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Choosing A Reliable Poodle Breeder

Choosing A Reliable Poodle Breeder

So you have decided that you want to buy a Poodle. You've made the big decision and you know you love Poodles. Now you need to ask yourself the inevitable hard questions.

1. Can you afford a Poodle? Not including the purchase price (after all, you may get one for nothing), you can expect to spend up to $1,000 a year on food, supplies, and vet bills. Professional grooming can raise the price even more.

2. Are you willing and able to spend time and energy playing with your Poodle, walking him, and just hanging out together around the house? A dog abandoned in even the most luxurious surroundings is not a happy dog.

If your answers are "yes," you are still not finished. You still need to decide on the right Poodle for you. What qualities are most important to you - size, playfulness, health, age, temperament, looks? Do you want a dog to show, or just a loyal companion? Will you expect your Poodle to be a watchdog? Do tricks? Entertain the children? Sleep in till noon?

The most important element in choosing the right Poodle is finding a reliable source. This is a matter that requires the utmost care. A Poodle should not be an impulse buy. Do your research; a little extra time and thought now will save you months of heartache down the road. If you are looking for a puppy, seek out a responsible breeder. This is not always a simple task; few of them advertise in the newspaper, and none will be listed in the yellow pages. Since it is almost impossible to make a living by breeding dogs carefully and responsibly, most good breeders are enjoying an expensive hobby. The price of the puppies they sell barely covers their expenses. Yet, because good breeders usually breed from their homes and profit is not their main motive, the price you will pay for a good dog is usually no more than from a commercial establishment, and you'll almost always get a better quality dog.

To find such a breeder, you need to ask around. Ask your veterinarian, groomer, or knowledgeable friends. Check with your local All-Breed Kennel Club or Poodle Club. If you don't know how to find a breeder locally, go to the American Kennel Club's (AKC's) website for more information. Go to a nearby dog show and check the program to see if anyone showing Poodles lives near you (you can get a schedule online from the AKC). Take a look at their Poodles and see if this is the general type of dog you would like.

If you do see a dog you like, pick a quiet time (usually after the judging) to ask questions of the exhibitors. If they are hurried, ask for a business card and make arrangements to call or visit later on. Although you may get lucky and happen upon a likely litter at just the right time, you will almost certainly have to wait to get your puppy - maybe for as long as several months. If you insist upon a particular sex or color, your wait may be even longer.

Please note that going to a show breeder does not mean that you will be getting a show dog. A person interested in showing dogs will most likely take the time and care to have the necessary genetic testing done to prove that the dogs available are healthy and sound. Therefore, you will get a well-bred, healthy animal who has been tested, evaluated, and brought up in a home environment.

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