Sometimes price is not a factor. I can imagine some of you going "How COULD you" but, many years ago, I bought a SPOO pup from a kid selling them out of a box at a local livestock auction barn. The boy had a bit of information including the mother (their family dog) with him, and a picture of the alleged father. (Their neighbors family dog...) Admittedly, the kid could have been BS'ing me. His folks were up in the bleachers watching the auction. He was about 12 or 13 I'd guess.I have to say, Tessa, that you summed it up very well.
I bought a pup from untested parents in NY for $850. I got what I paid for. For those who know her, I am speaking of Taffy. She was my love/heartdog. She also had a short legs with a very long body (hence our tendency to lovingly refer to her as a train), her skull was round and her eyes round and large, her lips hung lower than her bottom jaw like a hound, her pigment went off, she was somewhat flat footed. She is the most beautiful color of red apricot that looks like spun gold, but her coat was much straighter than it should be and thinner. I loved her despite all of her faults.
Then came the OFA hip test. She did not pass! As we breed standards and had other dogs that we had to put our time and limited funds into, I had to re-home her. She is now living in a lovely home with toy poodles and plenty of love and care. I miss her every day.
We bred one of our foundation bitches this year to a champion poodle from good lines. She produced a high quality litter. Both the bitch and dog are fully health tested and both scored good on their OFA hip test. We sold our puppies nearly fully trained, socialized, with a health guarantee for $1,200; not a whole lot more than we paid for Taffy.
My point is, you need to look at a whole lot more than how much you are paying for a puppy. $2,400 puppies out of non-tested parents are just as likely to get you a dog like Taffy as paying $500 for one.
The goal is and should always be to support breeders who are breeding to the standard set forth by the PCA and who are testing their dogs for the known poodle diseases and for good hips.
Putting all these puppies with an uncertain future on the ground is not commendable in any way and should not be supported. Who knows how many of these pups have/are going to have health issues and hip problems that will cause them pain for as long as they live and their owners pain and heartache perhaps for the rest of their lives. This is not acceptable to me.
He was asking $300 for one. I had the cash on me and picked out a nice white male and took him home with me. He clearly is a SPOO. And he was our first. There's not a hint of anything else in him. He has beautiful "conformation", the right proportions. Nice solid coat. He's a great looking SPOO. I clip him myself and I do my own vaccinations. (Have a farm so I just buy the dog stuff with the cattle meds.) He has been my son's dog since the day I bought him in the house. And my son is clearly "his". He even sleeps with my son. (And he weighs around 90 pounds.)
Aside from food, clipper blades, and vaccinations at about $3 a shot, I have not spent one cent on him at the vet since the day I brought him home. He's 13 years old now and still in great health.
I've had other spoo's I've spent several times that amount buying where I've spent a lot of money on vet bills. One of them with a so-called guarantee. (Gotta' read those guarantees carefully.)
By the way, I don't count "dumbness" as normal expenses on a dog. Stealing one of the neighbors chickens and me having to replace it ($6) is not an expense. It's just part of having a dog.
You just never know when you buy a dog. We can try to avoid all the potential health problems but sometimes you just end up unlucky.