The decision to bring home a new pup is a big one. After deciding upon the breed, the next big step is to choose your breeder, another decision not to be taken lightly. The best thing to keep in mind when pouring over the many websites is this:
ALL BREEDERS ARE NOT EQUAL.
It takes a lot of hard work, integrity, and expense to be a good breeder. Buying from a breeder who does not complete and clear their parent dogs for the following genetic issues is gambling with your money and your pup’s future health. Please don’t be fooled by breeders who post reasons why testing should NOT be done or that it is unreliable. If it really didn’t matter, we wouldn’t take the considerable time, effort and expense to do so. It is our opinion that unless a breeder can provide you with all the testing set forth immediately upon request – and this includes us – you should find another breeder.
Each breed requires breed-specific testing, and miniature dogs require additional testing beyond the breed-specific testing. The listing of the minimum testing you should accept regarding your puppy’s parents is shown below. It is the testing required by top breeder sites, including: www.GoldendoodleClubOfAmerica.com (under construction), and www.Goldendoodle-Labradoodle.org:
Golden Retriever parents should be cleared for:
1. Hip displaysia: Hip clearance from OFA or Pennhip.
2. Eyes (CERF)
3. Hearts – tested and certified by OFA
4. Elbows (OFA) on all new certifications.
Elbows have become a recent problem in the breed. Due to this, you may find many of the older tested dogs will not have elbow clearances. In order to continue to keep up with the research and the recommendations of the breed Assoc.-we will require elbows on all Golden Retrievers to be cleared on all new certifications.
Poodle parents should be cleared for:
1. Hip displaysia: Hip clearance from OFA or Pennhip
2. Eyes (CERF)
3. Von Willebrands (vWd) (bleeding disorder) DNA or Blood screen
(Some breeder groups require: Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) Skin Disorder)
Goldendoodles must be cleared for all testing required of golden retrievers AND poodles
MINI Poodles and MINI goldendoodles:
Same as #1-4 for poodles, above. IN ADDITION: Tests required for breeding of Miniature and Toy Poodles and Miniature-Medium Goldendoodles:
1. Patellas (back “kneecaps”) tested and cleared against Luxation (see: http://offa.org/patluxinfo.html) it is very important that Patellas are cleared in ALL miniature parents – we advise against buying a pup from a parent that has not been cleared.
CHOOSING A BREEDER:
IMPORTANT INFORMATION WHEN CHOOSING A BREEDER
(taken directly from www.Goldendoodle-Labradoodle.org)
A Responsible Breeder ~ will have clearances, certifications or results of tests completed on their breeding stock for the genetic diseases that are inherent in each breed and they are happy to share those with their clients.
A Responsible Breeder ~ Will have high standards as to the care and concern they have for their animals. All needs are met both emotionally and physically for all the animals in their care.
A Responsible Breeder ~ Will be honest with high moral standards and integrity to provide their clients with a quality puppy. Available to answer any questions and concerns that their clients have – during the sale and long after the sale.
A Responsible Breeder ~ Will have a health guarantee for their puppies. Although each individual breeder will have a guarantee that will vary in time and content, a 2 year minimum (is recommended) and will NEVER require that you return your puppy for the guarantee to be effective.
A responsible Breeder ~ Will have some form of application, either written or verbal, to insure that the puppy will have a good home and quality care.
A Responsible Breeder ~ Will allow clients to visit their facilities and view their dogs. Although each individual breeder will have their own set of rules on this, beware of those that will not allow for visitation and want to meet you in a public place to pick up your puppy. (please note that many breeders, including us, will allow visitors to visit with us outside but not in areas where puppies or parent dogs have access as parvo can be brought in from visitors). BIG RED FLAG
A Responsible Breeder ~ Will be happy to provide you with recommendations from clients, other breeders, veterinarians and other professionals in the dog world.
A Responsible Breeder ~ Will ask you many questions concerning your family and the life that this puppy will have.
Breeders who are evasive or become defensive when you ask the hard questions, such as: WHAT TESTS ARE PERFORMED ON THE BREEDING DOGS; or CAN YOU PROVIDE ME WITH NAMES OF THE VET TO VERIFY YOUR DOGS TEST RESULTS?
Breeders that allow no visits to their facility.
Breeders that require a large sum of money as a nonrefundable deposit.
Breeders with an unreasonable guarantee.
Breeders who require you to return your dog in order to honor their guarantee
Unknowledgeable breeders who cannot answer your questions. (end of information from www.Goldendoodle-Labradoodle.org)
Breeders who breed a lot of different breeds of dogs at their site.
Breeders who tell you the parent dogs are tested but either cannot or will not provide you with copies of ALL testing for EVERY test needed for that breed or size of parent dog (as set forth above). – NO EXCUSES FOR NOT HAVING THEM TO GIVE TO YOU IMMEDIATELY WHEN REQUESTED SHOULD BE ACCEPTED
Breeders who keep their dogs full-time in kenneled areas – often times crowded with other dogs.
Breeders with a lot of dogs – how can they spend time each dog and provide socialization to them?
Breeders who won’t let you see all their dogs, especially the parent dogs (note: it is not unusual for an outside stud dog to be used by a responsible breeder, but information, including ALL testing, should be available for that stud as well as contact information for the owner of the stud; nursing mothers will not usually be available to meet).
Special Note: Internet Puppy Brokers
Prospective puppy adopters should beware of online puppy brokers who post photos from multiple breeders but do not give a kennel or breeder name. The brokering company never sees the puppies, the kennels, or meets the breeders. This is a very serious concern, as puppy mills can “hide” inside a puppy broker site since their kennel name or breeder name is never given on the broker site. Prospective buyers aren’t able to search for the breeder/kennel to verify their integrity or quality. Buyers are also unable to see if a particular breeder has any complaints against it with the Better Business Bureau or other reporting sites or previous customers.
Prospective buyers are advised to do an internet search for the website name follwed by the words “complaints” or “reviews”. Various websites for rip-off reporting and consumer complaints will come up with reports from their previous customers.
Please don’t buy a puppy from a pet store or broker who sells from puppy mills. Make sure your breeder or kennel is legitimate.