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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a toy poodle from a very expensive dog breeder. Her ears are not toy poodle ears. I've owned toys in the past. She is a very sweet dog, gentle and very smart. But the ears! Can someone help me determine if this could be normal? I've contacted breeder and they have said I have to wait until hair grows in. Nope. This toy is 3 pounds. The hair would weight nothing. Hair will not sit these ears down. Attached 2 pictures I took today. She is 6 months old.
 

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Hmm. I agree her ears are not normal for a toy poodle. But when you say an expensive dog breeder... well expensive doesn't mean reputable.

A reputable breeder has all AKC or UKC registered dogs, completes OFA recommended health testing (patellar luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and eye exam), and breeds for correct conformation according to the poodle standard. A very good breeder will have dogs titled in conformation or other companion titles to demonstrate structure and temperament. These breeders typically charge $2500-3000 for toy poodles. They spend a lot of time vetting potential homes and are particular about which homes puppies are paired with.

Disreputable breeders don't do health testing and don't breed to the standard because they don't care about titling their dogs. They tend to have puppies available on demand and don't do waitlists. They'll often charge $4-5k (but can be much lower) because they know people will pay a lot more when they're impulse buying and looking for a puppy to bring home immediately. Because these breeders aren't breeding dogs for correct conformation and structure, they don't care what the ears look like or how long the legs are or what the tailset is. Their main objective is to produce cute puppies in a high quantity for sale. So dogs from them look adorable as puppies but don't usually grow up to look like the breed standard. If their dogs are unregistered (or even if they are) there is a high chance they aren't purebred poodles.

So, since I don't know what breeder she is from, I am wondering if we're looking at the second case. If you gave more info on the breeder or their name, I'd be able to give more input.

If I'm right, then I would just treat this as a lesson learned and love your little girl for who she is no matter what her ears look like. They're part of her personality and there are many more important things about your dog than what shape her ears are.
 

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Did the breeder provide you with AKC registration papers? I agree with your assessment. The ear is weird. Normally upright earred dogs start with floppy ears, and the ears stick up once the cartilage strengthens enough to hold the ear upright. It doesn't work the other way round, with upright ears reverting to floppy. My guess would be a cross with a long haired chihuahua.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm. I agree her ears are not normal for a toy poodle. But when you say an expensive dog breeder... well expensive doesn't mean reputable.

A reputable breeder has all AKC or UKC registered dogs, completes OFA recommended health testing (patellar luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and eye exam), and breeds for correct conformation according to the poodle standard. A very good breeder will have dogs titled in conformation or other companion titles to demonstrate structure and temperament. These breeders typically charge $2500-3000 for toy poodles. They spend a lot of time vetting potential homes and are particular about which homes puppies are paired with.

Disreputable breeders don't do health testing and don't breed to the standard because they don't care about titling their dogs. They tend to have puppies available on demand and don't do waitlists. They'll often charge $4-5k (but can be much lower) because they know people will pay a lot more when they're impulse buying and looking for a puppy to bring home immediately. Because these breeders aren't breeding dogs for correct conformation and structure, they don't care what the ears look like or how long the legs are or what the tailset is. Their main objective is to produce cute puppies in a high quantity for sale. So dogs from them look adorable as puppies but don't usually grow up to look like the breed standard. If their dogs are unregistered (or even if they are) there is a high chance they aren't purebred poodles.

So, since I don't know what breeder she is from, I am wondering if we're looking at the second case. If you gave more info on the breeder or their name, I'd be able to give more input.

If I'm right, then I would just treat this as a lesson learned and love your little girl for who she is no matter what her ears look like. They're part of her personality and there are many more important things about your dog than what shape her ears are.
Well, it's not about loving or not loving our dog. She is part of family now. I bought her from a place that even has an on site vet that checks them out for all health defects. She is UKC I believe and was 2500 dollars. With taxes because we bought her from a place that sells them for breeders, the cost was close to 3,000.
That's why I'm trying to see from other poodle lovers if I'm in left field with these ears. And I will be in touch with breeder to get money back or at least partial money back if she is not full poodle. Since that's what we paid for
 

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Hi Holly, and welcome to poodle forum.

