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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
My wife and I have been researching hypoallergenic dogs for while. We settled on Soft Coated Wheaten terriers based on the personality(watched a lot of videos and read up on them). My wife wanted a smaller dog so we centered on a trying to find a Whoodle.

We have had a hard time finding a Whoodle but found a few available online that would need to be shipped to us. The price is slightly over 2000 dollars plus shipping but I have the following concerns since I’ve never gotten a dog this way:
1. The puppy will be shipped (the process seems sound but reading the sites 500+ reviews there were a few issues)
2. There isn’t any certification with the dog. Mother (wheaten) has an ACA cert but the father (toy poodle) doesn’t. Is that normal?
3. I can’t see the puppy other than pictures before it comes.

While I have the concerns with getting a puppy this way, we both are attracted to this particular dog. I would appreciate feedback from more experienced folks in the dog community about the price and if this process of buying sight-unseen is common. There are too many good reviews (and a few legit bad ones) to make me ignore this option
 

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Puppies from these kinds of websites are virtually always bred in mass complexes - you might've heard them referred to as puppy mills. These may or may not have passed USDA inspection, but even the 'certified' mills have extremely low standard of care. Dogs are kept in tiny cages, breeding bitches are bred every heat until they physically cannot produce anymore, and many of these puppies have never properly interacted with a human or experienced normal everyday things like the vacuum cleaner, stairs, grass, even toys. Some of these puppies win the jackpot and turn out just fine. Many, many others face a lifetime of behavioral issues and illness from poor breeding practices.

One of the dogs being certified by the American Canine Association is actually further proof of this - the registry is not considered reputable and serves many puppy mills and commercial breeders, essentially so they can claim their dogs are 'papered' even though no reputable registry (like the AKC and UKC) will touch them.

Sometimes the site themselves will claim that the puppies are all home raised by a loving breeder with lots of pictures of pups in home environments, it's often a front. Sometimes the photos are staged and puppies go right back to their cages, sometimes they're not actually of the dogs being sold at all. Plenty of people have wound up with a puppy that doesn't look anything like what they thought they were buying. These people make a living by being 'puppy brokers', where they take the pups from mills and do the hard work of making them look like they were bred and raised responsibly, including faking testimonials in some cases. Even if all the reviews/testimonials are real, it's worth asking: how can someone producing so many dogs they have 500+ reviews - which can't possibly be all of their buyers - be making sure every puppy and breeding dog has adequate care, attention, and vetting? And if they can't, do you want to pay $2000+ for a puppy who may have had minimal to no vet care or socialization in its impressionable first couple months of life?

So, long story short, run. So many red flags here.

Finding a mixed breed dog that's been responsibly bred - where the parents have been screened for basic genetic health problems and are not being overbred, puppies are raised in the home, and everyone gets quality veterinary care - is difficult, especially for more unusual crosses. A breeder's job isn't just putting any two dogs together, throwing some food and water in a kennel for a couple months, and handing you the result, it's selecting genetically healthy parents with great temperaments and then raising actively raising the puppies with lots of diverse and positive experiences so they're confident and prepared to live in a human household as part of a family. If you're paying breeder prices, that's what you should be getting - and a good breeder will care about whether you're a good home for their pup, too, not just what's in your wallet! Finding a breeder like this for a purebred WILL be easier, but I hope I've given you a sense of what to look out for (and why you and the puppies deserve more than what breeders like this offer).
 

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As DaySleepers mentioned, the ACA (American Canine Association), along with APRI (American Pet Registry, Inc.), and ContKC, more frequently, but incorrectly, shortened to CKC (Continental Kennel Club) are all "industry" registries set up specifically to get around certain AKC rules like Limited Registration and Frequently Used Sires DNA requirements.

If you have your heart set on this particular cross, then a webite like Good Dog: Find the Dog of Your Dreams from Good Breeders and Shelters would be a good starting place. You would still need to do your homework, and make sure that they are doing the recommended health testing and raising the puppies in a good manner, but it's better than randomly cruising the internet.

These are the tests that Toy Poodles should have done:

These are the tests that Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers should have done:

Be aware that everyone and their uncle seems to want a puppy these days, and while you might get lucky and find someone with an available puppy or an open spot on an upcoming litter, the odds are more likely that you will need to get on a breeder's waiting list, and be prepared to, well... wait. If someone seems to always have puppies available, odds are they are either breeding huge amounts of litters or are brokers who are reselling litters purchased wholesale.
 

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I agree with what others have said and will add - be suspicious of anyone who will ship you a puppy. Good breeders can find homes for their puppies without sending them off on an airplane to unknown people, and most want the puppies in homes close enough they can take them back if necessary.
 

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And.. last.. I will weigh in. If you get a Wheaton Terrier the coat care can be extensive. Soft coat.. tangles easily.

I had poodles growing up. Best dogs ever. They have to be clipped. As a kid that was my job. Bathe and clip once a month. We did not do a show clip. We clipped close all over with face and feet very close. Pom on the head and the end of the tail. Clip was called a "kennel clip." I was 8 years old when I was given this job, so it wasn't terribly complicated.

Whenever you are buying a"Doodle" you are usually buying a dog that is from less than stellar lineage. Good poodle breeders aren't going to breed mixed breed dogs. Same goes for the non poodle breed being crossed into.

Breeding is hard enough when you are going for quality with health tests. You can get as much $$ or more for a well bred purebred dog so why would you cross to another breed? Oh wait.. because you can get large money for that "Doodle" and skip health tests and titles... and breed inferior parent dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As DaySleepers mentioned, the ACA (American Canine Association), along with APRI (American Pet Registry, Inc.), and ContKC, more frequently, but incorrectly, shortened to CKC (Continental Kennel Club) are all "industry" registries set up specifically to get around certain AKC rules like Limited Registration and Frequently Used Sires DNA requirements.

