Frequently Asked Questions
Before filling out an application, please read through the following Frequently Asked Questions to answer some of the common questions we get, learn more about us and our program, and make sure that our puppies are right for you. If your questions aren't answered on this page, feel free to contact us.
How do I get on your waiting list?
After reading through this page to answer any common questions you might have, fill out a Puppy Application. You will be contacted within 48 hours to let you know that we have received your application and if it was approved. If you do not receive a confirmation please contact us to make sure we have received it. Once your application is approved, we require a $25 non-refundable administration fee to be sent (e-transfer, PayPal, or cash/cheque if you are local). Your application will not be considered if this fee is not paid. If you end up getting a puppy from us, the fee will be put towards the final cost of your puppy. We ask that if you do find a puppy in the meantime or change your mind that you contact us to be removed from the list.
When will you have puppies available?
We breed only two litters per year and currently only have two active breeding females so we don't have many puppies available. Our website is not frequently updated with photos but you can follow along with updates as they come on our Facebook page. Currently we are experiencing a very high demand for puppies and it will likely be a year or more before any puppies will be available.
How long will I have to wait?
How long you will wait for a puppy depends on several factors. If we have just had a litter, it will be 6-12 months before we have another. If you are wanting a specific color, pattern, or gender you may have to wait longer to get exactly what you want. Because the demand for puppies right now is very high, you will likely have to wait a year or two to get a puppy from us. Most people want females, so if you have no preference for gender, or prefer a male, you will have a better chance of getting a puppy sooner. You can also get a puppy sooner if you participate in our guardian home program.
What is the process?
The first part of the process is the application which will give us a better idea of who you are and what your needs are in a poodle. Once you have filled it out you will hear back from us in 24-48 hours and you will be added to our waiting list if approved. You will be added to our mailing list so you will receive an email newsletter any time there is a new litter in the works or puppies available. We will usually send out an email when one of our girls goes into heat so it will remind anybody who is no longer looking to ask to be removed from the list. Another email reminder will go out once pregnancy is confirmed, usually about 6 weeks later. Once the puppies are born we will go through the list and start to confirm who is still interested. At this point we will only be emailing those high on the list who will be next in line to get a puppy. If they pass or do not answer their email within 2 days we will move down the list to the next person. Please be diligent about responding if you are interested. With such a long waiting list it is frustrating to have to wait on a response.
We do not start taking any deposits or deciding who gets what puppy until the puppies are around 7 weeks old. This gives us time to see how each puppy is developing, what temperament they have, and whether any of them are breeding / show quality or have sport potential. The puppies are temperament tested by an unbiased professional to give us a better idea of what the puppies will grow up to be like and what their emotional and social needs will be in the days to come. Depending on the puppy and the needs of the potential owner, we may be choosing who gets which puppy rather than the buyer getting to choose. In some cases the buyer may get to choose between two puppies if they are both suited to their needs.
A $200 deposit is required to hold a puppy. This deposit is non-refundable if the buyer changes their mind, and is only refunded if the puppy is found to have a health defect or the breeder decides to revoke the sale for whatever reason. Once all of the puppies are spoken for we will save the rest of our list for our next litter. We keep the puppies until they are 9 weeks old and the rest of the payment is due in full upon pickup.
How do I tell if you are real or a scam?
We are happy to provide photos and videos of the puppies, as well as allowing visitors to view our home and meet all of our dogs! Our entire household is fully vaccinated and we welcome visitors in our outdoor dog run area during milder times of the year. While most people do send deposits without visiting in person, we understand if you do not want to send any money without meeting us in person first! There are many scammers and puppy mills out there and it is very important for owners to do their research to make sure that a breeder is legitimate and ethical before attempting to purchase a puppy. We welcome all questions and we have nothing to hide! We take it as a compliment if you want to investigate our animal husbandry and breeding practices.
Do you sell adult dogs or retired breeders?
