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I’m a long time lurker, first time poster. We have a 2.5 year old standard poodle. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old. We currently have three kids ages 8, 5, and 2. We just found out that we are expecting another.

We have been having trouble making enough time for him and I think adding another kid is only going to make it worse.

One of the big difficulties is that he is very reactive to cars, dogs, etc. About a year ago our vet recommended Fluoxetine and that has helped quite a bit. We try to watch cars or another trigger regularly while giving him tasty treats. I purchased a reactive training class from SpiritDog which has given a lot of helpful training ideas. I think he has a lot of potential for more improvement but I just don’t have the time. He has been through two obedience classes and an agility class.

We really aren’t sure what to do or if we are crazy for considering this. Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I don't think it's ever a bad thing to evaluate your situation and consider what's right for you. If you are considering rehoming your Poodle, I would first reach out to his breeder. Often, breeders have it in their contract that should an owner no longer be able to care for a puppy, it should be returned to the breeder. If nothing else, they may be able to give you guidance on finding an appropriate home or may even have a contact who is looking for a dog right away.
 

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Poodles are a lot. They can easily knock over littles with their exuberance and don’t really mature (calm the f down) until 3 if you’re lucky. No judgement or shame in evaluating what is best for your family and the Spoo. He can easily be re homed , through a poodle rescue or through your breeder. Many folks don’t want a puppy or a senior. Hugs and best wishes on your hard call.
 

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Welcome! I wish it were under better circumstances. :(

What is your boy’s name? Was he evaluated by a behaviourist or trainer before being medicated? What does his average day look like?

If I’m doing the math correctly, it sounds like you welcomed a human baby around the same time you brought him home. That does sound like a lot to juggle. I’m glad you were able to get him to some classes. It couldn’t have been easy to carve out the time.
 

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I have always believed it is best to rehome an animal in a good family than keep it just for the sake of keeping it when you can’t properly take care of it and address its needs. The challenge is to find the right family. As someone said, you need to reach to the breeder. If they won’t take him back, then your best bet is through a rescue association. You won’t get any money, but they will do a fantastic job at vetting potential families.

Having many kids and a new baby on the way with a young dog must definitely be very hard. Your dog is young and will adapt easily to a more suited life.

I wish you the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We have been on the fence about rehoming for quite some time but kept second guessing it. I think the introduction of another baby really forced us to reevaluate what we can realistically handle.

We are hesitant to reach out to the breeder. When we first thought he was showing signs of reactivity, we reached out for advice. He was maybe 6 months old. They didn’t seem to be familiar with the term reactive and told us to just put him in his crate and bang on it until he’s quiet. Clearly poor advice. Then maybe a year later we reached out again about potentially rehoming and never got a response. This has made us a little wary of giving him back.

We really don’t care about receiving any money. We would just want him to go to someone that could work with him and give him more attention. Ideally someone with experience training.

Would any of you have information about a poodle rescue associations in the Midwest? Is there any implications if we just bypass working with the breeder in this scenario?
 

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Breeder contracts can be tricky business. I don’t know what yours says. When/if you have decided to re-home your best bet is to contact the breeder by email or letter and tell them of your decision. Then the ball’s in the breeders court. You might also want to contact a contract attorney in your area for a consult. A few hundred dollars paid to a lawyer might save you grief later.
 

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While waiting for the breeder to respond here's a link to the Poodle Club of America rescues.

Poodle Rescue (poodleclubofamericarescuefoundationinc.org)

Within the PCA, you can also try contacting the various local or regional clubs breeder referral folks to ask if they have some recommendations.

PCA National Breeder Referral - The Poodle Club of America

The last thing you want is to have him go into a bad situation, particularly if he's intact. That's a recipe for a very sad life for him. Breed specific rescues will know how to vet any new home prospects.

It is concerning that the breeder would have a return clause but not respond to your prior attempt.
 

