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Hi All,

After a year of searching for the right puppy and prices of dogs skyrocketing, I am contemplating getting a (pedigree) puppy from a non kennel club registered breeder.

As far as questions go, I don't know where to begin and overwhelmed with anxiety, as of course, the questions/screening process will be much more intense, given the risk, compared to if the dogs were actually registered.

For those of you that have purchased from non kennel club registered breeders(and dogs remained healthy- with no complications), what questions did you ask your breeder and what papers were you provided? At which point did you feel confident enough to go stick with that breeder?
For those who did purchase KC registered dogs, your response/suggested questions are also very much welcome too.
 

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When you say a non-kennel club registered breeder do you mean a breeder who does not register the puppies with the Kennel Club? If so, I would avoid buying from them, unless I knew them, their dogs and their reasons extremely well. The usual reasons for not registering the puppies are:
The dam and/or sire were sold with limited, endorsed registration, meaning they were not sold for breeding and their offspring cannot be registered.
The dam is too young/too old for the puppies to be registered, or has already produced the maximum number of litters the KC permits.
The dam and/or sire are not themselves registered, and therefore cannot be guaranteed to be all poodle.
The dam and/or sire has failed one of the very few mandatory health tests the KC asks for.
The pups have been imported, probably illegally.
Saving a few pounds by not registering the litter - you should be able to register the puppy yourself if none of the above conditions apply.

All of these to me indicate someone who is producing pups purely for profit, and you may not even save any money - Freddy, who comes from one of the top breeders in the country, was actually less expensive than most of the poorly bred and mixed breed pups I have seen advertised. A well bred puppy from a caring breeder will also be much less likely to suffer from expensive issues as it grows up.

If you mean the breeder is not part of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder scheme that is rather different. I would then focus on the health testing of the parents (look at the KC site for the recommended tests for the size of poodle you want), and ask to talk to buyers of previous puppies. If it is the first litter I would want to know about the parents' history. Be very wary of possible puppy mill fronts - and also of imported puppies.

If you would like to PM me with links to any advertisements that have caught your eye I would be happy to give you my opinion of them.
 

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I actually do not know any good breeder who is an AKC or KC registered breeder. What really matters is whether or not the person breeds to the standard and does all necessary health tests on their breeding stock. A reputable breeder is knowledgeable about bloodlines and other breeders. A reputable breeder provides copies of health testing of a puppy's sire and dam and provides paperwork for AKC/KC registration.

It's been many years since I lived in Scotland, but when we purchased our first two dogs there (a toy poodle and an Alsatian) we were given lots of documentation and information by the breeders. Here is the USA, I have never purchased a dog without complete documentation.
 

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Rather then putting the ball in your court, you could pass the ball and ask, "could you show me the health tests, and paperwork from the bitch and sire?"

That way if they don't then they don't - and you know what you need to know (pass), but then if they do then you can filter what they have as legit or not.

Then, you could come on here and say "this is what I got back, is it good or no?"
 

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Which size and colour poodle are you looking for?
Where have you been looking so far?
Prices are dropping, slowly, but they are coming down and the price difference between the two doesn’t seem to be that vast. There is no reason a pup shouldn’t be KC registered, for reasons fjm said and also there are so many dogs being stolen and bred from, all those would be non Kc litters. You also can’t trust the dam and sire are actually purebred.
Getting a puppy from health tested parents gives you the best chance of having a healthy puppy.
 

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(y)to all the above.

This is a link to two lists of suggested questions for buyers to ask when assessing an Assured Breeder and a non-Assured Breeder.

Finding a responsible breeder | Getting a dog | Kennel Club (thekennelclub.org.uk)

There is also a Code of Ethics which seems to have a slightly different focus from the Poodle Club of America.
The Kennel Club code of ethics | Our codes | Kennel Club

In the US the Poodle Club of America is the official breed club. There is a Breeder Code of Ethics which I would use to assess any breeder by.
Code of Ethics - The Poodle Club of America

Whichever breeder I select, I would use the highest of the standards as my guide.

Membership with a club isn't required to meet the high standards willingly.
 

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My step daughter just bought a Boxer puppy for the family. I wish she had spoken to me prior to doing this.

Red flags.
White boxers. No reputable breeder would breed a white boxer because there are health problems with this color (which I believe is actually albino). Breeding for a non registrable color signals someone not breeding for health, but rather for the money of an exotic color. The kids wanted a white male puppy, but fortunately they researched first and discovered that they would have to put sunscreen on the dog's testicles every time it went outside in the summer. Ummm, no. Do you know color problems with poodles? The AKC does not accept parti color (spots), but the UKC does. Spots are fine if you are not showing in conformation.