Though it doesn't happen often, occasionally an older puppy or adult dog will get returned. In this case we will make sure it is up to date with all shots, neutered or spayed if it isn't already, and rehome it for a reduced cost. We offer a one year health guarantee on adult dogs, and will disclose any pre-existing temperament or health conditions known at the time of sale. As with any of our puppies, the adult dog will come with lifetime breeder support and we will always take them back if need be.
Our retired breeders often remain with us, but sometimes they are adopted out to retirement homes if the perfect home comes along.
Do you stud out your male dogs?
Our male dogs are available to stud to approved poodles with full DNA and OFA health testing. Proof of health testing and a negative brucellosis test will be required before a breeding occurs.
Do you sell breeding dogs?
Most of our puppies are sold on a non-breeding contract and a limited CKC registration if they are registerable. We do sell puppies as future breeding dogs, however you must declare that in advance as there will be other questions asked and references required for those intending to breed. There will also be a separate contract to be signed. We also want to make sure that only the best puppies go on to be breeders so there may be less of a selection available if not all pups in a litter are breeding quality. We also do not guarantee their breeding quality or ability past 8 weeks so the puppy cannot be returned solely because it is not able to be bred. If you are an established breeder there will be some questions asked to ensure that your ethics are in line with ours. Breeding rights for a puppy will incur an additional cost depending on the dog.
If you are wanting to get into breeding and have little to no experience we require that you accept mentorship so that we can ensure that the puppy you receive from us is healthy enough for breeding and is bred ethically. Breeding dogs is hard work and when done correctly does not make for much profit.
Please note that we do not sell breeding dogs for the purpose of mixing breeds.
What if I want two puppies?
We do not allow puppies from the same litter to be sold together to avoid Littermate Syndrome. We recommend waiting until your dog is at least 1-2 years old before getting another puppy.
Do I get a discount if I bought a puppy from you before?
We do not give discounts on puppies to previous buyers, however we do give preference on the waiting list which can mean you may get a puppy much sooner rather than waiting 1-2 years.
How much do your puppies cost?
The current price as of August 2022 is $2500 for a non-breeding puppy. This includes vet check, first set of shots, deworming, flea treatment, microchip, 30 days of pet insurance, blanket with mother's scent, small bag of kibble and raw food, brush and comb, interactive toy, head start on housetraining and crate training, lifetime breeder support, a two year health and temperament guarantee, and a lifetime genetic guarantee against disorders the parents have been tested clear for. We require a $200 deposit to hold your puppy for you which is put towards the final payment due upon pickup. This deposit is non-refundable if you change your mind. If any health issues are found with the puppy, the puppy dies, or the breeder decides to keep the puppy or otherwise revoke the sale then your deposit will be returned or put toward another puppy.
What kinds of payments do you take?
We can take cash, cheque, or e-transfer. We do not offer payment plans and you will not be able to use a credit or debit card to pay for your puppy.
What is the guardian home program?
Guardian homes are a way for us to expand our breeding program to have more of a selection of breeding dogs without having too many dogs in our house. Some breeders utilize guardian homes to have more litters per year, but we use guardian dogs to have more of a choice as to who we breed. When deciding on potential breeding dogs to carry on our lines, it's hard to know at 9 weeks old if they will be a suitable candidate. By placing them into a guardian home to grow up, it allows us to be able to assess their structure, coat, personality, and health testing without having to have a whole house full of dogs. Then we can decide which dogs will go on to be breeders, and the ones that don't make the cut will already be in a wonderful home!
A guardian home is carefully chosen, far more carefully than a pet home, and if they are approved they will be sold a female puppy of the breeder's choice. When the puppy reaches approximately two years of age, assuming she passes all of her health testing, she will be returned to the breeder to be bred, then returned to the guardian until 2 weeks before her due date at which point she will return to us to have her puppies. She will remain with us until the puppies are 9 weeks old and then returned to the owner until the next heat. She will remain on contract to be bred for two litters, and after two litters the guardian can choose whether to continue or have her spayed. When she is retired she will be spayed at the breeder's cost and returned to the guardian permanently.
