Maltipoo, Bichonpoo...regular poodle?


Purse Huntin'
Oct 4, 2006
ThE WidE BluE YondeR
So I am graduating from college in a few months and I have the option of getting an expensive puppy as a gift.... (Before I continue, please know that this decision has been made over a year's time, I will have exactly the same schedule as I have now and have read up extensively on the risks and responsibilities of having a small puppy) With that being said, I am looking for a breed…I wanted a Caviler King Charles Spaniel but I have heard of their extensive medical problems. I have heard that these “designer” breeds have the traits of the original but with fewer risks… I do not want to sound ignorant but this appeals to me. Though I cannot expect perfection, I would like some assistance in choosing the brand that most suits me! I am an outgoing person but would prefer a dog that is intelligent and friendly (and preferably can fit in my juicy couture carrier!). If this post sounds silly, set me straight and help me out!!



Up On My Toes!
Jun 6, 2006
Highland, Maryland
I don't know how to advise you on the breed you would be happiest sharing your life with, but I do commend you on doing your "homework" and realizing that puppies and dogs are a responsibility and choosing one that fits your lifestyle is a HUGE step in the right direction to raising your little "baby".

I have three dogs and two cats and the only thing I can add for your consideration is getting two....possibly litter mates.....I know it sounds like a lot, but I have found that pets like their "own" kind a lot and while you're at work or out and about they will have each other. I also found that having at least two is easier than one.... for some inexplicable reason.


Jun 4, 2006
I can't help you finding the right breed for you, but when you have decided on a certain breed a reputable breeder can help you find the right dog for you. Every pup has its own personality and when you find your dog, propper training will strengthen the character.

Will this be your first dog? If so (I'm sorry I have to disagree, Leelee) I would not recommend getting two puppies. You will not be able to do training lessons with two dogs at the same time and if one of them picks up a bad habbit, the other one will likely pick that up, too. It is a lot of work to train one dog and I wouldn't want to have to handle two puppies ;).

By designer breeds do you mean the "breeds" with the fantasy names like Maltipoo and others (that doesn't mean I dont like mixed dogs. I have one myself ;))? I don't think they are healthier then purebred dogs from a reputable breeder. They make sure they know about health issues generations ago and dogs with certain diseases are not allowed in the breeding program. This is often not the case when it comes to "breeders" that just want to make profit. I see a huge market for breeds with fantasy names and they seem to sell for horrendous prices. Everybody can breed with two cute dogs, but it is a lot of work to responsibly bring up a litter.

I don't know if there is an organisation of registered breeders that keeps and eye on every litter and makes sure the dogs are checked for common diseases, but that's where I would start looking for a dog, if you want a purebred.

Both my current and my past dog are rescue dogs and I would always recommend going to your local shelters. A lot of them know their animals well enough so you know what you will be getting, especially if you consider an older dog. It is also a great help in your daily routine when the dog is already house-broken.

You will find your dog and will have lots of fun with it.


Apr 19, 2006
I think it is AweSOME that you are doing your research on your next puppy!

please do NOT get a maltipoo or a bichonpoo. These are essentially very expensive mutts sold by puppy mills or backyard breeders at a great profit. There are tons of mutts of this combo available at your local pet shelter.

WHy shouldn't you buy a designer pup?
no reputable breeder would ever sell a combo pup. Why? because they wouldn't be a reputable breeder. There is NO standard for these designer pups. Any yahoo can take a malti and mate it with a poodle. does this mean it's a good idea? No!. do they do genetic testing? do they know the family line and what diseases/maladies this dog has had? how is the dog's temperament? does the family have a history for neurosis? I would ask any of these breeders that question. How do the maltipoo breeders know that their dogs are healthier? how many generations have they tracked? are they in a registry where you can see all of the descendents?

The chance of an unhealthy pup is much higher with the designer breeders. mostly because they are either unethical (puppy mill) or they are uninformed (backyard breeder). either way, your chance of an unhealthy or untemperamentally sound pup is significantly higher through this route.

what is a reputable breeder?
a reputable breeder breeds to IMPROVE the breed. They do this through competing in their breed specialties, for example, AKC shows or agility trials. By winning competitions, it means that they are striving for the breed standard. I would never buy a dog from anyone that was not in the show ring (particularly little dogs) and didn't have champions in the bloodline. Even if you just want a pet (which is what all 3 of mine are) , what's very important is the TEMPERAMENT of the breed. especially for small dogs that can be neurotic or OCD, it's important that they be sound in mind.

Never buy from a pet store
Yea, they are really cute, but buying from a pet store is guaranteed puppy mill. This means that the moms live in crates their whole lives and just have litter after litter of puppies. there is no care as to the mom or the pups. Think about it, if these were your babies, would you let just anyone buy them? anyone who really cares about their pets should be very difficult when talking to you about a puppy. They should ask you lots of questions to make sure you will be a good puppy mommy.

Also, i would rule out any pup website that has a "buy it now" feature or tells you to send in a request for a puppy. Big red flag.

AKC doesn't mean anything
it doesn't mean anything if the dog is AKC. if it's anything other than AKC is really really doesn't mean anything. To be AKC means to be purebred, and you're allowed to have some mixing a couple of generations back.

Best Way to find a healthy pup
go to the AKC website and look up the breeds you like. Go to the breed specific website and check out Breeder referral. you can't pay to be on the breeder referral page. you have to have met specific high standards to be on here.

Also, go to an AKC show in your area. it's really fun. you can talk to the breeders and meet their dogs when they aren't in the ring.


Apr 19, 2006
this is pulled from the newfie forum that i'm a part of. It still applies to you or any other breed of dog.

