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Discussion Starter #1
I see on most websites labradoodles costing anywhere from $800 - $2000. I read in our local paper yesterday that someone was selling pups for $150 - $250. They didn't give any other information. What questions would I ask the breeder to make sure the pups are "ok"?

I'm not saying they have to be expensive but this was such a drastic difference, I'm wondering why.
 

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ask questions...

I would GUESS that a doodle in the under $200 range comes from an owner of lab that bred her with a poodle. And that is a GUESS. Most professional breeders pay for costly hip testing, vet appointments, bording and welping areas. With all those expenses most labradoodles do cost more. Our Cody was on the low end at $600 and is an F1. Make sure you get the PennHip rating for both parents and ask if the puppy comes with a health guarantee of at least one year or two. Find out if they are breeding only Labradoodles or if they breed several kinds of dogs. You don't want to get a puppy from a mill-type facility and end up with a dog that has not been socialized or cared for properly. Find out when they give you the puppy and make sure it's not too early. The puppy should come with it's first set of shots and deworming. I think most doodles from good breeders also come microchipped but that's not necessarily a requirement. Some of the breeders on this site will be able to give you more information about what to look for. Good luck!
 

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Hi Sadie, welcome!
Angela has given you a really good answer. There are many reasons for charging what we do for our dogs. Some of us charge more and some charge less, what is important is that you do your homework before you buy. There have been many people who find a bargain puppy only to pay gigantic medical bills when they discover that their puppy has numerous health issues.
That is not to say that all inexpensive puppies are problematic.
I would suggest, as Angela said, that you should know what to ask, and then don't rely on verbal assurances, ask to see results.
If the breeder doesn't want you to ask, or if they say "everything was fine" or "everything checked out normal"...don't settle for that!
Ask to talk to their vet, and then do...follow up and find out that they do actually have a vet and that the puppies you are looking at have been examined and given deworming and shots.
One of the reasons that Labradoodles cost so much is that breeders find excellent breeding stock (and pay thousands of dollars for them) and that they do not breed their animals until at least the 2nd heat cycle, and they test both parents for hips and eyes (at a minimum)...they will offer a long term (usually 2 years) health warranty and they will be very specific as to what is covered.
If they say "life threatening disease" find out what that means...if they say "serious genetic disease" find out...ask, ask, ask.
Also, a good breeder will interview you! They are not about to sell to just anyone willing to pay. Good breeders love their puppies and want to be sure that they will go to a good home, where they are loved and well cared for. They will want you to assure them that your home environment is good for the puppy and that you are ready for the responsibility of ownership.
A good breeder will continue to be in touch with you, to answer your questions and help with other situations...through the life of the puppy.
Your puppy will come with a short term wellness warranty too...and you will be asked to take him to the vet right away.
Ask to see the parents, get references of previous litter owners, go to see where the pups are kept, if possible (not all breeders allow this because of fear of Parvo, but will make other arrangements with you.)
Get a contract...make sure that it is a good one.
Find out all of this before you fall in love with that cute puppy...
If you would like to contact me personally and ask questions, I'll be happy to respond.
 

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Good questions Sadie! I agree with most everything that was said especially about the testing, health guarantee, and the breeder only selling to approved homes! :lol:

Nonetheless, just because some one has more than one breed does not qualify them as a mill. That is just ONE sign of mill type breeding. A lot of breeders that breed only one type of dog have more dogs than some that have more than one breed. Breeders that run mills don't test there stock and are usually selling to brokers and pet stores. Contrastly, many breeders that only breed one type of dog may not test their stock. So those might give you some ideas :idea: you could ask to help weed out the good from the bad.

When feeling like you may not know all the answers a site like the Goldendoodle & Labradoodle Premium Breeder's site can help you find the best of the best breeder. This is a place where test results must be sent to the administrator whom puts the breeder in a catagory based on their level of testing. No non-testing breeders are on that site.

Price doesn't necessarily equal quality, but test results speak for themselves! :wink: Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

Thank you all so much for the great information! I definitely will do my research before purchasing our labradoodle. I have time anyway as we're not quite ready yet. I hope to know exactly what I'm looking for and exactly what to ask when we're ready.

Thanks again! This is a great site!
Sadie :D
 

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I may have not seen this posted and if so forgive me but ask for references from other buyers. And like Jac says make them show you the test results don't settle for their word anyone can say they health test and the test were good look the test over and make sure it matches the dog your looking at as the parent. Not saying people are dishonest but lets face it, it happens any almost or all businesses.
 

