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My family (wife, daughter 11 and son 9) want a dog. My wife has had dogs most of her life and my daughter can't get enough of them. They want to get a cockapoo and before we rush out and get a puppy, I'd love some advise on how to make sure we don't get burned by a puppy mill and get a dog with heath and/or temperment issues. Any advise on how to try and find a breeder you can trust would be welcome. I've searched the forum briefly and it sems the puppy mills can make themselves seem pretty legit to the unknowing. Also, any views on getting a puppy sight unseen from out of state?

Thanks in advance for any insight everyone can share.

Clueless
 

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My definition of a responsible breeder would automatically exclude anyone producing "cockapoos" because a responsible breeder doesn't breed mixed breed dogs.

Good luck in your search. Look at the recommended health testing for both cocker spaniels and poodles and make sure the breeder at least tests for the common issues in both breeds (and, boy, there's a lot)...don't let them sell you that line of "hybrid vigor" BS. Bad genes are bad genes.
 

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Along the lines of what lovemygreys is saying, why a cockapoo? Why not a poodle or a cocker? What does a cockapoo supposedly have that one or the other doesn't. I mean undeniably they are cute, but you'd be hard pressed to find a "reputable" breeder and cockers and poodles both have been victims of overbreeding and can come with a host of temperment or physical problems unless gotten from a reputable breeder. A mutt breeder is very unlikely to be reputable. I would say that if you're deadset on a cockapoo you should probably look into rescue because you'd be playing the same genetic roullette game without lining the pocket of an inethical breeder. Just food for thought. Good luck with it all!
 

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If you are set on a cocker spaniel, poodle mix ("cockapoo") you should look at shelters and rescues. Be patient. Get on waiting list. Small fluffy dogs do come into shelters, but are often adopted quickly. You have to be quick. Or, check out craigslist. You can often find dogs that people adopt without realizing how much work they are. Be careful of backyard breeders, they seem to like craigslist. You will not find a reputable breeder of mixed breed dogs. By definition, reputable breeders will not breed dogs of different breeds. Good luck.
 

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Look for someone who health tests for the problems common to poodles and cockers (a vet check is not enough and neither is claiming that they've never had those issues in any of their dogs). Since you are looking for a companion, I'd also make sure the pup was raised in the home with the family and not outside in a kennel. You want someone who has a contract that includes a promise to take the dog back at any point for any reason should you be unable to keep it (not for a refund, just to prevent the dog from ending up in a shelter) and a health guarantee.

Ask for references, a responsible breeder will gladly provide more references than you care to contact. Contact these people and ask lots of questions! I'd google the name of any breeder you are considering and see what other info pops up.

I'm not going to try and talk you into a purebred or rescue but I do want to encourage you not to lower your standards when looking for a breeder because finding a responsible one is not going to be easy! There are a lot of websites that detail what to look for and I encourage you to look at as many as you can stand even if at first glance they look to be about a different breed (the standard for a good breeder is the same, only breed specific questions will differ)! The more informed you are, the better off you, your family and your dog will be. If you can't find a cockapoo breeder who meets your standards, I hope you'll consider a different dog or look into rescue.

Here are a few sites that will help get you started:

phouka.com

pgaa.com

emdaa.com
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the thoughts. I did find the questionaire/check list at pgaa.com to be very helpful. While I had seen other question lists, it was well organized by showing the range of answers to the questions and what to look for and/or what to watch out for. I'm not going to touch the "third rail" issue of mixed breeds or "designer" dogs, but I will say that whatever way we go, the dog is going to be a loved pet and it will definately be spayed or nuetered!

Thanks again.
 

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Regardless if a breeder is breeding mutts or purebreds it is an absolute must that they health test thier breeding stock. OFA is the most frequently used testing and database service, there's rare occasions where a test might not be there but it's not very often. You can search the website to find/verify any test that a breeder claims to have done on any dog, and you only need a very small amount of info on the dog to find it. With the "cockapoo" you three breeds to look at for test results, both poodles and cockers are of course listed, and with the OFA cockapoos are listed as a testable mixed breed.
 

