Choosing the Best Poodle for You

In This Chapter
  • Choosing a Poodle based on certain characteristics
  • Finding your Poodle
  • Making sure you go home with a healthy Poodle
  • Registering your new pet
Deciding that you want a Poodle may have been simple, but you need to do more to make sure that everything goes smoothly as you begin the search for your new family member. This chapter helps you figure out the traits you want in a Poodle pal and find the Poodle of your dreams. I also show you how to check your Poodle’s health before you go home and register your Poodle.

Selecting the Traits You Want in a Poodle


Be open to all possibilities as you search for your Poodle pal. You may think that you want a black male puppy when, with a little research, you discover that an adult female apricot Poodle is the perfect match. Consider all the factors in the following sections before you make your decision.

Puppy or adult?


The first step is to decide whether you want a puppy or an adult. Each has advantages and disadvantages, but don’t close your mind to one or the other before you’ve given the subject some thought.

Puppies


Nothing is cuter, or sweeter, than a puppy, no matter what the breed. It’s easy to fall in love with a puppy, and when people decide to add a dog to the family, they generally think of a puppy.

Puppies don’t come with any “baggage.” If you’ve purchased your puppy from a reputable breeder (see “Beginning with breeders for Poodle puppies,” later in this chapter), your puppy has the correct Poodle temperament. She’s eager, intelligent, and friendly, and she adjusts quickly to you and your family. You can housetrain your puppy your way and not have to retrain an older dog who someone else taught differently. If you don’t want your dog to share the furniture with you, you won’t have to retrain an adult who has always napped on the sofa if you begin training at the puppy stage.

On the minus side of the ledger, although it’s great fun to get a puppy, to watch her grow, and to be able to teach her the things you want her to know, a puppy also requires much more work than an adult dog. Housetraining takes time and requires someone to be home at regular intervals. It can mean trips out to the yard at 3 a.m. in the rain. (See Chapter Keeping Your Poodle Clean and Attractive for tips on making housetraining easier.)

Puppies also are more likely to get into mischief. They’re exploring a new world, and that means chewing chair legs, tipping over wastebaskets, and unraveling the toilet tissue roll. You’ll have the joy of teaching everything to your puppy, but you’ll also have the frustration.

Adults


Choosing adult Poodles over Poodle pups has some advantages:
- An adult dog is likely housetrained, or, if not, is easier to train. She can go longer between trips outside and catches on quickly.
- An adult Poodle is over the chewing stage. She still enjoys a chew toy, but she doesn’t use table legs as teething rings and is less apt to eat the fringe off the Oriental rug.
- An adult Poodle knows English. She recognizes commands and already has a vocabulary, unlike a puppy.
- Poodles need to be with their people, but an older dog may be more willing to spend the afternoon napping than a younger dog.
A disadvantage to an older dog is that she’ll come with some habits that may not fit in with your ideas of how your dog should behave — but dogs can be taught new tricks with time and patience.
Remember
If you decide that an older dog fits your lifestyle better than a puppy, don’t worry that the older dog won’t bond with you. Dogs are an adaptable species, and you may be amazed at how quickly an adult dog becomes a member of the family.

Toy, Miniature, or Standard?


Poodles give you the advantage of having the breed you want in the size you want (see Chapter Socializing Your Poodle for more about these sizes). To help you choose your perfect Poodle, consider the following distinguishing features of the three Poodle types.

Toy


If you live in a small apartment, have limited mobility, lack much of a yard, don’t want to take long walks, and want a dog who cuddles in your lap, the Toy Poodle is ready to move in. Toys are just as smart as the larger varieties, but need comparatively less exercise. At the same time, if you do want to compete, Toys are willing and able to show off in the conformation ring, learn obedience commands, or fly around an agility course. Toys do well in households with adults only or with older children who understand how to handle a dog.

Miniature


The Miniature Poodle gives you a bit more dog, but she still adjusts nicely to apartment living. The Miniature wants a bit more attention from you than a Toy, so be prepared for longer walks and more games. Teach your Mini tricks or train her for performance competition. Give her something to do, or, like most dogs, she may get bored and develop her own games (games you may not appreciate as much as she does).