If you have your heart set on this particular cross, then a webite like Good Dog: Find the Dog of Your Dreams from Good Breeders and Shelters would be a good starting place. You would still need to do your homework, and make sure that they are doing the recommended health testing and raising the puppies in a good manner, but it's better than randomly cruising the internet.

These are the tests that Toy Poodles should have done:

These are the tests that Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers should have done:

Be aware that everyone and their uncle seems to want a puppy these days, and while you might get lucky and find someone with an available puppy or an open spot on an upcoming litter, the odds are more likely that you will need to get on a breeder's waiting list, and be prepared to, well... wait. If someone seems to always have puppies available, odds are they are either breeding huge amounts of litters or are brokers who are reselling litters purchased wholesale.
Thank you for this advice. Part of my problem has been how do a find a good, pet quality dog.

I’ve been reading many threads about how to find a new dog. At first it’s worrisome and frustrating but it can also be comical at times. Some posters are recommending following breeders around to dog shows in the off case that they will have a pup that doesn’t make the cut. While I don’t want to be buying from a mill, I’m not following breeders around at dog shows either
 

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Thank you for this advice. Part of my problem has been how do a find a good, pet quality dog.

I’ve been reading many threads about how to find a new dog. At first it’s worrisome and frustrating but it can also be comical at times. Some posters are recommending following breeders around to dog shows in the off case that they will have a pup that doesn’t make the cut. While I don’t want to be buying from a mill, I’m not following breeders around at dog shows either
Hello Srpete01! I thought I'd add some insight as someone who suffers from severe allergies myself.
You stated that your family would like a Wheaten Poodle mix based on information online about them. Unfortunately, as the dog will be a mutt, the temperament and allergy inducing level of the dog will be wholly unpredictable. People who mix dogs usually only have access to very low quality stock, as well as have little to no regard to how well the mix will actually mesh together. The mix could be sired by a particularly nervy poodle, or a dam with hip dysplasia, and backyard breeders never test their dogs for genetic diseases or hip/elbow scans. I once saw an x-ray of a doodle so bad, that its hips weren't even attached to the sockets.

You really don't have to go to dog shows if you don't want to. A good way is to google local breeders of the breed you'd like (I'd highly recommend a purebred so you know that you're buying ethically and you actually know what you're getting yourself into) and go onto Facebook groups that are based around "Uncensored Opinions of Dog Breeders", and people will be able to look into testing and experiences for you.

As for breeds: Shih Tzus, Poodles, and Maltese are very good candidates, they do not shed, and I have had little reactions to them. They are also delightful companions with predictable temperaments and drive. Doodles aren't an industry you want to support, if you need any further assistance on finding a breeder or information on why doodles aren't a good idea, feel free to PM me.
 

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Thank you for this advice. Part of my problem has been how do a find a good, pet quality dog.

I’ve been reading many threads about how to find a new dog. At first it’s worrisome and frustrating but it can also be comical at times. Some posters are recommending following breeders around to dog shows in the off case that they will have a pup that doesn’t make the cut. While I don’t want to be buying from a mill, I’m not following breeders around at dog shows either
It's actually pretty normal for show breeeders to only have one or two puppies from a litter be show prospects themselves. The rests go to pet homes. This can be for a number of reasons, but very rarely because there's something 'wrong' with the pups going to pet homes - they might have a patch of white where it shouldn't be, or be a little too big or a little too small, or have ears that are set slightly too low on the head, or they're just the wrong sex for the breeder and/or the homes who want a show prospect.

So don't count out breeders who show! Most of them are passionate about their breed and dedicated to producing quality dogs. Attending local shows is often recommended more for meeting the dogs than the breeders, so you can watch the breed you're interested in in-person and get a better feel for them, maybe meet a couple, and if a particular dog catches your eye you have an opportunity to ask who bred them. While more and more reputable breeders have website pages and FaceBook these days, there's still a number who really only advertise by word of mouth, so going to a show and talking to people who own the breed can get you connected with breeders you otherwise wouldn't even know existed. Attending shows is definitely NOT a prerequisite for getting a well-bred puppy, though, especially in these times where public gatherings are high-risk. I just wanted to give a broader perspective on why popping into a local show can be a good starting place for some people.

FaceBook has issues, but groups there have become very popular with the dog community. You may get some good tips by joining groups specific to the breed(s) you're interested in and/or your region and asking for breeder recommendations. My only advice is to avoid asking about mixed-breed breeders in a group specifically for purebreds. These 'designer' crosses are a hot-button issues among dog people, and especially among purebred enthusiasts, partially because so many people breed them as cheaply as possible, then charge puppy buyers through the nose while promising them the moon. So if you're potentially interested in a purebred poodle (I'm definitely biased but they're excellent little dogs), definitely join a group and ask for reputable poodle breeder recommendations in your region! But if your heart's set on a Whoodle, look specifically for a designer breed friendly group to ask in. Just keep your eyes open and - in both cases - be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true.

And I'll agree strongly with @ButterflyPoodle - allergies are tricky and as an allergic person myself I HIGHLY recommend the allergic person(s) in your household meet and interact with adult dogs of the breed/mix you're bringing home before you put any money down. No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and some breeds that are considered the best for allergies don't work at all for a specific allergic person, even if they're fine with another breed that isn't as 'allergy friendly'.
 
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