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What should I ask?

4973 Views 50 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Cdnjennga
So in the ongoing search for a poodle, I have applied for a rescue poodle through Petfinder and got through to the first stage which consists of a 30 to 40 minute telephone interview. During that time I of course get to be grilled by the rescue people, but I also get to ask questions about the dog etc. If I get through that, they call my 4 references (!), then do a home check, then I have to get approved by a committee, then if all that goes well I actually get to meet the dog. :)

Here's the dog I applied for:


Can anyone think of anything I should specifically be asking about? I've never gone through this process before and am only coming up with a few questions.

- I want to ask about the children thing (it says unknown for how she is around children, so I want to know more about that - I don't have any but there is a possibility that I might want to have them/ friends will have them, so I can't have a dog with big issues)
- I want to know how her vet check went.
- I'd like to see a full body shot if possible just to make sure her structure isn't horrific. I realize a puppy mill dog won't be the best example of a poodle, but I'd be hesitant to take on a dog with a big roach back or other structural issues that might cause problems down the line.

And that's kind of all I can think of right now. Idea?
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Thanks for your POV Ponki. :) I've done a lot of reading on puppy mill survivors and know how much I'm willing to take on, but it's good to be reminded of the issues that can come up. Luckily I don't have to commit to anything until after I actually meet the dog, so I want to make sure I gather all the information I can and make sure I'm entering into this with open eyes. This rescue specializes in puppy mill dogs and has a lot of experience in the area, so I will trust that they will be forthcoming and truthful with me!
Cdnjennga you don't want to wait for your puppy?
I'm totally willing to wait, but my preference has always been to rescue, and I have been looking for a rescue dog for 9 months! I decided to start looking into breeders about 3 months ago when it became obvious that rescue dogs that fit my criteria are in short supply. I'm definitely not giving up on the idea of a puppy, but my idea was always that I would keep an eye out for rescues as well up to the point where I had committed to a puppy. So this week I'll go through the rescue process as well as meeting the breeder that I'm interested in. In the end, I'll go the route that I feel most comfortable with. This may or may not be the dog for me, but I'm willing to take a chance just in case she is. :)

I'll keep you guys updated on how it goes!
How is her eyesight? (Form the photo there is a slight blue glare, could be the flash)
I noticed that too... I will definitely be asking if she had her eyes checked and how they looked, especially knowing the problems some poodles have.
Thanks for the questions everyone! I have a word document and am copying them all in. The rescue lady won't know what hit her. :)
So I had my phone interview, but it was really nothing more than a set of standard questions that (IMO) could have been covered by the initial application. And the woman I was talking to really knew nothing about the dog I had applied for. So next up she checks my references, then if I get approved for that the foster mom will come for a home visit. So that's when I'll get to use the long list of questions I have ready! There's a chance the foster mom might bring the dog to the home visit, which would be perfect.

Anyway, we'll see. It feels backwards to go through so many steps only to possibly meet a dog that I have no interest in, but I guess they don't want to stress the dog out by meeting lots of people who then would not get approved for adoption.
So things are moving fairly quickly on the possible adoption front. The lady I spoke to has checked 3 of my 4 references (2 friends and a vet). My 4th reference is my mom, haha, she better give me a good one! My friend said one of the questions was "if you were a dog, would you want to be adopted by Cdnjennga?" :)

Anyway, the suspense of this is killing me, I just want to meet the dog already to see if she's the one or not! I keep looking at the picture of her one eye trying to guess what she looks like overall. But I just have to keep reminding myself to be patient (which is not my strong point.) Ommmm...
After silence since I last posted, I had an email from the rescue organization today saying I would be contacted shortly about a home visit... So I guess I'm still moving forward with the process! The email I received didn't really share much info, so I have no idea if I'm even in the running for the dog I applied for or just to be approved by the rescue group. Approval is good for 6 months, so even if this poodle's not the one at least I wouldn't have to go through all this again if another dog comes up that I'm interested in. I'm holding off on visiting the potential breeder I'm interested in otherwise till I know what's going on here. Anyway, I'll let you all know more when I know more. :)
So... Update! The good news is I have my home visit on Sunday. The bad news is that the dog I had originally applied for is already gone. I have however decided to complete the review process since I'm so close to the end. Then if another dog comes up that suits me in the next few months then I'm first in line. :)

In the meantime, I'm hoping to visit my possible breeder in the next couple of weeks. The hunt continues!!!
Good luck on your search! Im a firm believer in fate! I would take this as a sign that the right dog just isnt ready for you yet! It will work out in the end. Keep us posted!
I totally agree! Over the last few days it became obvious that the timing of this rescue wasn't perfect. My grandfather has so generously offered to fly me over to England for a visit as a birthday present in November, and getting a rescue dog right before that trip wouldn't really have worked. I can't wait to see my grandpa, he's 95, lives on his own in an apartment with minimal help and does better than some people 20 years younger than him. :) I lived in England for over 3 years so I have a lot of visiting to do during the 9 days I'm there! Can't wait!
So I had the home visit on Sunday evening. It was pretty informal (although I cleaned like a mad woman before) and just consisted of the foster mom asking me questions about where I would walk the dog etc. She also brought her dogs with her to see how they liked me. It all went pretty well and I'm sure I will be approved. One of the things (which I knew would be questioned) is the fact that my mom's girl is unspayed. I explained that my mom has a very small breeding program, that our girl is a champion working dog, blah, blah, blah but of course some rescue people feel that ANY breeding program is wrong. So we'll see if that stops me from being approved - it would be ridiculous if it did.