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Well according to Webster that must mean all dogs are hybrids except for wolves and such.... purebred dogs have all evolved from mixing breeds for a particular purpose in mind.

Defined from Wikipedia:

[edit] Definition of hybrid
In biology, the word hybrid has two meanings. The first meaning is the result of interbreeding between two animals (or plants) of different species, such as a mule (Equus caballus + Equus asinus) or in a cross between a lion and a tiger. Hybrids in this more common usage are often (although not always) sterile.[1]

Breeding within the same species, but from two distinct populations, is a secondary use of hybrid, but is not a correct term. This second meaning is most often used in plant breeding.[2] It is unknown how the term hybrid came to be fashionably used to refer to a crossbred dog, since all domestic dog breeds are all the same species, Canis lupus.

Dogs and wolves were once thought to be separate species, so a wolf-dog cross was called a canid hybrid (of the first type, under the information available at the time.) Today, it is recognized that wolves and dogs are of the same species, Canis lupus, and a wolf-dog cross is called a wolfdog.[3] Some fanciers cling to the older incorrect term, and still call wolf and dog crosses (and their descendants) wolf-dog hybrids
 

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Interesting. I also found the following with regards to hybrids on Wikipedia!

In biology, hybrid has two meanings.[1] The first meaning is the result of interbreeding between two animals or plants of different taxa. Hybrids between different species within the same genus are sometimes known as interspecific hybrids or crosses. Hybrids between different sub-species within a species are known as intra-specific hybrids. Hybrids between different genera are sometimes known as intergeneric hybrids. Extremely rare interfamilial hybrids have been known to occur (such as the guineafowl hybrids).[2] The second type of hybrid consists of crosses between populations, breeds or cultivars within a single species. This second meaning is often used in plant and animal breeding. In plant and animal breeding, hybrids are commonly produced and selected because they have desirable characteristics not found or inconsistently present in the parent individuals or populations. This rearranging of the genetic material between populations or races is often called hybridization.

I'm afraid I don't remember a whole lot about scientific naming but that quote from Wikipedia clearly indicates that the term hybrid is used with regards to animal breeding.

I also checked out the source for the first quote from Wikipedia by Sophie's Mum and it mentioned nothing about the definition of hybrid or the history of the term. It did provide a brief history of hybridization with regards to plants, but there was nothing that refered to the history or use of the term itself to indicate using it with animals (or plants for that matter) was not correct.
 

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Well according to Webster that must mean all dogs are hybrids except for wolves and such.... purebred dogs have all evolved from mixing breeds for a particular purpose in mind.

Defined from Wikipedia:

[edit] Definition of hybrid
In biology, the word hybrid has two meanings. The first meaning is the result of interbreeding between two animals (or plants) of different species, such as a mule (Equus caballus + Equus asinus) or in a cross between a lion and a tiger. Hybrids in this more common usage are often (although not always) sterile.[1]

Breeding within the same species, but from two distinct populations, is a secondary use of hybrid, but is not a correct term. This second meaning is most often used in plant breeding.[2] It is unknown how the term hybrid came to be fashionably used to refer to a crossbred dog, since all domestic dog breeds are all the same species, Canis lupus.

Dogs and wolves were once thought to be separate species, so a wolf-dog cross was called a canid hybrid (of the first type, under the information available at the time.) Today, it is recognized that wolves and dogs are of the same species, Canis lupus, and a wolf-dog cross is called a wolfdog.[3] Some fanciers cling to the older incorrect term, and still call wolf and dog crosses (and their descendants) wolf-dog hybrids
Wikipedia is -really- not a very reliable source, considering anybody can go in and create and edit pages at their own discretion.
 

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Ya'll are getting seriously off-topic and into semantics. The definition of hybrid has been debated on this forum ad nauseum and this is not the place to rehash.

Start a new thread if you must.
 
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