Part of being a good breeder is, understanding each puppy's personality and each new owners expectations/lifestyle. A good breeder needs to know just as much about you, as you want to know about them. You need to be prepared to share where your going to keep this puppy, who is going to be its primary caretaker and if its more than one person, what is that plan of communication. Who is your vet, and where are you going to go for training? If you don't currently have a vet, or trainer, you need to be interviewing to find one before you get your puppy. Do you have a stable home environment? Are your children well behaved? (Families who have ill behaved children have ill behaved pets and that is not a winning scenario for the lifetime commitment to a Newfoundland)

You also need to know what all the health clearances mean! Just asking if they have them and getting it confirmed is not enough. You need to understand why those particular tests were done and what makes them so important for the breed of your puppy. Some Newf breeders are testing eyes even though that is not a common problem with Newfs, but it would absolutely be a MUST for a Cocker Spaniel. Some breeders may have something in particular they test for in their lines where other breeders don't.

Do you know what your selected breed was originally bred to do, and does the breeder? Does the breeder do those activities, and/or do any of their puppy homes do those activities? Are their dogs capable of doing what they were bred to do? Some well-known Newfie lines can't swim well. IF you want to do a lot of water work or are a water enthusiast, then you probably should not get a pup from those lines. If you don't like the water then that may not bother you. How long has it been since the breeder showed in any event? If in the U.S., do they compete in AKC shows?

Someone SAYING a dog fits the Standard but they do not compete for a Championship or having two or three Championships (CH) in a pedigree three or four generations back means nothing. Someone SAYING a dog is trained for Water/Draft/Obedience/Agility is nothing unless it has achieved those titles. So listen carefully what is advertised and how it is written. Contracts offering a one or even two-year guarantee of crippling dysplasia, is just that! CRIPPLING Dysplasia, meaning the dog cannot walk and will usually need to be put down. IF your dog is Dysplastic in any other way, you are not guaranteed anything back according to the contract. IF you intended to show this dog and it limps from Dysplasia, according to the above contract, you get nothing because it is not crippled, it’s considered lame.

Read the pedigree and try to understand where the lineage comes from. Look for a common prefix name meaning those dogs were bred under the same person with some consistency. Many BYB, and Puppy mills have pedigrees with no consistency. You will find names like 'big John', or 'black Lilly', or every generation is a totally different name, meaning every generation a puppy was sold to someone who bred it, who sold it, who bred it and the cycle goes on with no thought to structure, temperament, or type. Just breeding registered dogs.

How many dogs does the breeder have of breeding age? I was on a BYB's website just yesterday and saw that she has 13 breedable female Newfoundlands listed. I know for a fact that this particular person does not breed for anything other than to produce Newfoundland Puppies, and ships all over the U.S. and advertises all over the Internet, Dog World, etc.... Her website looks good till you do the math.... realize she has never shown any of her dogs, they never go anywhere off the property just for fun, she does her own shots, the vet comes there when needed, the Newfs live in the kennel, and produce puppies.... the dogs are breeding stock, if they don't produce then they are sold/given away. Just talking to this person over the phone you would think she is a wonderful breeder and you are going to get a wonderful puppy from her because she LOVES her Newfies. Yes, she works hard, but is she just working to produce puppies for money.... Nothing else.

There are A LOT of Newf breeders, and there are more all the time so buyers must beware. Just because someone can talk the talk and does the health checks does not mean they have the best interest of the breed in mind. A good breeder has an image in their mind of what their perfect Newfoundland is, and it may be to your advantage to ask what that image is. A good breeder does not hesitate to compete or to show off their dogs, and to refer you to multiple people who either have puppies from them or from where their breeding stock comes from if their new breeders.

Many back yard breeders are organizing through the Internet and share dogs and information. So don't be surprised to find a whole network of individuals breeding Newfs in their barnyards and selling to anyone who has a fast buck.

On the Internet:
I watch for the pictures of breeding stock..... And by 'stock', I mean just that.... someone standing out in the yard/field holding a Newfoundland in kind of a show stack, although the dog is not in full show coat and looks unclean. Advertising about how big or little these dogs are and how big or little the puppies should be, is not a good top priority for breeding purposes either.

Look at the eyes.... a healthy Newfie should have bright eyes, and if you don't know what that is, then keep looking because your not seeing it in the dogs your looking at. Look at the background in photos provided on the Internet.... is it junky, or unkept, or is it just the side of the barn/kennel/truck, or are they cropped so you can't see ANYTHING. Breeders should be proud to display their Newfs in an appealing environment enjoying life. Their dogs should be clean, happy, and healthy looking, unless, of course, they just finished playing in the mud!

Okay, I'm done lecturing, this is a huge topic and it all comes down to human honesty and the way the genes combine when put together. Contracts are great but only as good as the people signing them, and Genes can only be controlled so far. You try and lessen your odds by selecting an honest, ethical breeder and then roll the dice hoping they have made the right choice for you to get the healthiest puppy possible.


Apr 19, 2006
btw, you're not ignorant, you're just starting to research! Most people don't research they just see "cute dog" and buy it. we were the same way. my first dog was a border collie that was from a backyard breeder that we got out of the newspaper. He was so neurotic/ocd it was unbelieveable. NOT sound temperament.


Apr 14, 2006
i think everyone's covered the whole "designer dogs" and those problems but I will say if you want a cavalier king charles, just find a reputable breeder who does tests. a reputable breeder will be much less likely to have a dog with health problems. is a great resource for finding good breeders. you can also find out when/where dog shows are so you can visit and talk to the people that show the breed you are interested in. they could also give you recommendations on good breeders. and yes, a good breeder will usually cost more. i'm pretty sure cavaliers are already pretty expensive, especially because they have fewer puppies. good luck! and please, do not get a 'designer dog' aka a highly priced, poorly bred mutt.