Standard


The Standard can live in an apartment, but only if you give her a lot of outdoor exercise. Standards need more exercise than either the Toy or the Miniature. If you have a busy family and can include your Poodle in family activities, you’ll have one happy dog. Standards can go jogging, play ball, hunt, and compete in organized dog events. A Standard is sturdy enough to be able to roughhouse with the children, too. Just remember that a bouncing adolescent Poodle may be too bouncy for small children and that if you want your lamps to remain unbroken, limit roughhousing to the great outdoors.

Male or female?


Both males and females make wonderful companions. Both Poodle genders are intelligent, fun-loving dogs, so whichever sex you choose, you’re getting a wonderful pet. Base your selection on the dog’s temperament more than on whether the dog is male or female.
Warning!
A word of caution: A male may be a bit bigger than a female and an unneutered male may get the urge to roam. An unneutered male may also have a tendency to mark his territory, and that marking may include the corner of your sofa. (See Chapter Taking Basic Care of Your Poodle’s Health for more about spaying and neutering.)
One benefit of choosing a male is that males tend to pee quickly on a walk. Just steer him to the nearest tree or bush. Females can sometimes take a long time finding just the right spot, and that’s no fun when it’s pouring rain.
Tip
If you already have a dog of one sex, getting another of the opposite sex can help prevent fights, although most Poodles get along well with other dogs, especially if all the dogs are spayed or neutered. 

Which color?


The least important aspect of choosing a Poodle (in my book, at least) is color. You may have heard the saying in the dog world that “a good dog can’t be a bad color,” but that doesn’t stop people from having preferences. With a Poodle, it’s easy to satisfy that preference. Poodles come in black, blue, red, silver, brown, café-aulait, apricot, cream, and white. (You can check out Poodles of these colors in the color section of this book.) If the breeder’s dogs are registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC), the dogs may also be parti-colored, phantom, abstract, sable, or multi patterned. (See Chapter Socializing Your Poodle for definitions of these terms.)
Remember
You can have a color preference, but don’t let that preference limit your search. Health, temperament, and personality are much more important in the long run.

Deciding Where to Find Your Poodle


You have several sources of Poodles to choose from: breeders, animal shelters, rescue groups, and pet shops. I cover all these options in the following sections.

Beginning with breeders


People think of puppies when they think of breeders, and a breeder is the best source for a puppy, but a breeder may also have an older dog for sale. In the following sections, I describe the benefits of going to a breeder and give you a list of questions that a breeder should ask you. I also provide you with some questions to ask a breeder and explain the elements of a breeder’s contract.

The benefits of breeders


Technically, anyone who has a dog that produces a litter is a breeder, but a good breeder is much more than that:
- Reputable breeders study the breed and always try to improve it.
- They run health checks and carefully select the parents of a litter.
- They pay attention to vaccinations, proper diet, and a clean environment.
- They socialize their puppies, and they screen buyers to assure the best match between dog and human.
- With Poodles, a breeder will begin grooming.
- Puppies from a reputable breeder may have a head start with training.
What some people may consider a negative, such as being on a waiting list for a puppy or having to answer a lengthy questionnaire, is just one more example of a breeder acting responsibly by not producing puppies there are no homes for and by working to assure that puppy and family are well-matched and will stay together. Good breeders feel responsible for the puppies they produce for the life of the puppy.

Finding a reputable breeder

Tip
You have a couple of options for locating a Poodle breeder:
- Start your search for a breeder with the Poodle Club of America Web site: www.poodleclubofamerica.org. You can link to affiliate clubs with contacts for breeder referrals as well as rescues in your area. Affiliate clubs have a code of ethics and members typically run all the necessary health checks on their breeding stock. Another source is the American Kennel Club (AKC) Web site: www.akc.org.
- If you hear of a dog show scheduled in your area, go and spend the day. You can see all three varieties of Poodles and can talk to the handlers. The owners of all dogs entered in a show are at the back of the show catalog, so you can contact those owners near you to see about the availability of puppies.
Tip
Talk to exhibitors after they’ve shown; they’ll be more relaxed and have time to talk. Be sure to always ask permission before you pet a dog.
Remember
None of these previously listed methods guarantee a reputable breeder. You still need to see the puppies and the mother in person, and you need to ask questions. But most people who belong to a breed club and who show have made a commitment of time and money to the breed, so these are good places to start.

