TWO AND FOUR-LEGGED FAMILY
The Human Component
We have had Standard Poodles since 2003. As a 4H Dog Club member and a 4H Leader, Amanda and I loved bringing our dogs to 4H to learn, practice and demonstrate showmanship, obedience and agility. Our dogs and horses were a blessing we shared with my niece and with my lil sis (Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America) so they could participate in 4H as well. Our poodles have been fabulous trail riding, hiking, biking, traveling and camping companions. Our family fell in love with the breed so deeply that we have added to our family every few years; we currently have 9 standard and 1 mini poodle family members between three households. Our dogs have 20 acres to roam here at the homestead but are often found enjoying the lake during warm summer days.
Over our lifetimes we have had other mixed and pure-bred dogs, but gravitated to the Standard Poodle for a number of reasons. Standard Poodles are extremely intelligent, sensitive, patient, loving and loyal. Several times over the last two decades a poodle has stood between us and a predator or other potential threat (typically coyotes, sometimes people). I know each of these dogs would have given his life to protect us. Admittedly, as soon as the threat disappeared the poodle came running to us for reassurance but we’ve loved them all the more for it.
Poodles are very clean, do not shed, and are great for families with children. They have hair, rather than fur, and as a result are considered ‘hypoallergenic’. Poodles require regular grooming to be healthy and happy. Many owners choose to learn basic poodle grooming skills; we provide a wealth of information on poodle grooming and we can recommend an online educational source upon request.
Preservation of the Breed we Love
We proudly declare that SPFL, its mentors and mentees are preservationist breeders. We believe that breeding dogs is a privilege, not a right. As stewards of the standard poodle, we are guided by the principal desire to continuously improve and preserve the breed. Our poodles have been bred for structure, good health AND temperament to ensure that the lives of all of our dogs are filled with family, love, health and the chance to enjoy what the standard poodle was bred for – whether watching over family, retrieving, hunting or exploring the world in the company of their handlers.
We encourage you to conduct thorough research and ask questions to ensure the right fit for your family and needs.
Having thoroughly enjoyed the years as a 4H leader, when the children had all graduated college and moved out on their own, Michele began to participate in conformation, agility, obedience, rally, trick, canine good citizenship, therapy work, precision coursing and scent work. Amanda participates when her busy surgical vet assistant schedule allows. Michele, Amanda and their dogs have earned an amazing 74 titles in just 30 months – not including Romeo’s 3 Best in Show and 6 Reserve Best in Show awards (a total of 77 awards and titles) and not including the 6 titles Rhett had before joining SPFL!!!
Competing in conformation is how breeders prove their dogs conform to the breed standard. Judges evaluate the dogs for soundness, movement/gait, type, and temperament against the breed standard – to ensure they are physically and mentally built to perform the tasks or jobs intended for the breed.
Dogs cannot be bred for performance without being bred for conformation; the bio-mechanical relationship between structure and function is absolute. Or simply stated, if the dog is not bred to meet the breed standard it will not be able to properly perform the physical operations required of performance sports without injury (short or long term).
A Great Start
What makes SPFL different? Our breeding philosophy goes far deeper than appearance, pedigree and show or performance titles – it reaches to the very core of breed health for future generations. Our breeding program focuses on optimal health delivered through independent structure evaluations, thorough health testing and continuous education.
Our poodle parents are veterinarian approved for breeding based on extensive genetic testing, health certifications, physical condition and overall health. AKC DNA profiles (where applicable), 5-generation pedigrees, and health records are available for approved buyers.
Before we consider breeding, a number of health clearances are obtained – well beyond the minimum requirements published by Poodle Club of America. Potential parents earn their Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) certification by passing the Poodle Club of America recommended OFA health certifications for:
- EYES (including annual recertification)
- CARDIAC – Basic and/or Advanced (including annual recertification)
In addition to CHIC certification, our potential moms and dads are DNA tested for over 200 genetic diseases including standard poodle specific diseases such as:
- Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures (NEwS)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy/Progressive Rod-Cone Degeneration (PRA-PRCD, PRCD)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy Rod-Cone Dysplasia 4 (PRA-rcd4)
- Day Blindness / Retinal Degeneration (DB/RD)
- VonWillebrand Disease (vWD)
- Chondrodystrophy and Intervertebral Disc Disease (CDDY/IVDD)
- Osteochondrodysplasia (OCD)
And finally, we utilize Canine Genetic Diversity testing through BetterBred/UC Davis to match sires and dams. This new genetic testing assists breeders in matching dogs to improve the overall health and longevity of the breed.
