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I have a dilemma and need some non judgemental advice please:eek:.

As I've said before we found a local lady who has a cocker spaniel pet, which is about to have it's second and last litter. I have spoken to the lady several times and am maintaining regular email contact, and she is lovely. She updates us on the pregnancy all the time etc. I need no convincing that she loves her animal and she is beautifully looked after. She knows the owner of the miniature poodle sire aswell, and has known it since it was a puppy. She also keeps in contact with all of the people who bought her puppies last time, she would also like to keep in contact with us once we receive our puppy.

Let me get to the point, I asked her whether the dogs were PRA tested, and she said no:(. Her Cocker spaniels mother (our pups grandmother) was tested and is clear, the poodle has not been tested. At least she was completely honest with me, she said that her dog and the sire are completely fit and healthy and have no eye problems. She told me this was her pet, she was not a "breeder" as such and that it is not uncommon for people with pets who only breed once or twice to not have the tests done.

Is it ok that the Cocker Spaniel's mother was clear (there are certificates for this which she will show me when we visit)

So whatever happens, this litter of puppies are going to be born aren't they, and someone is going to have to give them a loving home. My husband and I have discussed it over and over and our gut instinct is that we still want the puppy from her, and god forbid, if our puppy/dog ever had problems in the future we would deal with it and care for it no matter what.

I'm not asking approval from anyone as my mind is pretty much made up, I know there are so many strong opinions on this and just wondered if I get this puppy would I still be welcome on this site?
 

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Hi there

This is the way I see it with the PRA test, and I stand to be corrected, but if the pup's grandmother was the only tested clear parent of your pup's mother then your pup's mother could still be a carrier. If the poodle sire is also a carrier, then the puppies have a chance of going blind. Please don't let anyone tell you by word of mouth that there dogs are fit and healthy and have clear eyes as there is no way of knowing this without undertaking a DNA eye test for PRA, not an annual BVA one, through either Laboklin or Optigen.

I also think that anyone who produces puppies, whether it be only once or six times a year is a breeder. She is a hobby breeder. I strongly feel that the same amount of care should go into that breeding, whether it is a pet or a licensed kennels.

I have learnt dearly from not following my instincts and there is no way that I would now buy a puppy from a breeder that didn't follow the expected guidelines. However, you have to make your own decisions on this and whatever you go ahead and decide, in my opinion, you would still be very welcome on this forum.

Hope that helps!
 

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Ive come to find that all cockapoo owners are welcome on here( who am I to judge)
I hope your pup will be happy and healthy( you can have a pra check done when your pup is born via your vet) if you are atall concerned x

Hopefully all will be fine, at the end of the day it is your choice x
 

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You will always be welcome on here!
You will be taking a risk with your puppies health by buying a puppy from untested stock. Fingers crossed you will be lucky and encounter no problems.
How ever it does bother me that this breeder, and she IS a breeder whether she has one or ten litters, is quite happily breeding her pets in ignorance to any health problems that may be present under the impression that it's ok because they are pets. I am sorry but this is no excuse and can be the cause of much heart break for some poor families and their pets in the future.
Sadly it is because there are always people prepared to buy these pups that enables bad breeding practices to continue.
So I urge you to think very hard about this puppy but if you wish to proceed then there is always advice and help to be had on this forum.
Best of luck with everything.
 

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I can only repeat what Jane has said. There potentially is a chance that her puppies could go blind if the mother was a carrier and then was mated to a carrier.

Personally if I was starting my search for a puppy my MINIMUM standard would be one parent dna tested for PRA as I would not want to put myself and my family through the heartache of our puppy losing its sight. I also believe that it is only by walking away from breeders that do not test that we can raise standards and make breeders (hobby or licensed) realise how important this is. This might be the last litter for this dog but what if she got another and decided to breed in two years time?

You already have an emotional attachment so it is not so simple for you. The bottom line is you are aware of the risk you are taking. Of course you will be still welcome on here we will all just look forward to seeing your new puppy and hope that it is healthy and gives you many years of pleasure.
 

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What I just don't understand about untested stud dogs is that the DNA test for PRA is a pretty reasonable cost - around £100 - compared to the stud fees received every time the dog is sired, let's say around £400. Given that that dog could sire many litters in it's lifetime, I just don't see why anyone who has a genuine love for dogs and the puppies that are going to be created, does not have this test carried out as the bare minimum.

