Welcome to Our Puppy Blog!

Welcome to our blog! I am a small hobby breeder of Schnoodle puppies. My Schnoodles are a cross of the White Schnauzer with a Red Poodle. These dogs do not shed, are great for allergy sufferers, are friendly and easily trained.

We have 4 breeding females and sell our puppies face to face as required by APHIS rules for hobby breeders.

Our breeding dogs are from purebred Akc lines and the Schnoodle puppies are registered with ICA (the registry for Designer breed dogs.)

They will be vet checked, have their first set of shots, and be Ugodog Puppy Toilet Trained. But this is just the beginning! Read through our posts to see the special care and attention we give our litter. You will enjoy watching our Growing Puppies!

We sell our puppies through our Waiting list. We do not post them on the blog for purchase. If you wish to be contacted with updates on the next litter email me at GrowingPuppies@gmail.com

Update: We are so excited for our Spring litters that are arriving in June. Now is a great time to get on the Waiting list.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to find a Good Breeder

Buying a puppy is a big decision.  Finding a breeder can be tricky enough, but getting a really good breeder is something most people really know very little about. Over the years I have learned so much about the world of dog breeders.  I have met the best breeders and the worst breeders.   I have seen beautiful healthy dog breeding and horrible Puppy Mill situtations.  Because I too breed dogs, I have been able to discover horrible buying situations that other buyers would never have noticed.  I would like to share some of this knowledge with you whether you are buying a puppy from me or from another breeder.

Hobby dog breeder vs Show dog breeder.  What is the difference?
The Show dog breeder has goals of breeding for best conformation to the breed standard.    Conformation has a lot to do with the physical perfection of the dog according to his breed, but should also take temperament into account. The excellent Show Dog Breeder also will do genetic testing to ensure that they are not passing on the genetic deficiencies that their breed is prone to.  Dog shows, Stud fees and Genetic testing is very expensive for the breeder.  Obviously the expenses of the breeder have to be passed on to the buyer.  So you can expect to pay a lot for a Show Quality Dog.  You will not necessarily get a better pet for your money. But you will more likely get a better specimen of the breed.  Keep in mind, these serious breeders will often ell the less desirable puppies as pets, and keep the best puppy for shows.   The best way to find a Show Quality dog is to Google search the Clubs for that breed.  For instance there is a Toy Poodle Club which could direct you to find Show Quality Toy Poodle breeders that are serious about their breeding standards.

Is a Hobby Dog Breeder a good choice?
 Well obviously since I am a Hobby Dog Breeder I believe you can get excellent companion and family pet by going to a Hobby Breeder.  A Hobby Dog breeder does not always place conformation to the breed standard as their highest priority.  But an excellent Hobby Breeder will still look for good physical qualities and great temperaments in their parents.  Since I breed for Schoodles, there are no conformation standards, but I am sure to breed only first generation Schnoodles of excellent parents so I can get the best 50/50 breed mix that is desirable in this kind of breed. 

 What is a Breed Registry?  Does it assure a quality dog?
A Breed Registry, such as American Kennel Club (AKC) or American Canine Association (ACA) is a National registry that keeps track of the parentage of dogs.  Each dog has a registration number and a breeder registers a litter as soon as it is born to receive papers for the puppies of that litter.  These papers give information about the breed, color, gender , father and mother and ownership of the puppy.  Each puppy will then receive his own registry number.

Many Hobby Breeders register their puppies with one of the National Breed Registries.  AKC is the largest Breed Registry for Pure Bred Dogs.  International Canine Association, ICA is the largest breed Registry for Designer breed dogs.

Unfortunately, buying a dog with Breed Registration Papers does NOT guarantee a quality dog.  It does usually mean you are getting the breed you paid for....but not always.  The truth is that AKC Registration and every other registry, still relies on the honesty of the breeder.  Therefore, it is worth asking a lot of questions..

Who are the parents of the puppy?

1.   AKC papers do not prove that the Sire and Dam listed are the paper are the parents of your puppy. (unless you actually request DNA testing for a fee)  Breeders can readily register their litter with any SIRE that is registered as AKC.   As long as they have the signature of the owner on the papers.  You may think you are buying a breed of dog, and it may have a different Sire than that listed.  AKC currently does offer DNA testing on AKC registered dogs, but not all breeders take advantage of that.  As a buyer you can request the DNA testing on your puppy, but there is a fee involved and not all breeders offer it. Read more about DNA test at http://www.akc.org/dna/

2. Beware!!!  AKC will register INBRED dogs.  I was rather shocked when I confirmed with the American Kennel Club that they do indeed register inbred dogs.  That is something that a buyer wants to avoid more than anything else.   Inbreeding is the breeding of dogs that are closely related.  The inbred dog runs the risk of being a sickly puppy.  Sometimes puppy die at birth, or lose their immune system and die of a simple infection later on in life.  They may also posess genetic defects that may or may not be detectable at 8 weeks old. The inbred dog will likely cost the owner a lot of veterinary bills and not live a long life.  (Read about Inbreeding at the following link..

