Mostly Mischief

Pet Salon & Miniature Poodles

Frequently Asked Questions

  Before filling out an adoption application please read through the following document to answer some of the common questions we get and to make sure that our puppies are right for you.


When will you have puppies available?

   We breed 2-3 litters per year so usually we have one litter in the spring, one litter in the summer, and one litter in the fall but it depends on many factors. Our website is not frequently updated with photos but you can follow along with updates as they come on our Facebook page.  Currently we are experiencing a very high demand for puppies and while we are still taking a waiting list it will likely be 6 months or more before any puppies will be available.



How long will I have to wait?


  How long you will wait for a puppy depends on several factors.  If we have just had a litter, it will be 3-6 months before we have another.  If you are wanting a specific color, pattern, or gender you may have to wait longer to get exactly what you want.



How do I get on your waiting list?


  After reading through this page to answer any common questions you might have, fill out an Adoption Application.  You will be contacted within 48 hours to confirm you are added to the list.  If you do not receive a confirmation please contact us to make sure we have received it.  There is no deposit needed to be on the list, but we ask that if you do find a puppy in the meantime or change your mind that you contact us to be removed from the list.



How can I tell if you are real or a scam?


  We are happy to provide photos and videos of the puppies, as well as allowing visitors to view our home and meet all of our dogs (unfortunately due to Covid restrictions in-home visits are not permitted until further notice.  We are open to Facetime / Zoom / Skype visits).  While most people do send deposits without visiting in person, we understand if you do not want to send any money without meeting us in person first!  There are many scammers and puppy mills out there and it is very important for owners to do their research to make sure that a breeder is legitimate and ethical before attempting to purchase a puppy.  We welcome all questions and will do what it takes to prove to you that we are real!



Are your puppies purebred?


  Because Canadian law states that a dog must be registered to be called a purebred and our puppies are unregistered, we cannot legally call our poodles purebred.  Most of our parent dogs are registered.  All of our dogs are poodles.  We do not cross our poodles with other breeds.  We plan to move into fully CKC registered dogs in the future.



What colors do you breed?


  The only colors we have available at this time are silver, silver parti, silver merle, silver merle parti, silver cream, silver cream parti, silver cream merle, and silver cream merle parti.  All silver puppies are born black and slowly fade to silver over the first year.  All silver merle puppies will eventually fade to silver and their merle markings will be less apparent.  Cream merle puppies will not show any merling at all and you may not know they are merle unless they have blue eyes or they get DNA tested.  Any merle puppy has a chance of having one or two blue eyes or partial blue eyes.  Parti means that the puppy will be white and the color will be spots of varying size all over the body.



Aren't merle poodles a mixed breed?


  Merle is a dominant gene that is naturally occurring in many breeds of dog.  It is not known if the gene naturally occurred in poodles and possibly was introduced by breeding a poodle with another breed of dog that has the merle gene.  Merle is a dominant gene, meaning if one parent was merle you will always get merle in the litter.   Likely many generations ago a breeder took a merle puppy from whatever cross they used, bred it to a purebred poodle, kept a merle puppy, bred that puppy to a purebred poodle, and so on until the dog is 99% poodle again.  The merle gene has been introduced to several breeds this way and while they may not be 100% purebred it still so close that you could never tell the difference except for the color.



How big do your puppies get?


  Most of our puppies finish out between 12" and 14" tall, weighing 9 to 12 pounds fully grown.



Do you dock tails or remove dewclaws?


  No.  Not only is it illegal to do so in BC, we consider it cruel and unnecessary.  Don't even ask.



What do you do to socialize the puppies?