Unfortunately, as others have said, if people go ahead and buy these puppies, then we are supporting bad breeding practices. I did exactly that and bitterly regret it now and the only thing I can do to make that better for myself is to urge others not to fall into the same trap.

However, you must be the one to make that decision and I totally understand how difficult that is! x
 

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I'm horrified that you think you wouldn't be welcome here if you went ahead! At the end of the day it's your choice and you're brave to air it in my opinion. You are taking a risk and I personally wouldn't do it. It's hard to detach if you've got to know this lady well but be careful as you will have this dog for the next 12-15 years. Before going ahead is there any way they would consider doing a DNA test on one of the parents now if you were willing to organise/pay for it. It's quite straightforward, Jojo's blog explains it in detail. That way you'd have peace of mind. I hope whatever you decide that you feel you can participate here and will receive help and support.
 

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I too can only support all the comments made above.

She IS a breeder - as she has bred - and there should be equal need to do the health tests on any dogs being mated - one or one hundred it should not make a difference. Ignoring health tests "as it is only a PET" is a very feeble excuse and with the buying public's growing awareness then in time anyone wanting to breed must do the testing - even if it is only the once - the trouble is that time has not yet come and as such the buying public need to be educated to insist that the tests are done.

"Cockapoo" is currently a ticking time-bomb of potential health issues - so many puppies are being bred with no testing - or little testing - with people relying on "it's only a PET" to save themselves the cost. It should not be down to cost - it's Ethics !!!

This is an Ethical and a Welfare issue that needs to be embraced by everyone - big and small.

I'd say - in around 5-7 years there will be a glut of blind Cockapoos - and between now and that time - many of THEM would have been bred from !!!. The facts are that a carrier (carries one half of the defective gene) will never display the disease BUT if you breed two carriers together then 25% of the puppies probably will be affected (have inherited one half of the defective gene from each carrier parent making a pair of defective genes, this affected category is the state that is vulnerable to the disease) and have a high chance of contracting the disease and going blind.

The CCGB are ensuring all breeders who sign-up must have at least one parent DNA tested Clear - so we aim to provide the buying public a safeguard there and as such the demand is growing for breeders (one-off, Hobby and Licensed) to come forward and join.

We ALL need to universally promote - open, ethical and responsible breeding across the board.

You do run the risk of your puppy going blind eventually - and with that comes extra care, needs and costs.

Either way - you would still be warmly welcomed on here and also into the CCGB.

Stephen x
 

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Oh KCsunshine .. everyone is welcome here .. and buying a cockapoo is personal choice, you are not going into this without knowing the facts .. we won't judge you at all .. we are a nice bunch, we just adore cockapoos :)

You will love owning a cockapoo and if you do want to know any more about health testing or wish to test your puppy I will help you in anyway I can :) :)
 

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I've just typed a really long reply and lost it due to internet connection! Gggrrr

Ok so here is the short version, basically it echoes everyone else. I too was down for a pup that wasn't from tested parents. I knew I was doing the wrong thing but my heart was screaming out to me. Then I saw sense, I talked to my husband and we pulled our name off the little pup. We had put a lot of time and energy into finding what we knew was right and we thought we wouldn't find one this year. But we knew we couldnt support this type of breeder who didn't have the future of the dogs health in mind past 8 weeks. So we came to terms with it. Then because I had emailed almost every breeder who tested under the sun months before, I started to get emails back of litters just born. Well the happy ending is we have a puppy who will come home in 4 weeks, who is tested etc. Of course things can go wrong, but at least we've started off on the right foot.
In my opinion and I think I'm allowed to have one:eek: I wouldn't encourage non testing breeding, it's just the same as buying a pup from a puppy farm, we buy it because we know no different, because it's slightly cheaper, because our heart is thinking instead of our head and most of all we buy it because some one will and we feel sorry for it. My advice would be to look and ask on here there's loads of breeders that do test. I'm sure you would feel much happier to start knowing things were fine and the future bright. Again just my opinion but I'd hate to say to you it's your choice and in 3 years time your poor dog goes blind and we all read that awful sad news. Best of luck I really mean that. And I and I'm sure everyone on here is thinking of you and your decision.