Answering questions from a breeder


Besides having to wait for the puppy (which can feel like forever), the breeder may have questions for you. He’s spent a lot of time and money on the breeding — having health checks done on the parents, studying pedigrees so he doesn’t double up on faults, and possibly paying shipping or boarding fees. He wants his puppies to go to the best possible home, and, beyond that, he wants it to be a good match. He wants to make sure you understand the care that a Poodle needs for life. Not every puppy is right for every home, and the breeder wants both the humans and the dog to be happy.

A breeder may give you a questionnaire to fill out. Try not to feel insulted or put upon. A questionnaire is one of the signs of a responsible breeder. Answer the questions honestly and don’t try to guess at what you think is the “right” answer. For example, many breeders ask about a fenced yard. A fenced yard is a wonderful thing, but lack of fencing isn’t necessarily going to disqualify you. If you live in an apartment, you don’t have any yard at all.

In the following sections, I give you some questions the breeder may ask you and the reasons he has for asking them.

Previous experience: Assessing your canine know-how

A breeder’s questionnaire gives him an understanding of you and your lifestyle and helps him place the right puppy with the right family. It also lets him know where you may need guidance. If you’re getting your first dog, he may recommend training books or books about the breed. If you want a show dog, he may help you choose a more active puppy. Check out the following questions that a breeder may ask about your canine know-how:
- Have you owned a Poodle before? Poodles are highmaintenance dogs when it comes to grooming. If you’ve had one before, the breeder knows you understand the pros and cons of a Poodle. If you’ve never had a Poodle, he can explain more about grooming and possible health issues.
- Have you read any books about the breed? This question shows whether you’re serious about wanting a Poodle. You’ve done your homework, and the Poodle isn’t just an impulse purchase. (Be sure to mention that you’ve read this book!)
Personal preferences: Helping you choose the right Poodle

You may think you know just what you want, but what you want may not be the best match. Share your preferences with the breeder and be open to other options. You may hear the following questions:
- What are your expectations? What do you want in a dog? Your breeder wants to understand your lifestyle. If you’re fairly sedentary, a Standard may be too much dog for you. If you want a jogging partner, a Toy won’t be right.
- Do you want a particular sex? Would you take a puppy of the opposite sex? Tell the breeder if you have another dog in the family, or why else you may want a particular sex. Otherwise, he may match you with the puppy he feels is best for your family, regardless of sex. (See the earlier section “Male or female?” for more about differences between the sexes.)
- Would you be interested in an older dog? Breeders sometimes keep puppies to see if they have show potential. A dog that doesn’t meet the breeder’s expectations can still make a wonderful pet, and you can have the advantage of all the time the breeder spent socializing and training the dog. If you’re willing to take an even older dog, the breeder may have an adult that has earned a championship.
- Tell me about your household. Spouse? Partner or roommates? Children? If children, what are their ages? The breeder wants to make sure everyone welcomes the puppy. If you have children, the breeder wants to make sure they’re old enough to know how to deal with a puppy. A Toy Poodle puppy in a house with toddlers may get injured.
Poodle preparation: Gauging your groundwork

