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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to get a poodle puppy. I have already found a breeder I like and they have a puppy I am looking at. My only question is whether or not his head is too round. I have heard that a very round head can be a sign of hydrocephalus. What do y'all think? Is his head normal or no?
 

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I don’t know but the best way to ensure you’re getting a healthy puppy is to buy from a good, ethical breeder who does health testing.

We can give you our opinion on the breeder if you want to give us the name.
 

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https://www.poodleforum.com/3-poodle-pictures/266407-our-pearly-winston-babies-four-weeks-old.html#post3205069

Above is a link to another post with some photos from one of our well respected members, a breeder of gorgeous poodles, Arreau Standard Poodles (hope you don't mind).

She posts photos of new litters periodically, so you can get some idea from her photos of how the pups look at the younger ages. Use the search function if you'd like to find more photos to compare. I personally don't have experience with a lot of young pups, so I'm not able to advise you.
 

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Now that you mention it, his head really is pretty round. I agree with Dechi, make sure you are dealing with an ethical breeder. We are happy to share our opinions if you name any breeders you are interested in buying from.
 

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I think we also have to consider what size poodle puppy this is and what is the age in the photo . Its hard to determine from the picture if it is a healthy pup. I would be interested in what health testing the breeder has done on her breeding stock, if she does any activities with her dogs etc. Poodles are expensive not only to purchase but to maintain and care for, so you want to be careful that you purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder.
 

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If I have learned one thing in Poodles' looks - the hair has a lot to do with it! Could it just be the way the hair falls?
 

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i am no expert but this pup looks like maybe only a couple of weeks old? too early to tell? if the breeder is someone you like and does all necessary testing, etc, i wont hesitate to ask the breeder's opinion as well.
 

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I agree with Asuk about talking to the breeder if they get upset or defensive that you are asking then maybe they aren't the right breeder. The other thing to remember is that when poodle pups are very young they look more like generic retrievers than poodles to some extent. I had shown pics of Javelin's litter to a golden retriever owning friend way bakc and she was surprised at their heads.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for your replies! I do not think this breeder would mind if I identify her. Her name is Lisa Calderon (Marjo Poodles in N.C.). She has been very honest, non-defensive and seems to care deeply about her puppies and the people who adopt them. I also think she is dedicated to breeding quality puppies with excellent temperaments. She does show her dogs and offers a copy of genetic testing on the parents and/or grandparents of her pups (OFA testing?) I think she tests eyes and patellas too.

Originally, I wanted a toy poodle. After researching, I became fearful that a toy may be too fragile, as I have a 10 yr. old mini aussie. Jett is a wonderful dog that gets along well with other dogs, cats, kittens etc., but he can be somewhat clumsy, when excited. The mini poodle is supposed to be more sturdy in frame, so I decided a small mini may be better suited.

The above puppy is between 4 -5 weeks old. His parents are both miniature poodles. When I originally contacted Lisa, she told me she had one puppy that looked like he would be an over-sized toy size. A couple weeks later, it was Lisa that informed me she was concerned the puppy may be too small, as he was not keeping up in growth with his litter mates. She is keeping a close eye on his development and is planning on having him thoroughly evaluated by her vet between 5-6 weeks of age. she also plans to keep him a few weeks longer to make sure he is doing well before placing him. I feel confident that she is a very ethical breeder and would not sell a puppy with any type of questionable health issue.

What I am concerned about is the possible long term affects on the puppy's neurological system, intelligence, temperament etc. due to being small for gestational age and then not keeping pace in growth. He is now approximately half (or less) in size than siblings. Lisa keeps me informed and reports he is doing great! The next puppy I adopt will most likely be the last puppy I raise. I'm getting attached to the little guy, just through the pic's and updates. Any advice from you knowledgeable people would be greatly appreciated. Maybe he will be the most perfect possible addition. I'm having a hard time being objective, so am reaching out here.

Also, the timing of bringing him home isn't the most optimal. The puppy would be left alone at home ( crated in an enclosed area w/ sleeping/playing/pee-pad areas for almost 3 hours daily). I am a teacher, so in June, I can be home at all times for a new puppy. But maybe a 6 month old puppy would benefit more from having me home all day....so many difficult decisions! Sorry for this long post. This is a commitment I take very seriously and want to give my puppy the best possible start.
 

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Meh, not up to my standards after looking at the website and FB page. I would especially pass because of this particular puppy's possible health issues down the road. Poodles have so many things that can go wrong, even those from good breeders. I would really start out with the very best, and when the timing is the best.

I was just helping another newbie on the board to locate a red mini--I noticed that DiMarnique is planning a litter in the summer. Also, Danube has a red puppy currently available. You will pay more from a top tier breeder, but I think it's worth it.
 

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I couldn’t find “Show News” on the site. If you haven’t already put a deposit down, why don’t you follow up on ZM’s leads in case the littlest one doesn’t catch up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you ZM and Mfmst. It's so hard to walk away from a puppy that I'm thinking may be "mine" and the potential he may have.

