Labradoodles are very popular dogs for their appearance, intelligence and hypoallergenic tendencies. More people than ever before are hoping to buy the perfect Labradoodle pup but often have difficulty finding the right Labradoodle puppy breeder.
Deciding on a Labradoodle puppy is a big decision. With a lifespan of 12-15 years, you’ll have a family member for many years, so you want to make sure everything goes well. This usually starts with finding a great Labradoodle puppy breeder. A puppy’s traits are highly dependent on its bloodlines. There are certain things you should consider when finding a Labradoodle puppy breeder.
• Love of the Breed
• Health Screening
• Health Warranties
Where Can You Find a Breeder?
Finding a great Labradoodle puppy breeder is easier than you might think, but it will take time, patience, diligence and plenty of research. Do not rush the process. If you suddenly wake up one morning with an overwhelming desire to buy a Labradoodle puppy, you may be tempted to rush into things and get the first breeder you find. This could be a big mistake in the long run.
The internet is a vast wealth of information and a great place to look for a good breeder. You may even know of a breeder right in your community. If this is the case, this breeder may also be listed on the web. Here are some sources where you may find success in finding a good Labradoodle breeder.
- Word of Mouth – Word of mouth is also a great source. Who can give you a better review of a breeder than someone who has used his services in the past? They may also be in a position to tell you what to look for and what to look for in the way of red flags.
- Online Search – The internet is a great place to search. All you need to do is type in “Labradoodle breeder (location)” or “Labradoodle breeders near me”. It also allows you to narrow down your search to a certain location and even price range. Keep in mind that the first one that shows up on your search result may not be the best breeder. He may just be the one that has the most traffic to his site or has put out the best ad in terms of where it shows up in an online search.
- Social Media – Social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are just a few of the popular platforms where you may find information on great Labradoodle breeders. Many of the breeders will have their own page. There are also many Labradoodle breeder and owner groups on social media sites like Facebook. You can also use Instagram in a similar way. You can search for Labradoodle hashtags like #labradoodlepuppies or #labradoodlepuppy. When you find Labradoodles you like, message the owner and ask them what breeder they worked with.
- Dog Organizations – Many dog organizations can provide you with useful information and lists of Labradoodle breeders.
Australian Labradoodle Association of America
Australian Labradoodle Club of America
Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association
What Makes a Good Breeder and What to Look For
Finding a Labradoodle breeder can be easy, but finding a good breeder may be a little tougher. It’s very possible to find a good breeder, but it will take some time. What makes a good breeder? Is it cost, location, reputation or something else entirely? You’re going to want to consider all these things when looking for a Labradoodle breeder. A great breeder will do or be willing to do the following.
- Should be willing to answer any and all questions you may have
- Should request that you fill out an application so he or she knows that you are a responsibility buyer and/or dog owner
- Give you a “take back” guarantee that states he will take the dog back if you cannot keep it for some reason
- Provide you with a list of health checks done on the puppies and all the adult dogs
- Willing to give you all the information possible on that particular dog and its parents as well as on Labradoodles in general to ensure you fully understand the breed
- Allow you to come to his place of business so you can see the parents on site and observe their behavior and temperament
- Provide you with a written contract verifying the dog’s health or requiring spaying or neutering
- Provide you a written health report on the puppy
- Will not let you take the puppy home until the puppy is 100% ready, which is usually 8 to 12 weeks of age
- Will usually only deal with one or two breeds of dogs and focuses on that particular breed.
Finding a great Labradoodle breeder can involve a lot of work and research, but it’s more than worth the effort because it’s probably going to result in getting a high-quality dog and companion while not every great breeder will meet all these requirements, they should satisfy most of them.
Keep in mind that some breeders may operate a less formal operation, but that’s not necessarily an indication that this individual is not a good breeder. When possible, always do reviews on breeders and try to get word of mouth referrals.
Important Questions to Ask a Breeder
Prior to buying your Labradoodle puppy, you’re going to have a ton of questions whether you’ve had Labradoodles in the past or are a first-time buyer. A reputable Labradoodle breeder won’t be bothered by your questions but will welcome them. The breeder will want to know that you care about the dog and will be a good owner. The best way to be the best possible owner is to be armed with as much information as possible. Here are some important questions you may want to ask the breeder.
- Ask to see the parents of the dog you’re buying and to observe their behavior and temperament.
- Ask about any vaccinations or shots the puppy has received, and ask to see documentation.
- Ask if the puppies have been socialized and, if so, how they’ve been socialized.
- Ask about any health tests that have been done on the parents.
- Ask about any health issues the parents or grandparents may have had.
- Ask if the breeder will offer a health guarantee and contract.
- Ask why he or she sells the puppies and what made him decide to start the Labradoodle breeding business.
- Ask as many questions as possible about the Labradoodle breed.
- Ask the breeder if he or she is a member of any Labradoodle associations.
- Ask if he or she can provide you with references.
- Ask if the dogs are certified with any Labradoodle organizations.