There’s more to owning a dog than just paying your money and taking her home. A breeder’s questions can help you prepare:
- Who will be responsible for the care and training of your Poodle? Your breeder wants to know that no one will neglect the dog. No matter how responsible your children are, an adult is ultimately responsible for the care of the puppy. A puppy is not a lesson in responsibility. A puppy is a living thing.
- Have you thought about housetraining a puppy and handling an adult dog? Where will your dog go to eliminate? How will you clean up? You need to think about this question before you buy a puppy. If you’re not sure of what options you have in training and in clean up, talk to your breeder; he is glad to give you suggestions. (Chapter Keeping Your Poodle Clean and Attractive has details on housetraining.)
- Do you live in a house, townhouse, condo, or apartment? If so, how large is your yard and what type of fencing do you have? Poodles can, and do, live happily in all these places. This question can lead to other questions about how and where you plan on housetraining your Poodle, and where she can get her exercise. You may think the fence around your yard is fine, but your breeder may know from experience that it isn’t the best for containing a dog.
- If you rent, does your landlord allow dogs? Please provide landlord contact information. The breeder isn’t going to let a dog go to a home where she’s not allowed. He doesn’t want you to return the puppy or take her to a shelter. He wants the puppy’s home to be forever.
- In what rooms will your dog be permitted? Do you have any ideas about how you will keep your dog out of certain parts of your home if necessary? Another question designed to make you think. When your puppy is young, you may want her only in the kitchen or family room. Think about using baby gates or shutting doors. It’s okay to have certain rooms off limits, but it’s not okay to leave your dog in the basement, in the garage, or outdoors all the time. A Poodle is a people dog. She needs to be part of the family. If that’s not going to work for you, the Poodle isn’t the right breed for you.
- Can you devote the time to teach your puppy manners and expose your puppy to new experiences? Do you have any ideas about where to go for obedience training? Training and proper socialization are important to a puppy’s development. Your breeder wants to make sure you understand the need to train your Poodle. Ask for his help. (Check out Chapters Housetraining Made Easy and Instilling Good Manners in Your Poodle for details on training and socializing your Poodle.)

Asking the breeder a few questions of your own

Remember
Turnabout is fair play. Here are some questions you want to ask the breeder (and the reasons behind them):
- Have the parents had appropriate health testing? At a minimum, ask whether the parents have been tested for von Willebrand’s, a hereditary bleeding disorder; hip dysplasia; and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). A breeder may also test for thyroid problems.
- How long have you been breeding? Is this a business or a hobby? How often do you have a litter? Done right, no breeder is going to be able to make a living breeding dogs. A longtime breeder may make a small profit on a litter, but the costs of health checks, stud fees, proper veterinary care, and medical emergencies don’t leave much left over. If a breeder has produced a few litters, he can tell you what to expect as your puppy grows.
- May I meet the parents, or at least the mother, of the puppies? Meeting the parents gives you a good idea of what your puppy will be like as an adult. The adult Poodles should be friendly, not shy or fearful. You shouldn’t hear any growling. The father may not be on the premises, but you shouldn’t find a reason not to meet the mother. (See “Choosing a Healthy Poodle,” later in this chapter, for tips on what to look for.)
- Where do you raise the puppies? The puppy area should be clean and near household activity. The puppies should be healthy, and all puppies over six weeks old should have a puppy clip, with the face, feet, and tail shaved (see Chapter Providing Your Poodle with a Nutritious Diet for details). If the breeder shows you only individual puppies and doesn’t show you where they live, find a different breeder.
- Ask to see the pedigree of the puppy and the registration form. The pedigree is your puppy’s family tree. The registration form ensures that you’re getting a purebred Poodle, showing that the parents are registered, and the breeder should give you a registration form for each puppy. You need this slip so you can register your puppy. (See “Registering Your Poodle,” later in this chapter, for more details.)
- Will I receive a health record? The breeder should provide a record showing what vaccinations your puppy has had and the dates the puppy was wormed.
- What happens if I can’t keep the dog? Most reputable breeders take back any dog of their breeding at any time.