While it is usually a female dog that will be placed in a guardian home, it is possible that a male will be available for a guardian home as well. If you are interested in this program please read more here and contact us for an interview. The guardian would pay a deposit of $2500 (current pet price) for the puppy however they will be bumped up to the top of the waiting list, receive free grooming, receive their money back after the first litter, and receive 20% of the proceeds from each subsequent litter born of their dog. In most cases they would be bred 2-3 times then retired. It is very important to us that a guardian / breeder relationship is the right fit and will be very picky about which homes are chosen. We currently have two dogs in guardian homes as we test this program out. We are looking for a guardian home for a future male and are looking for a sports home for him.
Why are puppies so expensive?
There is a lot that goes into raising a litter of puppies and it is far more than just a vet check and shots! The parent dogs are bought from quality breeders which can cost $3000-$5000. Health testing (DNA and OFA) costs approximately $600-$800 per dog and some OFA tests must be repeated every year, which also requires a trip to the mainland as our local vets are not certified to do eye exams. Keeping the parent dogs in good health means regular vet exams and vaccinations ($200+ per year per dog). Quality food costs us about $300 per month (not including treats which we go through a lot of too!). Obedience, agility, scent detection, barn hunt (etc) training / titling costs us over $5000 per year, not including competitions, and not including the countless hours put into training outside of classes!
As far as the puppies themselves, there are the normal necessary supplies such as a whelping bed, heating pad, supplemental milk and bottles if necessary, many MANY loads of laundry, paper towels, pee pads, puppy pens / kennels, enrichment equipment, and food. But the real cost of the puppies is in the time we spend with them. In the first couple crucial weeks there are many sleepless nights making sure they are warm enough, fed enough, gaining weight enough, and not being stepped on or sat on by their mother. Once they start walking around it is potty training and manners training time. Each puppy gets individual attention to get them socialized and started on their path to becoming a wonderful dog and this takes many hours per day. Not to mention all the time spent cleaning up after them! And this is assuming that nothing goes wrong! A C-section can cost upwards of $3000 and if puppies need to be hand-fed we are up every two hours for the entire day feeding and cleaning them until they are old enough to eat on their own.
The entire litter needs to be seen by a veterinarian ($80 - $100) and given their shots ($60 - $90 per puppy) and microchip ($60 per puppy).
There is also the huge time cost of administration such as researching pedigrees, talking with other breeders to plan litters, updating our website, updating our Facebook and Instagram page, responding to adoption applications, answering questions from potential adopters over the phone or email, watching dog training and agility videos, and so on. If we were to add up all of the money made from a litter versus how many hours we put into making them the best they can be we would certainly be making far less than minimum wage!
About Our Dogs
Are your puppies purebred?
Because Canadian law states that a dog must be registered to be called a purebred and some of our puppies are unregistered, we cannot legally call those puppies purebred. Most of our parent dogs are registered. All of our dogs are poodles. We do not cross our poodles with other breeds.
Are your puppies registered?
When both parents are Canadian Kennel Club registered, the puppies will be registered as well. However, the CKC has plans to be changing the rules of eligibility for purebred poodles to include only solid colored dogs, which means that litters of multi-colored dogs will no longer be allowed to be registered. The CKC has not implemented this policy change yet, and we do not know when it will come into effect, but if/when it does we will have some of our litters registered and some not.
What colors do you breed?
The only colors we have available at this time are brown, cafe au lait, silver beige, black, blue, silver, phantom, and merle in any of those varieties . Any merle puppy has a chance of having one or two blue eyes or partial blue eyes.
You can see photos of the colors we breed on our Poodle Colors page.
Aren't merle poodles a mixed breed?
