Hello everyone! I came across this website the other day in my attempt to find standard poodle breeders on the internet. I've looked at the listings on this website & I think I may have found what I'm looking for, but I'm really nervous. We want a puppy that is going to be a great addition to our family; we're not looking to show or breed. I've seen many puppies that are selling for $1200 (& more) and I've seen puppies selling for half that. I know that the bloodlines make a difference in price, but what else could? What about the genetic testing? Do the breeders do that on the parents and the puppies or just the parents? I was just hoping for some insight, I've never bought a dog from a breeder. I had a miniature poodle before that was given to me by someone who rescued her (she died in July of '07). If anyone has any information that would be helpful I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
Many things make a difference in price, bloodlines and health testing are just some of the bigger expenses on top of several more things that add up.
1. To raise a litter RIGHT, takes a good deal of time. If the person with the litter has a job where they work out, they may have to take off a lot. If they are lucky like me and have a job from home it makes it easier and keeping the lights on aren't an issue while I handle my pups day in and day out. My time and many hours spent are also worth something, don't take it the wrong way but nobody likes to work that hard for lack of appreciation.
2. Nutrition - before, during and after. Maintaining the health for the mother, not just to be healthy as any dog should be but it takes some special prepartation to get her in proper puppy rearing shape. Properly balanced dog food isn't cheap. I give my girls a prenatal vitamin to help. Feeding the little boogers once they start eating can really eat A LOT. Proper nutrition from the puppy stage is an asset that to the pups health that will help it throughout it's entire life and set it up to live a long happy life. If a dog is only ever fed a quality food once in it's life, the puppy stage would reep the most benefits throughout it's life than at any other stage.
3. Of course, the health testing. Not just mom and dad, but within the entire breeding program. Sometimes you raise a dog up with high hopes and it majorly fails a health test, that is a lot of money and time invested that is gone and an entire bloodline may have to be retired depending on what disease and how severe which even more time and money down the drain.
4. Bloodlines, again. It is one thing for somebody to have a really nice, sweet, gentle mommy and daddy dog, but what about grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles? Something most reputable breeders actually know, not your average joe breeder. It takes a lot of leg work to keep up with all that stuff, it's almost a full time job just staying networked. That bloodline research also tells you alot about health. A properly built dog, in essence will last longer because it is more structurally sound to live a long time. Arthritis is probably the biggest problem among dogs who aren't very well built. It is inevitable in almost all creatures but some just acquire it alot sooner than others. Be built "tough" can help it go a lot furthure down the road. A dog who is built right, ideally should also be doing well in the show ring.
5. Vet care, vaccinations, deworming, etc. Not only has it been done but how well was it done? A good breeder investing time and money won't use jsut a little less wormer than to save a few pennies, they will give the entire dose. They won't give just one vaccination to save some money, they will usually have a plan in place where multiple vaccinations are given to be rest assured once it leaves it's care, that pup IS NOT going to get sick come flood or famine. Yet, sometimes it still happens but very rarley. Most also apply an effective flea and tick product, not the cheap stuff that don't work. Someone cutting corners might be tempted to use the cheap stuff just so they can say they did it.
Many times the entire cost isn't even reflected in the actual puppy but it is a reflection of the breeders entire program. Maintaining an ongoing breeding program can be expensive but the end result is usually far beyond what others with obviously lower quality puppies have to offer. Don't think either that just because you paid a bunch for it that it MUST be good. Not always true, I ask a very reasonable price for my pups, but I am no where near the cheapest either. But alot of others who do not have the investment I do asking much more for their puppies and I know from me, you get a lot more bang for your buck in comparison. You may be able to find a very reasonable puppy from a very reasonable breeder. It just takes some researching into a breeder. I know this is probably about as clear as mud now that I am done and probably left you with more questions than answers. I don't know a lot about poodles so breed specific I'm not sure what to tell you but I can from a breeder to breeder point of view.
A good rule to thumb is to stay away from the cheapest puppies. Most are just that cheap, and not tested. You do want a pup out of parents who have had atleast there hips OFA'ed, and there eyes CERF'ed. Ask the breeder for proof they have been done, most have no problem providing copies of the paperwork.
After the testing, go with a breeder who gives at least a 2yr health guarantee. Anything less in my opinion is worthless. Also make sure you are not required to purchase vitamins to keep a health guarantee. There are a few breeders of different breeds who are requiring you to purchase vitamins or they health guarantee is void. That is crap, and don't fall for those bad breeders.
Most well breed, and health tested dogs are going to cost more. As said by the poster above, maintaining a healhy breeding program is not cheap. You don't have to buy the most expensive pup either. Look for the basics, and you will find the baby you want.
Your new pet is to be lifelong friend, not a lifelong headache.
I sent you a PM with some great website links. I'm hoping to bring my Spoo puppy home sometime this year. Poodles are expensive to show (whether you want to show or not, this is how good breeder prove their dogs) and they do have a lot of health testing. (Von Willebrands, Hip Displaysia, Neonatal Encephalitis, Thyroid, Sebaceous Andenitis, Progressive Retinal Atrophy. I think I got them all and I doubt I spelled them right.) I think Poodle breeders have been very proactive when it comes to health research. There is even a database that tracks health issues. You also want to ask about bloat, cancer, Addison's and Epilepsy. There are no tests, yet, but they are serious issues. As you can probably guess, it's better to pay more now and up your chances of getting a health puppy.
Thank you for everyones advice. I have found a lot of breeders websites along with tons of information. Now it seems my biggest challenge is finding someone close to TN. If we ever find our puppy I'll be sure to post!