Take care and let us know how you get on with your plans
Sam x
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I 100% totally understand everyones concerns. Yes, it took alot to mention it here on a site where rightfully so the health of the breed is so important, so I am very very grateful for your continued support. Since I found this site we have learned so much.

Believe me we have discussed walking away till we are blue in the face, but we always come back to this point, whether we like it or not this puppy will be here soon and it will need a loving family whatever it's future holds. What if it did go blind? would the "other" person who buys it be aware of the risk, would they love it like we would? I'm not trying to over do the sentimentality here, it's how we really feel.

We will definately have our puppy DNA tested so we can have peace of mind, or at least know what the future may hold. We will also definately make sure we are adequately insured to deal with any problems if they arose.

Thank you once again.
 

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I 100% totally understand everyones concerns. Yes, it took alot to mention it here on a site where rightfully so the health of the breed is so important, so I am very very grateful for your continued support. Since I found this site we have learned so much.
Believe me we have discussed walking away till we are blue in the face, but we always come back to this point, whether we like it or not this puppy will be here soon and it will need a loving family whatever it's future holds. What if it did go blind? would the "other" person who buys it be aware of the risk, would they love it like we would? I'm not trying to over do the sentimentality here, it's how we really feel.
We will definately have our puppy DNA tested so we can have peace of mind, or at least know what the future may hold. We will also definately make sure we are adequately insured to deal with any problems if they arose.
Thank you once again.

OK - I hear your dilemma - I read the support given too - but I also hear a genuine worry.....other people can say a million words but it does not cure anything.

YOU will ultimately make that choice - no-one will judge - but they are not YOU !

You say that you have discussed it until you are blue in the face - so you must feel as if you have covered every base / every eventuality in your discussions - BUT what if the reality does, in fact, end up with a blind dog ?.....if say all is OK for the first few years - all well and good - but what about potentially 10 years of a partially or totally blind dog - the impact it would have on you and your family ? (walks / feeding / play / fetch / cuddles ??) .........I also hear the other side of your dilemma - as if you kept in contact and there was no issue with the pup - then it could have been yours - You are in a genuine Catch 22 !

I also hear that you say - "if it's going to happen - then why not us ?" - it does sound as if you feel that it is YOUR duty to step in as you are aware of the potential outcome - so YOU would be best suited !........you say "...they would love it like "we" would" does (to me) sound as if you want a puppy - full stop ! - Sorry but it does sound - Heart ruling Head !

As a founder member of the CCGB - for all it was set-up for and for all it stands for - we aim to protect the Now and Tomorrow of Cockapoo in the UK - I do genuinely hear a worry so deep in your words that people may miss ! The bit that stands out - is that THIS puppy is not even born yet !!!

We, would certainly not advise anyone to choose a puppy at a matter of days old - nor would we think a couple of weeks old is a good guide to select a puppy - as in our experience you do need to see them at least 6 weeks old - that way you get to see through the colour / through the *** / through the coat type - you actually get to see more of the temperament of the puppy that may be with you for the next 14-16 years - and I personally think a puppy (at 6 weeks old) is more likely to choose YOU than You them !

I also hear you already planning on giving this puppy a DNA test - why not ask for the Mother (and Father if possible) to be DNA tested first - as by the time the puppy is 6 weeks old - you would have a realistic answer to a question that does trouble You - as much as it may affect so many others too ????

Wishing You the best.

Stephen X

Breed Advisor to "Cockapoo" for Dog's Today Magazine.
 

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I know you my feel people are judging you KCsunshine but it really is a case of the bigger picture, for your dog and for those breeders breeding theses kinds of litters.
As Stephen says there are many implications to having a blind dog (potentially) do you have children or could have children around in the years to come? A blind dog can be fearful and unfortunately defensive and snappy, could you cope with this in your family?
Are you prepared to give that dog if he/ she does go blind the stable and non changing environment it will need? Holidays will be difficult as its unfair on staff and the dog itself to put it into kennels.
Of course there is a chance everything will be fine but it's worth bearing in mind that going blind does not just mean a physical loss of sight for you much loved pet, it can and probably will change their whole persona, they will be in a state of high alert most of the time and can react negatively to many things that it previously loved as a sighted dog.
There is lots to consider so I wish you the very best in making your decision.
 