Merle is a dominant gene that is naturally occurring in many breeds of dog. It is not known to be a naturally occurring gene in poodles and possibly was introduced by breeding a poodle with another breed of dog that has the merle gene. Merle is a dominant gene, meaning if one parent was merle you will always get merle in the litter, which makes the gene very easy to breed into other breeds where it normally would not occur. Merle poodles were likely created by outcrossing to a breed that has merle such as Australian shepherd and were then bred back to poodles for so many generations that there would be no way to tell they were not purebred except in color. Merle poodles show up as 100% poodles on DNA tests and should still fit the breed standard in every other way except for color. The merle poodles that make up our lines all have pedigrees going back many generations without an outcross and fit the poodle breed standard in every way except color.
Don't merle poodles have health issues?
In merle dogs with a single copy of the merle gene, no. The reason you may have heard that merle dogs are unhealthy is because a dog with two copies of the merle gene (created by breeding two merle dogs together) can have a high chance of visual and auditory issues including deafness, blindness, small / malformed eyes, or no eyes. These dogs are called "double merle". Any responsible breeder breeding merle dogs will never breed two merles together. Merle can be a tricky gene that hides the outward appearance and some merle dogs may be genetically merle but not show any outward sign. Any dogs from merle lines should be DNA tested to make sure that they do not both have the gene before being bred together. All of our dogs are DNA tested and we never breed merle to merle.
Another issue to be aware of in merle dogs is the MRD1 gene which can come from certain merle lines. This gene makes some medications negatively affect the dog, and can be fatal. All of our dogs are DNA tested for MRD1 and are clear.
How big do your puppies get?
Our puppies are miniature poodles which according to the breed standard are above 10" tall and below 15" tall. Most of our puppies finish out between 12" and 14" tall, weighing 10 to 14 pounds fully grown. In 2024 we will have some slightly larger puppies in the 15" to 18" and about 15 to 20 pound range.
Do you breed toy or teacup poodles?
We only breed miniature poodles. We have had a few puppies from our retired females finish out as toys (under 10") but all of our currently breeding females and males are full size miniatures on the larger end of miniature. The smallest pups we produce finish out at 12" and about 10 pounds. Teacup poodles are not an official size and are often bred from dogs who are too small because they are not healthy or sound and are prone to injury as well as other health problems. We do not recommend seeking out a teacup poodle.
Why should I get a purebred poodle over a poodle cross?
Poodle crosses are a huge fad right now but unfortunately not many are being bred responsibly. The whole point to crossing breeds is to create a dog that improves upon one or both of the two breeds going into the mix, or is creating a dog for a specific purpose or job and most breeders of mixes do not create dogs that fit that description. Crossing dogs that shed with poodles also creates a coat that is incredibly difficult for most owners to maintain. Many mixed breed breeders do not health test their dogs and assure new owners that their dogs are low maintenance, hypoallergenic, and non-shedding which isn't always the case depending on what type of hair they get. Mixed breeders also tend to charge a lot of money for puppies simply to cash in on the fad, coming up with outlandish crosses and calling them "rare" to make them seem more desirable with no thought to the health or conformation of the puppies.
Many people also believe that mixing breeds creates a healthier dog which is a common myth. Breeding dogs with different bone structure together (such as a short faced or short legged dog with a long face long legged poodle) can create underbites, twisted legs, and deformed joints. And because many mixed breed breeders do not health test it's a crapshoot as to what health problems may occur in the future. Purebred dogs are not without problems, true, but this is why ethical purebred breeders rigorously test their dogs for the common issues known to their breed and do everything they can to avoid problems and only breed from healthy dogs. And because ethical breeders breed to a standard and all dogs have the same structure you know you won't be getting severe conformation issues as are common in mixes.
While many mixed breeders are not ethical, it is very possible to cross-breed poodles ethically! We are not against mixes. We are against unethical breeding. If you are looking into a poodle cross, please email us and we can recommend some breeders who do proper health testing and have well-established lines.
Are poodles hypoallergenic?
No dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic, as many are allergic to the dog's saliva as well as their dander and all dogs have saliva. Poodles are known for being great pets for allergy sufferers and many who are allergic to dogs do not get reactions from poodles. The best way to test this out would be to visit with our dogs and see if they cause a reaction before you decide to buy one.
Do you dock tails or remove dew claws?
