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A question I have been asked by several potential buyers is why should they buy a poodle puppy from us?
Answer: They are getting the highest quality, socialized puppy around. Please read our answer concerning the testing we do and the champion and champion sired adults (look to the right) we own. Besides this, unlike most breeders, none of our dogs are kept in kennels. Some are kept outside in nice weather in a large fenced in area with a building with electricity to enter into. We can't emphasis how important not having our adults in kennels is to the type of temperament a puppy may have. Secondly, my eight children, family and friends help socialize every puppy. We believe the thing that impresses most of our buyers is how social our puppies are with adults, children and other dogs alike. Third, we breed poodles and poodles only. We love the bred and through the litters we raise, we make the effort to improve the quality of the breed. Many breeders have several different breeds of dogs they raise.

Do any of your adults have any genetic defects/problems?
Answer: I am not aware of any genetic problem that any of my adult dogs have. All have solid knees, no heart murmurs, good bites, etc. Furthermore, I breed for temperament as well. I do occasionally get a puppy with an underbite or umbilical hernia, but each of those are rare.
What dog food do you feed your puppies or adults?
Our adults and puppies are typically on Diamond Naturals food.

What are some of the common problems you have seen in poodles to which there is no genetic testing?
I would have to say dental and ear problems! My vet has said that poodles have more dental problem than any other small breed. I would have to agree with what the vet said! From what I understand it has more to do with lack of salvia produced than anything else. My poodles are not immune to dental problems. That is why by three usually between two and three years old) my poodles typically have annually dental cleanings at my vet. My adult dogs occasionally with get a ear infection. That is probably them most common problem my adult dogs have. There are problem other health problems as well that there isn't genetic testing for. Cataracts can not be found through genetic testing, but only through a physical exam. This can be done annually and documented through CERF that the poodle does not appear (after a physical examination) to have any inherited eye problems.

Why did you choose poodles?
Good question. I have owed many small breed dogs: several Yorkies, Shih-tzus, Maltese to name a few. I have not owned any dog other than a poodle for several years. I have found that poodle do not shed, or have the dog dander (hypoallergic). They are also extremely intelligent. Most studies I have found rate poodles in the top three for intelligence (typically Border Collies, Poodles then German Shepherds). They also have, in general, excellent dispositions. Most are not hyper, not barkers, are good with children and other pets. The one down side to poodles is keeping up with their coats. Poodles need regular grooming, and regular brushing is also highly recommended. Poodles are notorious for also needing more frequent regular maintenance on their teeth. Once one of my poodles reaches two to three years old, I typically have their teeth cleaned professionally (by my vet) at least once a year!

One question that we have been asked is, if a person does not want to breed or show a puppy they are buying from me - "Why does it matter if the parents/grandparents are champions, or had genetic testing?"
Answer: First, the champion part of the question. According to AKC the purpose of having conformation shows (where champions are awarded) is to determine the possible quality of that dog's offspring. Dogs that have been "fixed" are not eligible to be shown. During these dog shows, expert judges in poodles examine these dogs carefully. The look/run their hands over just about every part of the dog from its head, bite, eyes, feet, hips, joints, etc. The dog then walks around as the judges look on. These judges are looking for abnormalities in the dog, like structural problems (hips, shoulders, etc.), wrong bites, temperament. Many abnormalities are genetic. For instance, most problems related to eyes, hips, over/underbites, heart, liver, knees, not having both testicles descended, etc. are genetically based. These traits are passed along from parents to puppies. If the parents have excellent conformation, it is much more likely that their puppies will as well. For a dog to obtain champion status judges are saying that this dog should produce excellent offspring, free of many of the genetic disorders often associated with the breed. It takes a dog several shows at a minimum just to become a champion. The vast majority of dogs that enter shows never become champions. By spending an extra $200 to $300 to get a better quality puppy, you will probably save more than that long term in vet bills. Part two of the question deals with genetic testing.