We work to better our beloved standard poodle by breeding for stable temperament and by placing an emphasis on structure and health to produce the classic standard poodle: a versatile, multi-purpose family dog with a special spark of vitality!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The puppies, like our dogs, are raised in our home as family members. We have a bedroom set up specifically for the mother’s comfort when whelping her litter. After a few weeks, we move them to the great room where they can absorb the sights and sounds of the household and the comings and goings of people and adult dogs. Each puppy receives daily one-on-one time for basic training and individual human socialization in addition to our group activities. All pups will have baths and trims at least 4 times before they transition to their new homes.
With past litters, we imprinted our puppies using a series of touch, sound, smell, and sight stimulants. We gave them endless opportunities to safely interact with the world around them including other animals and humans of every age group. Our past puppies are happy family members, show and performance dogs, and therapy and service dogs but we continuously search for ways to improve. After talking with other breeders and dog trainers, we found Puppy Culture closely matches our standard practices and beliefs. In addition to 4H, kennel club, and our combined 100+ years of dog ownership we decided to fully implement this comprehensive system in 2017 and track its effect on future litters. Puppy Culture combines the US military’s “Super Puppy” program consisting of early neurological stimulation (ENS) with carefully constructed socialization and early training activities that lead to the development of well-rounded and socialized puppies. We believe in taking these steps to give our pups the best possible chance to be successful in their new families and roles. In 2021 we added several Avidog protocols including Early Scent Introduction (ESI); ESI is proven to produce puppies with more optimistic outlooks on novel experiences.
All puppies will be wormed several times, vaccinated and examined by our veterinarian, and will be released to their new homes at approximately 10 weeks of age. We strongly believe in giving our puppies the maximum opportunity to socialize by bringing in ‘safe’ visitors.
Contracted buyers are invited into our home and puppy rearing activities through our PuppyCams, and can even watch the birth (if desired). We have even answered questions posed via Messenger in the middle of our activities. Contracted buyers may visit their puppy after immunizations, as long as no health risks are present. Temperament testing conducted by a professional in week 7 will aid us in matching puppies with new families.
Our current generation of poodle parents includes Romeo – AKC-CH BIS RBIS RBISS RACEA UKC-RGCH Canen Gossamer Stardust of Forest Lakes CGC SPOT-ON VCX who became a Champion and then a Grand Champion by the age of 16 months and Deacon – UKC-CH RACEN Meeker’s Dark Knight of Forest Lakes CGC TKN, as well as our genetic outlier Penelope – CH Alice in Wonderland Mon Salai CGC TKI ATD and the lovely sable/brindle parti poodle, Piper – RACEN CH Sarafina Amaris Noir of Forest Lakes CGC SPOT-ON TKI RN ATD VCX.
Parents of the Future – Our philosophy is keep your ‘feet on the ground and your eyes on the horizon’
We are dedicated to the love and care of our retired and current parents and their litters, and we will always keep their well-being as our first priority – while seeking complimentary bloodlines as well as advancements in testing and education to continuously improve our lines.
Apricots: Penelope produces gorgeous, biddable, and intelligent offspring with excellent temperaments. She will retire in 2023 at the age of 5. We are looking toward the future with our young apricots, Feia and Blaze; who debuted in the show ring December 2020 and earned their champion titles in June and August 2021, respectively.
Feia was born here at Forest Lakes; our second generation ‘pick of the litter’ show prospect. She passed PennHip and all DNA health testing. She successfully completed Puppy Obedience I and II and earned her Canine Good Citizen title. At Premier Nationals in June 2021, Feia earned her championship title: CH Wish Upon a Firestar Reverie of Forest Lakes CGC NF NAJ. Feia has endless drive and is currently training with her co-owner and my first mentor for Agility and has already starting earning titles. We look forward to completing the remainder of her OFA testing when she is two years old.