Im not sure if you’re concern about her ears is if you’re concerned she’s not purebred or if it’s just abnormal for a poodle. From the face and what looks to be proper leg length, your puppy looks to be a poodle to me. It’s hard to tell without a pic of her full body standing in profile view. Her ears are not normal poodle ears though. It’s a fault that can be found in poodles who aren’t well bred, called flying ears.
Poodle ears don’t require any hair to help weigh them down if proper poodle ears. Your breeder was being deceiving to tell you that.

She’s still cute and I hope she continues to bea happy and healthy girl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Did the breeder provide you with AKC registration papers? I agree with your assessment. The ear is weird. Normally upright earred dogs start with floppy ears, and the ears stick up once the cartilage strengthens enough to hold the ear upright. It doesn't work the other way round, with upright ears reverting to floppy. My guess would be a cross with a long haired chihuahua.
That's what I thought! Part chihuahua
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Holly, and welcome to poodle forum.

Im not sure if you’re concern about her ears is if you’re concerned she’s not purebred or if it’s just abnormal for a poodle. From the face and what looks to be proper leg length, your puppy looks to be a poodle to me. It’s hard to tell without a pic of her full body standing in profile view. Her ears are not normal poodle ears though. It’s a fault that can be found in poodles who aren’t well bred, called flying ears.
Poodle ears don’t require any hair to help weigh them down if proper poodle ears. Your breeder was being deceiving to tell you that.

She’s still cute and I hope she continues to bea happy and healthy girl.
Thank you! Yes, I didn't like that answer either. My concern if she is purebred - since that is what we paid for.
 

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Well, it's not about loving or not loving our dog. She is part of family now. I bought her from a place that even has an on site vet that checks them out for all health defects. She is UKC I believe and was 2500 dollars. With taxes because we bought her from a place that sells them for breeders, the cost was close to 3,000.
That's why I'm trying to see from other poodle lovers if I'm in left field with these ears. And I will be in touch with breeder to get money back or at least partial money back if she is not full poodle. Since that's what we paid for
Ahhh... well puppies purchased from stores or middlemen like this are all generally from puppy mills. They are expensive because they are sold on demand, but not because they are well bred or from healthy parents. A vet cannot tell the dog's chances of developing orthopedic or genetic disease as they age. They can only say whether the puppy is physically healthy at the moment. You may want to check what registration she has. Many puppies sold from businesses like this are registered with CKC (continental kennel club not canadian kennel club) which is basically a fake registry that will register anything.

I'm not sure there's anything you can do at this point. You could have her genetically tested to see if it shows she is mix breed, but that is not a guarantee you will get any money back. I'd check your contract and see if it says anything about pure breed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ahhh... well puppies purchased from stores or middlemen like this are all generally from puppy mills. They are expensive because they are sold on demand, but not because they are well bred or from healthy parents. A vet cannot tell the dog's chances of developing orthopedic or genetic disease as they age. They can only say whether the puppy is physically healthy at the moment. You may want to check what registration she has. Many puppies sold from businesses like this are registered with CKC (continental kennel club not canadian kennel club) which is basically a fake registry that will register anything.
I just looked, it is ICA. International Canine Association
 

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Oh the cuteness! I do not believe she is pure poodle. Maybe some papillon? Or pomeranian? Or chihuahua? Or all of the above? :)

Have you tried searching the breeder’s name here on Poodle Forum?
No but I will try to. Thank you for your help!
 

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International Canine Association isn't really considered a reputable registry. It's an industry registry, on par with the Continental Kennel Club and the American Pet Registry, Inc., that were originally set up to let high-volume commercial breeders get around AKC rules regarding Limited Registration and DNA requirements for Frequently Used Sires.

That aside, she's cute. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmm. I agree her ears are not normal for a toy poodle. But when you say an expensive dog breeder... well expensive doesn't mean reputable.