Checking out a breeder’s contract


When you buy a puppy, your breeder has a contract for you to sign. The contract may be as simple as a bill of sale, listing breeder, new owner, name, and sex of dog, and whether the dog is to be spayed or neutered. Here are a few variations on a simple bill of sale:
- Most contracts include a health guarantee, which gives you a set amount of time to take your puppy to a veterinarian for a health check. Forty-eight hours is common, but it may be longer. If, within that time frame, your vet discovers a major health problem, the breeder takes the puppy back and refunds your purchase price. Some breeders offer a replacement puppy at any time if a major problem develops.
- Most contracts include a clause that says if, for any reason, you can’t keep the dog, you must return her to the breeder. This clause is to prevent dogs from ending up in shelters or in rescue groups. A responsible breeder is just that — responsible for the dogs he breeds for the lifetime of the dog.
- Some contracts may specify whether the puppy is show or pet quality. If the pup is show quality, the breeder may set a later date for evaluating the dog. The price of the puppy may be based on whether the breeder gets to use a male at stud or whether the breeder wants a puppy back if you ever breed.
- Many contracts include limited registration. Limited registration means that you may not register any offspring from that dog with the AKC. (See the later section “American Kennel Club registration” for more info.)
Some breeders want a co-ownership, which means that the breeder owns the dog with you. The breeder may sign off, giving you total ownership, after you meet certain conditions. This arrangement can mean that you pay less for the puppy on the condition that you complete the dog’s championship, or breed the dog and return a puppy to the breeder. Co-ownerships can work, but make sure you understand it before you agree, or you may be sorry down the road.
Warning!
If the co-ownership agreement says the dog must become a champion, think about whether you have the time, money, and ability to either show the dog yourself or send it with a handler to finish. If you can’t show the dog, will the breeder? Who pays the expenses? Are you willing to send your dog away for six months to a year while she’s being shown? Co-ownership contracts can work, but they are frequently the source of disagreements, so make sure that every detail is spelled out, and be certain that you feel comfortable working with the breeder.
If the deal is a lesser sale price in return for a puppy, make sure you understand what breeding entails. After you add in stud fees, health checks, a possible C-section, and time spent raising puppies, that “bargain” sale price may not be such a bargain after all.
Remember
Whatever the agreement, make sure you understand it before you take your puppy home.

Considering shelters and rescue groups


If the idea of giving a home to a homeless Poodle appeals to you, scout out your local shelters and give rescue groups a call. In the following sections, I explain the pros and cons of these organizations, provide a few tips on finding them, and give you an idea of what to expect when you visit.

The pros and cons of shelters and rescue groups


You may find your dream Poodle at the local shelter or through a rescue group. The shelter charges you a fee, but it is far less than the price of a puppy from a breeder. While most dogs in shelters and rescue are adults, sometimes shelters take in mothers and puppies, or a pregnant dog may have puppies in a shelter. A rescue group may also have the occasional puppy.

With an adopted adult, you have the advantage of a dog who may have had some training and will understand you when you speak. An older dog may be calmer and will have outgrown puppy chewing. The biggest plus to rescuing a dog is that you are providing a home to a dog who needs one.

One downside is that you don’t know your dog’s history, and you don’t have the support system of a breeder. The dog may come with health problems or bad habits, but if you’re willing to spend the time and money, your adult rescue will give you just as much love as a breeder’s puppy.
Remember
A rescue dog may have issues you don’t know about, but being in rescue or at the shelter doesn’t necessarily mean the Poodle is a problem. Many dogs end up in shelters because they aren’t wanted. The owners may have divorced, the family may be moving, or a new baby is on the way and the family doesn’t have the time needed to care for the dog. Also, many Poodles end up in rescue because the owners can no longer deal with the grooming.
Warning!
Most rescue groups and many shelters test the temperaments of rescued dogs and can tell you whether a dog is good around other dogs, cats, and children. Rescuing a dog who is very shy, fearful, or sometimes aggressive is a noble gesture, but the dog will need extensive time, attention, and training, and she may not be suitable for a family with children. If you have children, be sure that the dog is good with children.
A rescue Poodle may be housetrained and may even know many commands, which is a real plus. Remember, though, that even if the dog was once housetrained, she may have reverted to going anywhere. Don’t worry. Poodles are very smart, and an adult will housetrain quickly. Just follow the same steps you would with a puppy (see Chapter Keeping Your Poodle Clean and Attractive for full housetraining details).

