home due to allergies, my advice would be to give up on the idea of having a dog. It will take spending time with poodles to figure this out. It might even take a couple weeks of having a puppy in your home- kind of a repeat of your Brittany experience except with the most hypoallergenic (and charming, and beautiful and delightful!) dog possible.

If it was me I probably would get the puppy, lol. I adore my kids (almost all grown up now) and believe dogs add such an enriching experience to childhood and family life. I would not want to wait another minute for that adventure to begin. It’s a risk ($3k! The cost of a Disney vacation for your family), and if it doesn’t work out due to allergies you’ve kind of exhausted your dog possibilities. I wouldn’t put the kids through it again if allergic to the poodle.

In the perfect would you would have a breeder who is much more understanding of your allergy situation. But it’s not a perfect world is it? I would focus less on the breeder’s lack of compassion for allergy sufferers, and more on the family dream of having a dog.

Here’s a photo of the spaniel that helped me raise the kids while simultaneously being one herself (not a poodle, I hadn’t figured out the joy of poodles yet).
04A8911E-4416-42C4-BC36-9D3865FA3DB0.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
@Newport why only poodles? There’s a number of hypoallergenic breeds, and as someone pointed out even the individual dogs can be different.

I’m not really sure what you mean by revisiting if I want a dog or not. I’m not constantly pulling dogs in and out of my kid’s life. The Brittany was over two years ago. To tell someone that they should give up on having a dog... My son has lived with dogs for 6.5 years of his life without issue, with the exception of one dog.

Clearly - I jumped into a poodle here with the mindset that you described of not worrying about the money.
And then as I started to doubt if I really wanted the poodle, it started to seem like an enormous amount of money.

There is absolutely no way I would get a puppy from these people at this point. I don’t want to think about them ever again.

@PeggyTheParti Yes when we put the deposit down I thought we were headed out of the pandemic (or slowing down) - not into another wave. Regardless - I had read about things to do to socialize them safely, so it wouldn’t have been ideal but we could have managed. There’s tons of drop off dog socialization options, just a bit tougher on the people side.
 

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I'm going to suggest something a bit out of the box.

PF has some breeder/members. One is Farleys D Standard Poodles in Washington Pa which I think is not too far from you.
You'd said that the breeders name didn't come up in a search here so I feel confident they're not the breeder you were working with.

What I'm suggesting is that you contact them to ask if it would be possible to see and visit them and their poodles for the in person experience. Explain a bit of what you've described here.
If this is something that they would agree to it could help in two ways, by giving you contact with a wonderful breeder that you have a connection with already thru PF and possibly improve your outlook on breeders, and may give you a peek at poodles up close. This might even end in the poodle of your dreams down the road.
I don't think it matters if you contact them thru PF in a private conversation just to ask or thru their online site.

They may not be able to go for the in person visit just yet but even so it can't hurt to ask. This isn't idle curiosity on your part.
 

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I've only had mpoo's but as a breed, poodles are very intelligent, very sensitive and empathetic, possess great comedic skills and timing, athletic given the opportunity, and loving, to name some qualities.

From my perspective, some of the members posting about "aggressiveness" are often inexperienced and assume growling, excited nipping and the like are "aggression" when it may be no more than "poodle puppy who hasn't learned the ropes yet". We don't call the young'uns Land Sharks for nothing :).

If you and the breeder have had conversations about your family and lifestyle, general dog experience, personality of a poodle to fit your family, and the breeder has been exposing the pup to life with humans (aka socializing), as much as covid allows, that's a very good start to a lifelong relationship with your spoo.

As another perspective, the standard poodle of one of our members was attacked unprovoked just yesterday, an experience more than a few of us have been thru. How often do you read in the news or see on The Peoples Court a story of a poodle attacking unprovoked?

As mentioned by several, the recommended reading algorithm is biased. People in over their heads seek help and like advertising that follows you everywhere online, that's what you'll see.

The happy members post other content :). See the 52 Week threads and the other threads of pictures and videos for more suggestions of happy postings.

