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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, We recently lost Scruffy our 14 yr old mini poodle from complications from Cushing's, diabetes, kidney disease. We purchased him from a store. We didn't know better at the time. He was 5 months old when he came home to us. We suspected he was a runt. He wasn't terribly shy, but he was very timid and many things frightened him. He also ate his meals like there wouldn't be another coming. He was an OCD clean freak, didn't like rain, snow or mud and only went on the grass to do his business and he cleaned himself well. Also would lick any hand, foot, face, human (LOL) who got close to him. He was super easy to train. Friends, who watched him when we traveled, would marvel at how good he was about going out to potty and just potty and not lollygag around. Praise was all he needed, as he was very fussy about treats. Good boy would get him happy dancing and his tail wagging. Well, just about everything got his tail wagging. He was super happy and his tail was part of his personality. One of our friends called him "The White Wagger". He was smart. He learned words and phrases we didn't teach him. He also had no idea of his size. He was all of 12" tall and 14 lbs.. We laughed because he wouldn't sit in our laps and didn't like being picked up, because he thought he was too big. He didn't have a problem with us picking him up or holding him when he was going through rough times though. He knew the word help and didn't like it when he didn't need it. For instance when he wanted to go up the stairs and was hesitant, as soon as we asked if he needed help, he'd sprint up the stairs. However when he was ill and we asked if he wanted help, he would sort of nod his head. He was definitely a family dog. He and my daughter bonded instantly, he was one of the kids and loved playing or just hanging out with her and her friends. He also took to my husband quickly, as well. He would sit at the door and wait for dad to get home. He always made the rounds in the morning to make sure everyone was accounted for and he'd stop at my daughters room to say good morning and give her kisses, as well as saying goodnight at the end of the day. He had a deep bark and that was fun when we'd have a delivery. The delivery guys were always surprised to see how small he was, yet sounded so large. He was a sweetheart and everyone would comment about his manners and how nice he was. He was our little buddy and we miss him so much and we know we will never find another like him. He was truly one of a kind. None the less, next spring/summer, we would love to get another poodle, maybe a tad larger. Now we know better and we're researching breeders. We're about 50 miles northwest of Chicago, right near Wisconsin border. Any help in pointing us in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. - RIP Scruffy 8/9/07 - 6/28/21 Dog Dog breed Water dog Carnivore Companion dog Joint Trousers Plant Leg Comfort Glasses Dog Cloud Vertebrate Carnivore
 

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He sounds like a great little guy, and you obviously loved him well.

@Rose n Poos has a great guide to finding responsible breeders. Another good resource would be the Great Lakes Poodle Club. They have a breeder referral service and should know which of their members are planning litters this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awwww, Scruffy. What a special boy. Thank you for sharing him with us. :)

This thread may be helpful to you: 馃惄 Breeders Listed by Location 馃惄 Plus Additional Resources 馃惄

If I lived out there, I鈥檇 be reaching out to Safranne.
Thank you!
Safranne just moved to the top of my list as the first that I've come across that doesn't dock tails! I don't understand why that's still acceptable, especially when the majority of owners don't show their dogs.
 

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Hi and Welcome! Your Scruffy was a treasure, and sounds quite the character :). You're right that no other will take his place, but there can be another who makes their own place.

The guide I'm going to copy here will address this a bit.
I don't understand why that's still acceptable, especially when the majority of owners don't show their dogs.
You already know that there are different types of breeders and it sounds like you want a conscientious breeder to find your poodle from. The simple reason that most conscientious breeders do still dock is because they show their dogs in conformation to prove their poodles meet the breed standard. Their goal is to breed sound, beautiful, healthy poodles with good temperament. Unfortunately, the breed standard still requires docked tails, but that doesn't need to mean stubby ones.

The guide:

We often hear from folks that they just want a pet. What doesn't seem to be common knowledge is that the kind of quality, conscientious breeders many of us prefer to support 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 :).

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 or Canada. A bottom line difference is between those who're breeding primarily for profit and those who're breeding because they feel not only love for poodles but an obligation to the entire breed.

About reviews, 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 pups life, I might proceed with a breeder that doesn't meet my criteria.

But

I also wouldn't pay quality breeder prices, and over, unless I'm getting all the quality breeder perks.


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. There are also poodle specific DNA panels for those testable conditions. Those are companion testing with the OFA/CHIC testing.
Look Up A Dog | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals | Columbia, MO (ofa.org)


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.

Read thru any contracts that may be listed. If they rule out coverage for 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?

Conscientious breeders have a waitlist at the best of times and with pandemic puppy seekers, that wait is stretched well into 2021-2022. 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 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.

Color preferences are understandable but keep in mind that you're limiting your options even further in a very limited supply of puppies. That beautiful color you fell for may not look the same in a few weeks, or months, or years.

Temperament and personality are lifelong traits.

Be prepared to spend in the range of $2000 to $3500 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".


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)" will find them. You can also go directly to the national club site.

Some Poodle Club links are in the Breeder List.


