Getting a PUPPY! Our 8 week old toy poodle.
How to Select a Toy Poodle
Poodles are among the smartest dogs available. Toys are the smallest type of poodle and can be wonderful pets. They're friendly, fast learners, and loyal to their owners. If you've decided to get a poodle, take some time during the selection process. Whether you go through a breeder or a rescue, you need to follow some basic guidelines to choose the right dog for you.
Choosing Your Poodle
Observe the area where the animals are kept.When visiting your potential pet, take stock of the area where he is being housed. Whether you're going through a rescue or breeder, you want to make sure conditions are clean. A dog or puppy kept in unsanitary conditions may be at risk for health problems.
- The area should be relatively clean. If you're looking at a litter of young puppies, it's understandable if there are a few stray droppings. Puppies are not born house trained and the accidents may have just occurred. However, if the floor is covered in droppings, dirt, and other debris, this is not a clean environment.
- The poodle or poodles should be clean as well. Their fur should not be covered in food or droppings. Their coats should be clean and un-matted. They should also look relatively healthy. Poodles, puppies especially, should not have a bony appearance.However, there is one exception — if you're going through a rescue and a dog has just come in, he may still show some signs of neglect such as an emaciated appearance.
- If animals are being kept in poor conditions, this is a bad sign. If not cared for properly, dogs can develop health conditions, like fleas or ringworm, as well as behavioral problems. You also do not want to give your money to an establishment that is abusing their animals.
Speak with the breeder about the health of the parents.If you decide to go through a breeder, ask to see any certificates they have about screening tests they put the parents through. Not all breeders do this, in which case you are in the dark about the potential of the parents to pass down genetic disease. If you have an option, patronize a breeder who goes to the trouble of running these tests and can prove their breeding stock is health. Poodles are a generally healthy breed, but you want to know your puppy's family history to spot any health problems that may occur down the road.
- Hip dysplasia, joint problems, and eye problems like cataracts are common in toy poodles. Chronic conditions, like autoimmune disorders and seizure disorders, may also occur in poodles. If these problems run in a puppy's family, it does not necessarily mean she will inherit them herself. However, it does increase her risk.
- If you see any health problems listed on your poodle's history, do some research. If your poodle were to develop this condition, consider whether you could handle this. Health problems vary greatly in terms of care. Some conditions, like Addison's Disease, may require long-term treatment that can get costly. Others, like cataracts, can be cleared up with a simple (but expensive) surgery.
- Poodles have a reputation for being healthy but are subject to a number of conditions which can impact on their life, even in young or middle age, such as luxating patellas or eyesight problems. If you're working with a quality breeder, he will make an effort to breed out serious conditions.
Learn about any special concerns when going through a rescue.If you're going through a rescue, you'll want to learn about special concerns. Many dogs placed in a rescue or shelter were abandoned or abused in previous homes. This can lead to behavioral or health problems. Review a dog's history in detail before selecting a rescue poodle.
- Abuse and neglect are unfortunately common aspects of many rescue dogs' histories. If your poodle has been abused, he may have behavioral problems. He might be skittish or difficult to leave alone. Neglect can also cause health problems. If a dog has been beaten or physically abused, he may have problems with chronic pain.This doesn't mean you shouldn't adopt a dog who has been abused — just be sure you understand that he'll need lots of patience, special attention, love, and training.
- Some poodles are abandoned because they have existing health problems. Previous owners may have been unwilling or unable to accommodate the dog's needs. Make sure you ask rescue workers about a dog's health. Know what medications he needs, how much treatment costs, and any other special concerns.
Look for alert, perky, and responsive animals.Unless you're adopting a very elderly poodle, toy poodles are a generally high-energy breed. Make sure any poodle you purchase is eager and playful.
- If you're going through a breeder, you may notice a couple of poodles from a litter seem high-energy while the others seem a bit sluggish. This is a bad sign. This could mean an illness or infection is going around in the litter. Even if your poodle is not currently sick, she's very likely to get sick later on. Be wary in these situations.
Visit a poodle several times before making a final decision.Adopting a dog is a big responsibility. You should visit any poodle you're considering several times before making a decision.
- Ideally, you should interact with the dog both one-on-one and observe him with other animals. You want a pet that's affectionate and unafraid of people. You also want to make sure your potential dog gets along with other animals. It can be difficult to have a pet that's aggressive or overly skittish in the presence of other dogs.
- If you're going through a rescue, it may not be possible to observe your poodle with other dogs. If a dog has known behavioral problems, he may have to be separated from other animals at all times.
Take your dog or puppy to the vet within 48 hours.Once you decide on a poodle, take her to the vet within 48 hours of adoption. You want to have a full exam conducted. You should also bring in a stool sample to check for parasites. If something negative comes up in the exam, you can return the poodle. Most breeders and rescues allow you to change your mind about adopting a dog without penalty within a certain timeframe.