ZM, I am wondering why you think this breeder may be sub-par. Asking because I told another newbie that she has red mini's available. I did state I have no experience and only know she has red mini's available.

I do not care about color and have no preference. I didn't think I would want a black, but after looking at pics on here, they are gorgeous! My main concern is temperament. I am hoping my puppy will be my best friend, fill the void of "empty nest" as my youngest child enters adulthood and that my dog and I develop a strong bond while we meet new people, make friends and become active in basic training, obedience, maybe agility. Or just get to know our neighbors.
 

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It's easier to turn away from a picture on a computer screen than it is a warm puppy in your lap, the importance of health testing is something every poodle owner should understand.
Here is a link for what health testing should be done
https://3hydp9ye82a18dc272gyhmi1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Health_Screening_in_Poodles_2016.pdf

I learned the hard way, my beautiful dream brown toy girl has cost me $10,000, she has had bilateral patella surgeries, $4k a knee, one at 16 months another at 3 yrs, she was diagnosed with early chronic kidney disease at age 4. My Beatrice will be 5 yrs old in April.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you Twyla for your input. I'm so sorry you and Beatrice had to go through so much. I am trying to ensure the puppy that joins my small family is as healthy in body and mind/spirit as possible. I have been so blessed in that my previous 2 dogs and ragdoll cat have never been ill or in need of veterinarian services, besides routine, in their entire lives , and they are old!

Due to the input I have received from this thread/post of mine, I am leaning towards letting this little boy go - with a heavy heart. I did not feel comfortable and all your input just supports that.

Thank you all so much!
 

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If the breeder and puppy suits you I would get it. Totally agree on getting from a good breeder, but there are no guarantees getting a dog from any top breeder that the pup cannot get a problem with knees. I know may that have just jumped on their hind legs or off a sofa, lap whatever. I know nothing about the breeder just saying there is no assurance a problem won't arise. Sometimes the runt of the bunch catches up later. I would ask her more questions, since you like the little pup
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I do like the little pup, from pictures and following his development these last few weeks. And the possibility that he may be the very best dog ever makes me want to give him the chance. There is also the very good possibility that this puppy may have future problems... and I only get one...I do think it may be an increased risk. The almost $2k purchase price, although alot, is nothing compared to the cost of 16 plus yrs of caring/companionship. Such a hard decision!
 

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daabor, I try to commend anyone I see who hears any advice from the super experienced here, and takes it to heart. Reading your replies shows how open and reasonable you are. I know it takes a lot of determination and self-control to hold back when you have such a desire for and connection with a certain puppy. But we promise you will not regret backing out and going with one of the breeders who have been recommended. Best wishes on whatever you decide to do!
 

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daabor, if you have your sight set on this pup, arrange a visit. i am not keen that marjo is charging a different price for red and black. I am not a show expert but don't they have to be in a continental for confirmation (AKC) after age 1? the show grooming looks quite unkempt for me. it could also be an old website, i find some breeders are not computer savvy while others are always good at updating their sites or pictures. so if this breeder checks all the boxes, might be worth gauging it in person.

spend some time with the puppy's mom, you can gauge how your pup temperament loosely on how the dam behaves. more than likely you wont be able to meet the sire, but great if you could. however most breeder (i know mine did) do Volhard testing aka temperament testing. i didnt get to pick my pup, but rather a pup was picked for me. and she was right, milo complements us.

as for the growing issues, unless he is significantly behind, i wont rule out the runt. milo is a runt, he came home at just a hair over 3 lbs while his siblings were closer to 4.5lbs or just a hair over. you wont know its the same dog standing at a sturdy and solid 13" tall at the withers and weighing 13 lbs. the biggest one out of the litter is only 1" taller and 1lbs heavier, so in the end, all of them are around the same size.
 

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You’ve received good advice here and it pays to be very cautious about breeders as a cute puppy can override all rational thought!

I just went through the puppy search process and one resource I found helpful was the breeder referral for Poodle Club of America. I think you are in NC? So Leslie Newing would be the person. This is the link. And the contact info is below as well. They also have contacts your state that you can talk to.

I ran into Leslie at a show and she reinforced for me what I needed to look for....big stress on health testing. She was very pleasant and said I was welcome to call her if I wanted more information.

Breeder referral East of the Mississippi:
Leslie Newing
Phone: (203) 255-3396
Email: [email protected]
Accepting calls from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern time


I am no expert, but my first impression is that Marjo is not big in the show circuit, and it appears the pictures she posted are from UKC shows? That’s not necessarily bad, and that may be the reason the grooming is not what we expect to see from AKC. Positives are that the dogs appear to be in her home, and she says she does all the health testing. I would absolutely verify the testing has been done before proceeding. You can do this yourself by looking up the individual dogs on the OFA site. Or just ask to see copies.

It is great to get opinions from folks who know how to find a good breeder. But it’s also good (and empowering) to be able to verify the information yourself. Then you can make a decision based on data, as emotions can take over when a puppy is concerned!


Good luck!
 
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