If you're looking for quality, conscientious breeders. health testing of the breeding parents is a good indicator. The Breeder List has info on what to look for. Mentioning health testing on their 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.
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.
Conscientious breeders have a waitlist at the best of times and with pandemic puppy seekers, that wait is stretched well into 2021. 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 can be old school in communicating and are busy with their dogs rather than keep a website updated.
Be prepared to spend in the range of $1500 to $3000 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".
Your best bet to get current info on breeders in any area is to contact The Poodle Clubs. They are an excellent resource. Look for the breeder referral person for your province or city by searching for "Poodle Club of ___".
As a sort of checklist of things to look for or ask, I'll drop my personal 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.
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 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.
If you haven't already found this, here's a Breeder List (work in progress) to find breeders listed in group and individual formats.
GEOGRAPHICAL BREEDERS LIST AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES PLEASE READ THIS FIRST What this list is NOT: This list is not an endorsement of any breeder by Poodle Forum This list is not a list to just go buy from without doing more investigation This list is not comprehensive What this list IS: This...