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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone! I've decided to move forward and finally get a red mini or toy poodle as a companion dog but also a support animal as I do have anxiety and sometimes depressive episodes (its been a rough year!).
I'm based in Southern California, but would be willing to drive throughout CA, as well as Arizona, Nevada (potentially Oregon and Washington for the right breeder/pup).

I've reached out to a couple of breeders, but was wondering if anyone has had any experience with Red Head Heaven Poodles? Their website and profile states they do all the appropriate health testing (OFA, etc) and the owner I reached out to was super nice and responsive. I want to make sure I'm purchasing from an ethical/reputable breeder and getting a good quality puppy :) I was looking into Scarlet's Red/Apricots, but based on the info on the forum I've learned they are to be avoided, so just looking for any reviews/thoughts/experiences anyone might have with Red Head Heaven.

Thanks!
 

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Welcome! And congratulations on your (very exciting) decision to welcome a poodle puppy into your home. :)

Will you be able to visit the breeder in person prior to committing to a puppy?

I ask because some of the text from their website is repeated verbatim on websites for other breeds, such as Dalmatians, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, and Golden Retrievers. It's the part about how the puppies are raised (moved to the living room at 2 weeks, etc.) which just seems odd.

To rule out a broker/puppy mill situation, I'd want to see where exactly the puppies are raised and meet the dam and sire before putting down a deposit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for responding! I just reached out to them about visiting/meeting them in person, since I live in the area and got the response that they post pictures of the sire and dam on their website once the the puppies are born.
 

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Have you had a chance to work your way through this list?


I'm afraid there's likely to be quite a wait right now thanks to the quarantine rush, especially for such a popular colour. But the sooner you're on a waitlist, the sooner you can start getting excited about your new companion. Time will fly. :)
 

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Their response to you sounds less than encouraging. "We post pictures" isn't the same as being able to check out where they live and meet them. There are a few things on the website that are red flags for me. The "buy now" button on the site, and the fact that they advertise dogs as "teacup" and "micro teacup" are both things that I would not expect on a reputable breeder's site.

Things that I do like... they seem to do quite a bit of health testing as they have a lot of dogs listed on OFA with hips, patellas, eye exams, cardiac, and elbow exams. I'm not seeing tests for Progressive Retinal Atrophy on the ofa site but they do mention their studs are cleared for PRA on their website. Gentle browsing yielded some dogs that have notes on their eye exams indicating potential issues so I would want to see the OFA results for the exact parents and their relations.

I do not care for some of the studs' conformation. One in particular seems to have short little dachshund legs which is often indicative of carrying the gene that increases risk of IVDD.
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I was going to end my post. But then I saw something else. I clicked the "buy now" to see what happened. It took me to paypal to put a puppy deposit down sending the email to [email protected] which is clearly another dog breeder. The Sierra webpage is basically identical to the RHH webpage. I notice at the top of the RHH webpage it says Serenity Canine Retreat LLC. Same thing at the top of the Sierra webpage. I looked that up. I see no connection there. It says the website was made by Pets4You. So that may explain the similarity. But Serenity is in GA while RHH is in CA and Sierra is in UT. So very different locations. Why is there a paypal link on RHH that sends money to a different breeder in a different state? I don't know. These are just the facts.
 

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Hi and Welcome!

In the event that this is your first foray into the world of poodle breeders and pups I'll drop in my personal criteria for choosing a breeder to spend the rest of my pups life with :).

Quality, conscientious breeders will generally have a wait list for their pups at the best of times. With so many folks on the puppy bandwagon due to the increase of people deciding to take advantage of the lockdowns, the wait is likely to be even longer. Some members are reporting waits into 2021.

My criteria need not be yours but I think it's important for a potential poodle owner to understand why these criteria are important in choosing a conscientious breeder and to get a well bred puppy to share life with for many years to come.

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.
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.