As a sort of checklist of things to look for or ask, this is my personal criteria (I have another more detailed but just this for now):

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 and are physically capable 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.
 

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If you use the Breeder List, definitely check the Multi-state links above the individual state listings. If they're in one, I didn't usually add them to the state list.

As cowpony said, The Poodle Club breeder referral folks are excellent resources. I think she has a list of breeders that don't dock,but they won't be numerous and I think, cover more than one variety.
 

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Safranne is probably your best choice if you are looking for an undocked mini. They are close to you and have a well established respected line. Another undocked mini breeder is Absolute Silver, in Minnesota. I believe she was mentored by the original owner of Safranne. The other two mini breeders that come to mind are Karbit, in Texas, and Moonrise, in South Carolina. Canada discourages docking (regulations vary by province), so once the Covid restrictions are lifted it might be worth looking north.

Going deeper into why it is so difficult to find breeders who don't dock, especially miniature and toy breeders.

Good breeders are looking to the future of the breed. They keep what they think are the best puppies and roll them back into their own or a friend's breeding program. However, a danger all breeders face is that they will get too fond of their own dogs and overlook faults apparent to an outsider. Entering a breeding candidate into shows and competitions is a way to get an outside assessment. A temperamentally iffy dog might do fine at home and come unglued at a show. A complete sweetheart of a dog might have a lumbering gait that becomes quite obvious when trotting in a line with a bunch of other poodles. These reasons are why this forum encourages pet owners to look for dogs from kennels which show, even if the pet owner has no interest in joining the show world herself. Gaining titles reaffirms the breeder's assessment that the dog is indeed worth adding back into the breeding line and contributing to the future of poodledom.

Unfortunately, AKC conformation events require that the dog be docked. UKC conformation does not require docked tails. (Even there some breeders believe some judges will penalize undocked tails.) Therefore, anyone who wants to show an undocked dog is limited to performance events or UKC conformation events. So, breeders who might want to leave their dogs natural are forced into docking by conformation show rules.

Why not dock the show puppies and leave the rest alone? Well, a puppy's tail needs to be docked by around 3 days if one is going to do it at all. 3 days is normally much earlier than a show breeder would assess an entire litter for show or service careers. Volhard temperament, for example, testing occurs at 7 weeks.

Standard poodles normally produce large litters. Eight is typical. My boys Pogo and Snarky were from a litter of 11. It's possible in a litter that large for the breeder to see a few puppies with faults that would definitely disqualify them from the conformation ring. Galen's litter had two puppies with mismarks, Galen being one of them. His breeder knew immediately these two pups were destined for pet homes and left the tails undocked. Toy poodles normally only have a litters of 2-3, and miniatures are normally 4-5. Within those small litters, it may be that every single puppy looks perfect at 2 days. There is no way to tell which one is worth keeping. Therefore, a breeder who wants to show in conformation needs to dock every single puppy to keep her options open.

From a pet owner's perspective, the trend towards having undocked dogs come from performance lines might be problematic. The best performance dogs can have a lot of drive, and not everyone can handle a dog with a go go go attitude. My boy Galen is so much smarter than any dog I've ever owned before, even other poodles. He opens baby gates. He takes dirty dishes out of the sink and carries them to the couch. He moves furniture to get the ball that rolled underneath. He steals shoes off closet shelves. I can't imagine living with a dog that's even more amped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, what do you all think about Moyan or Klein poodles? How might I go about finding an ethical breeder for this size?
 

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copied from a thread over in Finding The Right Puppy & Breeder

As others have mentioned, moyen is not a size category recognized by AKC. Reputable breeders working within that range are quite rare in North America. There was a bit of a fad for moyen about a decade ago, and a lot of sketchy breeders popped up. Many times these breeders would try to achieve the moyen size by crossing miniatures to standards. The results were sometimes dogs with wonky configuration that might not even mature within the desired size range. Fortunately, I'm seeing fewer of these opportunistic breeders lately; I think many have shifted over to miniature golden doodles and the like.

If I were looking for a moyen sized poodle for myself I'd consider Noir, in Missouri, and Karbit, in Texas even though it would require a plane trip. Two miniature breeders worth checking out are Moonstruck in Southern California and Ash's Mystical in Nevada. Both are AKC Breeder of Merit.


Hi,

The other members have excellently covered the difficulties in finding a true medium.

Proper health testing is a bit trickier. Miniatures and standards have different health issues and therefore different recommended testing for each by the PCA.

A member, curlflooffan, pointed out that many miniatures in the US and Canada, are actually in the medium (formerly moyen in the FCI) variety range:
Medium Poodles: Over 35 cm up to 45 cm. (13.7 inches to 17.7 inches)

15" is the top end for miniatures here with standards starting in at 15". Because there is a preferred size in the conformation ring, you're unlikely to find a standard below 20-21" since quality breeders are showing to prove their dogs meet the breed standard. Preferences have changed thru the years but this puts a limit on your choices in the smaller standard category.