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Before I found a breeder we liked I called several places that advertised in the local paper and many of them were "open kennels" that sold several different breeds of dogs. Of course the alarm bells went off in my head when they said "no, you can't meet the parents, but we assure you they are healthy" The dogs were less than half the price we ended up paying and I am sure these "open kennels" are doing a brisk business, but no thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've noticed on a lot of websites where you can meet the parents, I'll definitely be asking LOTS of questions when we're ready to buy. I just wish it could be now! :(
 

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You are so smart in doing your research now and writing down questions you want to ask so you will be prepared. Learn how to spot red flags and steer clear :wink: The wait will be well worth it :)
 

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.....looking to buy puppy also

Sorry to hitch on this post, but I too am looking at purchasing a labradoodle. I am thoroughly doing my research since I feel that owing a dog is a privilege and I want to be a responsible owner.

"One of the reasons that Labradoodles cost so much is that breeders find excellent breeding stock (and pay thousands of dollars for them) and that they do not breed their animals until at least the 2nd heat cycle, and they test both parents for hips and eyes (at a minimum)...they will offer a long term (usually 2 years) health warranty and they will be very specific as to what is covered. "

If the female is being bred on her second heat cycle than that would mean that she is approximately 1 yr of age. At this age, could the breeder truly and thoroughly test for genetic diseases? (ie. I thought that the parents needed to be a least 18 months old before they can receive OFA clearance on their hips.) Since labradoodles are a cross between two breeds, unknown recessive genes could surface. I guess I am really cautious about health, because they are a relatively new breed and there is not much of a pedigree (esp in F1 progeny) to be able to predict possible genetic fallouts.... Any comments to settle my worries? Ideally, how long should the breeder be in the business before I consider to buy from them?
 

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Hello Reddoodle_7, welcome to the forum and I am glad that you decided to post because you have really done your homework and your questions are valid ones.
I don't know that I have sufficient answers for you, but I'll try...
The first thing I'd like to address is that you are right on with what you talk about finding a good breeder, the testing, the specific health warranty and not breeding until the dog is mature.
Now, finding the correct timing for "maturity" is a good question...as a general rule, it used to be (and many still believe it to be) that dogs should not be bred until at least 2 years of age. I think that there are two reasons for this time frame. 1) The dog is mature enough to have and care for puppies by this time and 2) testing can be completed.
About maturity, when a breeder waits until the second heat, they still take into consideration (or at least they SHOULD take into consideration) the actual age and maturity level of the dog. Some dogs have heat cycles every 6 months and some have them every 8 months or longer.
I personally believe that if a breeder has raised the female, the breeder has a good indication of what this particular dog is capable of, by way of maturity. For instance, I bred Lexie on her second heat, and I discussed it very completely with my vet, I made sure that she was healthy and capable of going through a normal pregnancy...more importantly, that she was mature enough to care for her puppies and to nurse and nurture them. Often if a female is not mature, she will abandon the pups or stop nursing/cleaning them.
The decision must be a personal one made by the breeder and if you feel that the breeder has been irresponsible, then you should buy elsewhere.
In my case, Lexie was ready to become a mother...my vet agreed with me, and in fact she was an excellent mother.
About the second part, I believe (others will disagree with me) that the 2 year mark was set before PennHip exams made it possible to test hips of dogs younger than 2 years of age. You are correct that OFA can only do preliminary hip testing before 2 years...but PennHip tests are done at 4 months of age. Therefore, a PennHip exam will remove a female from the breeding poole at an early age. (Neither PennHip nor OFA are foolproof...but it is the best we have.)
So, 2 years was the breeding limit set because responsible breeders could not have the hip results until that age. Now, it is different and hips can be tested earlier, so the next important issue is maturity.
In answer to your next question, which can be very complicated and scientific, I will simply give you a web page that I beleive explains why breeding to unrelated breeds is preferable (healthwise) to linebreeding (which is often done in purebred dogs): http://www.akitarescue.com/Canine%20Div ... roject.htm
I hope that this helps a bit.
The thing you will find is that people (breeders, owners, experts, scientists, vets...) will disagree with one another on most topics...from the health of mixed breeds to the type of dog food to feed...but you have to do the research, as you are, and find the answers that work for you...then find a breeder who agrees with your opinions/beliefs.
The most important factors, once you find a like-minded breeder, are to find someone who will stand behind you and your puppy for the life of the dog, and one who will offer a good warranty and who has the integrity to follow up in a way that is morally responsible.
All of this is the same no matter how long the breeder has been in business...I personally have only bred one litter, with another on the way...my inexperience makes me very cautious and I want to learn everything I can, but it doesn't mean that I am not a very good and capable breeder...I love my dogs very much and want to protect them.
I have known of long-time breeders who know less than I do about the subject...so it isn't always about the length of time a breeder has been in business, but the dedication to learning, their interaction with other breeders and their ability to love and care for their animals that are most important, in my opinion.
 