Breeding Program
! to maintain, improve, strengthen the breed
by breeding to standard, for health and genetic diversity,
and will prove their dogs meet these standards by showing or competing
or by breeding from titled parents. It's not the title, but what it shows
! focus is on quality, never quantity
! they do not cross breed
! they limit breeding to one to two breeds
! they limit breeding to only a few litters per year *

Breeding Parents
! registry information available
AKC Registry Lookup
! not too old or young for breeding
! not overbred
see Asking questions from a breeder
and Frequency of Breeding a Bitch
! genetic health testing done appropriate to breed and variety
! other health testing by exam such as annual eye, hips, patellas
! results of testing on own website, OFA site or testing lab
see Health Related Publications - Versatility In Poodles, Inc.
and OFA Lookup https://www.ofa.org/look-up-a-dog

Living Conditions
! in home with family
! breeder allows, even encourages home visits

Puppies
! routine and urgent vet care, immunizations, dewormings
! socialization
! first groomings
! registry papers
! they will not require spay/neuter before physical maturity
! health "guarantee" generally favors the breeder, not the buyer.
health guarantee is no replacement for health testing of dam and sire.
beginning housetraining is a bonus
temperament testing is helpful

Advertising
! individual website to detail history of breeder, goals for their program
! information on dams, sires, puppies
! no trend pricing for color, gender or size,
! no marketing gimmick terms like "teacup" "royal"

! Anything not found on the website should be provided by breeder before buying.

* Many people prefer small scale breeders because they feel the puppies will have better socialization and it's very unlikely to be a puppy mill-like operation.
This doesn't mean that larger scale breeders can't do things right. The breeder of record may not be hands on with every pup or poodle on the place but they should make sure that all the quality of life and attention are paid to all their dogs.

If a breeder wants me to believe that they believe in their dogs, they won't stop the investment when it comes time to find the new families. If they want to cut costs by using free advertising sites like craigslist or listing on retail marketplaces like puppyspot or puppyfind, or other classified ad sites such as newspapers, I wonder what else they've cut costs on.

Contact a few breeders to introduce yourself. Even if they don't have or don't offer what you're looking for, it can be a close knit community. They may know where to refer you.
 

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I also find information that I'm having a hard time reconciling.

They have at least 13 dogs of what I consider appropriate breeding age with testing results on OFA (there are more but too old or too young to breed imo).
They write this " Litters are small and we do a limited amount of breeding per year,"
They write "We are beginning to downsize ourselves to start the retiring process as well. We are hoping to slowly find the perfect homes for all of our retiring adults."
They write "we strive to breed the healthiest puppies that grow into healthy long-lived adults. Our lines can be traced back 20 years and we have 35 years of experience with raising healthy dogs."
They write "Health Warranty covers up to 12 months of the: elbows(severe dysphasia) heart(congenital heart defect) and eyes(PRA)."
They write "We do not keep a waiting list or a future deposit list."
They write "Before you place a deposit make sure you can commit to the time frame the puppy will be going home and you have already filled out the application form."
They write "Due to high call volume and Covid-19, we are unable to answer our phone."
They write "Please email us for further questions".
The Buy Now link is on every page.
 

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I also find information that I'm having a hard time reconciling.

They have at least 13 dogs of what I consider appropriate breeding age with testing results on OFA (there are more but too old or too young to breed imo).
They write this " Litters are small and we do a limited amount of breeding per year,"
They write "We are beginning to downsize ourselves to start the retiring process as well. We are hoping to slowly find the perfect homes for all of our retiring adults."
They write "we strive to breed the healthiest puppies that grow into healthy long-lived adults. Our lines can be traced back 20 years and we have 35 years of experience with raising healthy dogs."
They write "Health Warranty covers up to 12 months of the: elbows(severe dysphasia) heart(congenital heart defect) and eyes(PRA)."
They write "We do not keep a waiting list or a future deposit list."
They write "Before you place a deposit make sure you can commit to the time frame the puppy will be going home and you have already filled out the application form."
They write "Due to high call volume and Covid-19, we are unable to answer our phone."
They write "Please email us for further questions".
The Buy Now link is on every page.
Yeah. I agree that all seems odd. Sometimes you read stuff and you just have a weird feeling. This one's a bit perplexing.
 

