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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a reputable breeder of small Bichons and Bichon-poos. I have done a lot of research online, but have found no breeders close enough to visit. Well, I have found two within a day's drive, but both have definite "puppymill" red flags, so I have decided against them. I know all of the questions to ask, and like what I see on several online sites, and am satisfied with "conversations" (both email and phone), but how can I know what is real online?

I just saw an article about a puppy mill that was busted this week, and decided to look up their website. Their website looked great! Parent dogs had all the right certifications and health checks, pictures of the parents and their living spaces looked ideal, offered AKC registration, pedigrees and 5 year health guarantees on all puppies, and they had great answers to all of the questions. People who talked to these guys over the phone said they sounded great! When they purchased puppies from this place they received papers and pedigrees and vet health forms - all fabricated. the pictures on their website were all fabricated. The true dogs and puppies were living in deplorable conditions and had many health issues.
This made me think that all of my online research has been in vain. I would have thought this place credible, and obviously would have been VERY wrong.

Many "puppy mills" aren't necessarily horrific in the dogs' living conditions, but still many are less than honest about parentage, health, types of health checks, breeding too young and too often, etc.

If there is no breeder near me to go and see for myself, how can I know if a breeder is reputable? There's got to be a place where I can ask people. I can't go to the local shows of out-of state breeders, so how do I know what to trust? The info online is only as good as the breeder's honesty. I would be willing, if I needed to, to fly to pick up a puppy, but cannot afford to fly to check out various breeders.

Can someone help me find a reputable breeder of small Bichons or Bichon-poos. (Yes, I know, it is a mixed breed, and a "real" breeder would not mix breeds, but I like them.)

Thanks in advance for any help...
 

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I am looking for a reputable breeder of small Bichons and Bichon-poos. I have done a lot of research online, but have found no breeders close enough to visit. Well, I have found two within a day's drive, but both have definite "puppymill" red flags, so I have decided against them. I know all of the questions to ask, and like what I see on several online sites, and am satisfied with "conversations" (both email and phone), but how can I know what is real online?

I just saw an article about a puppy mill that was busted this week, and decided to look up their website. Their website looked great! Parent dogs had all the right certifications and health checks, pictures of the parents and their living spaces looked ideal, offered AKC registration, pedigrees and 5 year health guarantees on all puppies, and they had great answers to all of the questions. People who talked to these guys over the phone said they sounded great! When they purchased puppies from this place they received papers and pedigrees and vet health forms - all fabricated. the pictures on their website were all fabricated. The true dogs and puppies were living in deplorable conditions and had many health issues.
This made me think that all of my online research has been in vain. I would have thought this place credible, and obviously would have been VERY wrong.

Many "puppy mills" aren't necessarily horrific in the dogs' living conditions, but still many are less than honest about parentage, health, types of health checks, breeding too young and too often, etc.

If there is no breeder near me to go and see for myself, how can I know if a breeder is reputable? There's got to be a place where I can ask people. I can't go to the local shows of out-of state breeders, so how do I know what to trust? The info online is only as good as the breeder's honesty. I would be willing, if I needed to, to fly to pick up a puppy, but cannot afford to fly to check out various breeders.

Can someone help me find a reputable breeder of small Bichons or Bichon-poos. (Yes, I know, it is a mixed breed, and a "real" breeder would not mix breeds, but I like them.)

Thanks in advance for any help...
You can go to onofrio.com and infodog.com and find a dog show coming to your area. Find link to upcoming shows. There you will be able find breeders that may be closer to you and can talk to them there. I would not mention Bichon-poos to them though...:D
 

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Anybody breeding bichon poodle mixes are not doing anything good so i would stay away from them. As for small bichons, im not sure what you mean....bichons are bichons....there is no size varience. Ditto the suggestion of the dog shows
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I'd recommend visiting all of the breeders you are considering. You should be able to see their facilities. They shouldn't have too many dogs or overbreed them. They will only specialize in one or maybe two breeds instead of breeding a variety of different breeds. They should be breeding for health and temperament. They will ask you questions about your experience and lifestyle. They will require spay/neuter and be willing to take the dog back at any time, no questions asked. They test the parents for genetic disorders. You get to see both of the parents. They will tell you both the good and bad qualities of the breed and refuse to sell to people who won't be a good match.

I know you said you can't fly out to visit every breeder, but definitely start by looking in your area.

I personally wouldn't risk getting a dog online without meeting it or the breeder first. But if there aren't any in your area, the AKC or whatever kennel club you have where you live will probably list reputable breeders for bichons on its site, so that might be an option.


