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Hello all, my family and I are looking to buy a standard poodle (our first of the breed) and I have contacted some breeders. One of them has positive reviews and lots of experience, does genetic testing and gives a health guarantee, however, when I asked to visit the facility to see the pups and/or the parents, I was told this is not allowed. I was also told that I was not allowed to pick out our own pup and that the breeder would do the matching based on the temperament displayed in the pup's first 8 weeks.

How common is it not to be able to visit the facility, and for the breeder to pick the pup? Is this normal, or is this a red flag? I have not purchased a purebred dog in about 20 years so things may have changed from then, when we went to the breeder's home and saw the parents and picked out our own pup.
 

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Not picking your own pup is relatively normal, not seeing the facilities AND not choosing your own is not... this would be a red flag for me.

I would also be looking for the other screenings, not just genetic (hip xrays, etc).

There is a great pinned post in the Breeder directory that Rose n Poos created that may be a good starting point.
 

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Another possible red flag would be the good reviews. Unless you mean on Poodle Forum or similar?

There's sure to be some exceptions, but I've never seen Yelp reviews, etc. for any breeder I'd consider.
Thanks for responding! Yes, I do mean good reviews or otherwise positive words about them on Poodle Forum.
 

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That seems odd then. I can't imagine any Poodle Forum members recommending a breeder that won't allow you to visit. Is it perhaps due to covid?

I'd absolutely want to see where the puppies are being raised and meet the dam (and, if possible, the sire, too). This can be done outside with proper social distancing.
 

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Agree with FWOP and Peggy. It's particularly concerning that they are not allowing a prospective buyer to meet the dam (and sire, if the sire is on-site) or inspect the facilities.

As for recs here on PF, take them with a grain of salt. Breeders change MO, and we have had, erm, lively discussions between members, some of whom recommended and defended terrible breeders. I know there's a breeder that I have publicly denounced here on PF, who has also been recommended by other members here. Look to the totality of what's been said, and if in doubt, ask away (as you're doing!).
 

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Breeders have to be careful about introducing disease to unvaccinated puppies. Usually they don't want visitors when the pups are very small.

I've been allowed to choose between two pups sometimes.
 

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Could the prohibition of a visit be due to Covid? If this is the case I think it’s an appropriate decision by the breeder. However I would expect to be able to come near the house and to see the dogs from a safe social distance.
 
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I would understand them not wanting people visiting when the pups are young and vulnerable, or possibly because of covid. But I would think they would find a safe way for you to at least meet the dam (and possibly sire) when you pick up the puppy. I actually consider it a good thing if the breeder pairs based on temperament.
 

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It's a standard puppy mill play to not allow buyers to meet the parents or see the facilities. Sometimes the breeder will even set up a visit, just to call the buyer a day or so in advance because "something" has come up, and arrange to meet the buyer at a different location. It happened to friends of mine and I didn't have the heart to tell them that their "wonderful" breeder was really an Amish puppy mill....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would understand them not wanting people visiting when the pups are young and vulnerable, or possibly because of covid. But I would think they would find a safe way for you to at least meet the dam (and possibly sire) when you pick up the puppy. I actually consider it a good thing if the breeder pairs based on temperament.
When I asked the breeder, they said it's because of covid, and having unvaccinated pups at home. Seems reasonable. But at some point I'd like to see the facilities, meet the dam (at least) and see the puppies and how they interact with the mother or with each other.
 

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When I asked the breeder, they said it's because of covid, and having unvaccinated pups at home. Seems reasonable. But at some point I'd like to see the facilities, meet the dam (at least) and see the puppies and how they interact with the mother or with each other.
I'd ask if it's possible to see them when the pups are older. The facilities might not be possible, but you should be able to see the pups and mom together. That should be possible outdoors I would think. I think my dog's breeder also minimizes visitors before the pups are older. But I was able to meet both parents when I picked him up. It was a 12 hour drive for me so I wasn't able to visit earlier anyway. She can always send you some videos of where the pups are living etc.
 

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It is called biosecurity and even if they are not bringing a dog with them there is no telling what they can bring in. Many if not most breeders these days limit access to their homes when they have young puppies due to the high risk of parvo. Also if they have a dog it has germs they can carry in that the puppies may not have immunity to, not saying their dog is or could be sick but we all know what happens when you move from one area to another and have a whole nother set of "well germs" to get used to...
Also be aware that more and more breeders are limiting access to their homes or even addresses due to safety concerns for themselves and their dogs. There have been some horror stories of breeders killed, breeders having break-ins and puppies stolen etc after allowing a "puppy buyer" into their homes.
 

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I understand why you'd not want to bring names into this, but in those PF mentions, did anyone talk about the process of choosing their pup or visiting the breeder, picking up their pup? Are the posts older or more current? That gives something of a timeline. If they allowed visits in the past but not currently, that could mean disease prevention or safety issues as mentioned. Even so, as already mentioned, personal opinions and experiences can vary.

If you have an address, I've had luck a couple of times finding the breeder's home and grounds on Google Maps using Street View. You could try that. I know this sounds a bit stalkery but if their address is listed on their website or FB then it's just using tools available.

Have you checked OFA for listings of their dogs testing under the kennel name or registered name? If there are listings do any of the names match names of their public sites, if any? I mean there to verify that their current breeding dogs are up to date on testing. This is another tool, but isn't always as successful as one might hope.

If you have a dogs registry name, you can do a web search on that name to see if anythig else comes up. Or if you have the breeder's name, (not the kennel name) try a web search on that.

There was another instance where a breeder had placed some video's publicly which featured some of their puppies. I'd have to say that those videos didn't come off in their favor so far as the puppies behavior was concerned.
 

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In the UK reputable breeders stopped visits during the height of Covid - rules have now relaxed a little, but anyone vulnerable or in contact with someone vulnerable will still be taking precautions, avoiding close contact. And when I have visited pups in the past biosecurity has always been an issue - shoes and coats left outside and careful use of hand gel have usually been sufficient, but some breeders simply ban all visits while the pups are vulnerable, after a bad experience or two. In normal times not allowing visits would be a red flag; the way things are at the moment I would be happy to rely on recent recommendations from puppy buyers just before lockdown. I would still expect to see Mum and pups together when I isited to collect, though.
 

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I had Tonka groomed at Cantope the other day, Stopped to talk to Diane while I was there. I sprayed my shoes with Quat and sanitized my hands before I even knocked on her door. She knows I'm well trained so had no problem with my visit.

Peter was out back, holding a Rally Class... going over some paperwork with dog owners while their dogs ran free in the field. When I stepped thru the gate I was mobbed, wading thru a pack of a dozen+ Poodles that were rushing to greet me. :)
 
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