I don't think this particular rescue is going to have many dogs come up that are suitable for me anyway and everything is now on hold until I get back from England, so we'll see what happens at the end of November/ December. :)
I received word the other day that I am an officially approved adopter. Not sure if this rescue will have anything for me or not, and everything's on hold now till the end of the month, but it's nice to know this route is open to me if I choose to pursue it. :) Tomorrow's the day I meet my potential breeder and her dogs, can't wait!
Cool congratulations and what a wonderful thing you are doing, adopting.:)
Well, maybe adopting! The breeder I'm interested in won't be breeding until end of December, which means pups end of February/ early March. So up until that point I'm looking for a rescue dog. If the right one doesn't come up then I'll be going to the breeder. Either way, I should have a dog by May (I hope, I hope, I hope!)

I would love to rescue, but I'm also very conscious that I have a very specific dog in mind... So we'll see. I plan to have this dog for a long time, so it has to be the right one for me!

I came back to find this thread with all the fantastic questions you all gave me. I am going to be talking to the foster mom of a Schnauzer Poodle cross who's currently with the rescue I'm approved with and need to remember what I should be asking!

This is the girl for anyone who's interested: http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=15204376

The bow makes me laugh. I think it's cute they've obviously tried to make her look her best for her adoption photo. Another approved home was first in line but passed... Not sure why. But now it's my turn to see if I'm interested. I'll let you know how it goes. :)
Do they know for a fact that she is a Schnoodle? Her patterning looks like some of the Aussiedoodles I've seen.
I'm not sure, good question. I'll ask how they decided what mix she was. Of course if it's the puppy mill owner who labeled her, then it could be completely incorrect. I also thought she looked different from other schnoodles I've seen, as most look a lot like schnauzers and really I don't see much schnauzer in her.

Are you thinking about adopting this dog. If you are, be warned that Schnauzers and SchnauzerXs are notorious barkers.
I am considering it, although it depends on how our phone discussion goes. I have done research on schnauzers/ schnoodles and saw that barking could be an issue, so it's on my list of questions! Barking would be an issue for me because I live in a condo.
I spoke to the foster mom this afternoon and we're meeting Heidi Friday night. Of course she called when I didn't have my list of questions handy, so I'll be taking those with me as I know I missed some when I spoke to her.

2 things stuck out, one more a general observation the other specific to Heidi

1) Apparently the puppy mill she was seized from kept excellent health records, so I should be able to find out her past health history as well as how many litters she's had. It never occurred to me that puppy mills would be so organized, but I guess they maybe look at the dogs like livestock and keep livestock type records?

2) Heidi is apparently super intelligent and agile. She managed to climb over 2 babygates stacked on top of each other on the first night she was with them (you can see one of the babygates in the photo). I guess it's not surprising given the breeds she comes from. The foster mom said she's way smarter than her own dog (not sure what breed he is).

Oh and I was told that in person she looks more like a schnauzer than she does in the photos. She currently has an at home groom job, which is why she doesn't so much look like a "schnoodle".
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More like I need to find a climbing event... Like wall climbing or something. Because apparently that's what she's good at.

Thanks for the well wishes! We'll see what happens. :)
Just thought I'd update this. We met Heidi last night and she was very sweet but of course did show some odd characteristics that obviously come from her previous life. She seemed more comfortable outdoors than in, suggesting she spent a lot of time outdoors at the mill. Anyway, she was very likeable and seemed like she had a lot of potential, but unfortunately after spending an hour with her my mom developed a runny nose, itchy throat and cough... Yep, once again, allergies came into play. So I have decided to halt here and let her go somewhere else, as we just can't take the risk that my mom will be allergic to her. I also got a little bit of runny eyes after I got home (obviously had her on my clothes), which made me think I might also have allergies to her.

I guess what this has solidified for me is that I need a poodle, not some sort of poodle mix. My mom has had no allergic reaction at all to any of the poodles we have visited (even less than she does with the PWD). While finding a rescue does appeal to me, the reality is I have very tight criteria and am unlikely to find exactly what I need in the dogs that are available. So I will just cross my fingers that a beautiful boy is born in the litter that I have my eye on. :)
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Sorry about Heidi, Cd, =/ hopefully she finds a good home. I didn't even think about PWD's being a relief for allergy sufferers, you don't hear about them often (at least I haven't) as much as poodles. Fingers crossed for the puppy you're looking for!
I think poodles are definitely better than PWDs for allergy sufferers. When we got our first PWD, my mom was so allergic for the first few months that we almost thought we would have to give him back to the breeder. Of course we've had them for 20 years now, but I'm sure my mom's allergies would be better without them, she's just willing to live with them to have dogs. She did say though that she might get a poodle in a few years time, as she thinks she would be so much better with them. So maybe we will have 2 poodles in our family at some point. :)
Any details on this litter you are looking at? I hope everything Finally works out! If the litter takes, when should puppies be born? Would it be a winter or spring puppy? What about this breeder made you want to get a puppy from her?
All going well, the dam will be bred around Christmas/ New Year's, so the pups would be born end of Feb and ready to go home in May. :)

The breeder is really just a poodle enthusiast. She's had them since she was a teenager and breeds, grooms and shows her own dogs. I liked her because she does full health testing, uses an outside stud (and puts a lot of thinking into who to use), raises the pups in her home and breeds for her own purposes about every 3 to 4 years. She currently has 3 dogs (including the grandma and mom). The 3rd dog is an 8 year old dog she bred who was returned from his family after a number of years. She is rehoming him with her parents, so I also know she stands by the pups she breeds. TBH she is kind of like my mom as a breeder. Her dogs are her passion and interest first, and puppy makers a distant second.

Oh and she keeps natural tails, which was one of my nice to haves. So really she fits all my criteria, including being only 45 minutes away! Fingers crossed she has the pup that's right for me!
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