  From birth to about two weeks of age our puppies are gently handled a few times a day, usually for cleaning the bed, weighing, and moving them into position for nursing.  Once a day we perform Early Neurological Stimulation exercises which have many later benefits.  Beginning at three weeks they are handled more frequently as they are more tolerant of handling and can be away from the mother for longer periods.  They are brought out of the whelping bed briefly and allowed to experience the other animals in the household as well as different floors, surfaces, and sounds.  They are handled by our friends and their children.  At four weeks old they begin eating solid food (soaked and mushed kibble) and are let out for longer periods of time as they begin to walk.  Between five and six weeks they are able to run around almost as well as the adult dogs and are allowed to roam the house when supervised.  They experience all the sights and sounds of a normal household.  We start taking them outside to pee at this age to get them used to the outside world.  We also try to challenge them with mini agility obstacles, treat dispensing toys, and puzzle games to challenge their bodies and brains!


  Once the puppies go to their new homes the real work begins!  We send our puppies home with a Rule of Twelve Checklist which is a list of twelve things that a puppy should do before they are twelve weeks old to help them become well-adjusted adults.  We strongly recommend taking a puppy training class even if you have experience training a dog before.  We work with Best Paw Forward in Nanaimo.


  Poodles are very smart dogs and love to be challenged!  Poodles excel in agility, obedience, rally obedience, retrieving, lure coursing, flyball, and many other dog sports!  Sign up for a training class and see what your poodle can do!



What is included in your health guarantee?


  The two year health guarantee covers any genetic defect which impairs the puppy's life or function.  It also covers severe temperament issues such as aggression.  If within the puppy's first two years of life any such issues are found the puppy can be returned for a full refund.  If you would rather not return the puppy, compensation can be offered depending on the type and severity of the problem.



What health testing is done on the parents?


   The parents of your puppy will be health tested via a DNA test through Canine Health Check to rule out any potential genetic defects that could pass on to your puppy.  If one of the parents has a gene for a genetic defect but the other does not, the puppy may inherit the gene but will not develop the condition.  This would only be an issue if you were planning to breed the puppy.  If the parents are clear on a genetic issue that means it is impossible for your puppy to develop that issue. Health testing reports are available to view upon request.


  Both parents are also examined by a veterinarian to check for any issues with their hearts, eyes, knees, and hips, as well as general health.



Do you show your dogs?

  Because our dogs are not standard colors, they cannot be shown.  We prefer to breed for health, temperament, intelligence, and ability in competition rather than only conformation.


How much do your puppies cost?


  The current price as of October 2020 is $2500.  This includes vet check, first set of shots, deworming, flea treatment, microchip, 30 days of pet insurance, small bag of food, lifetime breeder support, and a two year health and temperament guarantee.  We require a $200 deposit to hold your puppy for you which is put towards the final payment due upon pickup.  This deposit is non-refundable if you change your mind.  If any health issues are found with the puppy, the puppy dies, or the breeder decides to keep the puppy then your deposit will be returned or put toward another puppy.


  If you are concerned about the cost of a puppy, aren't picky about which puppy you get, and you live between Victoria and Campbell River please contact us about our Guardian Home Program.



What does lifetime breeder support mean?


  Lifetime breeder support means that for the entire life of the puppy, we will be there to answer any questions, help with any issues, babysit for a reduced rate, and offer grooming services at a reduced rate.  We will also take back any puppy at any stage of its life if you can no longer keep the dog. Lifetime breeder support is our guarantee that one of our puppies will never end up in a shelter.



What if I can't keep my puppy anymore?

  We have a 30 day unconditional money back guarantee.  This means that you can return your puppy within 30 days for any reason for a full refund.  After 30 days, we guarantee genetic health and temperament for two years.  If you need to return the puppy for personal reasons (not a genetic health or temperament issue) we will always take the puppy back but not offer a refund.

  If you can no longer keep your puppy but you have a family member or friend who is wanting to take the dog you must let us know so we can update the contact information for the new owners.


Do you sell breeding dogs?


