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Discussion Starter #1
Background I realize Standards have large litters and breeders often hold back a puppy for their breeding program and then change their minds and buyers have things happen where they change their mind. However, I have been contacting breeders with puppies of one color and there are some breeders who have 2-3 puppies left at 13 weeks while others have litters that are 2 weeks old and the waitlist is closed. Note, I am only contacting breeders that do health testing preferably with OFA and are on PoodleData and show their dogs and in some cases do performance competition or hunting as well.

In all cases, the puppies come from titled parents with low COI or VGL testing. It just seems weird to me that there are that many people willing to travel or pay for shipping and paying 1500-3500 on top of that for the puppy. Is it geography? Is a puppy living outside NYC or LA more easily sold than one born in Wyoming? Should I be concerned if a 13 week old puppy is still available? Again, assuming I would otherwise be ok with its lineage and health testing
 

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I think there can be a lot of reasons for this. Some breeders may be higher in demand because they have been producing longer and have proven track records. Or perhaps they produce very few litters and therefore their waitlists have more time to build. Possibly their location has more demand from people looking for local breeders.

But also some of it may be the way the breeder conducts their waitlists. Some breeders start lists and deposits for litters before breeding even takes place, while other breeders won't do anything until paws are on the ground.

I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with a 13 week old puppy, but you may have reasons for not preferring it. It is possible the puppy didn't work out with a home, but it also may have a less desirable temperament. The breeder should be able to explain the history. I would rather get a puppy younger because it gives me a better opportunity to start socialization early. But the breeder may have done well with this. It just depends. You want to make sure the puppy is a good fit and has the temperament you are looking for.
 

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No I wouldn’t be concerned if they had older puppies available. It just happens sometimes. Standard poodles aren’t a rare breed so there are lots of puppies to go around. Sometimes breeders hold on to puppies because they can’t decide which one to keep or if they in the end decide to not to keep any for one reason or another. My dog I’d from a very well known breeder and his litter was for sure sold well before 8 weeks old, but I know a later litter had a couple puppies available still after 8 weeks. Sometimes buyers need to back out etc.
 

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My daughter and I got pups from the same litter. I was on the wait list for almost two years; my daughter chose the last pup in the litter when he was seven weeks old. He had a great temperament, and earned his CGC at six months. Why was he the last pup to be homed? Maybe because he wasn't as flashy as his brother, or because he was a bit reserved with strangers. Who knows, but he turned out to be a fine dog.
 

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Small scale breeders who have a lot of experience and a good reputation usually have all their puppies sold before they are born or shortly thereafter. My boy Sam is being used in such a breeder's breeding program. She only has one litter a year, if that. Almost all of her pups go to people who have had one of her puppies before, or their friends and relatives.

If a breeder still has pups that are 13 weeks old, I would ask questions, but I would not eliminate the breeder just because of that. There are lots of OK reasons for having a 13 week old puppy. But one reason that is not OK is that the breeder is just breeding too many puppies, perhaps breeding as many as she can sell. That would be a red flag.

I would want to know something about how many litters she is producing each year. Sometimes breeders who breed just to sell puppies relax their standards a bit on the quality of dogs they are breeding or how many times an individual bitch is bred. Also, does the breeder really have the time for each individual litter? Properly raising a litter take a huge amount of time and effort, including loving and supporting the momma in a place where she is comfortable (her own home, not a kennel), socializing the puppies, and communicating with purchasers. If a breeder is breeding to make money, there are lots of ways to cut corners (even if you show your dogs and do health testing). So I would try to make sure that the breeder is not churning out too many litters, that each and every litter is carefully planned, that the mother dog has the breeder's love and support in her own home (she'll pass that happy confidence on to her puppies), and that the breeder has the time and knowledge to socialize the puppies and begin training. If all of that checks out, then I think you are fine with a 13 week old puppy. But I would walk away from a large scale breeder even if she shows and tests her dogs.
 

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I had been searching for a Standard for a long time, years in fact. One of the things that always bothers me is when puppies are sold based on color alone. I'm a trainer so I look at this differently than some & that's okay. But it bothers me. But just like everyone else, I did have my list of things I needed the pup to have & then my wish list. My wish list had color. I favor silver, phantoms, sables.

I admit that most of the time when the breeders I spoke with said I'd need to make my selection at age 2-4 weeks, I had to decline & write them off. I can not tell (nor can most anyone else) if a pup is going to have the things on my need list at that age. I could only go off of looks. I love pretty as much as anyone but intelligence, work ethic, grit, etc... is what gets the job done. A dog that can do the job I have for my Poodle is very important.