A reputable breeder has all AKC or UKC registered dogs, completes OFA recommended health testing (patellar luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and eye exam), and breeds for correct conformation according to the poodle standard. A very good breeder will have dogs titled in conformation or other companion titles to demonstrate structure and temperament. These breeders typically charge $2500-3000 for toy poodles. They spend a lot of time vetting potential homes and are particular about which homes puppies are paired with.

Disreputable breeders don't do health testing and don't breed to the standard because they don't care about titling their dogs. They tend to have puppies available on demand and don't do waitlists. They'll often charge $4-5k (but can be much lower) because they know people will pay a lot more when they're impulse buying and looking for a puppy to bring home immediately. Because these breeders aren't breeding dogs for correct conformation and structure, they don't care what the ears look like or how long the legs are or what the tailset is. Their main objective is to produce cute puppies in a high quantity for sale. So dogs from them look adorable as puppies but don't usually grow up to look like the breed standard. If their dogs are unregistered (or even if they are) there is a high chance they aren't purebred poodles.

So, since I don't know what breeder she is from, I am wondering if we're looking at the second case. If you gave more info on the breeder or their name, I'd be able to give more input.

If I'm right, then I would just treat this as a lesson learned and love your little girl for who she is no matter what her ears look like. They're part of her personality and there are many more important things about your dog than what shape her ears are.
International Canine Association isn't really considered a reputable registry. It's an industry registry, on par with the Continental Kennel Club and the American Pet Registry, Inc., that were originally set up to let high-volume commercial breeders get around AKC rules regarding Limited Registration and DNA requirements for Frequently Used Sires.

That aside, she's cute. :)
Thank you. Man, I wish I would have done a little more research. She's a great little dog, just don't want someone else buying from this place and not getting what they paid for.
 

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Thank you. Man, I wish I would have done a little more research. She's a great little dog, just don't want someone else buying from this place and not getting what they paid for.
Many of us have had similar experiences. Live and learn and share your hard-won wisdom. For me it’s all about ensuring we don’t inadvertently contribute to the future suffering of any dogs or puppies.
 

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A few other thoughts. A good groomer can minimize the flying nun look a bit. I think the key would be to not do a shag cut on the ears. Instead, let the hair keep growing with the goal of the hairs on the top and middle portion of each ear growing to the bottom part of each ear, then trimming only the bottom.

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If you're really mad or curious, buy a Breed & Health Kit from Embark (usually on sale for $159). It uses saliva swabs which you mail back to them, and will test for which breeds are in her ancestry. If not all poodle, you then have proof, because our opinions won't hold water with the breeder or small claims court. Keep in mind that even with proof, at best the breeder might offer to refund your money but only if you give back the dog, which she will likely then sell again as a poodle.

Since you like this little girl and consider her part of the family, the more important part of the delux Embark kit is it will rule out testable, inheritable DNA genetic disorders. If it turns out that she's a carrier for one or more conditions, depending on which one(s), she won't ever develop that disorder. If two carriers breed, however, some of the pups are usually affected.

If one or more of her tests comes back that she's listed as 'affected', then at some point she will develop that disorder. This happens when dog inherits a copy of the same faulty gene from each parent. In that case you would want to notify the breeder, decide if you want to pursue a full or partial refund, and get pet health insurance. The better odds are, however, she won't test as being affected of anything, but it will give you a peace of mind, or the need for a plan.

The next time you see your vet, have them check her out for something called Patellar Luxation. This is a quick, manual exam of her knees, also known as the patellas. Hopefully this won't be a problem. If so let us know.

Good luck.
 

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If you are really curious, you can embark her.
 
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Goodness those ears are incredible 😂 she is absolutely adorable. I've seen 'flying ears' on toys before but not sure i've ever seen them quite so ginormous 💀 i think one of those embark tests would be the best way to find out- if i had to guess i'd say there was some papillon or powderpuff crested in her.

I'm sorry you seem to have been swindled by a bad breeder, but congratulations nonetheless on the extremely cute pup 🥰
 
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