"Breeder" fed the puppies Pedigree puppy food. Bottom of the dog food list. I don't know of a good breeder who doesn't feed a high quality dog food. They have switched to predator raw, so I am sure the little girl will be healthy.

Eight weeks old and good bye. Puppies benefit from staying with the mom and litter mates longer. A large breed puppy typically stays for 12 weeks or more.

Also, do the puppies show interest in you when they see you? Certainly by 8 weeks they should expect attention from humans and ask for it.
 

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@Noviceshift - I have the same question as @fjm . I bought my spoo from a non Kennel Club Assured Breeder scheme and I had prepared a long list of questions so I am happy to share them if you would like. However, W was definitely registered with KC.

I understand that for you the price of a KC puppy is the main issue. Have you considered buying a 12 weeks old puppy instead of 8? I have come to the realisation that most breeder on the KC website under 'find a puppy' end up lowering their prices (sometimes going down half price) at the 10/12 weeks mark so that they are sure to sell them. In a lot of European countries it is actually recommended to get a puppy from 10 weeks onwards (and not 8) so perhaps this could be an option for you? If the breeder is a great one (which in any case you should make sure they are) then leaving the pup a bit longer with them is not an issue at all!

I hope this helps, but if anyone else has any ideas please let me know!🐩🐩
 

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Do you know color problems with poodles? The AKC does not accept parti color (spots), but the UKC does. Spots are fine if you are not showing in conformation.
*** As long as the dog is not a merle, any other color is fine for a pet poodle. Show poodles must be a solid color for AKC.

"Breeder" fed the puppies Pedigree puppy food. Bottom of the dog food list. I don't know of a good breeder who doesn't feed a high quality dog food. They have switched to predator raw, so I am sure the little girl will be healthy.
*** I don't know what list you are looking at, but I fed Pedigree for a while and had no issues with it. Over 50 years of breeding and showing poodles, I have have almost always fed Purina products. I definitely would not feed "predator raw" - too much danger of contamination and unlikely to be a balanced diet.

Eight weeks old and good bye. Puppies benefit from staying with the mom and litter mates longer. A large breed puppy typically stays for 12 weeks or more.
*** The guide dogs for the blind used to recommend eight weeks as an ideal time to move a puppy to a new home. I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but most breeders do try to place puppies in a forever home at eight weeks.

Also, do the puppies show interest in you when they see you? Certainly by 8 weeks they should expect attention from humans and ask for it.
*** Yes, I agree that puppies should certainly seek human attention by 8 weeks at the very latest. If they don't, I would seriously question how they have been raised.
 

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Leo (GSD), Lily (APBT), and Simon (SPoo)
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My step daughter just bought a Boxer puppy for the family. I wish she had spoken to me prior to doing this.

Red flags.
White boxers. No reputable breeder would breed a white boxer because there are health problems with this color (which I believe is actually albino). Breeding for a non registrable color signals someone not breeding for health, but rather for the money of an exotic color. The kids wanted a white male puppy, but fortunately they researched first and discovered that they would have to put sunscreen on the dog's testicles every time it went outside in the summer. Ummm, no.
Unlike "white' Doberman Pinschers, which actually are albino, white Boxers are just the result of the piebald gene carried to the extreme. White over more than 1/3 of the body is considered a conformation DQ in both AKC and UKC, but when pushing that envelope to produce "flashy" dogs, it's not unheard of for good breeders to produce checked, or even white dogs. On the other hand, deliberately breeding for whites would be a red flag.

And actually, any light colored dog would benefit from having sunscreen on areas of exposed skin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow! Thank you everyone - this is certainly inexhaustible advice!

@fjm Exactly! That said, I have changed my mind with choosing a breeder that is not registered with Kennel Club, based on the very reasoning you kindly provided.
As for KC registered toy poodles, I will be patient until I find the right puppy, that isn’t sold for an extortionate price - given pandemic has eased, the pricing in itself, is questionable.

I will PM now.

@Basil_the_Spoo that’s a wonderful suggestion. thanks!


@Vee That’s so true!
Grey,Chocolate and Red. The sites used have been Pets4Homes, Freeads, Preloved and Kennel Club. Do you recommend any others?


@Rose n Poos The American Code of Ethics is great! Thank you for the links.



@Michigan Gal , both what you & @Nana06 have said has changed my perspective as to the age a puppy should go and I’m now very much at ease in welcoming a puppy at 10-12 weeks :)
@Nana06 and, if a dog/litter on KC ‘ find a breeder’ is indeed 12 weeks and breeder is charging a lot, do you think it’s acceptable to ask for price to be reduced?
 