When breeding for a Designer breed like the Schnoodle you have the opposite affect of inbreeding.  While inbreeding limits the gene pool, Mixed breeding diversifies the gene pool.  You actually reduce the risk of genetic disorders common in either breed.  The puppies of a mixed breeding are generally considered hearty healthy dogs

The worst situtation:
I had the experience of meeting a breeder last summer whose 8 month old puppy accidentally bred with his mother.  She admitted to me that she planned to sell the resulting litter with AKC registration papers.  Indeed, the litter is currently for sale on Hoobly.com being sold as "AKC Poodles with Champion bloodlines".  (Say what?)  Needless to say I was horrified to think of all those unsuspecting buyers who would buy these puppies.  I was NOT silent on this matter.  I told the breeder that it was wrong to sell the puppies.  (Obviously she did not care)  Unfortunately there are no laws against inbreeding, and no action can be taken against such a breeder.

What to ask a breeder.
Talk to your breeder by phone and make a visit if you are able.  Make a list of questions before you talk/visit your breeder.  Take a paper and pencil to make notes.   Ask if you can see the parents.  Ask to see the breeding facilities.  Ask to see the papers. (Breeders often say they have papers they do not have)  See what information comes up about a breeder through Google searches.  Ask for a vet reference.  Call the vet and ask if they are regular customers and ask what their history is with the breeder and his/her dogs.  Listen to your intuition.  If the home or kennels smell of urine, that is a problem.  If the breeder seems uncomfortable with your questions or refuses any information, you need to ask why.  Buying a puppy requires a certain level of trust between you and the breeder.  Unfortunately, very nice people are not always trustworthy.  All the unscrupulous breeders I have met were very nice people upon the initial meeting.

By being thoughtful in your questions, you will likely find a red flag if there is a problem in the breeding practices of a breeder.
If the breeder refused to show you the parents, they may not be properly cared for, or healthy.  If they refuse to show you the Kennel facilities it too may not be hygienic, or humane living conditions for a dog.

Ask for the registration numbers of the dogs and verify they are correct.  I know one breeder who advertised her puppies as AKC Registered.  The buyer requested the registration numbers of the parents before committing to the puppies.  When she called AKC to see if the Registration Numbers were valid, she was told that the breeder had no history with the AKC. (Be aware!)

If the hobby breeder only has 2 dogs, and they are confined with care, it is a good chance that the true parents are known.  But ask about how the breeder confines the female when she is in heat.  Male dogs have been known to climb 6 foot fences to get to a female in heat.  A female dog in heat should not be allowed to wander outdoors without supervision.  A female dog in heat can be impregnated by multiple fathers in a single litter.

If the breeder has multiple dogs, you need to ask where they house the dogs.   If they have kennels, ask to see the kennels, make sure they are clean safe secure living conditions.

If the breeder allows several of their males and females to roam  together, there is a high potential for accidental breeding.  However, if the dogs are not related, and all stud dogs are good candidates for breeding, this won't affect the quality of your puppy.  But it is worth asking about.

Most of all be aware that most Pet Stores buy from Puppy Mills.  Virginia (and all the East coast) is littered with Puppy mills.  All the problems that I discussed above are most probable with a Puppy Mill puppy.  The dogs are often not kept in healthy and humane living conditions.  Your puppy is more likely to come home with a health problem now or later on.  They provide fake Papers that are not from any official registry and leave the buyer with the idea that they have a known lineage. The breeder who is not responsible with how they breed their puppies will not care about you as a buyer either.  They want to make a quick buck, and have no care for the dogs, or the people whose lives they affect.

Finally if the breeder seems to pass all your questions with flying colors, ask about the care of the litter.  Ask if the breeder sells to Pet Stores.  Ask if they screen their buyers to be sure they will provide a good home for the puppy.

I have set up this blog because I want to answer as many questions for my buyers as possible.  I know that it is not always possible to visit a breeder before you choose your puppy.  I know that a good breeder does not allow people to visit the puppies for the first 5 weeks so as not to transmit illness.  So  it can be difficult to see what kind of conditions your puppy was raised in. And that is why I have this blog.  Because I believe that being open with my breeding practices is the best thing for my puppies and my prospective buyers.   I do hope this post will help many people to understand a little more about what separates a good breeder from a poor one.