No. Not only is it illegal to do so in BC, we consider it cruel and unnecessary. A dog's tail is important for their balance and communication with other dogs and their dew claws help them grip toys and chew toys and help them with their footing. Since we breed our dogs with a functional sport purpose in mind, we would never remove anything that could help them perform.
What health testing is done on the parents?
The parents of your puppy will be health tested via a DNA test through Canine Health Check to rule out any potential genetic defects that could pass on to your puppy. If one of the parents has a gene for a genetic defect but the other does not, the puppy may inherit the gene but will not develop the condition. This would only be an issue if you were planning to breed the puppy. If the parents are clear on a genetic issue that means it is impossible for your puppy to develop that issue. Health testing reports are available to view on this page.
We follow the health testing guidelines for miniature poodles set up by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. This tests their joints and their eyes for any problems that may be passed on to the puppies. OFA results can be found for each dog on this page as they are completed.
Both parents are also regularly examined by our veterinarian at VCA Canada Island Animal Hospital to check for any issues with their hearts and teeth, as well as general health examinations and vaccines.
What health testing is done on the puppies?
Because the parents are DNA tested, the puppies are considered clear by parentage, because we know that they can't inherit any defects from their parents since their parents don't have the genes for those defects. However, if you would still like your puppy tested before they go to their new home, we can arrange to have that done at your cost as early as 4 weeks of age. If we are selling a puppy for breeding purposes, we require them to be DNA tested and have their CAER eye exam done before they leave for their new home.
What does lifetime breeder support mean?
Lifetime breeder support means that for the entire life of the puppy, we will be there to answer any questions, help with any issues, babysit for a reduced rate, and offer grooming services at a reduced rate. If medical support is needed, the dog needs training help, or you have a family emergency and need us to take the dog for a while, we will be there! We will also take back any puppy at any stage of its life if you can no longer keep the dog. Lifetime breeder support is our guarantee that one of our puppies will never end up in a shelter.
What if I can't keep my puppy anymore?
We have a 30 day unconditional money back guarantee. This means that you can return your puppy within 30 days for any reason for a full refund. After 30 days, we guarantee genetic health and temperament for two years. If you need to return the puppy for personal reasons (not a genetic health or temperament issue) we will always take the puppy back but not offer a refund.
If you can no longer keep your puppy but you have a family member or friend who is wanting to take the dog you must let us know so we can update the contact information for the new owners.
How We Raise Our Puppies
What do you do to socialize the puppies?
From birth to about two weeks of age our puppies are gently handled a few times a day, usually for cleaning the bed, weighing, and moving them into position for nursing. Once a day we perform Early Neurological Stimulation and Early Scent Introduction exercises which have many later benefits and increase their proficiency in learning and sports. Beginning at three weeks they are handled more frequently as they are more tolerant of handling and can be away from the mother for longer periods. They are brought out of the whelping bed briefly and allowed to experience the other animals in the household as well as different floors, surfaces, and sounds. They are handled by our friends and their children. At four weeks old they begin eating solid food (raw food mixed with raw goat's milk) and are let out for longer periods of time as they begin to walk. They begin age-appropriate conditioning and socialization at this stage.
Our curriculum is a combination of Puppy Culture, Badass Breeder, and our own decade of experience. Between five and six weeks they are able to run around almost as well as the adult dogs and are allowed to roam the house when supervised. They experience all the sights and sounds of a normal household. We start taking them outside to pee at this age to get them used to the outside world. We also try to challenge them with mini agility obstacles, treat dispensing toys, and puzzle games to challenge their bodies and brains!
Once the puppies go to their new homes there is still much to do! We send our puppies home with a Rule of Twelve Checklist which is a list of twelve things that a puppy should do before they are twelve weeks old to help them become well-adjusted adults. We strongly recommend taking a puppy training class even if you have experience training a dog before. We work with Best Paw Forward in Nanaimo.