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@Nlohs , if you might feel comfortable sharing your state or a neighboring state, we could maybe provide specific information.

You can reach out to the people at these links to ask for help finding Poodle knowledgeable rescues:

Yes, those links are about finding a good breeder, but clubs and good breeders are well acquainted with breed rescue, and should be able to refer you on to good options. I'm sorry your breeder turned out not to be a solid source of support.
 

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Google poodle rescue in your city/state. Your breeder has been noticed and is unresponsive. The poodle rescue folks can probably advise you further. Sometimes life doesn’t quite go as planned. There are compassionate, reasonable exits. Best wishes.
 

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From all that you have said, I would reach out to poodle rescues. You may even want to call your local Humane Society and explain about your situation. They will probably be glad to get a young adult purebred poodle and I am sure he would find a good home quickly. (((HUGS)))
 

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I understand your circumstances and obviously you have already did everything possible to help with the reactivity. Some dogs and it seems poodles are reactive in certain circumstances no matter how much you train. You have a full plate, if the breeder will not take him back I would go with a rescue. You would be surprised at how many standards come into rescue between the ages of 10 month -3 years. I am a believer that a rescue can help in many circumstances. Wishing you the best and congratulations on the newest upcoming addition.
 

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Legal ownership is a fascinating concept. I doubt very highly that any breeder’s contract stating they have rights to a dog after it has been purchased and cared for by another person for several years would hold up in a court of law. I would also be blown away if any breeder would actually have the spare time and money to be litigious about any or all of their pups‘ futures. I doubt very much that you’d have any legal trouble with rehoming your own dog.

but then again, stranger things have happened, and some people are completely ridiculous, and it never ceases to amaze me what examples there are of ridiculous behavior. I’m sure after posting this, someone on this forum will have a wild example that will prove me wrong, but if it were me, I wouldn’t worry too much about the legalities of rehoming your dog.

why do you feel you need permission from all of us to do what’s best for you? That’s a more interesting question I think. You might want to do some soul searching on that one.

good luck to you and your growing family!
 

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Legal ownership is a fascinating concept. I doubt very highly that any breeder’s contract stating they have rights to a dog after it has been purchased and cared for by another person for several years would hold up in a court of law
The legal issue is less one of ownership and more simply what was agreed to by each party to uphold. Another part of the equation is whether the contract (terms) is legally enforceable, something like "return the dog or (this will happen)".

If the breeder also happens to be a conscientious breeder they will want/require to be involved in rehoming. The idea behind returning a dog to the breeder is generally meant to be in the dog's best interest (not always the case in reality).

The AKC describes it this way:

Return-to-Breeder Clause
Good breeders don’t sell puppies with the expectation of getting them back: A forever home is supposed to be just that. But life happens to the best of us, and a whole host of issues – illness, allergies, divorce, relocation, and financial problems, to name but a few – can make it impossible for an owner to continue keeping a dog, despite the best of intentions.

No matter what the reason for the rehoming, the breeder wants to be notified. Even if your now-adult dog is going to live with another loving family or close friend, the breeder will still want to know about any change of ownership.

While this might seem controlling, look at it from the breeder’s perspective: In order to be responsible for every puppy they bring into the world, breeders need to make sure they are in loving, responsible hands. They will also want the new owners to know they are available to provide the same guidance and advice that they gave you. And they want to know if any problems or issues develop throughout the dog’s life, as that is important information that will help guide their breeding program.


For PCA members this is a part of their Code of Ethics. Code of Ethics - The Poodle Club of America

  • Assume responsibility for the well-being of all dogs sold including taking back adults in emergency situations and finding homes for rescues that have been identified from my breeding when possible

10. The Breeder is responsible for any and all poodles that he/she has bred for the life of each poodle. If at any time the owner cannot keep the poodle, the breeder will take the dog back and decide what is best for the poodle in question, including placing or euthanizing the dog. It is the breeder’s place to take this responsibility. This helps take the burden off rescue groups for the breed.