I met several who won't allow selection until the pups are 6+ weeks old but there were more than wanted me to pick a pup earlier. I happened upon an ad for some older puppies. That's how I met Mr. Layne's breeder. Oh my, what a gem. Mr. Layne was about 4 months old. They kept the pups until they had their final vaccinations. So the pups were already grooming trained and she knew their personalities. He is PERFECT in the tub & nearly so on the grooming table. She could tell me which pup would best suit the job we had for the pup. What was special to me is that she wanted me to meet all the other puppies just in case there was someone better suited or that our personalities clicked better. I LOVED this little black abstract female she had. She was the happiest, bubbliest pup & she was hit & run happy having to run everywhere to greet everyone. I had her name all picked out. This pup would have been an EXCELLENT agility dog. I was sorely tempted but her speedy feet might have been a problem for 2 teeny tiny Chihuahuas who don't fare well when big dogs run over them. I met the whole litter. Spent time around both parents, have pictures of them.

I normally want my pups at 8 weeks old but we hit the jack pot with Mr. Layne & his breeder. They are wonderful people & their love & care shows in the pup I have. Her husband was a little misty eyed asking, "Would you please send pictures now & then so we can see him?" These folks genuinely love those puppies. It was hard for them both to see Mr. Layne go with us yet she took pictures & got a big kick out of me put this huge pup on my lap. I've sent pictures & hear from them regularly. I've even sent a couple of emails written by Mr. Layne which they really seemed to enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the nice replies. Dogsavvy would you mind sharing your breeder? Feel free to PM if you prefer.

The thing that amazed me in my research is there is one breeder I contacted who has 2 litters born a few days apart and they are all sold and then there is another breeder who has the 13 week puppies and while she breeds a couple times a year, it is not high volume, I checked her prior posts and the last litter was before the summer with a different dog. Also, why do some breeders not advertise at all? One breeder I contacted who is older does not have a website and is barely on Facebook. She had a couple of 8 week old puppies available. By ads I do not mean some random posting on the AKC website but a notice on their Facebook page or on a closed group or on their website. Although my sense is since it is so much easier to update a Facebook page most breeders are letting their websites go.

One more question, what if there is a breeder that you trust with a new litter but you will get last pick because there is a breeder ahead of you and the litter is small? You are committed but can transfer the deposit to another litter.

As for color, it is an issue for me because we recently lost an Apricot Standard at age 4. Any light colored dog resembles her too closely for my children's comfort. We had a friend's dog for a couple of weeks who is the same color and it was weird. Also I have children that were close to her that are now in college, they will never have the same relationship with the new dog because they do not live with her. we would have a dog that looks like our dog but is not our dog. As a result I need a different color and I am not a fan of certain colors so the window is limited
 

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reputable breeder, meh, i am not too overly concerned if there are still puppies available past 13 weeks. buyers sometimes change their minds too.

the strangest case i have heard was a puppy buyer who visited the breeder's home, spent time with puppies and mom. bought tons of stuff to welcome said puppy, had a trainer booked, basically doing all great puppy preparation. they went to pick up their 8 week old puppy. the next day, the puppy got returned and said they cant do it. they were not expecting any money back and gave the breeder all the gear for free. they had no reasonable explanation except for the part where they worked a ton and didnt want to take time off to train the puppy. but i dont understand what was their expectation when the puppy came home? that its going to train itself? it was very strange. the puppy was probably doing all things that are natural for a puppy and they were not prepared. a lot of people always see the cuteness but it takes a ton of work and dedication for a puppy to be a fantastic adult dog. the puppy did eventually left the breeder's home, i believe at 12 weeks? and is a wonderful pet.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That is bizarre. A friend of a friend who is in a very ritzy part of the country and has not a ton of experience with dogs researched very carefully and then bought a puppy (not a poodle) from the midwest and paid the breeder to train the puppy so she ended up getting the puppy at 16 or 20 weeks fully trained. What is even more bizarre is when they go away the puppy goes back to the breeder (who lives at least 12 hours away) not sure how that is managed. The dog is a few years old now and seems to be working out
 