Poodles are very smart dogs and love to be challenged! Poodles excel in agility, obedience, rally obedience, nosework, retrieving, lure coursing, flyball, and many other dog sports! We do agility training with Extension Dog Sports, disc and nosework with Positive Dog, and barn hunt, weight pull, and wall climb with Storm Haven Acres! Sign up for a training class and see what your poodle can do!
Shipping & Picking Up Your Puppy
Do you ship puppies?
No. I much prefer to meet owners in person before sending one of my puppies with them. I can deliver from Victoria to Campbell River if necessary and could possibly meet in the lower mainland if ferry costs are arranged. Otherwise you must come to Nanaimo to pick up your puppy. During Covid restrictions we prefer to meet people outside of the house in the backyard.
What age do the puppies go to their new homes?
While we used to allow puppies to go to their new homes at 8 weeks, more recent research has shown that the puppies are more well-adjusted if they stay with their breeder until they are 9 or 10 weeks old. It also takes about 7 days for their vaccinations to be effective in their bodies. Puppies go through a fear stage at 8 weeks old and moving to a new home at this time can possibly be detrimental. For these reasons we have decided to keep the puppies until they are at least 9 weeks old before they go to their new homes.
What should I do to prepare for my puppy coming home?
You should have basic supplies on hand such as a leash and collar, crate or kennel, food and water dishes, brush and comb, and puppy-safe toys. Make sure your house is puppy-proof! Gate off any rooms you don't want your puppy to go into and put away or put up any health hazards or things you do not want chewed.
You will receive a microchip registration paper which you can do online before your puppy even comes home which is great to do in case they happen to get lost or stolen. If you prefer to mail it in you will have to wait until you pick up your puppy.
Your puppy's pet insurance 30 day trial must be signed up for at least 24 hours before the pickup date. You will not be permitted to take your puppy home until they are signed up for their insurance trial. We will give you instructions on how to do so.
Once you know the date of their first set of shots (done by the breeder) you should immediately book them for their second or even third set of shots with your own vet, as veterinarians are extremely busy and if you wait too long they will have to start the vaccination series over again and it may leave them more susceptible to serious diseases.
You should also book a grooming appointment with your groomer (or find a groomer if you do not already have one) before your puppy comes home. Groomers book up extremely quickly and many are not taking new clients. We recommend a puppy be groomed once every 4-6 weeks until they are at least a year so they become used to the process and after that you may extend time between groomings if you are maintaining them at home yourself or are keeping them in a short cut.
A few of our poodles have had retained deciduous canine teeth which means that some of their baby canine teeth did not fall out when they were supposed to. In this case they need to be removed under anesthesia by a veterinarian. For this reason we recommend that you do not spay or neuter your puppy until they have lost their baby teeth so if any are retained they can be removed at the same time.
What health concerns do poodles have?
The most common health issues with poodles are dental issues, allergies, and luxating patellas. Our breeding poodles are in good health but, like most poodles, they do need their teeth professionally cleaned more often than other breeds. We take them to a vet to have this done every two years. Veterinary cleaning can be expensive so we recommend you budget for this ahead of time. We do not recommend the use of anesthetic-free dental cleaning as they cannot clean under the gums so it is only cosmetic.
What energy level do poodles have?
Poodles are great because they can match whatever energy level you need them to! They are just as content laying on the couch, playing with toys, or going on short walks as they are going on long hikes or competing in dog sports. They aren't a hyper dog that needs to be worked but they do enjoy pleasing their owners.
What grooming needs do poodles have?
Poodles have thick, curly, growing hair that needs to be brushed, combed, and cut regularly. How often they need to be groomed depends on how long you keep their hair and how much brushing you can do at home. Most poodles should be groomed every 6-8 weeks, and brushed and combed several times a week. Their curly hair mats easily if it is not cared for, especially in the ears and lower legs.
Your puppy has already gotten a head start on grooming, as we will shave their feet, face, and tail base every week from 4 - 8 weeks. Once you take them home it is recommended to book a grooming appointment for a few days after they have received their second set of shots at 12 weeks of age. Having them groomed early and often will help them get used to the process more quickly.