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 a year 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.  Because the demand for puppies right now is very high, you will likely have to wait a year or two to get a puppy from us.



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 currently unregistered, we cannot legally call our puppies 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, cream, cream parti, cream merle, and 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.


  You can see photos of the colors we breed on our Poodle Colors page.  In the future we plan to add brown and black.



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, but because there are many merle puppies that are registered and it would be very hard to hide crossbreeds in a pedigree for the amount of generations it would take to breed the line back to fit the poodle standard, it is unknown for certain where the gene came from.  Merle is a dominant gene, meaning if one parent was merle you will always get merle in the litter, which makes the gene very easy to breed into other breeds where it normally would not occur.  If merle poodles were created in such a way, they have been bred back to poodles for so many generations that there would be no way to tell they were not purebred except in color.



I heard that merle dogs have health issues.  Is that true?


  In merle dogs with a single copy of the merle gene, no.  The reason you may have heard that merle dogs are unhealthy is because a dog with two copies of the merle gene (created by breeding two merle dogs together) have a high chance of visual and auditory issues including deafness, blindness, small / malformed eyes, or no eyes.  These dogs are called "double merle".  Any responsible breeder breeding merle dogs will never breed two merles together.  Merle can be a tricky gene that hides the outward appearance and some merle dogs may be genetically merle but not show any outward sign.  Any dogs from merle lines should be DNA tested to make sure that they do not both have the gene before being bred together.  All of our dogs are DNA tested and we never breed merle to merle.



How big do your puppies get?


  Our puppies are miniature poodles which according to the breed standard are above 10" tall and below 15" tall.  Most of our puppies finish out between 12" and 14" tall, weighing 10 to 14 pounds fully grown.



Do you breed toy or teacup poodles?


  We only breed miniature poodles.  We have had a few puppies from our retired females finish out as toys (under 10") but all of our currently breeding females and males are full size miniatures on the larger end of miniature.  The smallest pups we produce finish out at 12" and about 10 pounds.  Teacup poodles are not an official size and are often bred from dogs who are too small because they are not healthy or sound and are prone to injury as well as other health problems.  We do not recommend seeking out a teacup poodle.



Why should I get a purebred poodle over a poodle cross?


  Poodle crosses are a huge fad right now but unfortunately not many are being bred responsibly.  The whole point to crossing breeds is to create a dog that improves upon one or both of the two breeds going into the mix, or is creating a dog for a specific purpose or job and we do not believe that anything crossed with a poodle fits that description.  Crossing dogs that shed with poodles also creates a coat that is incredibly difficult for most owners to maintain. Many mixed breed breeders do not health test their dogs and assure new owners that their dogs are low maintenance and non-shedding which isn't always the case depending on what type of hair they get.  Mixed breeders also tend to charge a lot of money for puppies simply to cash in on the fad, coming up with outlandish crosses and calling them "rare" to make them seem more desirable with no thought to the health or conformation of the puppies.


  Many people also believe that mixing breeds creates a healthier dog which is a common myth.  Breeding dogs with different bone structure together (such as a short faced or short legged dog with a long face long legged poodle) can create underbites, twisted legs, and deformed joints.  And because most mixed breed breeders do not health test it's a crapshoot as to what health problems may occur in the future.  Purebred dogs are not without problems, true, but this is why ethical purebred breeders rigorously test their dogs for the common issues known to their breed and do everything they can to avoid problems and only breed from healthy dogs.  And because ethical breeders breed to a standard and all dogs have the same structure you know you won't be getting severe conformation issues as are common in mixes.



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.  They begin age-appropriate conditioning and socialization at this stage.  We follow Puppy Culture guidelines.  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 there is still much to do!  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!  We do agility training with Rave Dog Sports in Nanaimo.  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.


  We follow the health testing guidelines for miniature poodles set up by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.  This tests their joints and their eyes for any problems that may be passed on to the puppies.


  Both parents are also regularly examined by our veterinarian to check for any issues with their hearts, eyes, teeth, 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 though we do try to keep our poodles' structure as close to the breed standard as possible even though they cannot be shown.


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?


   Most of our puppies are sold on a non-breeding contract and a limited CKC registration if they are registerable.  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.


  Breeding rights for a puppy will incur an additional cost depending on the dog.



Do you ship puppies?


  No.  I much prefer to meet owners in person before sending one of my puppies with them.  I can deliver from Victoria to Campbell River if necessary and could possibly meet in the lower mainland if ferry costs are arranged.  Otherwise you must come to Nanaimo to pick up your puppy.



What age do the puppies go to their new homes?


  While we used to allow puppies to go to their new homes at 8 weeks, more recent research has shown that the puppies are more well-adjusted if they stay with their breeder until they are 9 or 10 weeks old.  It also takes about 7 days for their vaccinations to be effective in their bodies.  Puppies also go through a fear stage at 8 weeks old and moving to a new home at this time can possibly be detrimental.  For these reasons we have decided to keep the puppies until they are 9 weeks old before they go to their new homes.



Before I take my puppy home, what should I do to prepare?


  You should have basic supplies on hand such as a leash and collar, crate or kennel, food and water dishes, brush and comb, and puppy-safe toys.  Make sure your house is puppy-proof!  Gate off any rooms you don't want your puppy to go into and put away or put up any health hazards or things you do not want chewed.


  You will receive a microchip registration paper which you can do online before your puppy even comes home which is great to do in case they happen to get lost or stolen.  If you prefer to mail it in you will have to wait until you pick up your puppy.


  Your puppy's pet insurance 30 day trial can also be signed up for 24 hours before or after the pickup date and it is good to do so immediately in case of any unexpected accidents.  We will give you instructions on how to do so.


  Once you know the date of their first set of shots (done by the breeder) you should immediately book them for their second or even third set of shots with your own vet, as veterinarians are extremely busy and if you wait too long they will have to start the vaccination series over again and it may leave them more susceptible to serious diseases.


  You should also book a grooming appointment with your groomer (or find a groomer if you do not already have one) before your puppy comes home.  Groomers book up extremely quickly and many are not taking new clients.  We recommend a puppy be groomed once every 4-6 weeks until they are at least a year so they become used to the process and after that you may extend time between groomings if you are maintaining them at home yourself or are keeping them in a short cut.



Do you sell adult dogs or retired breeders?


  Though it doesn't happen often, occasionally an older puppy or adult dog 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.