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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am new to this forum. Actually, I joined hoping to get some assistance with finding a legitimate, reputable, local breeder (or maybe not so local but worth a long drive), and figured once I get a puppy, it would be a great forum to get advice from, and share stories.

I am in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), and looking for a puppy to welcome into our family in the very near future. Some of the reputable looking breeders I have found have waiting lists, which could mean waiting for as long as 6-12 months for a puppy. I really don't want to have to wait that long.

I have come across some scary sounding breeders and brokers along the way, which I know to stay as far away from, as possible.

Can anyone recommend a reputable breeder with healthy puppies, that don't come from a puppy mill? Don't worry about how far away they may be, I am willing to travel a fair distance for a healthy puppy who was a product of a healthy breeding practice. Please note though, Sudbury, North Bay, and Ottawa are definitely among the places I consider too far!

Is there a benefit to being registered with the ACC? At first I thought so, but after seeing one of their Ontario breeders appears to be running a puppy mill, I question if there is any merit to the ACC.

Thanks for any help you can provide!
 

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All I can say is good luck with your search. It is not easy on this side of the pond. We travelled from Ottawa to near Toronto to get Rufus and despite my best intentions he was from a broker and most likely from a mill. As you say, the good breeders have long waiting lists. Puppies get snapped up based on colour and gender instead of temperment testing which is frustrating if you are picky about temperment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! Yeah, I came across a site called Curious Puppies, in Hamilton, and then realized they are a broker, and upon inquiring with an animal rescue center, they told me they get their puppies from a bunch of amish puppy mills, as well as one non-amish puppy mill. So terrible.

Can't blame yourself since you didn't know, but at least it sounds like you lucked out with a happy and healthy pup!
 

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Happy and healthy yes but insane levels of energy and some very decided phobias most likely learnt in the mill. He is from Curious Puppies I am ashamed to say. Our old dog died and we wept for months until we simply felt we could not go on without another dog. I started at the shelters hoping for a stable preowned dog but I worked with special needs kids and the staff there said bomb proof dogs are very, very rare. Then I started to look at litters of perfectly lovely mutts, but each time the bitch seemed high strung, or the father was vicious, or the puppies looked sickly. When Rufus was advertised online I sent my sister to have a look and she bought a cream coloured pup for us that ticked every box on the spot. We started to drive to get her and half way there she called to say the little girl had flipped when they tried to put her in a box so she took Rufus instead.:rolleyes: The broker had said he had the "most" personality, my sister thought that was a good thing.:rolleyes:

When we got home we followed the links online and learned (too late) that the vet who did his needles is associated with the mill trade. The broker had told my sister that the breeders just didn't like to deal with the public.

In any case we would not trade him for a billion dollars. He adapted perfectly to the kids I work with, is loving, affectionate, friendly and so, so much fun. He is a dock diving, ball mad, snuggly little person. He is so smart we speak to him in full sentences which he seems to understand. The really bad part about the mill, aside from the ethics, potential future health issues and the fact that he refused to be crate trained is that I still feel sick to my stomach when I think about his mother, being used as a commodity like that.:( I used to think I'd like to go and try to rescue her, but it is so far and I was too scared.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Aw, I'm sorry to hear about your experience with them. Rufus sounds like such a bundle of fun though, and wow - so smart!!! Makes me even more excited about welcoming a cockapoo into our family - I just wish I actually could find one!!!

Puppy mills are so saddening just to think about... I don't understand how people can treat animals in such a way, regardless of the profits. At the end of the day, they have to live with what they have done - hopefully it catches up to them at some point in their lives.

You would have probably had a very hard time tracking his mother down, as they get the puppies from various puppy mills - my guess is a fair distance away from Hamilton, where the puppies are sold. Perhaps she was turned over to a rescue once she no longer served a purpose to them, so that she could live out the rest of her life in comfort with a loving, caring family. Maybe she's enjoying lots of hugs and cuddles right now. :)
 

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Hopefully that is the case. My sister has a rescued Bassett from a mill. She was so traumatized she lived under the bed for weeks, but now after many years she is an outgoing, cheerful and happy dog.

There are three posters here who have great dogs from Ontario. Lady, Cricket, Molly and Maggie are their dogs. I think they were all happy with their breeders. Hopefully they'll be by to give you details.:)
 

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can't help but just to say I guess in the USA and Canada because of the vast distances it is tempting to get a pup online without ever visiting the breeder, no excuse in the Uk as nowhere is really too far to travel. Sadly pups born in those terrible conditions are often transported to lovely looking homes and shown to people with another female dog which they say is Mum. They will use all kinds of tactics because there is plenty of money involved, you do have to be so careful. I did pay the deposit for Dudley with only online communication but I know I would have walked away if I had not liked the set up when I visited later on- I know not everyone could do that though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everyone for your responses!

Lindor, Prescott isn't too far at this point. I have contacted a breeder in Bancroft, which is 3hrs away from me. Prescott is the same distance. If you would recommend them, could you please pm me their info so I can get in touch with them?

DB1 - I will research breeders online, but I have to go see the puppy in person BEFORE I purchase, so that I can see if the parents are on-site, and appear friendly and healthy, as well as see how the puppy behaves and interacts with me/us, before deciding to bring it home. If the puppy is not displaying good qualities or is fearful of people, I have been told that is not a good sign and to stay away. I too am willing to pay a deposit online, however only to breeders who will offer a full-refund if not satisfied with the litter upon visiting. Unfortunately, I haven't found a breeder who has puppies available now or in the next month or two, that aren't already spoken for, due to a waiting list that was created a few months ago. Trying to remain patient and hopefull that I will find the right cockapoo puppy for our family.
 