"Poodles are Labs with a college education. My Poodle will do anything your Labrador will do. After a day of retrieving in the field, your Lab wants to curl up and snore in front of the fire. My Poodle wants to be a fourth at bridge and tell naughty stories."
Anne Rogers Clark, the famous handler, all breed judge and Poodle breeder.
Love the quote!
 

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As everyone says - most people start posting here when they have issues, and stick around because the people on here are helpful, kind, and have good advice :) few people post because life is going so well! I highly recommend sticking around here, it's been a huge resource for me. I think this past year has also been tough with many classes shut down, so people don't have the in person resources to help. I also suspect busy people with kids and dogs are much less likely to have time to post to a forum!

And yes, if you are searching by behaviourist, of course you get the bad ones! I bet if you search by behaviourist in, say, the golden retriever forum, or the Boston forum, you would get the impression neither of those dogs are good with kids either!

Here's a few 'happier' threads.




Heres the poodle forum Pandemic Puppy Primer, which I highly recommend going through. It also links to the breeders thread, which has lists of health testing recommended - for spoos, hips are pretty important, as are the genetic tests. Checking that your breeder meets OFA standards might give you some reassurance.


Also - it's totally normal to have questions for your dog's breeder! Mine asked me to call email or text at any time. I know (in addition to an hour long call and an application) I ended up sending several emails asking for details about shots, what food the puppies ate, asking if my breeder would mind showing me how to shave face/feet, etc. All this was in less than a week! In my experience, poodle breeders are usually pretty passionate about what they do and happy to tell you all about it. My biggest issue was getting off the phone.
My daughter, a novice with dogs, is getting a spoo on May 2nd. I live with her and babysit a 3 and 4 yr old. Its not the kids I worry about. I have experience with collies and GSD. I know I'll be training and grooming. The problem...I don't know who the breeder is. My daughter doesn't want me talking to her as I ask too many questions. She's picked her puppy from a pic. The breeder, according to my daughter, has a really positive FB page. All my dogs I played with and visited the breeder for sometimes hours. I'm nervous I guess.
 

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My daughter, a novice with dogs, is getting a spoo on May 2nd. I live with her and babysit a 3 and 4 yr old. Its not the kids I worry about. I have experience with collies and GSD. I know I'll be training and grooming. The problem...I don't know who the breeder is. My daughter doesn't want me talking to her as I ask too many questions. She's picked her puppy from a pic. The breeder, according to my daughter, has a really positive FB page. All my dogs I played with and visited the breeder for sometimes hours. I'm nervous I guess.
I would be nervous too! I'm so sorry about that situation. Hopefully it works out wonderfully. If it doesn't, this will be a big learning experience for your daughter and she will find out why you ask those questions. For the record, I've never seen a breeder's website that was anything but positive. Facebook is a place where a breeder can delete any negative comments they get! So of course it's positive. Better to consult breed-specific communities for finding out how that breeder's reputation stacks up. Wishing you the best with the new pup. Plenty of great dogs come from not so great beginnings.
 

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In regard to the allergy issue, Newport is probably speaking of poodles being a best case scenario because they are generally the best breed for allergies. There are other allergy-friendly breeds but I've never met a dog that produces as little dander as my poodle. He has no doggy odor when bathed regularly and he barely salivates. Poodle faces are often clean shaven which reduces allergens that are spread by the saliva that collects in fluffy facial hair. There is variation from dog to dog, but in general poodles are the best you will find. So it is possible that one poodle may not be as allergy friendly as another, but I do not think you will find more luck with schnauzers than you will with poodles. It is true that smaller poodles may be more allergy friendly simply due to size because small size means less dander.

My dog has a brittany friend that he plays with regularly. The brittany has a similar energy to him. I do really love brittanys. The main difference I see between the two is that the brittany is more of a hunter. He is constantly distracted by butterflies and even tiny insects. Misha does not care about bugs at all. The brittany's owner has said that he feels Misha has a more human-like intelligence than his dog, but I suspect that may be because his dog is still a puppy. Brittany is a breed that will always be on my list for dogs I'd like to have.
 
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