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Hello Everyone! I was in the middle of revamping my website for Redhead Heaven Poodles and I found this forum. What a bunch of great questions everyone has and I have answers to everyone's concerns. Please feel free to always ask the above questions directly to my email. Being a business owner I have learned it is not always easy knowing how to portray your information or your whole life's story with the animals website, I have learned so much in the past few years that I am learning how to do websites as a side hobby now. I know is I am always transparent about what testing is done on who. Be kind to good dog breeders out there. I know there are many scammers out there and if you feel I am one of those I understand. I wish you the best in finding a puppy from another breeder. We find it difficult to always have people in our homes which I can understand may throw you off and not be so trusting. Remember our first responsibility is to the puppies and adult dogs and not always have visitors in our homes.
 

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Thank you for stopping in to speak for yourself. I'll hold off on any comments but regarding this:

and not always have visitors in our homes.
This is a two-way street. The breeder should be just as invested in meeting the potential new family for their pups as the new family is in meeting the breeder and seeing with their own eyes the environment these dogs live in, not just the part the breeder chooses to showcase.

Prior to covid, not meeting in person was almost unheard of when working with a quality, conscientious breeder. They know how to keep their puppies and dogs safe and still have face to face meetings. Many still manage it.

Unfortunately, with many breeders who prefer for their potential new families not to see the actual living conditions, this has become a hide-behind. A breeder who doesn't want that checkmark in the caution column will need to find ways to overcome that.

Seeing Is Believing
Before COVID, many breeders required potential puppy buyers to visit their home or kennel as part of their screening process. Today, these introductions often take place via Zoom, and access to the parents and puppies is understandably more limited. Still, you can request to see videos of the dogs. Pay particular attention to the environment and the dogs themselves. Does the house or kennel look clean? Do the puppies appear to be in good weight, lively and vigorous?

Keep in mind that the sire of the litter is often not on the premises, as a breeder’s criteria in planning a mating revolve around finding the most suitable match – not the most convenient one. But the mother should be there, interacting with her puppies, and appearing comfortable and settled.


Signs of a Responsible Breeder – American Kennel Club (akc.org)
 

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Hello Everyone! I was in the middle of revamping my website for Redhead Heaven Poodles and I found this forum. What a bunch of great questions everyone has and I have answers to everyone's concerns. Please feel free to always ask the above questions directly to my email. Being a business owner I have learned it is not always easy knowing how to portray your information or your whole life's story with the animals website, I have learned so much in the past few years that I am learning how to do websites as a side hobby now. I know is I am always transparent about what testing is done on who. Be kind to good dog breeders out there. I know there are many scammers out there and if you feel I am one of those I understand. I wish you the best in finding a puppy from another breeder. We find it difficult to always have people in our homes which I can understand may throw you off and not be so trusting. Remember our first responsibility is to the puppies and adult dogs and not always have visitors in our homes.
Welcome! I’m glad you’ve popped in. :) The original poster hasn’t been back since August 2020, but I’m hoping you’ll take the time to answer those questions here. I’m sure we’ve got other members who are interested in learning more.

Are you located in Pennsylvania, Utah, or California? I see your Utah-based Sierra Golden Retrievers Facebook page is still active, which shares a phone number with Utah-based Sandstone Border Collies.

In an era rife with puppy scams, this sort of thing is a red flag for anyone doing their puppy research online, especially if they cannot visit a breeder’s home. So thanks for taking the time to clarify.
 

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Hi Julia,

It's always nice when breeders come here to share information about their program and their dogs. Your puppies are very cute (I like Mr. Jet and the two brown/white pups!). To give you some constructive criticism, most poodle breeders price puppies the same regardless of size. And I do agree that meeting a breeder in person is a must for me after having a bad experience with buying a puppy sight unseen (not one of my current dogs).
 
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