Breeder Red Flags
Sometimes when we see a puppy, we instantly fall in love and forget about any questions or concerns we may have had. Or, worse yet, we tend to overlook red flags that are right in front of us because of our excitement over either getting the puppy or getting the puppy at a great price. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim by ignoring red flags. Here are some common breeder red flags.
- The breeder tries to convince you his dogs are perfect, and the breed is the perfect breed. No breed is perfect, and every breed has some characteristics that may not be ideal at all times.
- The breeder will not allow you to come to his place of business or requests that you meet at a different location.
- Puppies are shy and withdrawn, and the breeder tells you it’s because that was the runt of the litter. Properly socialized puppies will be friendly and inquisitive.
- The breeder is reluctant to provide you with references.
- The breeder seems bothered by your questions
- The breeder is operating a puppy mill or a place where a variety of dogs are sold.
- The breeder’s place of business is dirty and rundown.
- Breeder will not provide a health guarantee.
- A veterinarian has not seen puppies.
- Breeder is willing or eager to let the puppy go to its new home at around six weeks of age.
- Breeder states dogs come from healthy stock but cannot provide proof.
- Breeder cannot show you both parents.
- Breeder will sell the puppy without a contract.
- Breeder asks for a deposit before providing any contract or information.
When dog breeder are trying to sell their puppies for the highest possible price, they often advertise or tell you things that may not be true. For instance, they may say the puppy comes from champion show lines, but can he prove it? Just because one dog out of the past 50 was a champion doesn’t mean the puppy will be a champion.
If the breeder says he has a USDA license, this probably means he’s running a puppy mill. If the breeder says the puppy comes from healthy stock, ask for verification. Has he followed up on previous litters? Unscrupulous breeders will often tout all sorts of positive things about their puppies. It doesn’t mean it’s all true. Ask for as much verification as possible. If this seems to upset him, find a different breeder.
Costs of a Labradoodle and What Impacts Cost Differences
The cost of a Labradoodle can vary from breeder to breeder. As consumers, we’ve conditioned ourselves to always look for the best buy. While this may be a wise choice in some circumstances, it may not be the best choice when you’re looking for a Labradoodle breeder. Cost may be a factor, but it definitely should not be the main factor when choosing a breeder.
Breeders in larger cities often charge higher prices than what you’d find from breeders in small towns, but this is not always the case. As a rule, the cost of a Labradoodle puppy can range from $1,200 to $3,000. You may be wondering why there is such a variance between the lowest and highest prices.
Certain factors can affect the cost you’ll pay for your Labradoodles, but the two things that affect the cost the most are the quality of the breeder and the quality of the bloodline of the dog. Here are a few things can impact the cost.
- Bloodlines – Labradoodle breeders who do what they do because they have a love of the breed have dogs of high-quality bloodlines that go back several generations. They can also probably tell you a little something about every dog for several generations back.
- Requesting Specific Characteristics – Despite Labradoodle being a mixed breed between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle, it’s still a very popular dog. Experienced breeders do generational breeding to bring out certain qualities and characteristics. For instance, you may want a light colored Labradoodle with a wool coat. An experienced breeder will know what type of dogs he needs to combine to get you the desired Labradoodle. This is generally going to cost more than if you had no preference in what kind of a Labradoodle you wanted to buy.
- Quality of the Breeder – High-quality breeders often charge higher prices because they offer only high-quality dogs and high-quality services, such as intensive health screenings and health guarantees to name just a few.
- Age of Dog – The age of the Labradoodle you buy can affect the price as well. The puppies usually come with the highest price tag. Occasionally, a breeder may have one or two pups left over from a past little that just didn’t sell for some reason. In cases like this, breeders may sell them at a discount because they know most buyers prefer puppies. However, an older pup may also come with a higher price if the dog has some sort of training.
- Breeding Rights – Many reputable breeders will sell their Labradoodle puppies but will only sell them with a Spay/Neuter Contract. What this means is that you will have a Labradoodle dog but not one that you can breed. You may wonder why breeders can be so particular when Labradoodles are the result of mixed breeding (Lab + Poodle). These breeders have worked very hard to mix the right dogs together to get the right qualities and traits, and they don’t want an inexperienced breeder or puppy mill to mess with their bloodline. Labradoodle puppies that require the buyer to sign a spay/neuter contract are usually quite a bit less than those sold with the right to breed.
When Do Labradoodle Puppies Open Their Eyes?
Labradoodle puppies usually begin opening their eyes when they’re around two weeks old. Some believe that females open their eyes before males.
When Do Labradoodle Puppies Start Weaning?
Labradoodle puppies usually start weaning between three and four weeks of age. They’ll still go to their mother for food but will also have an interest in attempting to eat on their own. Puppies usually go to their new homes between the age of 6 to 8 weeks, so breeders want to know that the puppy is completely weaned at that time.
While it’s true that you never really know what you’re getting in a dog, your chances of getting a good Labradoodle puppy are much better if you are buying from a reputable breeder who loves the Labradoodle breed as much as you do. By doing your research, you may find it easier than you think to find a great Labradoodle puppy breeder.