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all this info is great so I can really only add a welcome!

Years ago, when I loved breeding our pet Lab, I didn't mess with testing and I pray that all the puppies we sold were as physically sound as the one we kept! Since then we've loved owning poodle females. I've never had a poodle girl, or heard of a poodle girl having her first cycle before 8mos or more... not that this is definitive info... so I haven't heard of a poodle girl having her 2nd cycle before 15 mos. or thereabouts. The "2yr old" rule was something that AKC started, and I admit I followed it with our girl Sheba, whom we raised from 8wks old, but I have since read research that it was based on what the AKC showdogs required, like the fact that a dog could be "finished" and then profitable as a breeding dog, by 2yrs old. OFA will certify the hips/elbows on a 1yr+ dog as a preliminary assessment. I have just that kind of printed report on my girl Yankee, because she's 2, but pregnant, so I couldn't (obviously) have that test done now, and wanted it done before she was bred, so I could make sure she was fit for breeding.

geez, for not having anything to add I sure got wordy! :roll: :oops:
 

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thank-you

Thank-you Jac for the warm welcome & all the information! I loved reading your reply....it sets a lot of worries aside knowing that there are reputable breeders in the business! I am extremely impressed with how knowledgeable you are for only having one litter (how niave I was - I was only looking at breeders with long term experience thinking that they knew best! :oops: )

Thank-you also Maureen for your reply!
"Years ago, when I loved breeding our pet Lab, I didn't mess with testing and I pray that all the puppies we sold were as physically sound as the one we kept! Since then we've loved owning poodle females."

I agree with you Maureen....I too love owning females because they are the start of a kennel & where the profit is at.

"but I have since read research that it was based on what the AKC showdogs required, like the fact that a dog could be "finished" and then profitable as a breeding dog, by 2yrs old."

I have heard of many dogs finishing as early as 7-8 months old, which means that they could be profitable by their first heat. I think the AKC is basing their 2yr breeding rule based on the scientific research I have read....large breed puppies are still growing well into 2years of age and some even beyond this time (ie mastiffs, danes). The extra weight of a pregnancy on growing joints is hazardous to their proper development, not to mention the stress that the mother's body goes through - she herself needs a large amount of nutrients because she is still growing, plus the puppies need a large amount of nutrients to develop....conclusion: mom or puppies suffer nutritional deficiencies
 

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Thank you for your kind words and your added insight!

You are certainly doing a good deal of research...looks like we can all benefit from the information you are gathering...thanks for sharing it with us!
 

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Agreed here, about how we all benefit when one shares what they're learning!

I don't think I was clear, tho, apparently, cuz I didn't intend to say that females are the most profitable... as I think of what one male can bring in for studfees, I think that's debatable! It's just that I grew up having female dogs, and started out wanting a female as our family pet, cuz I've always enjoyed having moms and puppies. Sorry I wasn't clear about that! :oops:
 

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Did I make a mistake?

I've put a deposit on a Labradoodle. Both my girlfriend and I discussed getting a dog for quite a while and after much research decided on a labradoodle. We actually met a few and I think that was the deciding factor. However after reading a lot fo this I don't think I've done enough research into my breeder. They're not listed on http://www.goldendoodle-labradoodle.org ... ctory.html and a lot of coin phrases are coming up in this forum familiar to my situation. "They didn't ask us about the home we would be giving the dog", "Mennonite Farm", "Breeder Mill" etc. etc....I'm starting to get nervous about making the wrong choice for breeder. Is anyone familiar with Burkhart's Kennels? They don't chip and now that I've done some research I'm finding other breeders that do?
 

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WElcome CptChris :) I have not heard of Burkhart's Kennels but that doesn't mean they aren't good breeders. I went to their website and they do say they do health testing on their breeding stock, just make sure you get proof of that. They also give a 2 year health guarantee, you might ask to look at the guarantee, I didn't notice where you could download it from their website. What kind of pup are you getting? Is he/she born yet? When are you expecting to get your puppy?
 
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