Why do we do it? How does it help the buyer?
Again many of the abnormalities that poodles have are genetic. Some of the most common problems in toy/miniature poodles include eye, hips and joint problems. There are tests that specialized, licensed vets can do on dogs to exam a poodle in each of these areas. For instance, research has isolated a gene that poodles have/or carry that leads to the most common eye problem in poodles. It is known as PRA/PRCD (Progressive Retina Atrophy/Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration). Later in life an affected poodle will begin with night blindness that eventually leads to permanent blindness. Poodles can be affected with this gene, carriers of it, or free of it. Because it is a recessive gene both parents would have to be carriers or affected in order to pass this along. By ensuring our males are free of this gene, we ensure that this will not be passed along to their offspring. Dogs that are not tested, may be carriers of this gene and pass it along to their offspring. Another problem often associated with poodles is hip defects or slipped patellas. A vet takes x-rays of my dogs hips and sends them in to be evaluated by three different vets to determine if there are structural problems. A couple of my dogs that have been evaluated and did any hip problems. They were not bred and placed in pet homes with the new owners informed of this. A patella (knee) can slip out of joint causing pain, or problems walking. We could go on and on concerning the benefits of testing my adults. These tests cost several hundred dollars per dog. Truly the big winner in all this are the puppies that are produced and their new owners. You may find puppies cheaper than mine elsewhere, but you may end up paying a lot more in vet bills later dealing with genetic problems that my puppies don't have. Not only will you probably save money in the long run, you may also save yourself the heartache of having a beloved pet go through the trials of having one of these genetic disorders. With the testing that has been done on my dogs, you are getting some of the highest quality poodle puppies. We honestly believe that our puppies are the highest quality poodle puppies sold in the State of Illinois. We stand behind our puppies and that is why we have a two year limited health guarantee, and for certain problems, a lifetime guarantee. Some owners contacted us stating that their puppy had a slipped/luxating patella or an umbilical hernia. One owner contacted us to tell us that their puppy had Legges-Perthes and one owner stated their puppy was diagnosed with Addison's disease. The last owner to contact us with concerns other than patellas or hernias was in 2011. All owners wanted to keep their puppies and we still refunded two of them part of the purchase price of their puppy (even though slipped patellas are not covered by my guarantee). We stand behind our puppies! Interestingly enough, three of these puppies were chocolate females that were the runt of their litter, two were red females, and one was a chocolate male. There were different mothers and fathers of these puppies, so I have not isolated any "bad gene". We are not implying that chocolates, females or runts are more susceptible to genetic problems, just simply giving prospective buyers a little bit more information about my puppies. All of my adult dogs have been screened for luxating patellas and none have them. Three out of seven of these buyers are actually on our testimonial page! All seven buyers have told me that because of the way we handled their reporting of the genetic flaw, they would be glad to give us a reference!

What is the difference between a teacup, tiny toy, toy, miniature, moyen and standard poodle?
These are related to different size poodle at maturity. In the above listed question they are smallest to biggest. Technically there is no such official designation as a teacup or tiny toy or moyen. These are terms used by breeders to more accurately reflect how small/large a dog will get at maturity. Toys, at maturity, are 10 or less inches to the shoulder. Miniatures are 10 to 15 inches, at maturity, to the shoulders, and standards are anything taller than that. A smaller standard/larger miniature is referred to as a moyen. Weight at maturity varies and is much harder to predict. Some owners have dogs that are underweight, while others allow their dogs to be overweight. My "unofficial" definition of a teacup is that they should be under 8.5 inches when full grown and no more than 4 pounds. Tiny toys are under 9.5 inches and are 4 to 6 pounds at maturity. Full size toys are 6 to 8 9 pounds and no taller than 10 inches to the shoulder as adults. Miniatures are over 9 pounds and taller than 10 inches at maturity. Most of my puppies will be miniatures or moyens when full grown. I have found that teacup size poodles often have health issues throughout their life. I do also occasionally have toy sized poodles.