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I am often a bit of a risk taker - trying new technology before it is proven or buying something on a whim - and sometimes I get it wrong.

However, when it came down to a living thing, I personally couldn't take the risk of buying a puppy from non health tested parents. I can handle the unexpected illness/injury but where the risks of health problems can be minimised, I would want them to be a low as possible. With a health tested set of parents, you know - even if ONE of them is a carrier - that as long as you aren't planning to onward breed, you will be fine as the worst your dog can be is another carrier. When we bought Luna, we knew she would be fine for PRA (and as we have had her spayed, we do not need to test her) This is part of the reason I joined the other CCGB founder members to help drive the health testing message.

Ultimately, as others have said, it is YOUR decision and no-one has the right to judge you and I'm sure no-one on the forum would. What I would say is don't select your puppy whilst it is in the womb. Wait until it is an appropriate age (6 weeks?) After that, if YOU are happy with taking the risk and could give the dog all the care (emotional, physical and financial) if the worst happens then make YOUR choice.
 

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It's looks hard to resist the argument that the pup will be born anyway, but I agree with Samantha - the same would apply to a "puppy mill" puppy, and buying from a breeder who doesn't test is supporting them in their poor breeding practice. If people like you, who understand the need for testing, put pressure on the breeder, then maybe they will realise that testing is the way forward. However if all their puppies sell without it, they are unlikely to change their breeding practice. And I also agree with Stephen that personally I would not buy a puppy unseen. I would want to choose it once it's looks and personality were formed so that I could really judge what I was getting. You will have your dog for a long time and it's important to get the right dog for you. When I bought my pup, I knew nothing about testing or health problems. I hope that I've been lucky, but who knows? Whereas you have the choice.
 

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Hi KCSunshine - I'm sure reading these post's that you feel really quite upset, you know what everyone says is right but you have got very emotionally attached - before we decided on a Cockapoo puppy we nearly rehomed a 3 yr old border terrier, his owners were moving to LA the following year and they had decided the life wouldn't suit him. We were able to have him for a few weekends and had more or less said yes, however he had real dog aggression issues, he was perfect at home but walking him was quite stressful, I called a dog trainer to ask about some training - expecting him to say 'well we can improve him a little but it will take time' which I thought I was prepared to do, however what he did say was 'why would you take on a dog with issues when you don't have to?, he is not your responsibilily' I cried after the call as I knew I would rather have a sociable dog but did feel really guilty about saying no, but I did say no, in fact the owner said she would rather find someone without any doubts, and now we have our cockapoo pup, I know its not exactly the same but I think I understand your feelings, but you don't owe this lady anything, it would be hard saying no but I'm sure you would feel some relief if you did. However it is up to you, but take what we are all advising as permission to say no as I did. xx
 

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I have to say i agree with all the above .
Remember its hard enough looking after a puppy with no medical issues,this puppy will be in your lifes for upto 15 years.

Also the point made about new owners speaking up and demanding that PRA tests are done is a really good one ,things wont change until people do.It dosnt cost much for a breeder to get the tests done ,after all they are selling pups on for £800+!

If i were you i would still keep looking ,yes keep this breeder in mind if you really want to ,but whats the harm in looking at other breeders that have done the PRA testsyou may come across one you prefer more.
 

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I can totally understand your situation and was in exactly the same situation 8 months ago. I almost pulled out of our puppy purchase because of a mix-up over eye tests (thankfully the sire was eventually tested) but had the pressures of husband and boys saying what a shame it would be if we did. The timing was perfect, the breeder was local, all very nice email contact and lots of updates. However, there is nothing to prepare you for how you feel when you come to love that puppy and then something goes wrong. It can really have an impact for quite a chunk of your life. Also, when things go wrong, a very nice breeder who has sent you lots of updates, etc, can suddenly change tack and close the door on your situation and not show much concern for your puppy at all! I can only stress that if I could turn back the clock I would! I have a gorgeous dog but I cannot believe how much stress it has caused and we do not know where half of our dog ancestry originates from and the future health implications of that, etc, etc!

Good luck in your choice as it's not an easy one!
 
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