But basically, visiting the breeders and the dogs is the best way to see how they're treated. When my family was looking for a dog, we visited many breeders and a couple of rescues to find our puppy. My parents spent months looking for breeders online in New England (there aren't a lot in our state, so we looked in bordering states as well) and they'd just go and visit all of the ones they thought sounded good.
There was one "breeder" that was awful. We got there and it was just this room with a bunch of other families looking for puppies in it. And there were a bunch of puppies running around and some were hiding in corners and some looked sick and people would come in and ask for a breed and the woman would send this other guy into the garage and he'd come out with a puppy of that breed. We got out of that place very quickly. I doubt she was a breeder. I bet she got the pups from mills.

It will be harder finding a breeder for bichon-poos, since the majority of reputable breeders tend to focus on purebreds and the puppy mills and backyard breeders are really where the majority of "designer dogs" come from. You can mix anything with a poodle nowadays and sell it for a lot of money. (Haha, and we ended up with a cockapoo.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice on shows. Onofrio.com was helpful, and I did find a show in my area. Thanks!

There is a size difference. Many Bichons are 8-12 pounds, which is what I want. My friend has a 22 pound Bichon (not fat, just big), which I know is much larger than normal. I have talked to some breeders whose Bichons are 6-10 pounds, and have talked to breeders whose Bichons average 14 to 20 pounds. 10 pounds is not a big difference in larger dogs, but in small dogs it seems like a bigger difference.

I know people have their definite opinions on mixed breed dogs, but really the Bichon mini poodle cross is a good thing. All of the good Bichon stuff, with an easier to manage coat. And I know that there are breeders who do all of the appropriate health and DNA checks on both parents before breeding. I just don't know how to tell who they are without walking in to their kennel. And I do know better than to mention that to purebred breeders. :) thanks for the tip though. That would get me off on the wrong foot with them for sure!
 

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I'd recommend visiting all of the breeders you are considering. You should be able to see their facilities. They shouldn't have too many dogs or overbreed them. They will only specialize in one or maybe two breeds instead of breeding a variety of different breeds. They should be breeding for health and temperament. They will ask you questions about your experience and lifestyle. They will require spay/neuter and be willing to take the dog back at any time, no questions asked. They test the parents for genetic disorders. You get to see both of the parents. They will tell you both the good and bad qualities of the breed and refuse to sell to people who won't be a good match.

I know you said you can't fly out to visit every breeder, but definitely start by looking in your area.

I personally wouldn't risk getting a dog online without meeting it or the breeder first. But if there aren't any in your area, the AKC or whatever kennel club you have where you live will probably list reputable breeders for bichons on its site, so that might be an option.


But basically, visiting the breeders and the dogs is the best way to see how they're treated. When my family was looking for a dog, we visited many breeders and a couple of rescues to find our puppy. My parents spent months looking for breeders online in New England (there aren't a lot in our state, so we looked in bordering states as well) and they'd just go and visit all of the ones they thought sounded good.
There was one "breeder" that was awful. We got there and it was just this room with a bunch of other families looking for puppies in it. And there were a bunch of puppies running around and some were hiding in corners and some looked sick and people would come in and ask for a breed and the woman would send this other guy into the garage and he'd come out with a puppy of that breed. We got out of that place very quickly. I doubt she was a breeder. I bet she got the pups from mills.

It will be harder finding a breeder for bichon-poos, since the majority of reputable breeders tend to focus on purebreds and the puppy mills and backyard breeders are really where the majority of "designer dogs" come from. You can mix anything with a poodle nowadays and sell it for a lot of money. (Haha, and we ended up with a cockapoo.)
I would really stay away from designer dogs breeders. It is just a mutt with a fancy name! Marty is poo mix , I got him at a shelter, I wanted a small dog this time and he was just the right size not too big or too small!
I call Marty a cutiepoo as I do not know what he is mixed with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your thoughts, Revolution. There are no Bichon clubs or breeders listed in my state. And none listed that are within an 18 hour drive... But I did find one in another state a couple of hours away from my parents, listed on the Club's national website, their online site looked good, I emailed them and got an email back with tons of questions from them. So far so good. The will not have puppies until fall, but I am going to my parents this summer, and can drive up to meet them and check out the place. Maybe, if I get one of their puppies, and they like me well enough, they will let my parents pick up for me and bring it to me, instead of me having to go back with all of my kids to pick up.

I know I need to go check out a place before I take a puppy home, but don't have the finances or freedom (young kids) to fly around and check out places while I'm shopping around. I'd like to choose a breeder, and be confident enough of them that I would buy their puppy. And then only leave the door open to myself to back out if I get there to pick out the puppy and it is not a good situation. I know I'd be out the deposit and travel costs, but that is why I want to be reasonable sure first.
 

