I am trying to find a reputable breeder for a black toy girl.
Hi and Welcome to PF!
I'll let previous threads touching on that particular breeder speak for themselves. For many reasons, some covered in the tips list, this is a breeder that I would never consider for myself so could not recommend them to others.
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In case this is the first time you're researching to find conscientious breeders I'm adding a tips list for what to look for in a quality poodle breeder and then some additional links to sources for recommended breeders.
You can also read information directly from one of our members who is a very well-respected breeder here.
We often hear from folks that they just want a pet.
What doesn't seem to be common knowledge is that quality, conscientious breeders are always
breeding for the very best poodles they can. It isn't pet puppy vs show puppy, it's lucky us, the ones wanting a pet who get the pups that have some small "fault" that might reduce their chances of winning competitions but are flawless to us
Outside of covid, these breeders will almost always welcome, even encourage, home visits to see the puppies and dam in person and see how they live.
It's not unusual to think that there are possibly thousands of breeders to choose from.
For quality, conscientious breeders, that number is more likely only in the hundreds in the US and Canada. A bottom-line difference is between those who are breeding primarily for profit and those who are breeding because they feel not only love for poodles but an obligation to the entire breed. Each of their, usually infrequent, breeding's are thoughtfully chosen to try to improve something in their lines and consequently the future of the breed.
a happy owner doesn't necessarily mean an informed owner. It's as likely they've just been lucky, so far. Review any negative comments carefully, if they're allowed to appear.
Getting a puppy from a quality, conscientious breeder is something like insurance.
Their investment in the health, welfare, and soundness of all the dogs in their care including the puppies they offer to new homes is part of the reason you're not likely to find a less than $2000 USD puppy from them.
The saying is "pay the breeder or pay the vet".
Price alone isn't the only thing to separate quality breeders from those less than. We've seen members quote as high, and even much higher pricing for pups from parents not health tested, not proven to meet breed standards, sold as purebred when only a DNA test could determine that since they may be sold without registration papers.
If I knew the risks and have dedicated poodle health savings of several thousand dollars or pet insurance, knew that basically that the breeder and I would part ways as soon as the pup was in my hands because they're very unlikely to stand behind their pup and me thru the pup's life, I might proceed with a breeder that doesn't meet my criteria.
I also wouldn't pay quality breeder prices, and over, unless I'm getting all the quality breeder perks.
Doing the PCA recommended 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.
Look for and verify OFA/CHIC level testing at a minimum. The recommended testing by The Poodle Club of America is a mix of physical exams and, for each variety, there are also recommended DNA tests.
The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) registers testing from other countries as well as from the US.
There are additional poodle specific DNA panels for other testable genetic conditions.
Those are companion tests with the OFA/CHIC testing, not in place of.
CHIC Program | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals | Columbia, MO (ofa.org)
Browse By Breed | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals | Columbia, MO (ofa.org)
Look Up A Dog | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals | Columbia, MO (ofa.org)
Toy Poodle recommended testing from the PCA with results listed on OFA
The PCA Foundation strongly recommends the DNA test for Miniature Poodle Dwarfism (Osteochondrodysplasia) to avoid breeding two carriers to each other and producing puppies affected with this deforming and crippling disorder. Research suggests that about 10 percent of Minis carry the mutation that causes this disease and that it is not limited to a few bloodlines.
The PRA test is a DNA test. The others are physical exams done by a qualified vet.
DNA panels are nice and have helpful info but should not be accepted as the only health testing.
- Hip Dysplasia (One of the following)
OFA Evaluation ➚
- Eye Examination
Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist ➚
- Health Elective (One of the following)
OFA Thyroid evaluation from an approved laboratory ➚
OFA SA Evaluation from an approved dermapathologist ➚
Congenital Cardiac Exam ➚
Advanced Cardiac Exam ➚
Basic Cardiac Exam ➚
The PCA Foundation recommends all three electives for Standard Poodles and also strongly recommends the following DNA tests from an OFA listed lab to easily avoid breeding two mutation carriers to each other and producing affected puppies: DNA Test for Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures (NEwS) and DNA Test for vonWillebrand’s Disease (vWD)
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 recommended by the Poodle Club of America. "Guarantees" without the testing often favor the breeder, more than the buyer.
Read thru any contracts that may be listed
If they rule out coverage for health conditions that the breeding pair should or could have been tested for, consider that a caution flag. Otherwise, are the terms clear to you and can you live with them?
For example, some breeders require that a specific food be bought and fed, often thru them, or the health warranty is curtailed or voided entirely.
Conscientious breeders have a waitlist at the best of times
and that wait can be a year or more due to infrequent breeding - quality, not quantity. 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, 9-5 paying job, and family, 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.
are understandable but keep in mind that you're limiting your options even further in a very limited supply of well-bred puppies.
That beautiful color you fell for may not look the same in a few weeks, or months, or years. Most poodle colors fade.
will also limit your options.
Temperament and personality
are lifelong traits.
Be prepared to spend
in the range of $2000 to $3500 USD.
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".
A breeder using marketing terms like teacup, royal, giant don't really know poodles in relation to the breed standard. Pricing differently for size or color is also marketing.
Be wary of a breeder who sells a puppy with full registration rights
breeding rights which allow the next generation of pups to be registered with the AKC) simply for the price of admission. A responsible breeder will not allow their reputation and their poodles to be bred by anyone, to any dog, without having a contractual say in the breeding and the pups. They will want to be involved.
When looking at online sites, it's not just what you see, it's often what you don't see that's most important.
Is the dam (and sire) also listed on the site, with full registry name and OFA testing?
One additional caution, be very wary of those very cute short legged poodles.
That's a genetic mutation which may carry serious life-altering disease.
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/province)" will find them. You can also go directly to the national club site.
Some Poodle Club links are in the Breeder List, as well as breeders and other resources.
As a sort of checklist of things to look for or ask, this is my shortlist criteria.
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 physically and temperamentally and are sound, 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.
To start a search for a breeder, use the official Poodle Clubs first. PF has a lot of resources to view also, and individual recommendations will be made too. Compare those to the information above for a good shot at a quality, conscientious breeder and a happy, healthy poodle.
A note on "Champion bloodlines" or variations of...
The phrase "Championship lines
" is nearly meaningless unless, as Phaz23 points out, the dam and sire are the champions, and their dams and sires...
"Championship" counts in the conformation ring, to prove that each generation is meeting the breed standard. It's not a given, an inherent trait that gets passed down.
A quality conscientious breeder doesn't have to be a PCA member to follow the Code of Ethics. I believe that every breeder should.
Code of Ethics - The Poodle Club of America
I'm linking a breeder list compiled from member recommendations thru the years and have been reviewed for at least some health testing.
Whether you use this to search for a breeder or not, there's value in reviewing the websites to see what info is offered from conscientious breeders.
You'll find links to Poodle Club of America breeder referral sources in the list, above the individual state listings. They will generally have "ear to the ground" info on who's got pups on the ground and who might be planning any for this year.
(7) 🐩 Breeders Listed by Location 🐩 Plus Additional Resources 🐩 | Poodle Forum
Your preferred search area will have some good breeders to look at.
California - The Poodle Club of America
The Poodle Club of Las Vegas - The Poodle Club of America