From the Marquette University Law School website:

First, there is the aspect of a live creature, albeit a piece of property under the law in all states at this time. Then there is the aspect of the live creature being a purebred dog. Unlike other property, what is best for the dog or other animal has to be an important consideration in the terms of the contract. Other property does not have preferences and feelings. If an owner is no longer able to care for and keep the dog, provisions should be made in advance. The egos and preferences of the humans involved should be tempered with what is in the best interests of the animals. Many breeders/sellers have a clause in their contracts that provide the animal should be returned to the breeder or that the breeder should be involved in rehoming the animal if the buyer is unable to provide for the animal. In the past, breeders have been embarrassed when dogs they produced ended up in “Rescue”.

“Rescue” is a term that has several meanings as pertaining to dogs.


1. The actual “rescue” of a dog from an imminently dangerous situation – such as a fire or hurricane.
2. “Search and rescue” where dogs are used to find lost people, children, and other animals after kidnapping, natural disasters, and so on.
3. Perceived “rescue” of a dog or other animals from situations that may appear to be less than ideal living conditions or care. In my experience, this is not always an animal that was in an unsuitable situation. After more information is gained, it often turns out that many of these animals were doing well and did not need to be “rescued”. We have many clients who were told their animal was “abused” with no real evidence that an accusation was founded. “Rescue” therefore is a buzz word used by many organizations to better market animals whom they want to rehome.
As you can see, this emotional use of the word “rescue” triggers a hot button with breeders who are condemned by others for having a dog end up in “rescue”. For this reason, breeders feel compelled to be included in the rehoming efforts when a dog was sold to a home that turns out not to be a “forever home”.

In the world of dogs, both purebred and mixed breeds, breeders/sellers also are interested in controlling the reproductive future of the animals. Purebred dogs and other purebred animals historically have been the group of animals sellers wish to control. Some breeders do it for their egos, but most do it because they feel they are committed stewards of their breed and want to have only the superior specimens included in the future genetics of the breed. Most have the best interest of the animal at heart. However, a few are frankly control freaks. There is no reason to believe that other responsible stewards can’t be included in the fold of protecting the future of the breed.

Other sellers want to control other aspects of the animal’s care – sometimes again to control the animal’s environment and sometimes because they want to use their past experience to protect the new owner and animal from untoward problems. For instance, if a dog is predisposed to a known allergy, communicating a way to avoid the allergen is in everyone’s best interests.

Health guarantees are also unique to animal sales. A warranty inherently is different on an animal than it is on a non-living piece of property. A breeder may include a health guarantee, or the law may include a warranty of fitness for a particular purpose if the contract between the buyer and seller are silent. When the contract includes a health guarantee, the contract should specify boundaries on how much and when money should be spent for the care of the animal. The stakes are higher than when a used car is sold with a warranty, and a decision must be made on how much to spend on repairs. Having the terms specified in advance will save money and prevent conflict between the parties.




The OP was asking for advice and ideas which were given. They haven't been back in several days so I hope that if they've made a decision, it's one they felt was in their poodle's and their family's best interests.
 

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OK, this is NOT legal advice, because I am not a contract lawyer. But I agree with Retro Chick. I think that clause is probably unenforceable, and anyway, you gave them notice. That's all I believe you'd be required to do - give them an opportunity to reclaim the dog.
It's like how we have a right of first refusal to repurchase some land my husband's grandfather deeded to a neighbor. All he has to do is give us the opportunity to re-purchase the land. We can't stop him selling it to someone else if we choose not to exercise the option.
However, I am not encouraging you to give up your dog. Necessarily. That may be the right option for you and the dog - but my Maisie just turned two. I don't have any kids (although I do have a really demanding job and a farm to look after). I know there were many times I asked myself "What was I thinking?" I'm really glad I hung in there. Most of the time.
 
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