Reputable breeders want to produce the best, healthiest, and happiest offspring possible.
I often hear this:
"I'm not interested in a show puppy. I only want a pet. Why should I be worried about the dog's 'pedigree'?'"
Buying a puppy with multiple champions or obedience/hunting/agility titles in its pedigree means that your dog is structured to do what it was bred to do. It's not normal for a dog bred to hunt and be athletic to have hip dysplasia, or a water retriever to have a poor coat or worse yet - be terrified of water or untrainable.
American Kennel Club (AKC) conformation judges evaluate purebred dogs on how closely they adhere to the written breed standard, in the judge's opinion. The poodle breed standard is the same for all three varieties (toy, mini, standard). The only difference is size. Poodles are measured in height by inches at the withers. There are only three varieties of poodle recognized in the USA by the AKC and the Poodle Club of America (PCA). Many poodle fans are not aware that PCA is responsible for writing and maintaining the breed standard - NOT the AKC. Poodles are a member of the non-sporting group as they are largely companion animals today, although many are still actively used in the field as hunting and service dogs.
Poodles in the AKC conformation ring are evaluated on appearance, temperament, and movement.
Canine structure and movement tells is if the dog is "sound." Temperament refers to the dog's ability to accept strangers and situations, including other dogs. Appearance or "outline" is the picture of the dog. Does it look like a poodle is supposed to?
We at Cadeau believe that temperament is bred first and nurtured second. "Carriage" as you may hear in reference to Poodles, refers to how proudly the dog carries itself, (head and tail held high) and Poodles should have "an air of dignity."
Hunting, obedience, and agility titles prove a dog can follow commands correctly and be trusted off leash to do its job, even in the face of distractions like other animals and people nearby. They also display a dog's athleticism as all of these events require jumping and physical fitness. Poodles are known for their athleticism and trainability!
By supporting breeders who in turn support AKC events, you are helping to preserve the attributes by which we should recognize these breeds.
These breeders set themselves apart from backyard breeders and puppy mills by doing the following:
- Performing health and genetic testing on breeding parents
- Socializing and raising puppies and adults so that they become less reactive and afraid of situations, places, people, and other animals
- Working dogs throughout their lives in training and other events
- Standing behind their puppies in the event of a genetic mishap
- Being a resource for their puppy buyers
- Knowing and breeding to the AKC breed standard put forth by the Poodle Club Of America (PCA)