Locating local shelters and rescue groups

Tip
Visit your local shelter on a regular basis to see whether a Poodle shows up. Some shelters keep a list of people who want specific breeds and call you when that breed comes in.
Local kennel clubs or training clubs also may know of a rescue group in your area. Check out www.poodleclubofamerica.org to find an affiliate club.

Knowing what to expect


Before choosing a Poodle from a shelter or rescue group, know what you’re getting into. Typically, you may find the following:
- Most shelters and rescue groups spay and neuter, or insist that you do.
- Both may have a questionnaire similar to the one a breeder would have (see “Answering questions from a breeder,” earlier in this chapter).
You, too, can ask questions. Ask whether any paperwork was turned in with a surrendered dog. This will help with the health and age of dog, and the paperwork may even include registration papers. Much of the time, though, especially with shelter dogs, no background information is available.
- Some shelters have a contract that requires you to return the dog to it if you can’t care for her for any reason. The contract may also say that you can’t have the dog put down without the shelter’s permission.
A rescue group may offer a short health guarantee, but shelters and rescue groups have no way to really know much about a dog’s history. They won’t know about health clearances or how a dog was raised.
- Many rescue groups, and some shelters, have foster homes for dogs, so that they can tell prospective owners about how the dog reacts to children or other pets.

Wondering about pet shops


Pet shops make it easy to make an impulse purchase. Puppies, especially Poodles, are so darn cute in the window, and you have no questionnaire, no waiting. Just pay your money and walk out cuddling that adorable puppy. But here is where the good news ends.
Warning!
The bad news is plentiful: You don’t get to meet the mother to know what her temperament was like. You can’t ask the breeder if the parents had health checks. You don’t usually get a health guarantee. If your puppy gets sick in the next day or two, most pet shops won’t take the puppy back, or, if they do, they just exchange it for another puppy, which may have been exposed to the same illnesses as the first one. The pet shop doesn’t have a breeder to answer questions about this Poodle in particular or the breed in general. If you buy an older puppy, she has no lead training, no housetraining, and no socialization, and the pet shop price is as much, or more, than that of a breeder.

Choosing a Healthy Poodle

Remember
No matter where your Poodle comes from, she should be healthy. You may feel sorry for the sick puppy in the corner, but don’t take her home. Start with a healthy Poodle, and look for the following:
- The coat should be clean and shiny.
- The dog should move freely, with no limping or wobbling. Puppies aren’t always graceful, but a puppy shouldn’t be falling down or staggering when it moves.
- A Poodle shouldn’t have open sores, and she should look well fed.
- The eyes should be clear and bright, with no discharge or swelling.
- Lift up the flaps (properly called leathers). The interior of the ear should be pink, not red, and you shouldn’t see swelling or discharge. Sniff gently to make sure you don’t detect an odor.
If you’re buying a puppy from a breeder, ask to see the mother (and the father, if possible). The mother dog should be healthy as well. She may look a bit thin; having a litter takes a lot out of a dog, but she should otherwise look healthy. You may not be able to examine her as closely as a puppy, but the same criteria apply.

Make sure the dogs are housed in a clean, well-lit, well-ventilated area. The bedding and surrounding area should be clean. The area doesn’t have to be sterile, but it shouldn’t smell or have an accumulation of dirt, feces, or urine.
Warning!
Go elsewhere for your puppy if the environment is dirty and the dogs aren’t healthy. Don’t feel so sorry for the puppies that you “rescue” one. This just encourages the breeder to produce more puppies, and you may not be able to save the sick one. If she doesn’t die, she may never be a completely healthy adult. And you’ll expose any dog you already have at home to disease.

Registering Your Poodle


The AKC and the UKC are the two major purebred dog registration organizations in the United States. The AKC was founded in 1884 and recognizes nearly 200 breeds of dogs. The UKC was founded in 1898 and recognizes more than 300 breeds. I explain the registration processes for both groups in the following sections; I also describe a pedigree. Chapter Socializing Your Poodle has more details about these groups.
Remember
All registry organizations are registries (sounds simple, right?). If your dog is registered, it means that she’s a purebred. Registration is no guarantee of quality.

