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I posted about my situation but I'm new and looking for a Standard. I don't want to fly because of COVID.
So, I'm looking for breeders in the PA, DE, NJ parts of NY and VA areas.I'm older but want to stay active, so I'd like to get involved in some dog activities, maybe disc dog, so. I'd probably want a sturdy dog. I have researched Poodles and there is quite a bit of variation in size and structure, it seems.
 

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Hi and Welcome!

Quality, conscientious breeders have a waitlist even during the best of times. Pandemic puppy seekers have stretched that waitlist til well into 2021. Since you prefer to stay in a drivable range, that limits choices, but you'll find a number of well thought of breeders in your target area.

I see you have another discussion going about some other questions, too.

Until some more members drop by, and since you said owning a poodle is new to you, I'm going to drop some some reference materials for you.

The first is a shortish essay on why the kind of breeder you choose makes a huge difference in the health and quality of your new companion.

The second is my personal checklist for the criteria I expect from a breeder.

The third is a link to a Breeder List with health resources, multi state lists, Poodle Clubs and finally, individual listings by state.

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"I don’t want a show dog; I just want a pet.
by Joanna Kimball on July 13, 2010

This is one of the most pervasive sentiments that puppy buyers, especially families, express when they're looking for a dog. What they really mean, of course, is that they don't want a show BREEDER – don't want to pay the high price they think show breeders charge, don't want to go through the often-invasive interview process, and think that they're getting a better deal or a real bargain because they can get a Lab for $300 or a Shepherd for $150.

I want you to change your mind. I want you to not only realize the benefits of buying a show-bred dog, I want you to INSIST on a show-bred dog. And I want you to realize that the cheap dog is really the one that's the rip-off. And then I want you to go be obnoxious and, when your workmate says she's getting a puppy because her neighbor, who raises them, will give her one for free, or when your brother-in-law announces that they're buying a goldendoodle for the kids, I want you to launch yourself into their solar plexus and steal their wallets and their car keys.

Here's why:

If I ask you why you want a Maltese, or a Lab, or a Leonberger, or a Cardigan, I would bet you're not going to talk about how much you like their color. You're going to tell me things about personality, ability (to perform a specific task), relationships with other animals or humans, size, coat, temperament, and so on. You'll describe playing ball, or how affectionate you've heard that they are, or how well they get along with kids.

The things you will be looking for aren't the things that describe just "dog"; they'll be the things that make this particular breed unique and unlike other breeds.

That's where people have made the right initial decision – they've taken the time and made the effort to understand that there are differences between breeds and that they should get one that at least comes close to matching their picture of what they want a dog to be.

Their next step, tragically, is that they go out and find a dog of that breed for as little money and with as much ease as possible.

You need to realize that when you do this, you're going to the used car dealership, WATCHING them pry the "Audi" plate off a new car, observing them as they use Bondo to stick it on a '98 Corolla, and then writing them a check and feeling smug that you got an Audi for so little.

It is no bargain.

Those things that distinguish the breed you want from the generic world of "dog" are only there because somebody worked really hard to get them there. And as soon as that work ceases, the dog, no matter how purebred, begins to revert to the generic. That doesn't mean you won't get a good dog – the magic and the blessing of dogs is that they are so hard to mess up, in their good souls and minds, that even the most hideously bred one can still be a great dog – but it will not be a good Shepherd, or good Puli, or a good Cardigan. You will not get the specialized abilities, tendencies, or talents of the breed.

If you don't NEED those special abilities or the predictability of a particular breed, you should not be buying a dog at all. You should go rescue one. That way you're saving a life and not putting money in pockets where it does not belong.

If you want a purebred and you know that a rescue is not going to fit the bill, the absolute WORST thing you can do is assume that a name equals anything. They really are nothing more than name plates on cars. What matters is whether the engineering and design and service department back up the name plate, so you have some expectation that you're walking away with more than a label.

Keeping a group of dogs looking and acting like their breed is hard, HARD work. If you do not get the impression that the breeder you're considering is working that hard, is that dedicated to the breed, is struggling to produce dogs that are more than a breed name, you are getting no bargain; you are only getting ripped off."

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This doesn't mean a breeder who doesn't compete with their dogs can't produce wonderful dogs too. In a way, the breeders investment in proper breed testing, competing, socializing puppies, all these and more are like insurance for the new family. They're not absolute guarantees, but they can sure be a benefit.

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My Personal Breeder Requirements


My criteria need not be yours but I think it's important for a potential poodle owner to understand why these criteria are important in choosing 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 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.

Breeding Program
! to maintain, improve, strengthen the breed
by breeding to standard, for health and genetic diversity,
and will prove their dogs meet these standards by showing or competing
or by breeding from titled parents. It's not the title, but what it shows
! focus is on quality, never quantity
! they do not cross breed
! they limit breeding to one to two breeds
! they limit breeding to only a few litters per year *

Breeding Parents
! registry information available
AKC Registry Lookup
https://www.apps.akc.org/apps/store/search/dog_lookup.cfm?returnpage=undefined&_=2770
! not too old or young for breeding
! not overbred
see https://www.poodleforum.com/threads/asking-questions-from-a-breeder.273579/post-3294246
and https://www.poodleforum.com/threads/frequency-of-breeding-a-bitch.20388/
! genetic health testing done appropriate to breed and variety
! other health testing by exam such as annual eye, hips, patellas
! results of testing on own website, OFA site or testing lab
see http://vipoodle.org/health/health-related-publications/
and OFA Lookup https://www.ofa.org/look-up-a-dog

Living Conditions
! in home with family
! breeder allows, even encourages home visits

Puppies
! routine and urgent vet care, immunizations, dewormings
! socialization
! first groomings
! registry papers
! they will not require spay/neuter before physical maturity
! health "guarantee" generally favors the breeder, not the buyer.
health guarantee is no replacement for health testing of dam and sire.
does the contract/guarantee/warranty rule out covering conditions the parents should have been tested for
do you fully understand the terms of any contract/guarantee/warranty and can you live with them
beginning housetraining is a bonus
temperament testing is helpful

Advertising
! individual website to detail history of breeder, goals for their program
! information on dams, sires, puppies
! no trend pricing for color, gender or size,
! no marketing gimmick terms like "teacup" "royal"


! Anything not found on a public online site should be provided by breeder before buying.

* Many people prefer small scale breeders because they feel the puppies will have better socialization and it's very unlikely to be a puppy mill-like operation.
This doesn't mean that larger scale breeders can't do things right. The breeder of record may not be hands on with every pup or poodle on the place but they should make sure that all the quality of life and attention are paid to all their dogs.

If a breeder wants me to believe that they believe in their dogs, they won't stop the investment when it comes time to find the new families. If they want to cut costs by using free advertising sites like craigslist or listing on retail marketplaces like puppyspot or puppyfind, or other classified ad sites such as newspapers, I wonder what else they've cut costs on.

Contact a few breeders to introduce yourself. Even if they don't have or don't offer what you're looking for, it can be a close knit community. They may know where to refer you.

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Farley’s Poodles comes to mind. Terry is a PF member and I would drive to Pittsburgh to get one. Don’t be shy to ask for a referral if no litters are planned. Every ethical breeder will do that and they all know each other:)
 

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