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Champdogs is a good site as only kc registered litters from health tested parents are able to be sold there. https://www.champdogs.co.uk/breeds/toy-poodle/puppies
The kennel club site is also good as you can check out the parents and if they are health tested. Not all health tests appear on there but the main ones set by the kennel club do.
Toys seem to be the most expensive, I would be cautious of the other sites, there are genuine sellers but a lot of scammers and puppy farmers use these sites. Also don’t give any deposits unless you see the litter, at the breeders home with mum.
 

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if a dog/litter on KC ‘ find a breeder’ is indeed 12 weeks and breeder is charging a lot, do you think it’s acceptable to ask for price to be reduced?
I don't know about over in the UK, but I wouldn't approach a US breeder to request a price reduction. The breeder's expenses don't drop simply because the puppy is older. The puppy still requires food, grooming, baths, veterinary care, etc. If the seller is doing everything properly, the extra month at the breeder's house is like a month of free training. If the breeder isn't bothering with grooming and vet care, I'd walk away entirely.

Additionally, I don't think it gives a good impression if you are too concerned over prices. As I said, the extra month with the breeder should be a good thing, if the breeder is good. More experience playing with other dogs, a month closer to being housebroken, further along in the vaccination schedule, more exposure to grooming, etc. The breeder is actually adding value to the dog. Asking for a discount sort of insults their efforts. If I were a breeder it also would make me question the motives of the buyer. If the buyer thinks an older puppy is so shopworn as to merit a discount, what other minor flaws might the buyer have no patience with? Will the puppy get discarded when it embarrassingly humps the couch cushions in front of houseguests or destroys an ottoman by chewing? If the buyer is worried about £100-200, does this mean the buyer's budget is so lean that grooming and veterinary care will be a struggle?
 

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Hi! Glad you found all the answers helpful. I agree with @cowpony , I would not request a discount as it might look bad. My experience is that most breeders lower their prices themselves. I have just looked for you and can see a few "older" (11/12 weeks) KC registered puppies that are £1,000 less than the 8 weeks ones. It was the same for my spoo (which I paid full price for but some of his siblings ended up leaving 5 days after mine for half price!). I appreciate that it is quite distasteful to discuss money when it comes to animals' lives but if that is what will make the difference for you, I completely understand that this is one of your priorities. But don't forget to check everything else that everyone else has mentioned though - because in the long run an unhealthy/ unsocialised puppy will definitely end up costing you a fortune.

As a last tip, the KC are currently completely overwhelmed and have not taken very well to working from home (believe me I have tried reaching out a lot) so some puppies under 4 months will not be on the website yet. What you need to do in this instance is make sure that the parents are both KC registered (and the health test they had) and check the breeder's application to the KC for the puppies + their reply. If it's not their first litter (of both parents together I mean), you can see the KC pages, health checks & inbreeding scores of their older siblings as a first reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Vee Thanks!

Hi @cowpony
The first part of your post is appreciated and has been noted, alongside the additional effort the breeder is putting in during those 10-12 weeks. To state, I was simply seeking clarification to what @Nana06 , had brought to my attention.

In regards to the second half of your post, I’m unsure where you got the ’’£100-200’’ figure from (if that’s the cost in US-I see your frustration)— but if you would like better insight in the UK, perhaps have a read of a few news articles, look at the forum and look up the definition of extortionate. A 10’’ dog that enters the price bracket of an average sized horse, hence the articles, have been a cause of concern for many, especially being lockdown is over. The motives exposed are that of money hungry breeders, whose main concern are to exploit those who unfortunately know no better(at a point, it was almost me), or those who have more money than sense.

P.S The advocacy was great - you’ve convinced me to never buy an ottoman.

P.P.S - is this not you?
$3000 and above would be reasonable for a full registration for a show/breeding prospect. $1800-$2800, depending on the region and the breeder, is the range I would expect for a pet. I'm in an expensive part of the country; I certainly didn't pay $3k for my boy earlier this year.


@Nana06 Thanks for clarifying and looking into things.
 

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A note on pricing...that post was over a year ago. Padding pricing to inflate profit is always frowned on, in this last year and more everyone's overall costs have gone up. The high end pricing in the US for a pup from a conscientious breeder can go up to $3500 and even a bit higher, depending on location.

Wherever in the world a breeder may be, one who is doing this for love of the breed, to look to the future of the breed, isn't doing this for profit. Recouping costs is reasonable but breeders who breed primarily to make money aren't investing in their dogs by spending for the health testing, spending for the best examples of breeding dogs, spending for health care, best living conditions...they aren't spending more than strictly necessary to keep their profit margin up.

This is what I look for

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 physically and temperamentally, and are sound 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.

I may have missed this but what variety are you looking for?
 
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