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Good things come to those who wait.:) Hopefully a great breeder will have the perfect puppy for you soon. Someone posted a video awhile back of a litter of puppies (not cockapoos) kissing a man who was lying down. Those puppies are what you are looking for. Friendly, relaxed, tails wagging non stop, playful, glossy fur, a good weight, clear eyes...they should submit when you pick them up gently and have a look all over. I really hope it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Good things come to those who wait.:) Hopefully a great breeder will have the perfect puppy for you soon. Someone posted a video awhile back of a litter of puppies (not cockapoos) kissing a man who was lying down. Those puppies are what you are looking for. Friendly, relaxed, tails wagging non stop, playful, glossy fur, a good weight, clear eyes...they should submit when you pick them up gently and have a look all over. I really hope it works out for you.
Thank you, I'm sure you're right. It's hard though; I can't wait for that day to come! Thanks for the tips on what to look for, as well - I appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Have a peek at Pets in the Country, they have had cockapoo litters before, a medium sized breeder.
Mine are not from there....but they appear to have a nice facility
Thank you - I was questioning that one... but couldn't find anything negative, or broker/puppy mill related, via Google. I couldn't find anywhere on their website where they stated how long they have been breeding, which I'm used to seeing on other breeder's websites. Glad to hear someone else thinks they appear nice. I have contacted them, and am waiting for a response. :)
 

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couldn't resist having a peek, not that much info other than they have a lot of space! no pictures of the set up etc, it does say you could have a refund if you choose not to have a pup, i would personally want to get more info and really try to visit them. I didn't visit Dudley's breeder until pup was 6 weeks to choose (then went back a couple of weeks later to collect), he was a fair distance from me otherwise i would have asked to go earlier, he does advertise that you can't visit pups until 6 weeks but I do know of others who had visited when he didn't have pups just for fact finding, and I had spoken personally to other people who recommended him so I was pretty confident I would be happy. - oh and his love and enthusiasm for the dogs shone through when chatting on the phone so that gives a good impression too, good luck, hope they are good breeders.
 

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When I was searching they sent me loads of info about them and their set up. The dogs are raised in a kennel area but very state of the art. I am personally more of a fan of home raised but that's me. The owners are very open when you talk to them. Their FB page is updated more than their website. Have a peek there too
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for both of your info on Pets in the Country. They don't have any pups right now, but hopefully soon, I think the response said. I requested to be added to their waiting list. If pups become available, then I can go check out their facility.
 

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My puppy is also from Curious Puppies, despite my attempts to find a reputable breeder. I thought I was super lucky to find a breeder that actually had two puppies left. I travelled to Hamilton and only then realized the parents were not on site. I decided to do puppy temperament testing and he had such a perfect personality that we took him home anyways, along with his 2 year health guarantee. He is now almost 6 months old and I am thrilled to say that he is an incredibly loving, affectionate, playful puppy. He has been extremely easy to crate train, house break, and is very quick at picking up tricks. I am constantly receiving compliments from others on how well behaved he is. That being said, I believe that I was just very lucky with choosing a dog with such a good temperament, and I would still recommend finding a breeder with the parents present.

Here are some of the other options I looked at that weren't too far from the GTA:
http://www.thecottagekennel.com/
http://www.perfectpuppies.ca/index.php
http://www.legacycockapoos.com/
http://purdypuppy.com/
http://www.kawarthacountrykennel.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm very glad to hear your pup is happy and healthy! In Ontario, it is honestly really hard to find a puppy from a 'decent' breeder, unless you are willing to wait several months. I too, looked at all of the ones you listed, though not sure about purdy puppy (sounds familiar). I am happy to say we did find a puppy; going to meet him and bring him home this weekend. So excited! Parents are supposed to be on site, as they are pets. Sounds like a hobby breeder; I hope everything checks out when I get there.

Perhaps Curious Puppies isn't as terrible as I imagine; sometimes things need to be taken with a grain of salt. It was a rescue organization that told me they are a broker for puppy mills; but then I wonder - if the rescue organization knows they are from puppy mills, and knows which puppy mills, why are those puppy mills still in business, if they are known to exist? Not saying I would knowingly buy a puppy from a mill, but it seems pretty easy for the occurrence to happen, here in Ontario. Especially for a mixed breed that is apparently so common, yet seems so hard to find.

Thank you for the list you posted; hopefully it helps someone else in the province, looking for a pup. Now I know, if I decide to add another poo to our family down the road, to start looking at least 6 months ahead of time!
 

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Good point about why has no one taken action? The woman just down the road from me uses a broker to sell her puppies. Her dogs are adored family pets who run free and lead perfect dog lives. One of my friends got a puppy directly from her who is a fabulous dog, smart, friendly, healthy and happy. My neighbour has a big farm and just does not want the hassle of people calling, people visiting, problems with cash transactions etc... Plus she is two hours from the city and prospective clients. The last thing farmers want is a multitude of people tramping in germs and disturbing their livestock. All this to say that just because a dog is from a broker does not mean it is necessarily from a mill.
 
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