In the fall of 1999 I brought home Merlot (Marquis Anutta Fine Wine CD, NA, NAJ, CGC, TDI, Wilderness Live Search Dog certified). Merlot changed everything for me. He sold me on a breed I really was not sure about owning. I mean really… a POODLE? Merlot became my heart, went everywhere with me, and was bonded to me like no other dog before or since. A year later I bought my foundation female, Sadie. She became a beloved Therapy dog and in retirement a Service dog for her Mom. Finally Major (Marquis Anutta Sweet Success CD, CGC, Delta Society Therapy Dog) was added to round our my starter ‘pack’ of Poodles. These three dogs have shaped my breeding program in many ways. I have learned so much about Poodles, health issues, training, and just being involved with what I feel is the best dog breed on the planet. I dare you to own a Std Poodle just once and not be a firm convert to their charms.
Fastforward to 2017. When you go shopping for your next “Baby” you must decide what you want from that puppy as well as how much support you want from the breeder. There is every level of breeder out there, and it is up to you to decide what is best for your goals.
What I try to provide is an entire package. I want a poodle who looks good, so most of my dogs go back to conformation show lines. I want a poodle who is healthy, so I health tested my dogs and try to stay with lines with many health tested dogs behind them. Again this leave mostly conformation lines. Does this make my dogs healthier than someone else? Not necessarily, but it gives me more information. I will not know if any breeding was a success until those pups are 10-15 years old. If any breeder tells you their “bloodline” does not have health issues they are not telling you the truth. I am open about what problem I have found in the past and require anyone getting one of my dogs keep me informed of any health issues that might occur in the future.
I only have one litter at a time, so I know each pup’s manners, likes, dislikes, similarities, and differences as compared to each other and with the parents. I also do a puppy aptitude test at 7 weeks of age. This gives me an edge in finding the right home for each pup. You see, I do rescue as well, and my goal is to find the right home so my pups do not have to go through the trauma of re-homing later in life. Everyone is much happier when the right match is made the first time!
All of my dogs are house dogs or they live with others who also keep them as beloved pets first and foremost. They are not kenneled, they are not tossed into the back yard. We know the good, bad, and ugly about our dogs. Do they like to chase squirrels (thus having a high prey drive)? Are they avid retrievers or would they rather sleep on the couch? This information allows me and the people I work with to match the right temperament of a sire with the right temperament of a dam to get a nice mix of puppies who will be good as pets or working dogs.
As far as “behavior” of your pup, I am more than willing to help. If you have a problem, I will have an answer. It might take me a while to research, but I will do my best to find the solution. I have been training dogs for many years. There is no substitution for putting your time in and paying your dues. Many breeders haven’t a clue of how to get your pup to a point where you can live with it. I can.
Conformation of a dog is vital for a long and healthy life. I have spent enough time both in the ring and ring side to know a structurally sound dog when I see one. Standard Poodles are plagued with “straight” shoulders and over angulated rears. This does not lend itself to a long hard working day in the field. It might look flashy in the show ring, but it is not structurally sound. This is what I will be working hard to correct in my dogs as well as trying to bring back their retrieving drive.
Last, I have a foster program, which allows many of my dogs to be both pets, show dogs, and possibly produce a litter or two providing you with the next generation of Anutta Poodles. Hopefully this program will allow me to have only a few litters a year, yet be progressive in my goals for great working dogs as well as healthy pets.
Breeding dogs should never been done casually. It should only been done with thought, care, love, attention, devotion, patience, and with a firm goal in mind. Find a breeder who will do these things, and you will have someone who will stick with you through the BAD times as well as the good. That is the test of a dedicated breeder.
Becky and Keith Baxter
Breeding Poodles for Tomorrow, Not Simply for Today!