American Kennel Club registration


Registering your dog is easy. When you bought your puppy, your breeder gave you the registration form. Fill out the form completely and send it to the AKC with the proper registration fee. The AKC also offers online registration at www.akc.org.

The AKC offers two types of registration, full and limited:
- Full registration places no restrictions on the owner.
- Limited registration means that any offspring of the dog are ineligible for registration with the AKC. A limited registration may be changed to full registration, but only the breeder can make the change. Breeders use limited registration to help prevent faults from being passed on. A contract may require the buyer to spay or neuter, but if the buyer breeds the dog instead, the buyer can’t register the puppies.
You don’t have to register your Poodle, but if you think you may ever be interested in competing, either in conformation or performance events, it’s easier to register your dog as a puppy. (See Chapter Showing Off and Enjoying Your Poodle’s Talents for more about competitions.) After the puppy turns a year old, there is an additional fee for late registration.

If you never got your registration papers, you didn’t bother to register your puppy, or you got your dog from a shelter or from rescue, you can still compete in performance events with an ILP number. ILP stands for Indefinite Listing Privilege. With this number, your Poodle may compete in any AKC event in which Poodles are permitted.
Tip
To register your rescue Poodle, go to the AKC Web site for an ILP application (www.akc.org), or e-mail the AKC at ILP@akc.org for the form. You also can call (919) 233-9767. To apply, you need two color pictures of your Poodle, one standing in profile and one head-on, as well as veterinary proof that your dog has been spayed or neutered. The AKC charges you a nonrefundable application fee.

United Kennel Club registration


The UKC registration policy is similar to the AKC’s. For example, you must register your puppy before she is a year old, and your breeder gives you the necessary paperwork.

Some advantages to registering your Poodle pup with the UKC include:
- Limited Privilege: The UKC offers Limited Privilege for both purebred and mixed-breed dogs. Dogs with a Limited Privilege Card may compete in performance events. The dog must be spayed or neutered.
- Temporary Listed Number: The UKC presents this option for people who want to try a UKC event but don’t want to register the dog.
Tip
To apply for a Temporary Listed Number, call the UKC’s Dog Events department at (269) 343-9020. A Temporary Listed Number is good for 60 days from the day you purchase it.

Perusing a pedigree after you register your Poodle


A pedigree is your Poodle’s family tree. If someone says his dog has a pedigree, he means that he knows who all the dog’s ancestors are. Generally, the dog is a purebred because people rarely know the specific background of a mixed breed.

When you register your Poodle, you receive an official registration certificate from the AKC. For an additional fee, you can get a certified pedigree for three generations (see Figure 4-1). This form lists your dog’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents as well as each dog’s titles. A certified pedigree also lists each dog’s color, and, if she’s been DNA tested, it includes the dog’s DNA number.

Figure 4-1: A sample Poodle pedigree shows a Poodle with its parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

The top part of the pedigree is the sire’s (father’s) family, and the bottom is the dam’s (mother’s). You may see the same name more than once in a pedigree, which is called line breeding.

Your breeder should give you a pedigree, and it may go back for more generations, which is fun if you enjoy looking at family trees. One dog I bought had a pedigree that went back almost 40 years! (And in doggy years, that’s really saying something.)
Tip
The dogs’ names on a pedigree are the registered names. When you register your dog, you fill in a space for this name. You’re limited to 30 letters, and the registered name can’t include any abbreviations for titles, like “Ch,” which is short for “champion.” Frequently, a registered name includes the kennel name of the breeder and may include the kennel name of the purchaser. For instance, the registered name “Best Iron Man of Poodleplace” tells you that a breeder with the kennel name of “Best” bred a Poodle named Iron Man that is now owned by a person with the kennel name “Poodleplace.”
A dog’s call name isn’t shown on the pedigree. The call name is what you actually call the dog. It may or may not be part of the registered name. The dog mentioned above with the registered name of “Best Iron Man of Poodleplace” may be called “Sweetie” at home.

by Susan M.Ewing

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