Finding a Breeder
Seek out breeders.If you want to adopt through a breeder, there are many different routes you can take. You should look for reputable breeders in a variety of places. It may take a while to find a breeder that suits your needs.
- The Poodle Club of America provides a list of breeders and can verify which breeders abide by their ethical guidelines. This is a good resource to find an ethical breeder near you.The American Kennel Club also provides lists of breeders for a variety of breeds.
- If you do not find anyone through these resources, you can do a google search on your own. Be careful, however, as many puppy mills masquerade as reputable breeders. If someone is eager to sell you a puppy without having much contact with you, this may be a puppy mill.
- Have some patience. It can take a while to find a breeder. When you do find a breeder, it may be a while before they have puppies available for sale. Keep in mind, going into the process, it may take a few months to find a poodle through a breeder.
Learn the signs of a quality breeder.As you begin to contact breeders, watch for signs of quality. You do not want to go through an unethical breeder. Your puppy is far more likely to have health problems if you go this route.
- A good breeder will not shy away from questions. She will be happy to provide pedigrees, health certificates, and other information about her puppies.
- A quality breeder will have a lot of questions for you. Do not be alarmed by this. The breeder simply wants to match the right person with the right puppy. It's a good sign if you get a lot of questions when contacting a breeder. This means the breeder is dedicated to finding good homes for her dogs.
- A good breeder should also provide some kind of written documentation for you to sign. This usually assures you the breeder will take the dog back in the event any problems occur. The breeder should also provide you a written document proving the puppy's parents have had their hips, eyes, knees, and blood examined by a vet. This is to check the parents for inheritable disorders before breeding them.
Watch for warning signs.You should be aware of signs of a bad breeder. You're far more likely to get a dog with health or behavioral problems when going through an unethical breeder.
- A breeder's first questions should be about you, your lifestyle, and how you plan to care for your puppy. If a breeder instead asks you how quickly you can buy a dog and then presses you for information about your payment method, this is a bad sign.
- If a breeder is unwilling to answer questions or provide documents you request, this is also a bad sign. There may be something wrong with his dogs. Your poodle may be at higher risk for inheritable health problems.
Be wary of terms like "teacup" and "royal." The terms "royal poodle" and "teacup poodle" do not signify specific breeds. They're colloquial terms used in the poodle community to signify very big or very small toy poodles.
- If a breeder is using these terms to signify breed, he may be trying to trick buyers into thinking they're getting something rare or special. Really, he's just selling dogs that are slightly smaller or larger than average.
- Also, very small poodles, referred to as "teacup poodles," rarely live a full lifespan. Due their size and fragility, they're more prone to health problems.
Adopting a Rescue Poodle
Search the web.There are rescues for every kind of breed, including toy poodles. You can also use the Internet to find poodles up for adoption in local animal shelters.
- Websites like Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet may be able to link you to toy poodles in your area that are up for adoption. Animal Shelters can help you find rescue groups for specific breeds.
- Post on social media. Mention you're looking to adopt a toy poodle and would prefer to go through a rescue or shelter. Even if someone does not have a lead now, he may reach out to you in the event he sees a toy poodle in need of a home down the road.
Talk to experts.Professionals in the pet industry can also help you find a toy poodle. Veterinarians, boarders, groomers, and trainers often network or work with rescues. Reach out to any experts you know. Tell them you're looking to adopt a toy poodle from a rescue or shelter. They might be able to help with your search.
Ask the right questions.When choosing your poodle, you want to ask the right questions. Poodles from a rescue often come with a very extensive history. You want to know as much information as you can to make sure the dog you're considering is right for you.
- Ask about any known health issues. Dogs are often given to a rescue if they have chronic health conditions owners had difficulty managing.
- Ask about the dog's personality. Are there any behavioral issues you should be aware of before adopting? Make sure you know his age, whether or not he's housebroken, and how he responds to other animals.
- Try to learn a bit about his overall energy level. If he's hyperactive, make sure you can accommodate his energy level.
Consider the drawbacks of adopting from a rescue.Adopting a rescue dog is a wonderful thing to do. You'll be giving a previously abandoned dog a second chance. However, there are some drawbacks. You might not know the animal's full history. She may be at high risk for inheritable disorders without your knowledge. Rescue dogs may also be prone to behavioral problems their whole lives. Before settling on a rescue dog, make sure you're ready for the commitment.
- Poodles require a lot of grooming due to their long coats. Make sure you're able to commit to brushing your dog multiple times a week before selecting a poodle.
- Black poodles sometimes develop a silver color with age. Some people dislike this color and would prefer their dog did not develop it. There's no real way to predict whether a black poodle's coat will turn silver. If you're concerned about this, go with a white or apricot poodle instead.
Video: WE GOT A TOY POODLE PUPPY!!
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