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That is bizarre. A friend of a friend who is in a very ritzy part of the country and has not a ton of experience with dogs researched very carefully and then bought a puppy (not a poodle) from the midwest and paid the breeder to train the puppy so she ended up getting the puppy at 16 or 20 weeks fully trained. What is even more bizarre is when they go away the puppy goes back to the breeder (who lives at least 12 hours away) not sure how that is managed. The dog is a few years old now and seems to be working out
not unheard off, but i also find it is an important stage for socialization and bonding. when milo came home at just over 8 weeks, it was the summer, my kids were here and i was working from home then. you'd think he'd bond with the kids the strongest because they were constantly with him, feeding him, etc. nope, it was me, he is great with the rest of the family but to him, i am the bees knees..lol so i am not sure how that worked out with having the puppy stay with the breeder that long. i am one of those crazy people who drove 8 hours one way to send milo back to his breeder when we went internationally, so i totally understand that part..lol
 

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Thank you all for the nice replies. Dogsavvy would you mind sharing your breeder? Feel free to PM if you prefer.

The thing that amazed me in my research is there is one breeder I contacted who has 2 litters born a few days apart and they are all sold and then there is another breeder who has the 13 week puppies and while she breeds a couple times a year, it is not high volume, I checked her prior posts and the last litter was before the summer with a different dog. Also, why do some breeders not advertise at all? One breeder I contacted who is older does not have a website and is barely on Facebook. She had a couple of 8 week old puppies available. By ads I do not mean some random posting on the AKC website but a notice on their Facebook page or on a closed group or on their website. Although my sense is since it is so much easier to update a Facebook page most breeders are letting their websites go.
A lot of times breeders just work together with other breeders to find puppies' homes. So Breeder A has a couple puppies left, Breeder B doesn't have a litter planned for a while, but someone contacts breeder B looking for a puppy. Breeder B says they don't have any planned but check out breeder A. I do like when breeders are active on facebook or have an up to date website, but not all do, especially older breeders

One more question, what if there is a breeder that you trust with a new litter but you will get last pick because there is a breeder ahead of you and the litter is small? You are committed but can transfer the deposit to another litter.
It wouldn't really bother me if it was from a reputable breeder I trusted. Because if they know the last puppy isn't the right fit for me then we'd just try again for the next litter. If it was from a mediocre breeder it would worry me more cause they'd just hand you whatever puppy was left.
As for color, it is an issue for me because we recently lost an Apricot Standard at age 4. Any light colored dog resembles her too closely for my children's comfort. We had a friend's dog for a couple of weeks who is the same color and it was weird. Also I have children that were close to her that are now in college, they will never have the same relationship with the new dog because they do not live with her. we would have a dog that looks like our dog but is not our dog. As a result I need a different color and I am not a fan of certain colors so the window is limited
my replies in bold
 

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It is not uncommon for me to have a few puppies past 8 weeks old. I normally take 5 or 6 deposits prior to the litter being bred, then I usually hold back 3 puppies; the pick boy and usually the pick 2 girls. I want to "watch" their development, see how their heads grow, who has the best reach and drive, who will have the best head and tail carriage, who will ultimately be the pick puppy for me to keep and show. Therefore the puppy client that receives an older puppy from me normally is getting an extremely high quality puppy.

If I do not have enough puppies to fulfill my "wait-list" the client whose deposit I received last will be given the choice of a refund OR to be moved to my next wait-list. Since I normally breed 1 litter every 9 months to a year, the wait may be considerable, but normally (I believe all but 1) has decided to be moved to my next list.

Since I am considered a "color" breeder, color is a consideration, I will not guarantee a red puppy, I cannot predict how many red puppies verses apricot puppies will be in a litter, but the puppy would be in the apricot to red range.

I do not have people choose their puppy. I place puppies according to three criteria:
1. Conversations between the client and myself.
2. The answers on the puppy questionnaire
3. Results of the temperament test
The combination of this information, the environment of the new home, the family dynamics, city vs. rural settings, etc. individual temperament/ personality of the puppy, I will match the best puppy with the proper forever home.

So back to the original discussion; it is not unreasonable for an ethical breeder to have an older puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes you absolutely nailed it. This breeder has 1 male puppy and 2 females and 1 was the puppy she was considering keeping but decided was not better than the puppy's older sister who she was working to show

Thank you
 

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Many reputable breeders have a wait list before they breed a litter. I certainly did, and I was a very small scale poodle breeder.

Even with a wait list, if the litter is very large there might not be immediate placements for all the puppies. Perhaps that no longer happens so often since vets probably use ultrasound to count puppies. I think the largest litter of puppies I ever had was 12, the smallest was 1.

I always picked the best puppy for a family - for pet puppies that is. If someone was planning to show and breed, that person did get to pick. Color was not an issue since my dogs only produced black or brown.
 
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