Before choosing your future canine companion, there are several important elements you should consider. First, the breeder should be reputable. Ok, fair enough, but how can you tell who is a reputable breeder and who is not?
One of the primary signs of a reputable breeder is that the person breeds to further the breed, not just to sell puppies. Look for breeders involved in confirmation, obedience, agility, or some other field. Another sign is the level of health testing the breeder does. If the breeder can’t offer a comprehensive health guarantee for your future puppy, then you should be concerned. Finally, research, research, and research! Check out your local AKC dog show, talk to breeders in your area, or get in contact with your local Poodle Club branch.
Buying a quality poodle from a reputable breeder who has tested for common health problems will save you pain, grief, and extra trips to the vet. Like other breeds, Standards are susceptible to various health issues like Hip Dysplasia or eye disease. However, careful breeding and responsible health testing—like OFA and CERF—reduces the likelihood of these diseases, helping ensure the health and longevity of your Standard.
Before buying a puppy, do your homework and avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders, those who exploit breeding and are not concerned with temperament, conformation, or heredity issues. “AKC papers” do not guarantee a healthy, quality representative of the breed.