Blaze came to us from Romeo’s father’s breeder, who is one of our standard poodle mentors and a highly successful breeder of show and pet poodles. This little man is trying very hard to give Piper some competition for the happiest dog title! Blaze successfully completed Puppy Obedience I and II and earned his Canine Good Citizen, Novice Trick, and Outstanding Socialized Pet Obedience titles. He is learning Rally Obedience, Agility and Precision Coursing – and he is a quick study! Blaze also debuted in December 2020 in Novice Puppy (non-licensed) and earned his champion title August 2021. In May 2022, he swept the poodle classes earning multiple Best of Breed awards to finish his Grand Championship! GRCH En Tour’s Trail Blazer of Forest Lakes CGC TKN SPOT-ON passed all DNA health testing as well as PennHip, and OFA cardiac and eyes.
White/Black: We specifically sought white females to complement our black males, Romeo and Deacon. We were blessed to find the breeders and bloodlines that met our requirements. We are very excited for the future of these puppies not only in UKC, but also in AKC.
In July 2021 we added Katerina who made her debut in novice puppy a few weeks later. Kate is a natural in the ring; in August 2021 she earned a Reserve Best in Show Puppy (RBISP) over 11 puppies at only her second show! Entering only three weekends of shows as a 6-12 month puppy, she continued to show like a born champ winning multiple Best of Breed and Group placements to earn her championship at only 8 months old! Katie earned her Grand Championship in January 2022 at 9 months old, and went on to earn her first leg toward her Ruby Gemstone Title. GRCH Katmary’s Rainbow of Forest Lakes CGC TKN passed all DNA health testing and PennHip, and will complete the remainder of her health tests before reaching 2 years of age.
In September 2021 we added Daphne who made her own debut just a month or so later in novice puppy. Daphne is a spitfire; she thinks she should rule the world and she will give you sass if you disagree! She looks absolutely beautiful in the ring and we are expecting big things from this little lady!
Multi-Colored: Piper is our gorgeous brindle parti girl with the heart of gold. December 2021 we brought Rhett home, GRCH Sapphire’s Hard to Get CGCA TKN SPOT-ON. Rhett is already a Grand Champion and has earned several other titles. He is a sweet, amiable boy with a great work ethic. Rhett will pursue performance sports in 2022! He is a brindle pointed phantom, with highly diverse genes, who will be paired with Piper after he turns 2 and later will potentially be matched with our brindle girl, Dior, from our October 2021 Piper litter.
We are dedicated to the standard poodle.
Education and continuous improvement is the only way we know how to operate. We’ve completed many hours of AKC College Breeder Education courses, BetterBred Canine Genetic Diversity training, Paw Print Genetics training, Avidog’s Your Litter A2Z for breeders, various Avidog and Good Dog Breeder webinars in addition to training courses through both Leading Edge Dog Show Academy and the Victoria Stillwell Academy (see transcripts). We belong to both breed and breeder associations, and actively participate to learn from our peers. We embrace every available learning opportunity to continuously improve the health of our dogs and puppies and to improve our breeding program.
We give back to the poodle community we love through donations, rescue transportation, fostering, training, rehoming. We also give back by participating in breed clubs and club events, as well as by volunteering on committees: Breed Standard Committee, Education Committee (chair), Membership Committee, Health Testing Committee, Performance Committee and Show Committee. And finally, we give back by sharing our experience, knowledge and network with our co-owners and mentees – the next generation of preservation breeders.
What Drives Us
Forest Lakes is dedicated to the standard poodle. Our vision is to consistently produce the next generation of structurally correct, healthy and even-tempered standard poodles.
Our Foundation Dam
Our foundation dam ‘Gigi’ is an old-fashioned type of Standard Poodle descended from the Canen line of standards who were bred in Europe. Gigi is a stunning representation of the bloodline, inside and out.
Gigi stands 24 inches at the shoulders and weighs 57 lbs. Gigi had three beautiful litters, the last litter producing our Sapphire Grand Champion Romeo and Champion Porsche, and then retired to a life of leisure where she can be found happily ‘grandmothering’ our other litters of puppies.
SPFL Gen I and II
Our first generation of Forest Lakes puppies are now grown, and have started creating the second generation of SPFL puppies. We carefully monitor their development and health throughout their lives. We cannot adequately express how grateful we are for our SPFL families who stay in touch and provide this information! This ongoing assessment is an essential component of maintaining healthy lines – because all the testing in the world cannot predict every possible illness that may occur.
Our second generation of Forest Lakes puppies is still young and growing. These pups are beloved family members and are proving successful in obedience, rally, agility, dock diving and nosework and several have ‘jobs’ such as therapy or service work. There are also several Gen II puppies in the show ring. The versatility of the breed and these bloodlines never fails to amaze us!