Your best bet is that very, very, very small group of breeders importing mediums, or find a quality miniature breeder who breeds to the top end of the miniature range. Because of the (somewhat arbitrary) upper limits on the two smaller varieties (and some genetic history), toys and miniatures occasionally go oversize. Miniatures over 15" are still miniatures by genetics. Unfortunately, no breeder can guarantee what size a pup will end up.

My impression from our members with oversize miniatures is that they generally top out around 17". (I hope to be corrected if this isn't the case.)
The smallest standards of members that I remember are in that 20-21" range.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
copied from a thread over in Finding The Right Puppy & Breeder

As others have mentioned, moyen is not a size category recognized by AKC. Reputable breeders working within that range are quite rare in North America. There was a bit of a fad for moyen about a decade ago, and a lot of sketchy breeders popped up. Many times these breeders would try to achieve the moyen size by crossing miniatures to standards. The results were sometimes dogs with wonky configuration that might not even mature within the desired size range. Fortunately, I'm seeing fewer of these opportunistic breeders lately; I think many have shifted over to miniature golden doodles and the like.

If I were looking for a moyen sized poodle for myself I'd consider Noir, in Missouri, and Karbit, in Texas even though it would require a plane trip. Two miniature breeders worth checking out are Moonstruck in Southern California and Ash's Mystical in Nevada. Both are AKC Breeder of Merit.


Hi,

The other members have excellently covered the difficulties in finding a true medium.

Proper health testing is a bit trickier. Miniatures and standards have different health issues and therefore different recommended testing for each by the PCA.

A member, curlflooffan, pointed out that many miniatures in the US and Canada, are actually in the medium (formerly moyen in the FCI) variety range:
Medium Poodles: Over 35 cm up to 45 cm. (13.7 inches to 17.7 inches)

15" is the top end for miniatures here with standards starting in at 15". Because there is a preferred size in the conformation ring, you're unlikely to find a standard below 20-21" since quality breeders are showing to prove their dogs meet the breed standard. Preferences have changed thru the years but this puts a limit on your choices in the smaller standard category.

Your best bet is that very, very, very small group of breeders importing mediums, or find a quality miniature breeder who breeds to the top end of the miniature range. Because of the (somewhat arbitrary) upper limits on the two smaller varieties (and some genetic history), toys and miniatures occasionally go oversize. Miniatures over 15" are still miniatures by genetics. Unfortunately, no breeder can guarantee what size a pup will end up.

My impression from our members with oversize miniatures is that they generally top out around 17". (I hope to be corrected if this isn't the case.)
The smallest standards of members that I remember are in that 20-21" range.
Ugh I've been researching and researching, my brain is overloaded with information. I remember reading this before. Thank you
 

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It's a lot to take on at first but as you start sorting and grouping info in your internal storage it gets a lot easier :).
 
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So sorry for your loss. Scruffy was a beautiful boy! Just wanted to wish you much success in obtaining a new fur baby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update :
I spoke with Audrey at Bonheur and she is expecting a litter in about 8 weeks and she won't be docking the tail or removing the dew claws at a good clients request. Which is what we wanted but is hard to find. I told her my daughter was doing research and doesn't like the idea of docking tails and can't understand why the AKC still requires it for show. Other countries have outlawed it, as well as California (I think). She completely understands because she said she has to hold the pups when they dock them and she hates that. She doesn't take a wait list though, so I'll have to call her back. She was also recommended by our groomer. I may call her in a couple of weeks to see if I could meet her in person and hopefully stay in her head when the litter is born.

Being a prepared person, I realize red/apricot are hard to come by from respectable breeders. If we don't get one of Audreys pups, I like to have a backup plan. We are not set on the color, but my daughter requested that we try to not get one that looks like Scruffy. That's fine, but if we had a Golden Retriever, and wanted to get another, they would be similar in appearance. The kid doesn't always get her way, but I will try. I do know I want a male. I've only known male poodles and I just feel like that's something to consider. I started thinking about parti poodles. They're pretty cute, though all puppies are pretty cute. any good parti poodle breeders in the midwest?
 

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There are several good non-docking parti standard poodle breeders in the midwest. Shyre and Perigeaux, in Ohio, are worth checking out.

Parti miniatures, especially undocked, are harder to find. I've already mentioned Karbit and Moonrise.

An advisory - a good parti breeder will bring in solid dogs to improve her line. There may be years when only solid puppies are available.
 

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Poodle (Non-standard) puppies for sale near you | Good Dog

will have parti breeders. Don't take the health testing for granted. Some of these are only doing some of the OFA testing for their variety, if any of it. Some are only doing DNA testing, which is companion to OFA testing but doesn't replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There are several good non-docking parti standard poodle breeders in the midwest. Shyre and Perigeaux, in Ohio, are worth checking out.

Parti miniatures, especially undocked, are harder to find. I've already mentioned Karbit and Moonrise.

An advisory - a good parti breeder will bring in solid dogs to improve her line. There may be years when only solid puppies are available.
Definitely looking for a mini
 
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