   We do sell puppies as future breeding dogs, however you must declare that in advance as there will be other questions asked and references required for those intending to breed.  There will also be a separate contract to be signed.  We also want to make sure that only the best puppies go on to be breeders so there may be less of a selection available if not all pups in a litter are breeding quality.  We also do not guarantee their breeding quality or ability past 8 weeks so the puppy cannot be returned solely because it is not able to be bred.  If you are an established breeder there will be some questions asked to ensure that your ethics are in line with ours.


 If you are wanting to get into breeding and have little to no experience we require that you accept mentorship so that we can ensure that the puppy you receive from us is healthy enough for breeding and is bred ethically.  Breeding dogs is hard work and when done correctly does not make for much profit.



Do you ship puppies?


  No.  I much prefer to meet owners in person before sending one of my puppies with them.  I also believe that air travel at a young age can be detrimental to their development and health.  I can deliver from Victoria to Campbell River if necessary and could possibly meet in Vancouver if ferry costs are arranged.  Otherwise you must come to Nanaimo to pick up your puppy.



Do you sell adult dogs or retired breeders?


  Though it doesn't happen often, occasionally a puppy will get returned.  In this case we will make sure it is up to date with all shots, neutered or spayed if it isn't already, and rehome it for a reduced cost.  We offer a one year health guarantee on adult dogs, and will disclose any pre-existing temperament or health conditions known at the time of sale.


  Our retired breeders usually are not rehomed unless it is to friends or family members of ours. Most live out their lives with us as family pets.



What is the Guardian Home Program?


   Guardian homes are a way for us to expand our breeding program without having too many dogs in the house.  A guardian home is carefully chosen, far more carefully than a pet home, and if they are approved they will be given a female puppy of the breeder's choice at a greatly reduced cost.  All of the basic vet care for the puppy will be provided by the breeder.  When the puppy reaches approximately two years of age, she will be returned to the breeder to be bred, then returned to the owner until 2 weeks before her due date at which point she will return to us to have her puppies.  She will remain with us until the puppies are 8 weeks old and then returned to the owner until the next heat.  She will remain on contract to be bred as necessary until she is 4-5 years old (2 - 4 litters maximum) and when she is retired she will be spayed at the breeder's cost and returned to the owner permanently. If you are interested in this program please read more here and contact us for an interview.



What health concerns do poodles have?

  The most common health issues with poodles are dental issues, allergies, and luxating patellas.  Our breeding poodles are in good health but, like most poodles, they do need their teeth professionally cleaned more often than other breeds.  We take them to a vet to have this done every two years.  Veterinary cleaning can be expensive so we recommend you budget for this ahead of time.  We do not recommend the use of anesthetic-free dental cleaning as they cannot clean under the gums so it is only cosmetic.

  A few of our poodles have had retained deciduous canine teeth which means that some of their baby canine teeth did not fall out when they were supposed to.  In this case they need to be removed under anesthesia by a veterinarian.  For this reason we recommend that you do not spay or neuter your puppy until they have lost their baby teeth so if any are retained they can be removed at the same time.


What kind of energy level do poodles have?

  Poodles are great because they can match whatever energy level you need them to!  They are just as content laying on the couch, playing with toys, or going on short walks as they are going on long hikes or competing in dog sports.  They aren't a hyper dog that needs to be worked but they do enjoy pleasing their owners.


What grooming needs do poodles have?

  Poodles have thick, curly, growing hair that needs to be brushed, combed, and cut regularly.  How often they need to be groomed depends on how long you keep their hair and how much brushing you can do at home.  Most poodles should be groomed every 6-8 weeks, and brushed and combed several times a week.  Their curly hair mats easily if it is not cared for, especially in the ears and lower legs.

  Your puppy has already gotten a head start on grooming, as we will shave their feet, face, and tail base every week from 4 - 8 weeks (unless the owner has requested us not to).  Once you take them home it is recommended to book a grooming appointment for a few days after they have received their second set of shots at 12 weeks of age.  Having them groomed early and often will help them get used to the process more quickly.

  To see some different examples of poodle groom styles visit our Poodle Grooming Album.