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I would look at rescues if you're set on a specific breed and can't afford to look for a good breeder. A puppy from a good breeder is going you cost you a lot more money than adopting, and you'll get the breed you want adopting an older dog. :) IMHO, puppies are really challenging, and can be very stressful to raise along-side young children.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, seebrown - it will be really stressful. I am getting prepared. Well, as prepared as I can be without it actually being here. My hubby and I decided we were done having children, because I am too old to do sleepless nights. Ha! A puppy will definitely give me those!

I have been looking at shelters for a long time now. We have dog allergies, and all of the dogs that are "hypoallergenic" and okay with children go so quick! By the time I call on them, they are already spoken for. I called on one who had been online less than an hour. Gone. I would really just love to have a Golden Retriever. I love them. But I also need all of my family members to be able to breathe, so no go. We have found one somewhat local breeder, who does purebred Bichons and purebred miniature poodles who every year or two does a litter of Bichon-poodle cross. All the same testing of the parents, pedigrees, registrations (which I know guarantee nothing), and who gave me good references (and called mine!). One baby girl was on hold, but the buyer decided to just buy one puppy, not both, so we are taking her! She will be here in 2 weeks (at 10 weeks old) WAY sooner than I planned, but I think it will be a good thing. give her time to grow a little and get trained a little before the kids are home for the summer.

Just yesterday, my youngest daughter's therapist (she's special needs - emotionally, from some early childhood trauma) said that my daughter REALLY needs a dog. Hmm... well, then. Let's cross our fingers and hope this is a good thing for her.
 

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I would like to know how Carrie13 has done with her Bich-Poo, as I am beginning the search for a similar puppy. I would welcome a private email if that is easier. thank you.
 

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Just go with the bichon, no designer dogs, we have had many discussions here with designer dogs.
As stated above, look for a Dog show, or even a fun match, they will point you in the right direction. Just because they have a "fancy mix name" doesn't make them anymore valuable that ones you can find in a shelter.
Please do not pay for a x breed pup, that only encourages the people that breed for bucks, not the betterment of the breed.
C~
 

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When I was looking for a newfie breeder I contacted the local club and got suggestions. I then called and emailed a lot of people before picking one.

I talked to one who did the breed and some breed crosses. I considered that person to be a bad breeder. Anyone who wants you to pay a ton of money for a mutt is way off their rocker imo.
 
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Fwiw, crossing two breeds does NOT guarantee you getting the "best" of both breeds, nor does it guarantee you a hypoallergenic coat. And just because both parents have some health clearances (which in reality is very rare in "designer" breeders), it does not mean that the two will cross well or produce conformationally sound dogs. It is very unpredictable to say the least, and I recommend getting a solid grasp of genetics down before talking to such breeders who will try to market to you with the above garbage or "hybrid vigor."

I hope everything has worked out well with the OP, but if you are looking for a dog, stick to a reputable breeder of purebreds. If you insist on a crossbred, please go to a shelter or rescue, since they have so many designer breeds aka mutts.
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I appreciate all your comments. My cats have always been rescue - my previous cat lived 15 years and she was extraordinary. I still miss her :) This would be my first dog and due to allergies I would need a hair dog. I had a relative with a bich-poo and he was a riot. I agree, it does seem crazy to spend big bucks on a mutt, but our little Bernie was so well loved and his sisters were just as great. His hair was manageable, and he had a great little personality. But I do not want to get a dog from a mill - that is just a crime what they do, so I was trying to find someone who maybe just bred a couple of their dogs, had a litter or two, not a business. That's when I read this thread.
 

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I was trying to find someone who maybe just bred a couple of their dogs, had a litter or two, not a business. That's when I read this thread.
Hi, I think you might want to learn a bit about backyard breeders and their effect on the dog population, since that's what you pretty much just described. They are not any better than mills in terms of producing healthy dogs, good temperaments, goals for bettering their breeds, cash incentive, ensuring good homes, etc. There are many more BYBers than mills and combined produce more pups per year than mills.

IMO, you should either buy from a really responsible breeder or go the rescue/shelter route. :thumbsup: Anything in between is not helpful to reducing dogs going to shelters and/or being euthanized.
 

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Ditto the others.....if you purchase a mutt from a backyard breeder you are doing the exact same thing as buying from a puppy mill....its rescue or reputable breeder or find someone rehoming theirs
 

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Thanks for your suggestions. I will continue my research. Perhaps a pure bred breeder of bichons or poodles could help as well. Ask me about cats, and I could talk an hour, but I have a lot to learn about dogs. I have several friends who are dog people so that helps. Are there any organizations for cross bred dogs?
 

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Rescues, pounds and humane societies usually have a wide assortment of pups and adults available for adoption - but be prepared to act fast as ime the smaller breeds usually go really fast!
 

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My brother in law found a wonderful rescue dog this year. He had lost his wonderful Shepard - if I wasn't looking for a particular breed @ hair not fur, I would absolutely just go that way.
 
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